Uber Slashes L.A. Prices

Comments (0)


Fri, Oct 4, 2013 at 7:04 AM
click to enlarge UBER / FACEBOOK
  • Uber / Facebook

There has been another assault in the burgeoning battle between ride apps and traditional taxis in Los Angeles.

See also: Ride-Sharing Apps Fight Back.

The ride-sharing brand Uber said this week that it is cutting its prices about 20 percent, to a level the firm says is 30 percent less than what cabs charge. The move will last two weeks but could become permanent if the results are promising, according to a company statement:

Why are we doing this? Because Uber is betting big on low cost service in Southern California. ... In June in San Francisco, we cut prices for uberX by 25%, making it about 15% cheaper than a taxi with tip. Demand for uberX doubled!

This means war!

The company threw out some sample rates:

Santa Monica to Venice - $8 (vs. Taxi: $13 including tip)

LAX to Manhattan Beach - $16 (vs. Taxi: $23 including tip)

West Hollywood to Santa Monica - $22 (vs. Taxi: $31 including tip)


Sounds like maybe Uber drivers are in for a pay cut?

This in a fairly strong labor town where cab drivers are represented by unions and taxi companies have to jump through mad regulatory hoops, including limiting the number of cars that can be on the streets (and thus limiting the money operators can make).

[Added at 11:29 a.m: An Uber spokesman argues that when prices are cut, demand goes up, and drivers "make more."].

The feel-good news from the Silicon Valley "sharing" companies (where's the sharing when you're paying someone to drive you somewhere) could be bad news for cabbies trying to feed their kids.

Just remember, tech companies are changing the world.

In June a city transportation official told the ride-sharing apps Uber, Lyft and Sidecar that they were operating illicitly in Los Angeles and that they needed to shut down.

See also: Ride App Services Told to Shut Down in L.A.

The city's powerful taxicab lobby was all for that.

See also: Ride-Sharing Apps Get Green Light From California.

But not only did the three keep on trucking, but they were emboldened last month when the California Public Utilities Commission formally give ride-sharing apps the green light to operate statewide.

See also: Eric Garcetti Muzzles Taxi Czar Who Criticized Uber.

The city's cease-and-desist, by the way, still formally stands when it comes to the apps. But Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has expressed favor toward the online services, told City Hall's taxi regulator, Tom Drischler, to shut up about it. Really.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

Related Content

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets


  • 21st Annual Classic Cars "Cruise Night" in Glendale
    On Saturday, spectators of all ages were out in multitudes on a beautiful summer night in Glendale to celebrate the 21st annual Cruise Night. Brand Boulevard, one of the main streets through downtown Glendale, was closed to traffic and lined with over 250 classic, pre-1979 cars. There was plenty of food to be had and many of the businesses on Brand stayed open late for the festivities The evening ended with fireworks and a 50th anniversary concert from The Kingsmen, who performed their ultimate party hit, "Louie, Louie." All photos by Jared Cowan.
  • The World Cup Celebrated And Mourned By Angelenos
    The World Cup has taken Los Angeles by storm. With viewings beginning at 9 a.m., soccer fans have congregated at some of the best bars in the city including The Village Idiot, Goal, The Parlour on Melrose, Big Wang's and more. Whether they're cheering for their native country, favorite players or mourning the USA's loss, Angelenos have paid close attention to the Cup, showing that soccer is becoming more than a fad. All photos by Daniel Kohn.
  • La Brea Tar Pits "Pit 91" Re-Opening
    Starting June 28th, The Page Museum once again proudly unveils the museum's Observation Pit, which originally opened in 1952 but has spent most of the last half century closed. Now visitors can get an up-close look at Pit 91, which is currently under excavation. The La Brea Tar Pits, home of the Page Museum, is one of the world's most famous ice age fossil locations, known for range of fossils from saber-toothed cats and mammoths to microscopic plants, seeds and insects. The new "Excavator Tour" is free with museum admission if purchased online at tarpits.org . All photos by Nanette Gonzales.