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While I advocate taking the subway, I know there are many tourists that come to New York City and like the convenience of taxis and on-demand car services that you can simply request from an app. To many the subway can be beyond overwhelming and probably not the safest option late at night. While Uber has done a great job at making a name for the car service app technology, there are actually many other (and possibly better!) options throughout NYC. I’ve gone ahead and compiled a few of my favorite companies:
- Uber: UberX is the cost conscious option although is subject to surge pricing during peak times or if it is raining out. You can use a fare estimator to figure out the approximate cost of your trip, but tax and tip is included, so there is absolute no additional money exchanged. Uber also recently added a ride sharing service, so if you select that option and they pick up another passenger along the route your cost for the ride will be less. UberTaxi is just hailing the closest taxi for you and you will pay the taxi driver the amount they charge base on the meeter. You will not be paying through the Uber app so make sure to pay cash or swipe your credit card. Flat rates to the airport include: Manhattan to JFK – $60 for UberX, Manhattan to Newark for $65 for UberX. New members can currently get one free ride (up to $20) by signing up through a referral link.
- Gett: Flat rate car service now offering $10 rides throughout Manhattan (south of 110th Street). New members can currently get $20 in free credits (so 2 free rides in Manhattan) by signing up through a referral link. You can read more about their fixed pricing here.
- Via: This has been my husbands favorite car service recently. It is catered primarily to the midtown workers as they only service 32nd street to 110th street. They also only run during the work week (no holidays) from 6:30am to 9pm. Rides are only $5.44 which is amazing (and includes tip and tax), BUT you might end up sharing a ride with other passengers. From my husbands experience, 50% of the time he has his own ride without having to pick up other passengers. Since the premise is a ride share service, they charge an additional $2.50 per additional passenger in your reservation. Via does not pick you up at your exact destination, but will give you a spot to walk to (within a few blocks) and pick you up there along their route. With their algorithm you really aren’t going out of the way to pick up other passengers and they will only wait two minutes. Via also formalized a deal with commuter benefit plans and you can use your pre-tax dollars to pay for the ride. Sign up through a members referral link and get $10 in free credits.
- Lyft: Similar to Uber and the prices are exactly the same! The price is based on your destination and you can use the fare estimate to get a range of what your taxi will cost. While they do not have surge pricing, they have a “Plus” option that might only be available and prices are higher. They also have Lyft Line which is their car sharing option and allows you to save some money. New members can currently get $10 in free credits by signing up through a referral link.
Remember, all the app on-demand car services are cash free, so whatever credit card you have on file will be charged accordingly.
As you can see there are many options for an on-demand car service in New York City! Tourists to NYC can easily get over $50 of free rides by signing up for all four! If you are going between 32nd and 110, Via will be the cheapest option. If you are traveling a far distance in Manhattan, Gett will be the cheapest. And short rides around town you’ll probably want to consider Lyft or Uber. Throwing out your hand and hailing a yellow cab can also sometimes be the easiest option, but you might be paying a little more.
Which car service do you prefer? If you use any of the ones above, feel free to leave your own referral link in the comments section.