Should We Bite the Bullet and Pay for a Week’s Worth of Cab Rides a Time, MetroCard-Style?

Would you use a metrocard-style flate rate for cabs

In a bid to un-seat Uber as everyone’s go-to cab-hailing app, Whisk has launched a new option letting users in certain Brooklyn neighborhoods pay a flat weekly for frequent trips to and from Manhattan. Sort of like a MetroCard, but far more expensive.

The option is currently available in Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bushwick, Red Hook, Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope, and allows for unlimited rides to a set location in Manhattan. Prices vary depending on location (it’d cost $185/week to go between the Lower East Side and Williamsburg, and $318 to commute from Park Slope to Midtown, according to DNAinfo), but the idea is to eliminate—and distance Whisk’s service from—the kind of surge pricing that’s earned Uber so much bad publicity as of late. “Everyone else is very transactional,” explained Whisk’s co-founder and CEO Michael Ibrahim. “Every ride is independent. It doesn’t matter if you took a million rides.”

The service seems pretty specifically designed for well-off commuters who take a cab to their jobs in Manhattan every day (I have not met them, but I’m sure they’re out there), but hypothetically, it’s an interesting idea, admitting your own cab over-dependence ahead of time and paying a set rate not to worry about it. If this were to expand (and, y’know, allow for unlimited travel in between different Brooklyn locations, not just to a set point on the other side of the East River), who among us would have the delicate balance of self-awareness and extravagance to just pony up ahead of time? If self knowledge is the unique curse of humans, may as well use it to minor logistical advantage, no?

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.


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