Why your next New York City Uber could be a yellow taxi

Mar 24, 2022

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It’s a move that may soon make it easier (and cheaper) for New York City passengers looking to catch a ride amid a driver shortage and rising gas prices.

Riders will have access to yellow cabs on the Uber app starting later this year, the tech company confirmed to TPG. The change could also mean that the skyrocketing costs for the ride-hailing service might start to come down.

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A taxi drives through Times Square on Nov. 16, 2020, in New York. (Photo by Eduardo MunozAlvarez/VIEWpress)

It’s welcome news for carless New York City residents, who will have access to thousands of yellow taxi drivers via the Uber app. This will provide more driver options for riders while potentially lessening frustration due to surging fares and long wait times due to low availability.

“Uber has a long history of partnering with the taxi industry to provide drivers with more ways to earn and riders with another transportation option,” said Andrew Macdonald, senior vice president of mobility and business operations at Uber. “Our partnerships with taxis look different around the world, and we’re excited to team up with taxi software companies CMT and Curb, which will benefit taxi drivers and all New Yorkers.”

Thursday’s announcement is the result of a partnership between Uber, Creative Mobile Technologies and Curb Mobility, the latter of which are taxi tech software providers for the city’s taxis. Working together, the three companies expect to begin rolling out services later this spring, with a full launch this summer, before eventually comprising 100% of New York City cabs on the Uber platform, according to Uber.

Uber hopes this will be a win-win for both riders and drivers, who have collectively suffered from higher fuel prices.

New York City’s Taxi & Limousine Commission recently implemented a for-hire vehicle minimum wage including a 5.3% cost-of-living increase for Uber and Lyft drivers. That does not apply to taxis, but the TLC has hinted they may also get that raise. A fuel surcharge implemented by Uber in response to rising gas prices doesn’t include New York City because of the new minimum wage law.

The tech giant says the partnership will yield more trips and revenue for its drivers due to expanded access to Uber’s customer base, adding to the existing driver fleet of approximately 90,000 New York City-based Uber drivers.

Related: You can finally see what your Uber drivers really think of you

“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,” Guy Peterson, director of business development for Uber, said in a press statement on March 24. “And this is a real win for riders who will now have access to thousands of yellow taxis in the Uber app.”

Although this alliance is the first of its kind domestically, Uber has partnered with taxi software and fleet operators globally for many years, including in Spain, Hong Kong and Turkey, as riders continue to use Uber to request trips with taxis in dozens of intentional cities.

Currently, Uber has more drivers in the U.S. than at any point during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the company has not reported a loss of drivers in the U.S. and Canada, despite high fuel prices.

“New York City is back!,” Ron Sherman, chairman of Creative Mobile Technologies, said in a press release. “As businesses bring their employees back, as tourists flock to New York City again and as New Yorkers start going out and replenishing our local economy after a devastating pandemic, yellow taxis and Uber are bringing the best our industries have to offer to help this city get back on its feet.”

Read more: You can now make dinner reservations, buy concert tickets and more with Uber Explore

Featured photo of a yellow cab and Uber car driving through Times Square on Nov. 16, 2020, in New York City by Eduardo MunozAlvarez/VIEWpress.

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