Another fleet of cab owners is scrambling to get app-based taxi operations on the road by the Fourth of July weekend to take advantage of Uber's recent exit from East Hampton Town.
Hamptons Taxi App will be used by drivers who are licensed to operate cabs in all of the East End towns and villages, Bryan DaParma said in an interview last week. He owns Hometown Taxi Inc., which services East Hampton and Southampton, and said the 85 cars in his fleet will join about 20 vehicles from other companies to make 105 taxis and SUVs available to riders.
The app -- the joint venture also includes New Frontier Payments, a Pennsylvania-based credit card company -- can be used on Android devices and iPhones.StoryAttorneys fear jail for Hamptons Uber driversVideoUber drivers face East end judge on license issues StoryUber exits East Hampton after drivers charged
"It's a branded app directly for the Hamptons," said DaParma, who has owned Hometown Taxi for 20 years.
He said rides will cost $12 for a pickup and $3 for each additional mile.
"We're keeping all prices to a minimum right now to generate buzz and to get our clients to know us," DaParma said.
Last week, owners of three Montauk-based cab companies announced they have partnered with Toronto-based Gata Labs to begin offering the Gata Hub app Wednesday. It also operates on the Android system and iPhone and will serve the Montauk area.
With both Gata Hub and the Hamptons Taxi App, customers have the option to pay with cash or by credit card or to use the phone to call for a ride. To access the app, riders must open the app store or Google Play on their phone, search for Hamptons Taxi and install or scan the QR code, open the app, add their information and hit submit.
DaParma said all the companies are "absolutely scrambling" to be ready by the July Fourth holiday to cash in on the potentially lucrative business that has opened up since Uber's pullout.
The ride-booking service left East Hampton after three years when about two dozen of its drivers were charged over the Memorial Day weekend with violating East Hampton Town licensing requirements.
On Monday, town officials settled cases against 21 Uber drivers charged with violating East Hampton Town's taxi licensing law, a misdemeanor punishable by a fine and jail time. The drivers pleaded guilty to a lesser, noncriminal charge.
Supervisor Larry Cantwell said drivers using the new app can avoid that outcome by complying with town law.
"As long as the cab companies and the drivers are licensed in the Town of East Hampton, that's all we require," he said.