Uber, the San Francisco-based car service start-up, is expanding from California to New York City beginning “in a few short weeks,” TechCrunch reports today. Do we need more cars? Do we need to pay more money for more cars? Maybe in the outer boroughs! But what if it will run you as much as three times more than a standard cab or livery service?
The perks are that you can line-up an Uber car from your iPhone (or Android!) and then watch an on-screen map, which shows your ride getting closer. Rich people will love this, maybe, if they’re really good at their iPhones, because it is super convenient and reliable and there’s no yelling on the phone with a dispatcher. (“Five minutes? Yes, the corner of… no, not ‘street,’ … ‘avenue,’ yes, okay, okay, wait, what?“) Or do rich people still have drivers of their own?
TechCrunch explains that Uber’s email today to New York-based subscribers “includes a link to a survey which asks what people dislike the most about New York City cabs and livery cars, what they would value most about an Uber experience, and where in the city is service most needed. It also tries to gauge how much more people would be willing to pay for Uber than for a taxi (the choices are from 1X to 3X a taxi fare).”
The company has had success in cities with no reliable rides, like San Fran and Palo Alto, and recently raised $11 million, but New York will be their first foray into actual competition, meaning those in the know could possibly hit on some deals as the service works to gain East Coast visibility. So if you’re the type to call a car, sign up here. And let us know how much it ends up costing.