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Reuters
12/12/2014
 

Chicago opened a new front in the war on ridesharing services like Uber, approving a plan to sponsor an app for riders to hail local cabs. 

Chicago appears to be the only major city to agree to develop its own app, although New York City Council Member Ben Kallos this week proposed a similar app. The Chicago move also represents a political push from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), a union which has organised drivers in two cities so far. 

 

Aaron Smith
12/12/2014
 

Uber and Lyft could be getting some new competition from the cities of New York and Chicago.

New York and Chicago could soon be launching their own smartphone apps for e-hailing taxis, similar to Uber and Lyft.

New York City Councilman Ben Kallos proposed a bill to create apps for e-hailing taxis.

"City taxis need an app of their own to compete, and New Yorkers need to be able to get a cab in the rain without having to worry about surge pricing," said Kallos, in a press release. "I want to live in a city where I can e-hail a yellow or green cab and get where I need to be in a New York minute."

 

John Nassivera
12/12/2014
 

 

The New York app, called the Universal E-Hail app, was proposed by councilman Ben Kallos and would be created by the Taxi & Limousine Commission if it receives approval, CNN Money reported.

"City taxis need an app of their own to compete, and New Yorkers need to be able to get a cab in the rain without having to worry about surge pricing," Kallos said. "I want to live in a city where I can e-hail a yellow or green cab and get where I need to be in a New York minute."

The idea of new ride-hailing apps in the two cities comes at a time when Uber and Lyft face problems overseas and at home. Uber is currently banned in Spain and China, and it was recently sued by authorities in Portland, Oregon that demanded for the company to comply with local laws. Both Uber and Lyft were sued by California for allegedly misleading people about its background checks for its drivers.

 

 

Simone Splika
12/12/2014
 

 

 

A new legislation will require New York City to have its own app for hailing cabs and act as a single-stop platform for drivers. The taxi app will incorporate third party services such as Lyft and Uber so drivers can respond to any customer in need of a ride and riders will be guaranteed a metered fare. The launch of such a significant initiative will surely disrupt the nature of the car sharing economy by leveling the playing field for all drivers and forcing third party applications to display available cabs.

City Council Member and software developer Ben Kallos introduced the bill with the hope that a free New York branded Universal E-Hail App would leverage technology rather than force companies out of business by making their apps illegal. In a press release, Kallos proposed that a centralized system would offer equal competition for all parties, including the companies, riders and drivers.

The citywide app is designed to promote availability for passengers to find a ride, offering up to 13,637 yellow cabs and 6,000 green cabs across multiple platforms. The entirely would create a more seamless system for riders to e-hail any type of car, whether its yellow, black or sports a pink moustache.

 

Matt Mercuro
12/12/2014
 

Chicago seems to be the only major city to agree to develop its own app, though New York City Council Member Ben Kallos proposed a similar app this week.

 

 

Rebecca Fishbein
12/12/2014
 

 

All of this sounds good, of course, but the elected officials at the hearing didn't seem to be buying it. James was joined by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Member Ben Kallos, both of whom cosigned a letter with the Public Advocate in October laying out certain conditions for the merger. These conditions include supplying New York City Housing Authority residents with free broadband, providing free Wi-Fi service in public parks, and offering broadband at senior, youth and community centers and homeless and domestic violence shelters.

Though Comcast claims their aim is to "close the digital divide," they have not officially agreed to these conditions, something MBP Brewer didn't seem thrilled about. "Just because you say it doesn't mean you're going to cut the digital divide," Brewer said. "All the things we're talking about today would be a handshake and not an agreement."

 

Brian Heaton
12/11/2014
 

 

New Yorkers fed up with ride-sharing companies that spike their rates during peak demand times may soon have a more reasonable alternative – access to every available taxicab in Gotham on their smartphones.

New York City Council member Ben Kallos has introduced legislation to create a free Universal E-Hail App. The app could potentially even out fare prices by enabling people to flag down a ride from the approximately 19,637 yellow and green cabs in the Big Apple that elect to participate in the program. It also permits the users of third party apps like Uber and Lyft to e-hail cabs as well.

“City taxis need an app of their own to compete, and New Yorkers need to be able to get a cab in the rain without having to worry about surge pricing,” Kallos said in a statement. “New York City must support our tech sector. Instead of making new technologies illegal, or regulating them out of business, we should provide a level playing field with fair competition so that companies, drivers and riders all win.”

