Sep 27, 2023 - News

Uber users can now virtually hail Yellow Cab taxis in San Diego

 An Uber rideshare sign is posted on a fence as taxis wait in the background.

An Uber rideshare sign is posted nearby as taxis wait to pick up passengers at Los Angeles International Airport. Photo: Mario Tama via Getty Images

The next time you call an Uber, it could be an old-school taxicab that picks you up.

Driving the news: Uber announced Tuesday a new multi-year strategic partnership with San Diego's Yellow Cab and five other taxi fleets across Southern California that starts this week.

Why it matters: With local taxis gaining access to Uber trip referrals, the pool of ride-hailing drivers will grow and drivers can expect to get more consistent trips.

  • Passengers could also experience faster pick up times.

How it works: Customers request a ride through the Uber app and pay the cost they see at the UberX rate.

  • Nearby cab drivers can select that trip and pick up the passenger.
  • Riders will be notified if they're matched with a taxi and can decline the ride to get an Uber driver instead.

Details: There are about 200 vehicles affiliated with San Diego Yellow Cab, the Union-Tribune reported, though it's unclear how many taxi drivers will participate.

  • Those drivers who are a part of this program cover the entire county, but can only drop off, not pick up, riders at the airport.

Flashback: New York City and San Francisco launched similar pilot programs last year.

  • In San Francisco, taxi drivers who completed Uber trips earned an average of $1,767 per month from those trips alone during the second quarter of this year.
  • And they earned 23.8% more than those who did not pick up Uber trips, per a recent report by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

What they're saying: "Whether it's a call for an Uber or a taxi, it's business for me so I will take any offer because this is how I make a living," Augustine Hodoyan, a San Diego cab driver, told the U-T.

  • Hodoyan said he wonders how people will react when they see a cab, but figures "they'll get used to it because they want to get home and they will pay the same fare as an Uber," he said.

What's next: "It's our global goal to make Uber trips available for all taxi drivers," Celia Gale, Uber general manager of U.S. and Canada Taxi Operations, told Axios in an emailed statement.

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