Uber, El American

Uber Reaches Agreement with NYC Taxi Cabs to Incorporate Them Into App

Despite the rivalries and legal challenges it has faced globally, Uber aims to integrate “every taxi in the world” into its platform

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Transportation giant Uber reached an agreement with the cab industry in NYC, ending a rivalry that began with the birth of the ride-hailing company a decade ago, and joining its subsidiaries in Europe and Asia, where it has already integrated traditional cab drivers into its platform.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), this is the first in a series of deals and alliances that Uber has been planning amid a crisis in its driver supply, largely since it expanded into the lucrative home delivery business. In addition, the ride-hailing platform says its goal is to have “every taxi in the world” on its app.

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, a historic rival of Uber, commented on the agreement. (EFE)

“Uber has a long history of partnering with the taxi industry to provide drivers with more ways to earn and riders with another transportation option,” Andrew Macdonald, senior vice-president, Mobility and Business Operations, at Uber, said in a statement quoted by the WSJ.

In the case of NYC, the company will partner with Creative Mobile Technologies (CMT) and Curb, and intends to eventually include all cab drivers in the city. Thus, app users will have access to thousands of additional drivers and cab drivers will have rides for Uber attached to their integrated CMT platform.

“Our partnerships with taxis look different around the world, and we’re excited to team up with taxi software companies CMT and Curb, which will benefit taxi drivers and all New Yorkers,” added Macdonald.

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Uber: from enemy to necessary ally

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) issued a statement Thursday to offer their opinion regarding the agreement, where they stated that it is necessary for both “the companies that tore up this industry” and the drivers.

“Drivers can hold out on 1 – 2 more fares but cannot settle for a biz model that underpays drivers, fires them at will & guts full-time work,” said Bhairavi Desai, NYTWA’s executive director. “So it’s time to negotiate.”

Desai also said Uber’s business model had shown “failures” when it came to protecting drivers from the “downturns” of users and rising fuel prices, which is why they decided to “return to its roots” and negotiate with the classic cab industry.

“First, this should settle once and for all the question of maintaining the vehicle cap,” the statement continues. “Second, the fare structure that is not enough for Uber drivers is also not going to be enough for yellow cab drivers who have higher expenses such as the medallion payment and higher car costs as a new one must be hacked up every six years.”

Despite facing legal challenges and disagreements with conventional cab associations worldwide, Uber has been incorporating cab drivers from around the world into its platform over the past few years. In Spain, where resistance to the company’s arrival was intense from unions, it has incorporated cabs in Madrid, Malaga, Valencia, and Barcelona.

In Latin America, it has also reached important agreements with cab drivers. In Colombia with TaxExpress, which has more than 2,300 active drivers, and together they account for half of all Uber’s cab rides in the region.

Uber also has partnerships with cab software and fleet operators in Austria, Germany, Turkey, South Korea and Hong Kong.

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