It’s no longer an issue of whether new ‘on demand’ cab services will disrupt the traditional yellow cab services New Yorkers have used for many years. They have now been well and truly disrupted and the issue now is how the whole above ground transport scene will play out.
With an ever increasing population and a constantly rising number of tourists in NYC getting around itself whether you walk, use the subway, use a cab, use an on demand or rideshare service or use a bike is now a challenge. Walking is the cheapest way to do it, subway is the most efficient and usually the next cheapest way to do it but at peak commute times the subway is super crowded.
Uber and Lyft have proved popular alternatives to yellow cabs because there are times when you just can’t get a cab and besides some drives won’t go to outer boroughs. Uber has grabbed the biggest share of the market for on demand services but their surge pricing at times of peak demand is generally resented.
There are a growing number of ride share services in NYC with GETT, a Black Car service, making a strong bid for market share by offering a flat fee of $10 for any trip below 110th Street in Manhattan at the moment. It’s unlikely they will be able to keep it up for economic reasons but right now people are using it. See GETT App
And then there’s VIA which is a true ride share service hooking up people going in the same direction. It’s a good alternative fiancially but it is only operating at specific times (6.30am-9pm in Manhattan below 110th Street) and on thursday & Fridays has a late night service from 9-12pm. it’s cheap though $7 a ride plus tax. Via App
But when it’s wet, snowing, a major event is on or it’s the holiday time and more people are on the streets there are grid lock days in NYC. This means car traffic grinds to a halt and people needing to get to the Airport on time whould consider using the subway and airtrain just so they canb e sure they’ll get there on time.
We can predict that startups will keep offering new versions of on demand services and ride share services until the scene shakes out into a clear picture of who are the stayers. But it won’t help anyone if the streets are grid locked and the subways are crammed full. City Council show a bit of leadership. Stop arbitrating between exiasting services and let them work it out themselves. But start working on a coherant transport plan that addresses how millions of people in NYC can move around relatively easily.