Brooklynites headed into Manhattan during the morning and evening rush can now hop in yellow cabs at half off via the taxi-hailing app Waave.
The new discount, which Waave is offering indefinitely, is meant to boost business for the roughly 8,000 taxi drivers who store their cars in Brooklyn and often head directly into the outer borough to start their shifts, according to the app’s creator.
“For the first time, taxi drivers won’t be forced to kick off their shifts with a rider-less, multi-borough trip,” said Waave Chief Executive Officer Daniel Iger. “Commuters can get into Manhattan quickly and inexpensively, and we can all enjoy the benefits of less crowded streets and subways.”
Locals headed to the distant isle can hail a discounted ride between the hours of 6 and 10 am, and 5 and 8 pm, every day.
Waave provides customers a set fare up front, like other ride-hailing apps such as Lyft and Uber, whose drivers brought the number of for-hire vehicles on city streets from 50,000 in 2011 to just less than 120,000 in 2018, according to statistics from the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission.
And as a result, the city in August put a temporary halt on issuing any new licenses to for-hire drivers, leading Uber bigwigs to offer their own bargain-basement rates to Brooklynites.
A less-positive consequence of the rise of vehicles for hire, however, is the free fall in values of city taxi medallions — permits required to operate a yellow cab in the five boroughs — which plummeted from $1.3 million per medallion in 2013 to just $160,000 per medallion this year, the New York Post reported.
That drastic drop left some cab owners with crippling debt, and four taxi drivers died by suicide since November 2017, including a Queens man who killed himself on Wednesday, according to Taxi and Limousine Commission officials. In total, eight for-hire vehicle drivers took their lives since last November, according to Commission data.