Cab riders in White Plains will now be able to flag down taxis with a wave of their arm, as street hails were officially legalized in a certain zone in the city.
The White Plains Common Council approved far-reaching changes to the city’s taxi ordinance this month, which included allowing street hails in the specific zone. The vote was finalized on April 4.
Until the ordinance, riders had to go to one of the several taxi stands throughout the city, including at the train station.
In addition to the street hails, meters will be placed in all cabs by July; five new medallions will be issued; and all taxis will be uniform in color by the end of 2016.
Mayor Thomas Roach told NBC 4 New York that the changes are part of a taxi system overhaul, meant to take the ride less confusing for passengers.
"It was really just a reaction to the fact that the cabs didn't measure up to what people expect," said Roach. "People feel they're not being treated fairly and it causes a lot of disputes. It's our number-one complaint."
Taxi drivers will also get their first rate increase in 14 years, according to the mayor's office.
Since the system will transition from zone pricing to metered fare, the direct translation to passengers will vary on the ride, the mayor's office said. Riders can expect an overall "modest" increase.
Among the other changes riders can expect over the next few months: adding handicap-accessible vehicles, taking older vehicles off the road and painting all the cabs white.
White Plains is the only municipality taking these steps in Westchester County, authorities said.