Ride or Die

Regulators Pacified, Uber Debuts Taxi Service in Washington, D.C.

New York gets no such thing until the e-hailing pilot begins in February.
Call a cab. (Photo: Uber)

Call a cab. (Photo: Uber)

Guess that pivot toward friendlier relations with local regulators is working out: Today UberTAXI launches in Washington, D.C, which means hotshot lobbyists and stranded Congressional aides alike can now request and pay for a taxi from within the Uber app. It works essentially the same as the status quo black car service–it’s just another option.

Or, as Uber rather more grandiosely put it on the company blog: “There’s nothing more American than the freedom to choose—so it’s fitting that Uber is bringing our nation’s capital yet another choice when it comes to getting a reliable ride.”

Right.

Supply will be limited at first and the app will automatically add a 20 percent tip. “Make no mistake: it’s still an experiment, and we will continue to improve on UberTAXI as more people use it,” warns the official announcement.

Meanwhile, if all goes according to plan, New York City begins pilot testing of e-hailing apps in February. Until then, better hold your fire on any jokes about what a backwater our nation’s capital is.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com