 

New York Times
Mike Isaac
12/11/2014
 

If you can’t beat them, join them.

Regulators in Chicago have approved a plan to create one or more applications that would allow users to hail taxis from any operators in the city, using a smartphone. In New York, a City Council member proposed a similar app on Monday that would let residents “e-hail” any of the 20,000 cabs that circulate in the city on a daily basis.

It is a new tack for officials in the two cities, a reaction to the surging use of hail-a-ride apps like Uber and Lyft.

Regulators in New York have not yet voted on the bill on the e-hail app, which was first proposed by Benjamin Kallos, a councilman who represents the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island.

 

Mark Gaurino
12/10/2014
 

 

Chicago appears to be the only major city to agree to develop its own app, although New York City Council Member Ben Kallos this week proposed a similar app. The Chicago move also represents a political push from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), a union which has organized drivers in two cities so far.

More than half of Chicago's 7,000 active cabbies have joined AFSCME since June. In New Orleans, the second U.S. city where AFSCME has organized taxi drivers, more than 800 drivers have signed up, which represents more than half of the city's fleet.

 

New York Observer
Katy Turner
12/10/2014
 

 

New York has been forced to accept a massive defeat against San Francisco—and almost the rest of the country—when it comes to employing female firefighters. While coastal frontrunner San Francisco’s department is currently made up of thirteen percent women, NYC’s numbers are staggering in lack: only 44 women currently serve in the 10,500-person New York City Fire Department (FDNY), a chunk that amounts to less than half of one percent of the entire force, according to a press release.

Former Congresswoman and NYC Comptroller Elizabeth Holtzman described the numbers as “deplorable.”

In a bid to raise that figure, Council Members Helen Rosenthal, Elizabeth Crowley, Laurie Cumbo and Ben Kallos stood on the steps of City Hall with the United Women Firefighters (UWF) and supporters Wednesday morning. They called on the FDNY for action, meeting just before a NYC Council oversight hearing that will examine existing barriers that prevent female candidates from joining the FDNY.

 

Manolito J Martinez
12/10/2014
 

In an effort to compete with Uber and other ride sharing companies such as Lyft, a New York City council member recently has introduced legislation for New York cab companies to have access to a app of their own. Council Member Ben Kallos said in a statement, “New York City must support our tech sector: Instead of making new technologies illegal, or regulating them out of business, we should provide a level playing field with fair competition so that companies, drivers and riders all win.”

 

Maya Kosoff
12/09/2014
 

If one Manhattan lawmaker gets his way, you'll be able to hail any NYC taxi from an app on your phone like you do with Uber and Lyft.

On Monday, New York City Council Member Ben Kallos introduced legislation that would require New York City to have its own app for hailing taxi cabs. 

“City taxis need an app of their own to compete, and New Yorkers need to be able to get a cab in the rain without having to worry about surge pricing," Kallos said in a press release.

 

The Epoch Times
Catherine Yang
12/09/2014
 

Since last May, people have had the choice of hailing a cab by extending their hand or through their smartphones, and the traditional street hail overwhelmingly remains the preferred method.

But with competition from black car services through tech companies like Uber and Lyft, Council member Ben Kallos said it’s time the city created its own app for yellow cabs.

“New Yorkers should be able to get where they need to go in a New York minute in their most trusted transportation source,” Kallos said. This week, Kallos proposed a bill that would require the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) to create or contract out the making of a city-branded e-hail app.

 

Chris Bragg
Erik Engquist
and Andrew J. Hawkins
12/09/2014
 

TLC mum on universal e-hail app

The Taxi and Limousine Commission is mum so far on Manhattan Councilman (and software designer) Ben Kallos' bill to create a universal e-hail app for yellow cabs. The bill would require the TLC to contract out the creation of the new app, which could allow popular apps like Uber and Lyft to extend their business to the city's coveted fleet of 13,437 yellow taxis.

 

Marlene Peralta
12/09/2014
 

Nueva York  -  Los taxistas amarillos de la Gran Manzana pronto podrán competir al mismo nivel con las compañías Uber y Lyft, gracias a una propuesta de ley para crear una aplicación de internet que permita a todos los neoyorquinos tener acceso a pedir cualquier taxi público, ya sea amarillo o verde, desde su celular.

