Customers will soon be able to request yellow taxi cabs from within the Uber app.
The development, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, will officially go into beta mode later this spring, when about 14,000 cabs will gain access to Uber's customer base. The two companies hope to launch to the public by the summer.
How are NYC yellow cabs coming to Uber?
According to the official announcement, the ride sharing giant will team up with Curb and CMT, two taxi companies, to give New Yorkers access to yellow cabs. Specifically, would-be riders will get to open the Uber app and choose "taxi." "Uber will then refer the request to the two taxi technology companies, which will notify drivers to pick up the passengers," reports The New York Times.
Interestingly enough, fares will be based on Uber's own policies and pricing model, which means that yellow taxis will get to charge higher prices during peak hours, when surge mode is in effect. Just as they do now when using the Uber app, customers will know exactly how much a trip will cost them before they call for a car.
Unlike "regular" taxis, these e-hail yellow cabs will have the right to refuse a trip (cab drivers will also see the price of the ride up front).
The partnership is a historic one, especially considering the rivalry that has the defined the relationship between the two companies until now. When Uber launched in New York almost a decade ago, cab drivers complained about declining medallion prices, dearth of passengers and the overall failure of the city to protect their jobs. A slew of other apps—from Via to Lyft—also jumped on the bandwagon, accelerating the decline of the yellow cab business.
The newly announced deal hopes to alleviate some of those issues while also helping out Uber itself. As successful as the company has been through the years, it is clearly having a difficult time recovering from a pandemic that forced people not to leave their homes and avoid sharing intimate spaces with strangers.
"This is a real win for [taxi] drivers," said Guy Peterson, director of business development for Uber in an official press release. "And this is a real win for riders who will now have access to thousands of yellow taxis in the Uber app."
We're at the dawn of a new era.
Love doing stuff in your city? Tell us all about it in our annual, global, Time Out Index survey.