Hailing a yellow cab through Uber is no longer free.
Car service app Uber announced a new $2 surcharge on taxi rides (through uberT on the app) that went into effect Dec. 25.
The company calls it a booking fee that will be collected through the app separate from the metered fare. It means none of the money goes towards drivers, who have spoken out against what they say is a tactic for Uber to tout its own black car services. UberT allows riders to hail yellow or green taxis (outside central Manhattan).
In the same email announcing the surcharge, Uber encouraged riders to try their low-priced car service line.
“We want to take this opportunity to introduce uberX, the low-cost Uber,” the company wrote.
Bhairavi Desai, executive director for the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, calls it a ruse.
“Uber pockets the money. All the while, Uber spin masters shamelessly tell their trusting customers that the increase is in the name of the drivers,” she wrote in a statement. One worry is that passengers who think the surcharge goes towards the drivers may even be encouraged to tip less.
“How dare Uber mask its corporate greed in the name of hard working drivers who will in fact lose fares and tips by this increase,” she stated.