Last weekend, I found myself in a familiar situation: It was after midnight, I was far from my apartment, and I wanted to go home and go to sleep.
I was in an area of Brooklyn where I couldn't just walk outside and hail a cab, so I opened Lyft to try to get a ride home. But demand for cars was off the charts, so "Primetime" pricing was in effect, meaning prices were exorbitantly high.
I opened Uber, and it was surging to nearly twice the normal rate.
I thought I'd have to suck it up and pay a ridiculous amount of money to get home. But a friend I was with suggested I try the app Way2Ride, which I'd never heard of until then.
So I downloaded it, signed up, and got home by paying a normal cab fair. No surge pricing.
And because of Way2Ride, I don't think I'll ever pay for surge pricing again.
After you download the app, you'll have to create an account and enter your payment information.
Way2Ride is basically the traditional taxi industry's answer to Uber and Lyft — it's a way to hail taxis and then pay for the ride through your smartphone.
There's currently no fee for using the app, so you just pay the cab's metered fair.
For now, it's only available in New York, but the service is coming to major cities in the US early next year. There are 14,000 New York cabs that work with Way2Ride.
The app is made by Verifone, the company that makes the payment technology and video screens you see in many taxis.
The app uses your phone's GPS to find you, but you can also type in your address. There are 23 cabs around me!
Like other ride hailing apps, you can use the app to let the driver know if you forgot something in the car.
The Way2Ride app is by no means as well-designed as Uber or Lyft, and the service isn't as fancy, but it gets the job done!
And if you're looking for a ride home, that's all that's important.