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 »

One City in Pennsylvania is Poised to Crush the 21st Century …

Photo via Dave DiCello/visit pittsburgh

Photo via Dave DiCello/visit pittsburgh

I came to Pittsburgh to see the future.

On a blustery late-winter morning with a light whorl of snowflakes falling near the banks of the Allegheny River, Sarah, a friendly young PR person for Uber, opened the rear passenger door of a Volvo SUV that had so much electronic gear installed on the roof, it looked like it was wearing a crown. She gestured for me to take a seat. We were in the parking lot of Uber Advanced Technologies Group, a converted restaurant-equipment warehouse just north of downtown. I was about to have a very special Uber ride, and not just because it was free.

I buckled up, and the Volvo headed out on a few blocks of 33rd Street that run under a hulking railroad trestle — an unsubtle symbol of the city’s heralded industrial past. The car turned toward downtown and headed into the bustling Strip District. We went a few miles and then circled back on Smallman Street to the Uber warehouse, which is situated in a part of Pittsburgh that recently has become such a magnet for tech research that one think-tank maven described it to me as “where you really feel you’re in the 21st century.”

The ride took maybe 15 minutes and was uneventful except for a needless stop for a double-parked delivery truck outside one of the Strip’s many food stores and some hard braking when an impatient idiot passed us on the right. I can’t say much more about it because Uber wouldn’t let me in the door unless I signed an imposing confidentiality agreement, and Sarah reminded me several times, in her very friendly way, that the whole trip was “on background.” But I think I can reveal this: Though there was someone in the driver’s seat, for most of the trip the car drove itself. Read more »

Uber to Pay Pa. $3.5M to Settle Dispute Over Illegal Operation

Image via Flickr.

Image via Flickr.

Before Governor Tom Wolf passed ridesharing legislation last November, ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft operated illegally across parts of Pennsylvania. On Thursday, Uber finally agreed to pay $3.5 million to the state’s general fund to settle its dispute with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission over its period of illegal operation.

According to the settlement agreement, the Commission originally imposed a civil penalty of about $11.4 million. Uber rejected the orders, claiming the Commission exceeded its jurisdiction by regulating its activities. The Commission maintains that it had jurisdiction over the company’s services, and Uber failed to obtain a license to operate between February 2014 and August 2014. The ridesharing company also allegedly operated for a month after a cease-and-desist order from PUC.  Read more »

« Older Posts