“Curb” Initial Pricing App Helps Chicago Taxis Go Meterless


CHICAGO – As the prices of ridesharing services rise, taxi drivers are hoping that a new app feature will level the playing field.

As of Wednesday, the day Chicagoans stared at higher and higher cab meters may be over. Carpool app “Curb” introduces initial pricing for taxi drivers which has been seriously affected by competition from ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft.

“They are used to using the app and seeing the taxi pick them up and they go up, the meter is higher and they don’t know what they are going to pay until they are done.” , said Jason Gross, vice president of Sidewalk mobile. “So by introducing upfront prices, we both give passengers the experience they expect, but also allow them to compare prices. “

The “Curb” ridesharing app introduces initial pricing for taxi drivers who have been seriously affected by competition from ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

In recent months, ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft have seen wait times and prices skyrocket. Some analysts have found that the cost of a ride has increased by 40% this spring compared to the previous year.

Gross said the price hike would not be a feature of the app.

There isn’t once, 1.5 times, twice, five times, as I’m sure Chicagoans see in other ridesharing apps, ”he said. “So what you get is a lot more predictability around what you’re going to pay.”

Chicago is part of a nationwide rollout of the initial pricing functionality. The company tested the option in New York. Gross said that since the start of the year, they have seen a 500% increase in volume on the Curb app.

WGN has reached out to Uber and Lyft about the recent spike in prices and wait times. An answer was not made available immediately. An article on Lyft’s website, however, claims that new drivers were up 10% in May and wait times were down more than 15% on average nationwide.

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