La propuesta introducida este lunes por el concejal Ben Kallos crearía una aplicación universal gratis para solicitar cualquiera de los 13,637 taxis amarillos y los 6,000 verdes que actualmente operan en los cinco condados, similar a la que usan las compañías por internet Uber y Lyft. La idea es crear una “competencia justa” en una industria donde ambas partes se han acusado de crear un monopolio.

“Los taxis de la ciudad necesitan su propia aplicación para competir y los neoyorquinos necesitan poder pedir un taxi sin temor a una alza en los precios”, sostuvo Kallos, quien era programador de software antes de convertirse en concejal.

 

Natasha Gilmore
12/09/2014
 

On Sunday, December 7, after more than a year and a half of planning, the Empire State Center for the Book recognized Carl Schurz Park as a Literary Landmark for its role in Louise Fitzhugh’s middle-grade classic Harriet the Spy, which will celebrate its 50th year in print in 2015.

The dedication of Carl Schurz Park marks the 14th designation of a literary landmark in the state, and the second in the Upper East Side this year, following the recognition of the Yorkville Community School on East 88th Street in May, near the site of “the house on 88th street,” from the book of the same name by Bernard Waber, in which readers were introduced to Lyle the Crocodile.

 

Capital New York
Ryan Hutchins
12/08/2014
 

City Councilman Ben Kallos introduced legislation today that would require the creation of a universal smartphone app for hailing cabs in New York.

The measure is backed by taxi owners and would, in theory, neutralize the threat of e-hail companies like Uber while making it easier to connect with yellow or green borough cabs by app, rather than using the traditional street hail. It follows a similar effort in Chicago,where the city is planning to develop one or several apps that would allow riders to go to one place to hail a cab. Officials in Washington, D.C., are undertaking a similar effort.

“The gist of the bill is it’s designed to allow people to hail yellow and green cabs, where as right now it’s not easy to do that,” Sarah Anders, a spokeswoman for Kallos, said.

 

Yoav Gonen
12/08/2014
 

E-hail yes!

A Manhattan lawmaker is introducing legislation Monday that would require the city to launch a universal e-hail app for yellow and green cabs — the latest salvo against app-based taxi services like Uber.

City Council Member Ben Kallos says such an app would make the old-time, hand-hail yellow and green cabs significantly more competitive against the newer car service firms.

“City taxis need an app of their own to compete, and New Yorkers need to be able to get a cab in the rain without having to worry about surge pricing,” said Kallos, who’s also a software developer.

 

New York Daily News
Erin Durkin
12/08/2014
 

The city would launch its own taxi hailing app to compete with Uber and Lyft under a bill introduced in the City Council Monday.

Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) is sponsoring the bill to require the city to create an e-hail app for its regular fleet of more than 13,000 yellow cabs and 6,000 green ones.

“City taxis need an app if they’re going to compete, and New Yorkers should be able to e-hail a cab in the rain without having to worry about surge pricing,” Kallos said, referring to Uber’s practice of jacking up prices when demand is highest.

 

CBS News 2 New York
CBS New York
12/08/2014
 

A new taxi app could give New York City consumers more options during the holidays, so they will not have to deal with unreasonable fares.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, competition is on the rise, and the value of cab medallions is on the decline. Thus, Upper East Side City Councilman Ben Kallos (D-5th) has introduced a universal hail app.

 

Alison Fox
12/08/2014
 

The latest challenge to car services like Uber came out of City Hall Monday when an Upper East Side council member introduced a bill to create a free city mobile app for yellow and green taxis.

The bill, introduced by Council Member Ben Kallos, would create a universal E-Hail App for the more than 13,000 yellow cabs and 6,000 green cabs throughout the city, he said in a statement.

"City taxis need an app of their own to compete, and New Yorkers should be able to e-hail a cab in the rain without having to worry about surge pricing," Kallos said, adding that the "city must modernize to be able to compete."

 

Eric Pfeiffer
12/08/2014
 

There’s a new chapter in the ongoing drama between ridesharing services like Uber and New York City.

City Council member Ben Kallos announced a bill on Monday that would authorize the creation of a city-sponsored app allowing users to hail a ride from any of the city’s traditional cabs from the ease of their phone.

The bill would in effect create a massive new competitor for rideshare drivers in an attempt to level the playing field between independent drivers and the traditional taxicab system.

