CHICAGO (CBS) — With taxis fighting their way back to the market as rideshare costs spike, an app has stepped in to supply flat, upfront fares for Chicago cabs.
The app Curb introduced that beginning Wednesday morning, it’s going to start offering taxi riders with a function that lets commuters know the total worth of their rides earlier than their journeys start – versus meters that run in the course of the journey.
Curb mentioned the upfront pricing choice will likely be obtainable to all Chicago taxis, in order to offer riders with an alternative choice to ridesharing apps akin to Uber and Lyft. Curb added that upfront fares are designed to be just like old school metered fares with out surge pricing, and thus, taxi rides via Curb will typically be cheaper than rideshare companies.
Curb first launched upfront pricing for New York Metropolis taxis final September, and reported that cell bookings there have greater than doubled in contrast with pre-pandemic highs.
“The suggestions we’ve obtained from riders in NYC has been overwhelming, so increasing to extra cities like Chicago was a pure subsequent step,” Jason Gross, Vice President of Cell at Curb, mentioned in a information launch. “With the Chicago rollout of upfront fares, we’re persevering with to enhance the rider expertise with options that make driving in a taxi not solely akin to different types of transportation but in addition interesting to at present’s shopper.”
This improvement comes as some commuters have been pushed again to taxis on account of spiking rideshare costs.
“We’re seeing alternatives for income for taxi cab drivers that we haven’t seen shortly,” mentioned DePaul transportation knowledgeable Joe Schwieterman.
He cites rideshare surge pricing and rising rivals – akin to Curb itself.
Analysis published by New York-based data scientist Todd Schneider reveals each rideshares and taxi rides fell dramatically and picked up when town reopened. However whereas ridership grew throughout the board beginning in March of 2021, the speed of that progress for taxis outpaced rideshares.
“Taxi cabs are positioned to type of elbow their manner right into a market that’s been robust the final decade,” Schwieterman mentioned.
He mentioned this doesn’t imply rideshare received’t keep on high, but it surely does bode properly for the cab trade.
“The hole has narrowed,” he mentioned. “Uber and Lyft are getting some a lot wanted competitors. Now they’ve a feisty competitor within the taxi cab trade to fret about. That’s excellent news for everyone.”
Nonetheless, the motive force scarcity is a shared one, as is the longer than common wait time. Chicago taxi firms like Yellow Cab say that as of mid June they solely had 15% of their drivers again.
“Taxi cab firms, identical to Uber and Lyft, are reporting driver shortages throughout the board. [Drivers] are hesitant to leap again in on account of well being dangers, issues and crime,” mentioned Schwieterman.