Uber Offering Cheaper Service to Compete with D.C. Cabs

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Uber launched a new service claiming to be cheaper than traditional cab fare, but some D.C. Taxicab Commission officials aren't buying it. Transportation reporter Adam Tuss has the latest details. (Published Friday, Aug 9, 2013)

    The popularity of taxis is slightly diminishing thanks to Uber, a pricey car service ordered via a smartphone app -- now, the company is unveiling a cheaper, taxi service to appeal to a larger audience.

    All the money is exchanged electronically, which some riders told News4 they preferred, as some D.C. cabs are still lacking credit card machines.

    "I [use Uber] when I need to get some place fast, if it's like an upscale event, or just for convenience," one woman said.

    The company recently launched UberX in several major U.S. cities, including D.C. Instead of the sleek, black town cars or SUVs, UberX drivers will use smaller cars like Prius

    "For us this is really about giving consumers another choice," Rachel Holt with Uber D.C. said.

    Some are skeptical the service is taking away funds from D.C. cab drivers, but Holt said some District cabs are tapped into the Uber system. She said those drivers are pulling in hundreds of dollars more per week than D.C. cab drivers.

    The service is also available in northern Virginia and Maryland. However, the D.C. Taxicab Commission has expressed concerns the cars Uber is using are not licensed for the services they're providing.