NYC Disrupts Disruptors
NYC Disrupts Disruptors
Lyft, the e-hailing service prompting ride sharing, was set to launch this evening despite major pressure from the Taxi and Limousine Commission and Department of Financial Services. However, their future in the city is now even more uncertain. Lyft is the least expensive of the e-hailing taxi services, even undercutting UberX’s recently lowered prices. The service is known for the giant pink mustaches they put on their drivers cars and launched in San Francisco two years ago. Read More
It seems Uber has created the perfect storm, and the city’s medallion managers would be shaking in their boots. However, that is not the case. Read More
Ride or Die
Science books insist that a black hole is a deep-space phenomenon with a gravitational force that sucks in everything nearby, but we’re pretty sure it’s actually the back seat of a cab.
Of course, the forward-thinking Japanese are developing a solution: a fancy warning system that alerts passengers that they’ve left something behind. It uses four computers Read More
Ride or Die
Earlier today, The Verge published a pretty damning report alleging that Uber was essentially shutting down its taxi service in New York City. The worst allegations involved the claim that multiple drivers received messages calling them into headquarters to get paid a cash bonus, only when the cabbies got there, “Uber surprised them by asking for the device back, informing them that taxi service was no longer available in New York.” Another driver told the Verge that Uber offered $1,000 to sign up for its black car service instead. (As earlier screenshots obtained by Betabeat show, Uber has offered cash rewards to drivers in the past.)
Not long after, Uber admitted on its blog that UberTAXI has shut down operations in New York “for now,” emphasizing that no changes have been made to its black car service. With yesterday’s news of Square shutting down its pilot program in New York City, this is the second setback of sorts as technological advances to the taxi-riding experience try to make their way into the market. Square also promised it would try again soon–but unlike Uber, its program had official approval.
“We invested a fair amount of money in the UberTAXI in New York after initially getting a verbal greenlight from the TLC,” CEO Travis Kalanick told Betabeat of the amount Uber spent on its month-long test run, which involved a week of free rides to every New Yorker at $25/piece–for those who actually managed to find a cab on the app.
Alley vs. Valley
Update 9/6/2012: The TLC just issued a statement reminding drivers they are not authorized to use digitally hailing or payment apps. Uber CEO says, “We believe we are totally legal.”
Check out our interview with Uber about its plans for taxi service New York City.
Earlier this afternoon, Betabeat broke the news that Uber planned on launching a request-a-ride app for yellow cabs in New York City that would let riders digitally hail and pay for taxis with their smartphones. The company already offers a similar service here for private black sedans and SUVs.
However, Uber’s plan ran into some delays as the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission tried to make sure that it complied with city rules and payments regulations.
The trendy car service went into a soft launch last night, picking up TechCrunch writer Erick Schonfeld for a 20 block ride and a $15 fare.
Yup, you read that right.