Starting this week, booking a surge-free ride with an upfront price in an NYC taxi is as easy as using your preferred ride-hailing service. The new initiative is a citywide expansion of the city’s Taxi and Limo Commission pilot with the ride-hailing Waave app.
Now available in all five boroughs, New Yorkers can use Waave app’s Taxi Max feature to book an NYC taxi — both yellow and green — for what Waave said are “significantly more-affordable rates for long distance trips,” such as to the outer boroughs or to JFK or LaGuardia Airports.
For example, a Tuesday afternoon ride from Manhattan to JFK had a $53.80 fare in any size NYC taxi, while that price would’ve cost $113.50 in a standard-sized car via a ride-haling app, Waave said.
Prior to this flat rate, NYC taxi passengers face a metered fare that would often uptick thanks to to the city’s infamous traffic.
“With Waave, New Yorkers can count on the ease and dependability they have come to expect from other ride-hailing apps, while enjoying considerable savings,” said CEO Dan Iger, adding that NYC taxi drivers “now have the technology they need to compete on a level playing field, which will boost their earnings while reducing traffic congestion and pollution.”
What’s the benefit for using Waave to book an NYC taxi?
Iger thinks the Waave app is especially useful to New Yorkers who live or work in less-trafficked areas of the city and are traveling in the evening, during bad weather or off-peak hours, when hailing an NYC taxi might be more difficult. He does warn that wait times may be a bit longer than usual to start, but promises they will improve as more NYC taxi drivers sign up with the service.
“We hope that riders will be patient with wait times as Waave rolls out across the city,” Iger said. “Their participation and feedback during this period will be critical to Waave’s success.”
NYC taxi driver Augie Tang said that if Waave takes off, “it will be good for me, the industry and for my friends.” He added that street hails “will continue to be our bread and butter, but Waave enables us to expand our ridership, especially if it starts raining and surge pricing happens.”
The NYC taxi Waave expansion comes on the heels of a city law that passed last month that capped the amount of for-hire vehicles on the street and suspended new license issues for at least 12 months.
For-hire vehicles have surged from 50,000 in 2011 to about 130,000 this year. Since 2013, incomes for full-time NYC taxi drivers have dropped by up to 40 percent.
Green and yellow NYC taxi drivers who register to join the initiative are paid directly through the Waave app and are able to transfer their earnings to their personal bank accounts.