Chicago Taxis are added to the Uber app!

When Uber rolled onto the streets of San Francisco, it promised a revolution in urban transportation. With the tap of a screen, users could summon sleek black cars to their location, bypassing traditional taxi services. Since then, Uber has amassed a dedicated following, expanding its reach to major cities worldwide, from Seattle to Paris. But the latest development in Chicago hints at a new chapter in Uber’s journey—an experiment that could reshape how we hail rides.

Introducing Uber Garage. The Uber Garage initiative serves as a playground at Uber for exploring innovative solutions in urban mobility. The inaugural project under Garage’s banner introduces a surprising twist—taxis. In Chicago, users can now spot participating taxis alongside rideshare cars on the app, marking a departure from Uber’s original model.

Why Chicago? According to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, the city’s abundance of taxis and competitive pricing make it an ideal testing ground. The move benefits both consumers and taxi drivers. Users can summon a cab seamlessly through the app, while drivers gain access to a broader customer base and guaranteed tips.

The process mirrors Uber’s existing interface: Users select a nearby taxi, specify their location, and receive notifications as the cab approaches. Though initially limited to select users, the taxi service will gradually roll out to more customers in the coming weeks. Notably, Uber’s traditional car service remains the default option in the app.

Uber is recruiting taxis directly, with drivers using the Uber driver app to access potential fares. Allen Penn, Uber’s manager in Chicago, reports enthusiastic support from local taxi drivers. The city’s adoption rate is skyrocketing, with month-over-month growth ranging from 30% to 40%.

In terms of pricing, drivers input the meter fare into the app, with a 20% service charge covering gratuity and fees. While this venture may reduce profit margins, Kalanick views it as a strategic move to enhance transportation accessibility.

What’s more intriguing is the resurgence of taxis. Once overshadowed by Uber and other rideshare services, taxis are making a comeback with some airports such as Logan Airport noticing taxi rides doubling year after year! And, now fueled by their integration into the Uber platform, taxis are officially reclaiming their place alongside rideshare cars. Do you think the world is moving back towards taxis? Let us know in the comments!