Cut Your Cab Fare In Half

Sharing cabs could save Chicagoans 50 percent

For a special rate, Chicagoans can currently share cab rides with strangers to the two major airports and other tourist-friendly attractions.

But they may soon have the opportunity to share a cab anywhere for a fare cut as much as 50%.

A new taxi-sharing plan launched in New York last month could be in Chicago's future. Specially-marked cabs would drive along designated routes (State Street or Michigan Avenue, perhaps?) during rush hour. Commuters would pay a few dollars to enter and exit the cab anywhere along the route, sharing the cab with other traveling passengers.

Along with the group-ride corridors, several hundred "share cabs" would operate 24/7 around the city. Electronic screens on the outside of the cab would display the taxi's destination, so anyone on the street going the same direction could hail the cab and ride along for a 50-percent discount.

Consumer Services and Business Affairs Commissioner Norma Reyes is fascinated by the idea.

"If it's workable and could benefit the driver and consumer, absolutely" Chicago will try it, she told the Sun-Times.

The question is, would you be willing to give up your taxicab privacy for a steep discount?

Matt Bartosik, editor of Off the Rocks' next issue, is uncomfortable when the cab driver asks him directions.

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