Uber to put New York City’s iconic yellow taxis on app

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Bhairavi Desai, founder of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, talking to members of NYTWA August 2018 photo from nytwa.org

Uber Technologies Inc said it will list New York City’s yellow taxis on its app, a move that could help the ride-hailing giant overcome a driver shortage in its biggest U.S. market.

The city has for years been a battleground between Uber and yellow taxi drivers, who have for long protested against the company’s technology on grounds that it disrupted the industry and limited their earnings.

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The deal would see Uber work with taxi software companies Creative Mobile Technologies and Curb, whose apps together account for all the yellow cabs in New York city.

It is likely to bring cab drivers more business at a time when the spike in gas prices has added to the woes of an industry buffeted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Passengers will pay roughly the same fare for taxi rides as for Uber X rides, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news.

Uber, whose shares 6% higher in early trading on Thursday, has in recent months struggled to keep up with a demand surge brought by the lifting of coronavirus curbs.

The partnership will “add tens of thousands of vehicles to the Uber platform in New York City and beyond,” Curb said in a statement.

Uber said it now has more drivers on its platform in the United States than at any point during the pandemic and that the fuel price surge had not impacted its driver base.

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