- Uber has agreed to list all of New York City's 14,000 taxicabs for rides on its app, the Wall Street Journal reported today.
- This is the first time the ride-sharing company has collaborated with a cab company in the U.S.
- Uber is calling it "a real win for riders," but the move follows years of protests from cabdrivers who have lost business from the app, and several months of rising fares for Uber riders because of a driver shortage.
The ride-sharing company Uber has agreed to list all of New York City's taxicabs on its app, the Wall Street Journal reported this morning. This is a practice Uber has adopted in some other countries but not yet in a U.S. city. The app has been heavily criticized by proponents of the New York taxicab industry, which has suffered lost business because of the popularity of Uber and Lyft in recent years.
New York has 13,587 taxis that are registered and wear official medallions, according to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. Cabs already have software for ride-hailing from Creative Mobile Technologies, which makes a taxi app called Arro. Now riders using Uber can choose a ride in a cab, for which they will pay about the same fare as for an Uber X ride. Cabdrivers will be able to accept or decline Uber-hailed rides based on information they're given about how much they'll be paid. Uber itself will get some as yet undisclosed percentage of the fare for taxi rides through the app.
Uber's director of business development said in a statement this morning, titled "Once Rivals, Now Partners," that the move 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." It is likely also a win for riders in New York City, who saw Uber driver shortages cause prices to rise precipitously for rides booked through the app in the past several months.
The taxi-Uber tie-up will start this spring in beta mode and will become available to everyone over the summer, Uber said, and Uber's head of global mobility, Andrew Macdonald, told WSJ that Uber has a goal to include every taxi in the world on its app by 2025.