Yellow taxis once ruled the streets of New York City, but Uber challenged and changed that reality when it arrived in 2011.
When Uber arrived in NYC, the ride-sharing company worked tirelessly to take its share of the market. Uber launched a bitter rivalry with the taxi industry, calling it inefficient, corrupt, and greedy.
The iconic taxi industry, which has operated for generations in the city, accused Uber of bringing economic devastation to its thousands of drivers.
The two sides of the ride-hailing services have battled for years to control the city’s streets. But that rivalry may well be coming to an end.
Guy Peterson, Uber’s director of business development, said Thursday that Uber is “excited to kickstart our partnership with Curb and allow Uber users to have immediate access to Curb’s taxi-hailing network, which will add tens of thousands of vehicles to the Uber platform in New York City and beyond.”
The partnership between the two rivals comes as the companies are struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has deeply impacted NYC’s ride-hailing industry since residents have worked from home, and tourists have not been able to enjoy the iconic Big Apple.
Very soon, customers will be able to choose a Yellow Taxi from the Uber app. Uber will then notify taxi drivers to pick up the passengers. The company’s pricing and policies, including surge pricing, will be the basis of the taxi fare.
Uber said that riders would pay roughly the same price for a yellow taxi as they would for a standard individual Uber ride, known as UberX.
Taxi drivers who respond to Uber app hails will also see the pricing upfront and have the option to accept or reject it. Under the city’s regulations, e-hail taxis have the right to refuse fares.
Ryan Wanttaja, the acting commissioner of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, which regulates yellow taxis, said the agency is “excited about any proposal to more easily connect passengers with taxis and look forward to learning more about this agreement between Uber and the taxi apps and ensuring it complies with TLC rules.”
Uber has battled with taxi groups in NYC for several years. However, the ride-sharing company discovered that partnering with taxi companies instead of fighting them can rapidly expand its business, especially overseas.