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New app lets riders hail a NYC cab by smartphone

Wednesday - 8/8/2012, 4:45pm  ET

NEW YORK (AP) - Hailing a taxi on a New York street is going high-tech _ with a smartphone application.

Starting Wednesday, a passenger can send out a hailing signal to cabs with a matching app, within about a five-block area.

Martin Heikel, co-founder of the ZabKab app, says the venture started when business partner Ben Millspaugh felt frustrated "not being able to get a cab when and where he needed one."

So far, Heikel says about 1,000 of the city's more than 13,000 yellow cab drivers have downloaded the app.

When a hailing icon pops up, the driver sees the passenger's location.

Drivers will be charged $14.95 a month, or $9.95 on a six-month subscription _ after several promotional, cost-free months.

The passenger app is free of charge.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)