New York’s famous yellow taxi cabs are set to become available for booking for travelers using the popular ridesharing app Uber. The famous taxis – immortalized in various movies and TV shows throughout the years – are ubiquitous throughout the city, and have become widely recognized symbols of the city. Their addition to the Uber platform means they could now be the solution to high cab fares and longer waiting times throughout New York.
Despite Uber’s arrival into the city starting a feud between the company and New York’s famous yellow cabs, two taxi companies in the city are set to join the platform – the first such agreement of its kind in the US – as all parties look to navigate a course through the choppy post-pandemic travel waters.
We’ve got everything you need to know about this announcement, including what is happening, what it means for travelers and whether we can expect to see similar announcements coming out of Uber in the future.
Yellow Taxis on Uber – What Travelers Should Know
When they first burst onto the taxi scene in the US, Uber stated that they wanted to “disrupt” the taxi industry. Fast forward a few years, and now Uber is looking more and more towards partnering with its rivals in its quest for ride-sharing domination.
Yesterday, Uber announced that New York’s famous yellow taxis would be listed on its app for the first time later this Spring – a move which looks like it could pave the way for similar announcements in other cities in the future.
Uber users will be able to specifically choose taxis on the app, which will then send the request to the two taxi technology companies – Curb and CMT – that Uber has partnered with, which will then let the taxi drivers know to pick the passengers up. Uber users who request a taxi can expect to pay similar prices to Uber’s current UberX rides, and both the riders and drivers will see the fare price up front.
Taxi drivers using Uber will be able to accept or decline passenger pick ups as they see fit, owing to a city regulation that allows ehail taxis to reject fares – a privilege that doesn’t apply to street-hail taxis.
Surge pricing will also apply when necessary – though given the partnership will significantly increase Uber’s driver pool, it could happen far less frequently, which would result in cheaper rides for travelers. With more ride options available to them, passengers can also expect average ride waiting times to fall too.
The move is set to help Uber move towards their ambitious goal of having all taxis on their platform by 2025. Previously speaking about the aims of the company, Andrew Macdonald, Uber’s senior vice president of mobility, said:
“When we look at the next five years, we just don’t see a world in which taxis and Uber exist separately. There’s too much to gain for both sides.”
Uber has entered similar partnerships to the one that has just been announced in New York with taxi firms in other countries around the world, such as South Korea, Germany, Austria and Turkey.
Last year alone, Uber welcomed as many as 122,000 taxis onto its platform. The partnership in New York could add as many as 13,600 more cabs to its roster. With such ambition being shown, Uber could well eye up other traditional markets across the US in order to achieve its goals.
The pandemic has been tough for ridesharing platforms and traditional taxi companies alike. Not only did the pandemic reduce the general need for taxis due to more people working from home, popular ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft have been forced to add a fuel surcharge fee in the wake of spiraling fuel prices in the US.
Is the Uber and Taxi partnership beneficial for riders in New York City?
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com