This City Is Subsidizing Uber Rides- Why?

Altamonte Springs Florida

While Uber rides can be pricey during busy times due to surge pricing, they’ve also proven to be cheaper than traditional cabs and car services…

For people requesting an Uber in Altamonte Springs Florida, Uber rides are about to get even cheaper thanks to the city subsidizing rides.

With a deal that¬†sounds too good to be true, let’s find out more…

Altamonte Springs Florida is a small city with 42,000 residents. The city will be paying Uber $500,000 over the next year in a “first-in-the-nation pilot program”.

With the program, a municipal subsidy will pay 20% of rides which start and end in the city. The subsidy increases to 25% when rides begin or end at the local light rail station.

According to Curbed, although the program just started, “others cities in the surrounding Seminole County are interested in replicating it“.

To get the subsidized price, riders will have to enter code ALTAMONTE in the Uber app.

Why the need for the subsidy? The city is “tired of waiting for Central Florida to move on transit“. ¬†When the Florida Transit Authority denied the city funding for a “demand responsive” bus service, they got creative with this deal with Uber.

Find out more from Curbed here.

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4 thoughts on “This City Is Subsidizing Uber Rides- Why?

  1. Wow! I was shocked to read this. I grew up in Central Florida and was personally involved in the SunRail planning. I think that this is a great idea. First, commuter rail/mass-transit is new the Central Florida area. The local governments have to encourage people to transit and having a robust Uber network certainly will help. Second, the taxi network in Seminole County, FL is ummm lacking for a better word – Uber can fill this market gap and provide reliability which is key to people actually taking mass-transit. Third, Central Florida has a HUGE problem with drinking and driving – if Uber is reliable and cheap maybe people will be more likely to open their Uber app versus get their car keys. Overall – I love this idea, but I am a bit shocked that a local government in Central Florida would make this move.

  2. It is not really a crazy idea. If you look at the cost of an average paratransit ride in BOS/NY/DC, they are all around 50 dollars and many of these rides are only a few miles. It would be far cheaper to pay uber the 10 bucks to take over the service. Of course, this raises ethical questions but there is no way around that Uber can do this sort of thing far cheaper than any government.

  3. A- Thanks for the background info! I think the area definitely got creative in coming up with this Uber deal.

    Dave- I’d think if Uber took over para-transit rides, some would say they aren’t qualified to provide that kind of service. It does seem that Uber can get things done cheaper than governments but they don’t provide salaries and other perks…

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