Users of the Uber mobile app will be able to hail New York City taxis directly from the app itself. Uber recently reached an agreement that would not only address its driver shortage and high fares but also allow for  New York City Taxi drivers to regain their livelihoods that were battered by the advent of car-sharing apps and also the pandemic.

New York is one of Uber’s most lucrative markets and the New York City alliance is its first citywide partnership in the United States. The city has long been a battlefield for Uber but will now allow the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission to  integrate their taxi-hailing apps’ software with Uber’s. 

14,000 Taxis

Two of these companies are Curb Mobility and Creative Mobile Technologies that account for credit card payments and in-taxi TV screens across rouguhgly 14,000 New York Taxis. 

At present New York Taxis decide the fare based on a minimum time and distance rate decided by the commission and therefore passengers will pay roughly the same fare rates as Uber X rides.

This also means that yellow New York Taxi drivers can also view the expected fare and decline rides they gauge as not worth it. Of course yellow taxis use a totally different calculation system at present and they can possibly make more or less, as and when compared to an Uber fare. 

Industry Disruption 

At its launch Uber promised to disrupt the traditional taxi industry but in New York it is now hedging that traditional taxis will power its next wave of growth that aims to have every taxi in the world on its app by 2025. Uber revolutionized the taxi industry by lowering barriers to entry and empowered taxi drivers to deliver services at the touch of a button. 

This new alliance also helps to create further economic opportunities for taxi drivers and at the same time is environmentally friendly as it will not add more cars to the streets of New York, already one of the world’s most congested metropolitan cities and also  gives drivers a chance to pick up a return passenger on trips outside Manhattan, a route where they frequently return empty.

A Global Issue

Uber and taxi groups worldwide have long been at loggerheads and in many nations Uber faced court proceedings that saw that app being banned and also criticized for its gig-worker business model. Cities like Rome, Paris and London even witnessed mass protests on the streets, causing extensive travel disruptions. 

Driven by the global pandemic, Uber initially forged alliances with taxis as a recovery strategy when street hailing almost vanished due to worldwide lockdowns. In 2021 Uber registered more than 120,000 new taxi drivers, four times as in 2020. 

U Turn in Europe

The success of a rule requiring that ride-share drivers wait 15 minutes before picking up passengers in Madrid eventually saw Uber returning to the Spanish city of Barcelona where it had suspended its operations two years prior, due to the same rule. 

Austria is also now one of Uber’s largest overseas taxi markets and in 2021 Uber signed up more than 2,000 taxi drivers in the country. This was in response to a rule that required Uber Riders in Austria to obtain taxi licenses.

Uber also acquired a popular taxi-hailing app in Hong Kong, a city known for its cheap taxis, in order to further push into its reliance on taxis worldwide. Happy Uber taxi app users are also more likely to use apps such as Uber Eats, making it a total win for Uber.  Today Uber has taxi partnerships with providers in Colombia, South Korea, Germany and many more.

iOS App Development is an important element of Uber’s commuter experience and companies such as Elegant Media specialize in creating cutting-edge, responsive mobile applications that drive value and enhance growth.

2022 also saw Uber launching a new feature that allows customers in 15 cities across the United States to browse, book and shop for experiences like dinner reservations or live events directly through the Uber app.

The next time you visit New York and use Uber, it is very likely that you will have the chance to travel in a New York icon – a NYC Yellow Taxi!


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