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City law prohibits drivers from talking on handheld cellphones, but they will be able to use them to respond to an e-hail.

The electronic system is optional for cab companies. Mensah Kwabenah, a cabbie waiting for customers near Penn Station, said he’ll respond to app hails if his cab owner wants him to.

The 56-year-old driver said that personally, he felt checking his phone for a customer’s location “is going to be a distraction, and it could cause accidents” _ even if the cell phone is mounted.

The commission was subject to lobbying from the service car industry, which fears loss of business if yellow cabs are allowed to prearrange rides.

The commissioner said the city will make sure both drivers and customers are protected. The driver should be able to accept a ride with a single touch after receiving a passenger signal, Yassky said.

Distance limits will be built into the technology. For example, from 59th Street to Battery Park in Manhattan _ the primary business zone _ yellow cabs will be allowed to respond to an electronic hail within a half-mile. Elsewhere in the city, the limit is a mile and a half.

Customers may pay by using apps that interact with the technology being used in a particular yellow cab, according to TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg.

Lynn Janczak, waiting for a cab in front of Penn Station, prefers to keep things simple.

A former New York resident who lives in West Hartford, Conn., and works in marketing, she’s well-equipped for stopping cabs in the city _ by carrying a yellow mitt on a stick marked with the word “taxi.”

“No, I’m not going to e-hail, because I think we’re already too dependent on electronics,” she declared, adding that it won’t bother her if a cab passes her for an e-hail.

Plus, she said, her mitt “really works.”