It’s a rainy weekday during rush hour, and every cab is occupied or conveniently “off duty”–especially when you tell the driver that you’re headed to Brooklyn. Desperate times call for desperate measures: You tap open the Uber app on your phone and call a sleek black town car to your location (ooh la la). A well-mannered driver picks you up a handful of minutes later and you’re whisked away, feeling like a Real Housewife. It’s all well and good until you arrive at your destination and the receipt pops up on your cell phone: $50 for Midtown East to Chelsea. (True story.)
This is the main predicament of Uber, an app geared towards tech-savvy twenty-somethings which the majority of tech-savvy twenty-somethings cannot afford to use. Each shiny black car has a $8 base fee and is $4.95 a mile after that. Compared to yellow cab rates, Uber basically costs an arm and a leg (though during rush hour giving up your leg for a goddamned ride seems like a fair deal).
Lucky for the budget-conscious among us, Uber is introducing hybrid vehicles into its fleet in both San Francisco and New York, which promise to provide a more affordable ride experience than the Mr. Big-esque town cars.