Uber customers in San Francisco could soon find a traditional taxi waiting for them when they use the app to order a ride. Based on San Francisco Chronicles, the ride-hailing giant signed an agreement with Yellow Cab SF and Flywheel, which operates an Uber-like app used by taxi drivers across the city. The deal will allow 1,075 taxi drivers in the region to reach out to Uber customers in the coming months. Uber recently had a similar incident trading in NYCallows anyone in the city to greet any of its 14,000 taxi drivers through the app.
The companies were able to finalize the deal, as the San Francisco City Transportation Authority board just voted in favor of allowing taxis to accept fixed upfront rates for hailed rides through the app. third party. Customers may be charged UberX fare, calculated based on trip time and distance on the base fare, for taxi rides. The year-long trial of the deal will begin on August 5.
Uber’s rates are typically lower than metered rates, although they can be higher during spikes. Kate Toran, SFMTA’s taxi director, said during the board meeting that Uber and Lyft fares are about 80 to 85 percent of what the metered price is. While drivers may earn less than usual on Uber rides, their participation is completely optional. They can accept Uber bookings whenever they want and there are no consequences if they refuse.
Flywheel and Yellow believe the deal will benefit drivers, who may accept Uber rides to fill the void during the deadliest hours. “[H]In the end the situation is much better, even if it is lower than taxi fares,” said Yellow Cab CEO Chris Sweis. However, not all SF taxi drivers are happy about the development. Mark Gruberg, a board member of the San Francisco Taxi Alliance, expressed concern about the frequent neglect of taxi customers during the Uber spike. ABC7News that earning less from Uber rides means he’ll have a harder time paying off the debts he paid to get his $250,000 medal.
However, if Uber is on the right track, there will be no more taxis that are not part of its network. Uber CEO Andrew Macdonald recently said in a Investor’s presentation (PDF) that the company aims to bring every taxi on to Uber by 2025. Doing so will not only increase the supply of drivers, but it could also open up new markets where people don’t have their own cars to ride. service use.
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