Should you use Über in New York?

Uber of yellow cab in New York |

Yellow Cab or no Yellow Cab?

Pretty sure we’ve all heard of Über by now. They’re not in every city but in New York you can definitely find them everywhere. But is it always the cheapest option to go for Über or are you better off taking a yellow cab?

I have to say that ever since we first used Über I am a fan of their service. It is a big bonus to be able to see how much you’re going to spend on any ride, I love the app and the ease of use and it is good to know who your driver is or will be. It takes all the guess work out of ordering a taxi. And it kind of feels saver because it is all registered. Not that that is always the whole story but there is a reason why it is so popular.

We’ve used Über in Berlin and Copenhagen, so it was kind of logical that we would choose it as well in New York. Due to my ankle injury (shattered my right ankle two years ago) I cannot walk an unlimited amount of miles. So after the first day, where I always walk too much, I have to use a cab. The subway is nice in theory but in reality that still involves a lot of walking to and from the stations.

During the day or the night

Driving in New York is by definition a bit of an issue because of the traffic that is massive around the entire city. You will be standing still more often than not. That means that a regular cab – where the meter keeps running – can be quite a bit more expensive. And because the Über prices are fixed it doesn’t matter if you’re stuck in traffic or not. Where the meter keeps running in a yellow cab, you don’t have that issue in the Über. We tried it during the day and the result was that we had to pay roughly 25-50% more with a Yellow Cab.

However, it becomes another story at night. Because it is busy (we came from Times Square) and more demand the prices at the Über quickly rise. We wanted to go home from the restaurant we ate and our first request through the app was $ 48,=. That went wrong because the driver turned up at the wrong address and decided to cancel on us. So we had to rebook. But because demand had increased in the 5 minutes since that first booking the price was all of a sudden $ 68,- and not much later it jumped to $ 93,-! We thought that was a bit too much so we decided to go for a yellow cab instead and see how that would turn out. We stopped a yellow cab (always a bit of a challenge on Times Square) and we drove to our apartment in Brooklyn. The ride was on meter and we ended with a total of $ 38,- and that was including a tip! So that is already $ 10,- cheaper from the first Uber ride. And almost a whopping $ 60,- difference in the end.

Pretty big difference if you ask me.

So pay attention to where you’re going and at what time. Our experience is that it is cheaper during the day to use Über and cheaper at night with the Yellow Cab. It’s not a rule but as a guideline I think it is pretty accurate.

What are your experiences with taxi’s?

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Written by
Simone van den Berg

Travelling makes my heart beat just a little faster. Ever since I can remember I have wanted to discover the world and experience other cultures. Ever since our first far away trip to Mexico in 1997 I love to explore outside of Europe. Having said that: there is so much to see closer to home still! Combining travel with delicious food is the ultimate combination as far as I'm concerned. Of all my travels I have kept journals. That's why this site is called 'Paper Travels"

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Written by Simone van den Berg