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Should you use Über in New York?

Uber of yellow cab in New York | papertravels.nl

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?

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

About the author

Simone van den Berg

Simone van den Berg

Ever since I was little I had a keen interest in travel, but my mum got carsick from just looking at a car passing by so we never really went very far when I was a kid. Our first trip outside of Europe was in 1997 when Tom and I went to Mexico and ever since that time we are hooked! I keep notes of all our travels in a growing stack of notebooks. That's why it is called Paper Travels!

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Welcome to Paper Travels

Hi! My name is Simone. Travel addict, photography nerd and foodie. On Paper travels you will find travelstories, travel tips, photography tips and the best restaurants and hotels. Good food is always the leading factor in most of our travels, because that is what makes any trip more special!

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