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Uber’s Dirty Little Secret: This Taxi Is Cheaper

May 6, 2015

dsc01465Yes, you heard it right. Uber isn’t as cheap as you thought. Or, at least one taxi company beats Uber on trips to the airport as I discovered last week when I headed out to a writer’s conference in New York City.

I normally rely on my family to take me to the airport or to drop me downtown so I can catch the train there, but I had to be at the airport way too early to get everyone up this time around. So I decided to check out my options for a ride from North Seattle at 5 a.m. and learned something pretty shocking: Uber isn’t as cheap as I thought.

I checked three services and was surprised by what I found.

1. Shuttle Express. Although I was pretty sure this shared ride service would be the cheapest, but would take the longest to get to the airport because of the number of stops required along the way, Unfortunately, I couldn’t find out because the site said it didn’t have any rides booked at that hour. So, I don’t know how much it would have cost, but I probably would have had to leave earlier.

2. Uber. The ride service that comes when you want it listed a base price of $55 for a ride from North Seattle to Sea-Tac.

3. Eastside Taxi For Hire. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Once the meter is on, it’s crazy time, but that’s not the case. The company has a flat rate of $42 from the North end where I live.

Not only that, but there are other reasons to consider taking this taxi. For starters, my driver told me that Uber takes a bigger bite out of what its drivers get. Around 20% across the board, no matter what the fare. My driver, who takes rides for Uber and Eastside for Hire says the taxi company only charges 10%. And he can make up part of the difference in tips when he works as a taxi driver.

When he works for Uber, though, he’s out of luck because he can’t take tips.

Who knew?

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