When two companies like Uber and Lyft battle it out in loud debates about allegations of sabotage, it can be easy to be distracted from the other contenders. That is, until one of them fires a warning shot in the air to remind everyone that they’re not happy playing third wheel.
Black car app Gett told Betabeat that as of this morning, all rides within Manhattan will cost $10 for the rest of 2014, no matter how far they are or how long they take.
Uber and Lyft have been trying to price-cut each other for months, but Gett’s offer undercuts those two companies severely. It was only July when Uber was bragging that a trip from the Financial District to Grand Central was $22. Now, Gett will take you from the Staten Island Ferry to the northern edge of Harlem for less than half that price.
“We want to drive users,” Gett’s Head of Marketing Brooke Moreland told Betabeat, no pun intended. “If they try it and like it, they’ll keep using it after the discount ends.”
Gett may not be familiar to us in the States, whereas in countries like Israel and Russia, Gett is the household name for car apps. But here, Uber and Lyft are the big headliners, so Gett hopes that a money-losing stunt like offering dirt cheap rides for four months is exactly what they’ll need to change the conversation — or at least get people to download the damn app.
“We have enough money to make a dent,” Ms. Moreland said.
For now, we’ve been told by users that it can be difficult to book a Gett in NYC. Most drivers prefer to go with bigger services where the customers are, so customers can’t get cabs and leave, which pushes out the drivers, etc, etc. Gett hopes that this will be the shot heard ’round Manhattan that will reverse the course of that vicious cycle.
“Hopefully people will be a little patient with us,” Ms. Moreland said. “Little by little, we’re fighting.”