Uber Technologies Inc. will list New York's yellow taxis on its app, the first alliance of its kind in the U.S. in an effort to ease a driver shortage and pressure on fares. Uber's shares jumped 5 percent.
The ride-hailing giant reached a deal with the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission's technology partners, Creative Mobile Technologies and Curb Mobility, the companies said in separate statements. Their apps, Curb and Arro, power the vast majority of the city's yellow taxis and will now allow riders to book trips in taxis through the Uber app.
The partnership with CMT will be piloted in the spring and roll out more widely in the summer.
"This is a real win for drivers – no longer do they have to worry about finding a fare during off peak times or getting a street hail back to Manhattan when in the outer boroughs," said Guy Peterson, Uber's director of business development. "And this is a real win for riders who will now have access to thousands of yellow taxis in the Uber app."
Uber and rival Lyft Inc. have been struggling with a driver shortage that has pushed up fares and wait times for customers. Surging gas prices around the country have squeezed driver earnings, causing some to reconsider working on the apps. Uber said it hasn’t seen a decrease in the number of active drivers on the platform since fuel prices have surged and in fact has more drivers on the app in the U.S. now than at any point during the pandemic.
The partnership could help Uber significantly boost supply and reduce wait times, which “could increase its slice of the ridesharing market vs. rival Lyft.” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Mandeep Singh wrote in a note.
Taxis will be offered to Uber customers at the same price as an UberX for the same ride. Prices may be lower or higher than a metered cab fare, depending on any surge which may be in effect, said Jason Gross, vice president, head of mobile, at Curb. Drivers will also be able to see fares prior to accepting a ride, he said.
Uber already has partnerships with taxi companies in other countries, from Spain to Colombia. In some markets, like Hong Kong and Turkey. cabs represent the company’s primary market.
Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report.