One of the best things about New York is that you can almost always hail a taxi, but good luck finding one willing to take you to Brooklyn. Uber's recent expansion into the Big Apple will give commuters a viable option to go where taxis fear to tread.
The service creates an on-demand network of independent private cars that Uber members can order using a mobile app or SMS. The app shows you the location of available private cars on duty, and people can request a ride to and from anywhere in New York.
The transaction is cashless because the company keeps your credit card on file, and tip is already included in the fare, which is a $7 base plus $3.90 per mile distance fee, or 95 cents per minute time fee if the car is operating at less than 11 mph. There are maximum rates set for getting to and from major airports. All drivers are vetted and insured, which should take the sketch factor out of hailing a livery car when you can't find a taxi.
Uber will have access to 100 cars during its initial launch phase, and it will scale up based on demand and usage. Rather than tackle the entire city, the company is focusing on easing some of NYC residents' pain points: finding a cab when its raining, during taxi shift changes, and getting to one of the boroughs. GroundLink (formerly LimoRes) offers users a similar app that works in most cities in the U.S. and the world, including New York, and some of GroundLink cars are equipped with free Wi-Fi.