New Yorkers looking for taxi rides will soon be able to use the Uber app, in a first for the U.S. The San Francisco startup has reached a deal with the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission’s tech partners, Creative Mobile Technologies and Curb Mobile, to list the city’s yellow taxis on its app.
Taxis will be offered to the Uber app’s users for the same price as an UberX. Prices may be lower or higher than a metered fare for the same ride depending on surge pricing. Drivers will also be able to see fares before accepting a ride.
“This is a real win for drivers. No longer do they have to worry about finding a fare during off-peak times or getting a street hail back to Manhattan when in the outer boroughs,” said Guy Peterson, Uber’s director of business development. “And this is a real win for riders who will now have access to thousands of yellow taxis in the Uber app.”
The partnership will be piloted this spring and will roll out more widely this summer, with 100 percent of yellow taxis eventually able to be booked through the app. The agreement follows months of struggling for both Uber and its ride-hailing competitor, Lyft.
The apps saw driver shortages through the pandemic as customers had fewer places to go and drivers chose not to put themselves in danger of catching COVID-19 for the fares being offered by Uber. Now, as gas prices surge, a new challenge has presented itself.
Although Uber says that it hasn’t seen a decrease in the number of active drivers using the app, Peter Martin of YipitData told Bloomberg that the data suggests the surging prices are affecting the company. Average charges per mile during the week ending on February 27 were 18 percent higher than in January and ride-hailing pickup times increased by more than 50 percent compared to October, which all points to ongoing driver shortages.
Uber has partnerships with taxi companies in countries like Spain, Colombia, and Turkey. New York will be the first American market in which the startup has partnered with a local taxi company, though.