Uber drops fares in Tampa market

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Uber – the high-tech on-demand transportation service — has announced they have dropped UberX prices by 25% in the Tampa market, now making rides as much as 60% cheaper than comparable taxi fares.

UberX uses a smartphone app (like sister towncar service Uber) to connect drivers with passengers in a ridesharing program where drivers — after a rigorous screening process — use their own mid-range or hybrid vehicles to provide transportation for up to four people.

Uber had unsuccessfully lobbied county commissioners last year in an attempt to deregulate the car-service industry to open up the market, but could not change the deep-rooted protections for limousine and cabs such as minimum fares and wait times. The San Francisco-based firm took its case to Tallahassee last session, also without success.

As of April, UberX has been operating in Tampa — much to the annoyance of the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission and established taxicab companies — to provide some of the most affordable rides in the Tampa Bay region.

One example of the newly lowered Tampa UberX fares is a trip from Raymond James Stadium to downtown, which is now only $9. Since Uber also offers a fare splitting option, rides can be even cheaper, all while delivering what the company calls the “safest, most affordable and reliable ride on the road.”

The reduced prices are only in effect for a limited time, but the Uber blog says that the more users take advantage of the service the more likely the prices will stay lower.

To take advantage of the promotion, users need to do nothing; reduced prices will be applied to the UberX receipt. New UberX users get a free ride up to $20, starting when they sign up online.

Reduced pricing is only for passengers, drivers are not impacted by the lower fares.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.