Today Uber is launching a new service in Los Angeles that allows as many as six people to take the same ride. The company is calling it UberXL.
We call it party time.
But the launch is being met with new competition: A company called Toro Ride recently debuted in Los Angeles, its only market for now. It will go head-to-head with ...
... Uber's original black-car service.
UberX is probably the service most people are familiar with. It pairs drivers who want to make some extra cash, and who use their own cars, with riders via an app. The black-car service is a little more expensive and employs drivers with TCP or Transportation Charter Party licenses.
They're essentially limo drivers with black cars.
Toro is the same deal, but the company says its fleet includes more exotic vehicles, such as Cadillac Escalades, Mercedes-Benz S-Classes and, if you must, Rolls-Royce Ghosts.
The company, co-founded by Mel B. of the Spice Girls, will even have armored cars available for precious cargo in the future, a spokesman says.
It claims to be "the first car service where you can reserve a car at least 24 hours in advance."
More importantly, the company says that it can undercut Uber's black-car prices significantly. It quoted us a price of $32 from Santa Monica to LAX and says Uber would charge $55 for that trip.
The company owns 25 cars and has 400 drivers, many with their own rides, a spokesman told us. Unlike UberX, Lyft and other rideshare services, Toro can pick up and drop off passengers at LAX, he said.
UberXL, meanwhile, is ready to take you and your bros to the EDM club this weekend. One advantage, the company says, is that drivers with SUVs capable of taking as many as six people on one trip can earn 30 percent more.
Riders get a deal, too. According to a statement:
XL guarantees room for a larger group with a fare that is 40 percent less.
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A publicist for Uber subsequently told us that the discount over a regular Uber SUV is more like 60 percent.
Vehicles will include Toyota Highlanders, Honda Odysseys, Kia Sorentos and more, according to the company.
Find out more here.