One of the most annoying things about taking a taxi is not knowing what the ride will cost until you arrive at your destination. But in a growing number of U.S. cities, that’s changing — and just in time.
Curb, a taxi app boasting access to tens of thousands of cabs across the U.S., has rolled out upfront pricing for cab rides in popular U.S. cities, including Washington, D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, in recent weeks. The rollout comes after nearly a year of testing in New York and as passengers are increasingly looking for alternatives to the volatile pricing of ride-sharing.
Curb’s upfront fares are designed to replicate metered fares and are based on time and distance estimates as well as historical data. Tolls and additional charges are included, eliminating the potential for costly surprises. There’s also no surge pricing, and even heavy traffic won’t drive up the bill — something passengers facing rising ride-sharing bills in recent months haven’t been shy to complain about on Twitter.
The move is part of an effort to make taxis — which are now fewer and farther between in cities such as Chicago and New York — more appealing to customers who want to know what they’ll pay before scheduling a ride, Curb says.
Much like with ride-sharing apps, both customers and drivers have to agree on a price before a ride can be scheduled. Rides can be booked immediately or scheduled in advance and via the Curb app.
In New York, where Curb began testing upfront pricing in September, mobile bookings have been rising since upfront pricing was introduced. Jason Gross, Curb’s VP of mobile, told Travel + Leisure, “Our drivers were receiving more bookings, and our riders were happy to finally have the price transparency they’ve always wanted from taxis.”
Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.