When Uber first arrived on the scene in 2011, the “new-age” taxi service quickly took the world by storm. In their quest to be the top ground transportation option, Uber relentlessly attacked the taxi industry, luring away drivers, ignoring the laws, and slandering taxi companies as corrupt and greedy at every turn. In response, taxi companies fought back and a bitter rivalry was born. However, in a turn of events, Uber is now teaming up with Traditional Yellow Taxi Cabs in a very unlikely alliance.
In New York City, Uber users now have the ability to order a yellow taxi directly through the Uber app. In order to successfully bring Uber users yellow cabs, Uber is partnering with Curb and CMT. When riders open the Uber app and choose a yellow taxi, Uber will send the request to either Curb or CMT who will then dispatch a taxi driver. While passengers will ride in a traditional yellow cab with a certified taxi drivers their fare will be based off of Uber’s pricing, including surge pricing. In other words, ordering a yellow cab through the Uber app and hailing one off the street for the exact same journey could result in two very different fares.
Uber will display an upfront price for their taxi option as they do for their other services, letting riders know the cost before they order. Uber has stated that the cost of a yellow taxi will be roughly the same as an UberX. Similar to Uber drivers, yellow taxi drivers who are sent ride requests through the app will have the option to either accept or reject it.
Shortly after Uber announced they were teaming up with NYC yellow cabs, the company disclosed that they are also close to a similar deal with San Francisco taxis as well. Further, according to the New York Times, Uber said that “it had integrated with more than 2,500 taxis in Spain, partnered with the taxi service TaxiExpress in Colombia, acquired the local HK Taxi app in Hong Kong last year, begun a partnership with SK Telecom in South Korea and also worked with taxis in other countries, including Germany, Austria and Turkey.” And at Uber’s investor day in February, Andrew Macdonald, Uber’s senior vice president of mobility and business operations, said the company wanted every taxi in the world on its platform by 2025!
When a rider requests a yellow taxi through the Uber app, both Uber and the taxi company will receive fees from the rides. Taxi drivers will continue to be paid through the Curb and CMT systems.
Are you surprised by this unlikely alliance or did you think this was the inevitable?