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Force Your New York Cabbie To Keep A Clean Taxi? This Startup Is Trying

Next time you hail an NYC Taxi, you might find a surprisingly clean late-model car and even a chipper driver. That's because drivers of those classic-looking yellow cabs have a new option in renting vehicles they'll use for their shifts around Manhattan and its adjacent boroughs.

Lacus is a Zipcar-like model of for-hire taxis curb-parked in designated spots. It launched publicly in September 2017 and now has over 3,200 drivers using its app, or about 6% of all medallion-licensed drivers in New York's five boroughs.

As with Zipcar, each new user checks into the car using a smartphone as a key and immediately reports its internal and external condition, forcing the previous driver to leave it as pristine as found or face sanctions. Beyond just paying a fee tacked on to the day's rental bill like a Zipcar member, Lacus drivers could get suspended and be forced to go back to a time-wasting traditional fleet. (Zipcar and Lacus have no affiliation, apart from overlap in their systems of user accountability.)



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