Ride-sharing service Uber has cut its rates in Chicago by 25 percent. In an email to users last week, the company highlighted average costs for common routes like the $9 ride from “River to North to Wrigleyville,” or a $20 trip from The Loop to O’Hare. A gratuity for the driver is typically included in Uber prices, depending on the individual user’s settings.
The email offers free rides to new users and for those who invited them to sign up. Tapping social networks to expand its user base is a tactic that epitomizes the young tech-powered company’s rapid growth in the U.S.A. and internationally.
The message also boasts that the new prices make taking an UberX “40% cheaper than a taxi.” The price promotion could signal that the company is seeking to double down on their low cost competitive advantages, although the “fares may only be around for a limited time.”
The price drop should more than offset the recent one dollar surcharge Uber recently added to each ride. In a tweet on April 18, an UberChicago rep told me that the “Safe Ride Fee is simply a way for us to support the increased costs associated with our continued safety efforts.”