the taxi wars

Using Uber to Hail a Taxi Is No Longer Free

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 14: In this photo illustration the new smart phone taxi app 'Uber' shows how to select a pick up location next to a taxi lane on October 14, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. 'Uber' application started to operate in Madrid last September despite Taxi drivers claim it is an illegal activity and its drivers currently operate without a license. 'Uber' is an American based company which is quickly expanding to some of the main cities from around the world. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

If something seems too good to be true, it either is or eventually will be. Take, for example, Uber’s e-hailing option: Starting on Wednesday, Uber is charging a $2 “booking fee” for the formerly free uberT, which allows people to summon yellow and green taxis that happen to be in their area. (Riders then pay the drivers directly, as they would have had they flagged down the car themselves.) “The fee is a small charge added to uberT trips on behalf of yellow and boro taxi drivers who utilize the Uber platform,” explained a memo sent to Uber users, though there is no reason to believe that the extra money will actually go to the drivers. “The fee will be collected through the app and billed to the card on file at the end of your ride.” The note also “[took] the opportunity” to remind users of the existence of uberX, which boasts prices “cheaper than an NYC taxi” — especially when that taxi costs an extra two bucks. Back to hailing cabs the old-fashioned way.