After Years of Heated Rivalry, NYC Taxis Will Join Uber

UUber, which was hit hard by shortages of drivers and an increase in food delivery orders during the pandemic surge, will now list New York City taxicabs via its app. A partnership like this is unimaginable, given the fierce competition between the two camps for the same customers.

The partnership brings an end to the long wait for Uber rides. It also gives NYC taxi drivers the opportunity to connect with a large pool of commuters who have an Uber app installed on their smartphones.

Uber began to show signs of tension with taxi services as it aggressively entered the lucrative business of food delivery. It needed more delivery drivers and there had already been some indications that Uber was trying to improve relations.

During the pandemic Uber’s food deliveries outpaced rides given to humans as millions sheltered at home. Uber’s final quarter 2021 saw $13.4 billion worth of gross bookings for its delivery services. That’s compared with $11.3 billion and gross bookings for Uber rides.

This agreement was announced on Thursday amid the backdrop of cities taking steps to regulate Uber’s explosive growth and other app-based rides services. New York City is one of these cities, having placed a temporary limit on the number of new ride-hailing licenses in 2018.

New York City is Uber’s largest American market.

New York City Workers Alliance is a taxi driver group. It has been critical about Uber and ride-hailing apps.

“After its business model has shown the failures to protect drivers from ridership downturns and rising gas prices, Uber is returning to its roots: yellow cabs,” said Bhairavi Desai, the executive director of the NYCWA, in a prepared statement Thursday.

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission did not return calls on Thursday morning.

Uber Technologies Inc. has been incorporating taxi drivers from around the globe into its systems for several years. In Spain, the company has integrated taxis Madrid, Málaga, Valencia and Barcelona. It’s teamed in Colombia with TaxExpress, which has more than 2,300 active drivers. TaxExpress is the partner in Colombia that accounts for 50% of Uber’s Latin America taxi journeys. Uber also works with operators of taxi fleets and software in Austria, Germany Turkey, South Korea, South Korea, and Hong Kong.

Uber will soon have New York City’s taxi cabs on its app. This partnership is made possible by Curb and Creative Mobile Technologies. Uber’s shares rose more than 3% on Thursday.

“Uber has a long history of partnering with the taxi industry to provide drivers with more ways to earn and riders with another transportation option. Our partnerships with taxis look different around the world, and we’re excited to team up with taxi software companies CMT and Curb, which will benefit taxi drivers and all New Yorkers,” Andrew Macdonald, senior vice president, Mobility and Business Operations, at Uber, said in a prepared statement.

Creative Mobile Technologies said Thursday that taxi drivers on its platform, which includes the taxi app Arro, will gain access to Uber’s customer base, giving them them the opportunity for a higher volume of trips and expanded revenue.

Creative Mobile stated that the beta version will roll out for taxis this spring and be made available to the general public in summer.

Uber users will be able to access thousands of yellow taxis on the CMT/Arro platform. Uber-originated fares for taxi drivers will appear on the driver monitors of their Uber app-enabled vehicles.

Curb is a North American ride-hailing service that offers licensed taxis and for-hire cars. It said its partnership with Uber would provide more options for passengers and drivers and allow them to make more trips. Although the agreement is effective immediately in New York City by Curb, the company said it will grow its network nationwide over time.

Curb drivers will now be able accept and receive Uber trips through their in-vehicle systems.

“We’ve found great success in creating incremental trip demand and revenue for drivers by integrating with several aggregators over the past two years, and this partnership builds on that success by delivering even greater opportunities for cab drivers to have access to an ever-widening pool of riders,” Curb CEO Amos Tamam said.

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