By Angelica Acevedo
New York City’s yellow cabs, traditionally known to bring out the competition among those seeking to catch a ride, now offer riders a new feature: sharing.
Curb and Via, two rival transit apps, recently announced a partnership that will allow users to share their ride with up to two passengers. They even offer them a 40 percent discount on their fare.
However, green cabs, which gives rides to Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island, won’t be included just yet. For now, the service is only offered between 110th and 32nd streets in Manhattan.
Via uses algorithms that map out efficient routes for picking up and dropping off multiple passengers, while Curb, operated by Verifone, allows people to hail a cab electronically.
Daniel Ramot, CEO and co-founder of Via, said this partnership will benefit everyone.
“Cities benefit from reduced congestion and emissions, riders benefit from affordable and convenient transportation options, and drivers benefit from a system optimized to increase their earnings,” Ramot said. “We’re excited to deploy our technology for the first time in New York City taxis, one of the largest and most important taxi fleets in the world.”
The Curb-Via partnership is familiar to the services already offered by Uber and Lyft, as well as a “Group Ride” option offered by the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission.
As for yellow cabs, Meera Joshi, the Taxi and Limousine commissioner, said that the agency always supported “group riding in taxis and for-hire cars.”
“This is an area where we believe the private sector can excel in ways that have eluded our own best efforts,” Joshi said. “We are pleased to see this new option available to the riding public.”