You'll Soon Be Able to Hail a NYC Cab via Uber

After over a decade of frosty relations with NYC's taxi commission, the ride-hailing giant will soon help its drivers find new fares.

Chris Paukert Former executive editor / Cars
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015. Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
Chris Paukert
2 min read
NYC taxi hailing app
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NYC taxi hailing app

In recent years, the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission created its own hailing apps to rival Uber. Now, these former rivals are teaming up.

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Uber has historically been at odds with cab services around the world, but a new olive branch to one of the world's largest and most famous taxi commissions is a sign of tempering relations. The ride-share giant will shortly allow for the hailing of rides with all of New York City's 14,000 taxi cabs directly through its app. According to The Wall Street Journal, this landmark agreement is the first such citywide partnership brokered in the US.

"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 for Uber, in a statement. "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."

The plan calls for the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission to integrate its own taxi-hailing software with Uber. Those apps are operated by Creative Mobile Technology and Curbed Mobility. In exchange for displaying NYC's iconic yellow cabs on its app beginning this spring, Uber will receive an unspecified cut of every fare. According to the WSJ, cab drivers will be paid similarly to Uber drivers for fares booked through the app, versus their standard rates as set by the TLC -- this means drivers could be paid more, less or the same as they would with a normal yellow cab fare. The move will also help Uber counter a widespread driver shortage that has accelerated during the pandemic.

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It's not clear how Uber's pool of drivers feel about this new deal.

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For consumers, this deal means more flexibility with a greater number of vehicles to choose from. Yellow cab passengers are expected to pay about the same cost as an Uber X ride (Uber X is the company's economy service and its most popular offering). An Uber spokesperson characterized the deal as "a win/win: Taxi drivers will get more access to demand, cities will get less empty miles driven, and riders will have access to more ride options."

It is not immediately clear how Uber's driver pool feels about this new partnership. Rideshare Drivers United, a prominent independent association of US ride-share drivers, did not immediately return Roadshow's request for comment on the matter. 

In a February interview with CNBC, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi disclosed that his company hopes to broker partnerships with all taxi services around the globe by 2025. The company already has dozens of deals in place in countries like Spain, Germany, Turkey and Hong Kong.

In a statement provided to Roadshow, Ryan Wanttaja, NYC TLC's acting commissioner, said: "We are always interested in innovative tools that can expand economic opportunities for taxi drivers. We are excited about any proposal to more easily connect passengers with taxis and look forward to learning more about this agreement between Uber and the taxi apps and ensuring it complies with TLC rules."

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