Earlier this week, Uber hooked up with Gilt to offer a flat-rate commuter program that entitles participants to unlimited uberPOOL rides in Manhattan below 125th Street, between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays.
Here we have an example of something that looks like a good idea from a microeconomic perspective (I can ride in a car for cheaper than the subway? Sign me up!) but from a macroeconomic perspective, it’s a terrible one (If everyone took a car to work in Manhattan, nobody would get to work on time).
As anyone who rides transit in New York City knows, riding the underfunded, aging, crowded subway or the slow, constantly stopping, also crowded bus isn’t exactly the most glamorous way to travel, especially if your trip involves a transfer or waiting on a platform that isn’t air conditioned. Most of the time your train or bus arrives in a reasonable amount of time and you’re able to get where you’re going without any major headaches. But sometimes this happens: