Uber wants you to start commuting by car this summer

By Virginia K. Smith | July 14, 2016 - 1:59PM 

In a bid to get New York riders ever-more addicted to their service, Uber announced this week a new offer of "commute cards," which would give users the options of taking unlimited UberPools during rush hour for less than the cost of a monthly metrocard.

The offer is specifically for members of Gilt City (which is free to join), and offers shared UberPool rides anywhere in Manhattan below 125th Street during rush hour Monday through Friday (7 am to 10 am and 5 pm to 8 pm). The pricing is as follows: $49 for a two-week pass; $79 for a four-week pass; and $159 for an eight-week pass. 

Technically, this is much less than the cost of an unlimited MetroCard (which is $116.50 for a full, unlimited month), but only if you've exclusively been using your MetroCard for trips within Manhattan, and only during work commute hours. But the offer does sound somewhat enticing on the heels of yesterday's massive subway meltdown, and as Quartz points out, is yet another byproduct of the fierce competition brewing between Uber and other car services like Lyft, Gett, and Via. The commute-specific aspect is interesting as well, given that we've already heard speculation about car-service apps potentially offering expanded ride share options in parts of north Brooklyn once the L train shutdown kicks off.

Still, besides the obvious environmental toll of taking a car to work instead of mass transit, would an Uber really be any faster? As Brokelyn put it yesterday,  "The Uber Commute Card is a trick that will only clog our streets, take money away from our much-needed subway system, and still make you late for work."

So, it comes down to this decision: Would you rather spend your mornings frustrated on the subway, or frustrated sitting in stop-and-go Manhattan traffic?


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