Thanks to new legislation, Uber, the posh car-hailing service, has rolled out its taxi service in Washington DC.
In the nation’s capital, smartphones users can now hail a DC cab, as well as one of Uber’s sedans or SUVs. The news was announced today on the company blog. Given its troubles with the local authorities, Uber often refers to these expansion plans as “experiments.” Owing to legislation passed by the DC Council, which would increase the supply of vehicles-per-hire and thwart regulators, the company remains optimistic.
The trademark black cars will remain the default, so to request a taxi, users will need to select that option within the app. Once the taxi arrives, the driver will start the fare just like any other normal DC ride, but Uber users won’t pay once they’ve reached their destination. All charges will go to the credit card on file. To request via SMS, head to m.uber.com.
Still, a company spokesperson writes that they expect the taxi service to change over time. Supply will be limited at first, and the service will only be available in the District.
Uber has repeatedly seen its expansion plans stymied by local authorities. In the Fall, 2012, Uber had to halt its New York City experiment in allowing smartphone users to hail taxis. Months later, a vote by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission enabled Uber users to e-hail taxis “blocks or miles away” via smartphone, and the company announced its imminent return.