NYC taxi app hopes to compete with Uber

Arro is about to go live on city streets to give you yet another alternative to the traditional taxi hail. Right now the app is in beta mode, but a company rep it will go live by mid-September and eventually be in 20,000 cabs eventually and when it is they hope to peel away some Uber faithful.

It sounds like Uber or Lyft, except Arro is only for hailing yellow and green taxis. Arro is partnering with the makers of the data terminals already in city taxis. It will let the passenger pay via the app even if they don't use Arro to hail a cab. But perhaps its greatest appeal over Uber will be a promise of no surge pricing during times of peak demand.

Right now, several thousand taxi drivers are learning how to use it.

But other apps have tried to compete with Uber and failed, explains Andrew Hawkins, who covers transportation for Crain's New York Business. He points to the Britain-based app company Hailo that had to pull out of North America because it couldn't compete with Uber.

Initially the service will be free to drivers and passengers. But an Arro rep says the company hasn't ruled out the possibility of a fee in a future.