Program aiming to cut costs through shared cabs was supposed to launch last month

A program designed to help city-goers cut expenses by reducing taxi fares for people who share rides was supposed to launch last month, but New Yorkers will have to wait at least until the end of January to take advantage of the discounts.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission announced in late November that it would pilot a program in three spots where groups of two or more people can get in a cab for a reduced price.

“We hope that before the end of the year we’ll have at least three stands open,” TLC Chairman Matthew Daus told the Daily News at the time.

But now it’s 2010, and riders are wondering why the promising program has been delayed. The TLC has postponed the launch until late January, a city spokesman told The New York Post, but the reasons for the delay remain unclear.

Fares with strangers will be up to 50 percent less than regular meter fares under the plan. Once it rolls out, grab a cab with a stranger at 57th St. and Eighth Ave., 72nd St. and Third Ave. and Columbus Ave. for a discount. Riders will be able to get out at any point from Park Ave. to 42nd St., which is the only way the cabs will be headed.

In addition, a taxi stand that the Times Square Alliance had lobbied to create in the busiest intersection in the world won’t become reality, reports the Post. The Alliance had submitted a proposal for a stand on West 44th Street to shuttle theatergoers between 10:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. during the week, but the TLC has said no for now.

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