Penn Students Can Now Get Dirt Cheap Uber Rides

Uber has landed another deal with a Philadelphia-area institution and the new collaboration represents the company’s first partnership with an Ivy League school.

The company announced on Monday that Penn students, faculty, and staff now have the option to use the app for special promotions. This includes rider discounts for a limited time. All uberPOOL rides on campus between August 28 and September 3 will cost $0.99. The discount will automatically apply once the app is opened.

The company will also create a dedicated pick-up area at the Palestra that will include custom signage and in-app integration, similar to the set-up for Philadelphia’s 30th Street station. Major buildings on campus will also get streamlined in-app pickup points. If a rider inputs a particular dorm or academic building, the app will suggest a specific location to meet their driver.  Read more »

Looking to Score an Impromptu Visit From the Phillie Phanatic?

Photo courtesy of the Phillies.

It’s Wednesday. You probably rolled out of bed behind schedule, burnt your breakfast and now are reading this article instead of doing the work you’re being paid to do. (Hey, it’s better than staring blankly at the walls of your cubicle – so no judgment here). Monday’s vibe is certainly worse, but the weekend still isn’t that close and we’re all left stuck in limbo with fun on the horizon.

Quizzo. Karaoke. Playing with a puppy. All good ways to help break up the monotony of the workweek on Wednesdays. An exclusive audience with the Phillie Phanatic at your office? Now that’s divine. Read more »

Uber’s Philly Ride Pass: Worth It, but Impossible to Get

If you’re still riding with Uber, the company’s new “Ride Pass” option has officially launched with rates that are surprisingly enticing.

The subscription service allows you to pay an activation fee upfront for a package of flat rate rides. The company says Pass is a way for Philly riders to get guaranteed low fares. And just how low are they? Riders can choose between two options: 20 flat rate rides for a one-time $10 activation fee or unlimited rides for a one-time $20 activation fee. Each package unlocks $2.99 Uber POOL rides and $5.99 UberX rides for 28 days. But the one-time fee won’t cover a ride from West Philly to King of Prussia. Rides must be requested within the Philadelphia Pass Zone, which unfortunately excludes the Philadelphia International Airport no matter where you request a ride.  Read more »

Highway Robbery: Uber Now Charging for Lost Item Returns

Raise your hand if you’ve ever absentmindedly left something behind in the back of a taxi or Uber, Philadelphia. I’ll bet a fair share of us, myself included, answered in the affirmative.

But get this – Uber is now charging riders $15 for each item returned to them by its drivers. That’s highway robbery. Literally. Come to think of it, this is really more like extortion in the two-bit Mafioso sense. Read more »

Uber Adds Tipping in Philly, but the Option Won’t Save the Company

Photos: Uber

On Friday, Uber’s new tipping feature rolled out to users in the Philadelphia region as part of the company’s “180 Days of Change” campaign, an initiative aimed at improving the experience for Uber drivers.

The campaign includes tweaks like shorter cancelation windows—drivers receive a cancellation fee if a rider cancels after more than 2 minutes, down from 5 minutes previously; and, drivers will no longer have unpaid wait-times—they’ll earn a per-minute rate if they wait for a rider, starting 2 minutes after arrival. But the new feature that’s got everyone talking is tipping, particularly because former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, refused to add the option, though riders begged for it for years.

Whether Philly riders choose to tip their Uber drivers or not, Wharton management professor John Paul MacDuffie, also director of the school’s Program on Vehicle and Mobility Innovation, offers three reasons why the tipping feature might not help Uber get the fresh start it’s looking for:  Read more »

Uber Just Ramped Up Philly Fleet of Wheelchair Accessible Rides

Image via Flickr.

On Thursday, Uber dispatched a new fleet of more 70 wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) out onto Philadelphia’s streets.

For Philadelphians who require accessible transportation options, quick and widespread access to ride-sharing services is long overdue. Uber says it is re-introducing the WAV option to the Philadelphia market to make users aware of the new size of its fleet. The hotly debated ride-sharing bill signed by governor Tom Wolf back in November legalized services like Uber and Lyft, but required that the industry put out a minimum of 70 WAVs overall by the end of June.

Now, on the heels of last week’s deadline, Uber has met the city’s ride-sharing accessibility requirement single-handedly, with plans to add even more WAVs over the next few years. All of the minivans will include rear-entry ramps and space for 4 additional passengers, and UberWAV ride fare will remain the same as Uber’s standard uberX option. Read more »

Philly Gets UberEATS’ First Exclusive Menu Items

Photo provided by UberEATS

Uber’s food delivery service, UberEATS, started schlepping orders from some of the city’s top dining destinations to hungry Philadelphians back in 2016.

And now, Philly is the first city to get access to UberEATS Exclusives, menu items from local restaurants that are only available for delivery through the app-based service.

Read more »

New Luxury Lyft Options Just Launched in Philadelphia

Image via Twitter.

As Uber stumbles (it’s CEO recently stepped down amid scandal), competitor Lyft only continues to lure more ridesharing customers with its shiny new developments.

On Thursday, Lyft revealed that it would expand two new premium black car ride options — Lyft Lux and Lyft Lux SUV — into 16 U.S. markets, including Philadelphia, after a successful five-city pilot of the options in May.

The company calls Lyft Lux, a black car driven by a “top driver,” its most luxurious ride experience, while Lyft Lux SUV will have all the amenities of Lyft Lux, in a more spacious black SUV that seats six.

Both options are a step up from their Premier ride, formerly the app’s most expensive option. Through Premier, which launched last summer, riders are matched with a high-end sedan or SUV like a BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, Lexus ES, or Cadillac Escalade. The decision to launch the services was made after users repeatedly requested the ability to select a black car from the app, and the rides will certainly cost you. They’re projected to cost up to five times as much as a standard Lyft ride, and twice as much as Lyft Premier. Read more »

Airport Taxis Will Soon Cost Even More for Some Philadelphians

The wallets South Philly and West Philly residents are about to become the latest casualties of the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

On Wednesday morning, the PPA announced a plan to expand the flat-rate cab fare zone for airport trips. According to numbers compiled by BillyPenn, those living in the newly covered areas could see an increase in airport fare of as much as $5 once required to pay the flat rate. Read more »

Here’s Why Uber Rates Went Up in Philly This Week

Image via Flickr.

Beginning Tuesday, Uber riders in Philly paid higher rates for rides due to a new effort by the company to provide drivers with insurance should they get harmed on the job.

Pennsylvania is one of eight states involved in the pilot program led by insurance companies OneBeacon and Aon headquartered in the UK. Uber drivers in the state now have the option to buy the injury insurance that will cost them 3.75 center per mile and consumers an extra 5 cents per mile.

“We believe drivers should have a low-cost option to protect themselves and their families against rare and unforeseen accidents that prevent them from working,” said Uber spokesman Craig Ewer. “We are partnering to pilot an insurance product that allows drivers to access peace of mind for a few cents a mile, directly through the Uber app.”  Read more »

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