The Subway/Taxi Dilemma Complicated By Local Phone Apps

by BILLY GRAY · February 5, 2010

Cab or subway? It's the eternal question: convenience and efficiency versus affordability and a mosaic of local kooks. Now, winners of a Best NYC App competition make the decision for you.

Taxihack introduces a Yelp-ish user review system for taxi drivers. I'm not really sure how useful this is, since most of my time in cabs is spent white-knuckling the door handle, praying for dear life as the cabbie takes his death course. But then, it would be helpful to know which drivers look the other way when it comes to smoking (in my experience, roughly half do) and which ones won't claim navigational ignorance when asked to drive to Houston and Broadway (true story).

WayFinder is a GPS thingy that tracks down whichever subway station is closest to you. It also uses this "augmented reality" technology I keep hearing about but am too much of a lazy Luddite to understand. But I think it's that completely unnecessary device that superimposes directions and business descriptions over your surroundings as you capture them with your phone. (Which, coincidentally, kills you.)

Anyway, it's funny that two of the three winning apps complement each other. Although since tardiness and 4am drunkenness are two of the most popular reasons for going with cab over train, I'm not convinced a withering review on Taxihack will convince many struggling stragglers to provide a much-needed boon to the MTA.