- Uber riders in New York City will soon be able to use its app to hail yellow taxis as well, through agreements with the taxi-hailing app firm Curb and the Arro taxi app available to drivers through taxi technology system provider Creative Mobile Technologies.
- Described in a CMT press release as a "first-in-the-nation deal," the program will begin in a beta test this spring and roll out in the summer. CMT began doing business with Uber's advertising arm last year, servicing a 3,500 vehicle taxi-top contract.
- Once seen as the disruptor of the taxi industry, Uber now faces a driver shortage that has led to substantially higher ride prices. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has said that he wants to list every taxi in the world on the Uber platform by 2025.
Uber's stock price rose in early trading Thursday as news of the deal spread. “We’re looking forward to expanding together as we launch the integration in other key cities across the country,” said Uber Director of Business Development Guy Peterson in a statement released by Curb.
Both Curb and CMT touted the agreement. Pointing to the expected return of office workers and tourists to New York City, CMT Chairman Ron Sherman said that "yellow taxis and Uber are bringing the best our industries have to offer to help this city get back on its feet."
Curb said that its partnership with Uber will launch in New York City and expand to Curb’s nationwide network over the coming months. Curb says it has more than 100,000 drivers on its network in the U.S. and United Kingdom.
Taxi drivers will see offers from Uber on their respective Curb or CMT apps. Fares for taxi rides will be approximately the same as Uber fares.
Long seen as competitors, the arrival of Uber and Lyft in New York City and elsewhere precipitated a collapse in the value of taxi medallions — the physical permit required to operate a cab in the city. In 2014, NYC taxi medallions were worth nearly $1 million. By 2021, they were valued at a tenth of that.
The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, representing 21,000 taxi and ride-hail drivers, argued that the fares offered in this deal would not be adequate for yellow cab drivers who bear higher costs, including for the taxi medallion. "The companies that tore up this industry need this more than the drivers do," said NYTWA Executive Director Bhairavi Desai in the statement.