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When one door closes, another one opens. Just a day after Uber shuttered its NYC taxi service, the company brings TAXI to San Francisco. Now, in addition to town cars and SUVs, taxis will be an option for San Francisco in the Uber app.
The company’s mission is to provide on-demand transportation across a range of price points. In a blog post from this evening, Uber’s community manager Matt Hearns wrote, “Choice is a beautiful thing. … You shouldn’t have to juggle a dozen different apps to figure out the best way to get where you’re going.”
The service went live today but is being released gradually to ensure a smooth transition. Drivers will still use the meters in their vehicles to calculate the base fare. Instead of directly charging the passenger, drivers will input the fare into their Uber issues iPhones. Any tolls, additional charges, gratuity, and a booking fee will be included, and then the total amount will directly charge the rider’s credit card through the app.
As opposed to other cab-calling apps that contact dispatches, Uber’s TAXI functions as a digital “hail” that pings the nearest available car. Before signing up drivers, Uber interviews and logs their personal information so the same system of accountability exists.
While founder Travis Kalanick’s team can’t manifest more taxis for stranded San Franciscans, they can try to make the hailing process more convenient than competing with hoards of other urbanites for a coveted cab.