 

Ben Kallos
11/26/2014
 

As Americans, we have much to be thankful for. We live in a great nation with services that support us and our loved ones. As a City Council Member representing the East Side of Manhattan, I am also deeply thankful to be a New Yorker. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for the many blessings that we have, and #GivingTuesday is a time to give back.

On November 25, just before Thanksgiving, I was proud to join New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to declare December 2, 2014 to be #GivingTuesday. This is a day for us to give back to the organizations and charities that are important to us. #GivingTuesday is a natural outlet for our generosity and an antidote to the shopping frenzy of the days just prior.

 

NYC Campaign Finance Board
11/26/2014
 

"Once again, the NYCCFB looks to bring the most innovative practices to campaigns and elections in New York City,” wrote NYC Council Member Ben Kallos, chair of the Council’s Governmental Operations Committee, via e-mail. “Text message contributions will allow residents to donate on their phones with a quick text, encouraging more grassroots candidates with small donor support to run and succeed,” commented Kallos in a response to the hearing.

 

New York Daily News
Erin Durkin
11/25/2014
 

The Council also passed a bill to require more city agencies to register New Yorkers to vote.

Seven agencies including the Human Resources Administration and Department for the Aging will be newly required to distribute registration forms under the bill, sponsored by Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan.) 

 

October 2013: Ready for the General Election
 

 
I was honored and thrilled to win the Democratic nomination to represent the neighborhood where I grew up in the City Council. As we prepare for the general election on November 5, I am excited to get the chance to discuss with more of you my progressive vision for our neighborhood – and hear from you on the issues you care about, like fighting the Marine Transfer Station, improving our schools and protecting our senior services. 

As the race moves into July, my team and I are meeting community members across the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island – and it’s the best part of this race. Always feel free to email me at Benatkallosforcouncil [dot] com (Benatkallosforcouncil [dot] com) or call (212) 960-3440. I look forward to hearing from you.

As the days get hotter, so does the campaign! We celebrated the start of June with two key endorsements from the Transport Workers Union Local 100 and the League of Independent Theater, as well as the launch of petitioning to get on the ballot -- not to mention a move to our new office! We're rapidly gaining momentum as we move into summer, and we need supporters like you more than ever:

  • Donate today to help us build a better City.
  • Volunteer to join Team Ben.
  • towsenatkallosforcouncil [dot] com (subject: Host%20a%20House%20Party) (Host a House Party)
  • Attend our Campaign Office Grand Opening on Wednesday, June 26 from 6-9 pm. 

Read on for updates on the latest developments in our campaign:

Our campaign is about results now, not about waiting until Election Day. We’ve been working tirelessly to improve everyday life here on the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island. Our efforts are already paying off, garnering grassroots support and receiving strong media coverage.
 

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  1. Fighting for Freedom, Safety, and Accessibility for All
  2. Celebrating the Holidays Obama Style
  3. Fair Wages and Elections
  4. Swim and Walk for a Better City

This February our campaign for a better City moved forward by building great momentum with endorsements from national and statewide leaders as well as labor unions, while we fought to make our City safer, technologically accessible, sustainable, and took a break from the campaign to celebrate Black History Month.

Building Momentum:

Community Voice:

Support Our Campaign For A Better City:

Please join former Public Advocate Mark Green at the home of Bill Samuels at 7PM on Monday, March 11, at what we hope will be our final fundraiser. We've already raised $55K and only need another $30K to reach our spending limit in time for the March 11 filing deadline.

Thank you for your financial support that kept us in the lead for 2013.  We've once again outraised all of our opponents combined and could never have done it without your help.  We've made it well past the halfway point for a fully funded City Council campaign by raising almost $50,000, with only $30,000 left to raise.

Happy New Year!  2012 was an amazing year, full of challenges to overcome, super storms and threats of apocolypse, unbridled success like the re-election of Barack Obama, landing the mars rover, discovering the Higgs Boson, and even sky diving faster than the speed of sound from space.  We enter 2013 in a world where more is possible than the year before.  What preconceived norms can we shatter in 2013?  I would love to know your New Year's resolution for how you will make the world a better place in 2013.

 

Following Sandy it was hard for many to return to normalcy, and some still haven't or never will.  The outpouring of support from the community was both humbling and amazing.  In my own volunteering I was struck by portions of the population displaced by Sandy as well as before by the economy or other factors.  As we celebrate  the Thanksgiving holiday please take a moment to pause and reflect on how lucky we are, give thanks, and lets figure out how to make things better for all of us.