App for That

Uber Begins Rolling Out ‘Cheaper’ Car Service with Hybrid Vehicles

It's still mad expensive, though.
picture 2 Uber Begins Rolling Out Cheaper Car Service with Hybrid Vehicles

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick (Photo: Tech Cocktail)

It’s a rainy weekday during rush hour, and every cab is occupied or conveniently “off duty”–especially when you tell the driver that you’re headed to Brooklyn. Desperate times call for desperate measures: You tap open the Uber app on your phone and call a sleek black town car to your location (ooh la la). A well-mannered driver picks you up a handful of minutes later and you’re whisked away, feeling like a Real Housewife. It’s all well and good until you arrive at your destination and the receipt pops up on your cell phone: $50 for Midtown East to Chelsea. (True story.)

This is the main predicament of Uber, an app geared towards tech-savvy twenty-somethings which the majority of tech-savvy twenty-somethings cannot afford to use. Each shiny black car in New York a $7 base fee and is $3.90 a mile after that. Compared to yellow cab rates, Uber basically costs an arm and a leg (though during rush hour giving up your leg for a goddamned ride seems like a fair deal).

Lucky for the budget-conscious among us, Uber is introducing hybrid vehicles into its fleet in both San Francisco and New York, which promise to provide a more affordable ride experience than the Mr. Big-esque town cars.

According to the New York Times:

In San Francisco and New York on Wednesday, Uber will start to give customers the option of choosing a hybrid car at a price that it says will be 10 to 25 percent more than a taxi. That compares with the 40 to 100 percent premium that customers pay for a black town car.

Environmentally friendly and less expensive? Oh Uber, you are too kind.

Meanwhile, the folks in Boston are using their phones to summon stretch limos and soon, an ice cream truck. Hey guys, New York loves ice cream, too. :(

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