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New Kids On the Block

New Kids On the Block

Felix Salmon Pinpoints the Problem: ‘Uber Is a Car Service for Computers’

felix salmon head

When someone forwarded Betabeat Aubrey Sabala’s New Year’s Eve Uber misgivings (“@Aubs While I’m glad I’m home safely, the $107 charge for my @Uber to drive 1.5 miles last night seems insanely excessive. :(“) before we’d even woken up Sunday morning to greet 2012, we knew the holiday backlash against the car service app was on its way. (A different type of holiday backlash, mind you, than the Halloween 2010 incident that left 95 percent of customers stranded.)

Not everyone was appeased by Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s apology the next day, in which he called the evening an overall success despite 95 complaints and 15 users who didn’t get the surge-pricing notifications that a safe, prompt, and sober driver on New Year’s Eve was going to cost them a pretty penny, or in some cases, a pretty Benjamin. Read More

New Kids On the Block

New York’s New Taxi Plan Could Be Bad, Bad News for Uber

(flickr.com/henriquev)

(flickr.com/henriquev)

Uber, the application that lets you order a car service from your phone, has had trouble gaining traction and establishing reliable service in New York City, where being able to navigate the city’s byzantine transportation system is a badge of honor that demarcates real New Yorkers from the newbies and the tourists.

Now the startup has a new challenge: a recently-announced taxi plan to add 2,000 yellow cabs while also permitting 18,000 livery cabs to pick up street hails. Read More