Uber competitor bans surge pricing

GetTaxi focuses on NYC taxi market

Uber may dominate New York's ride-sharing economy, but that's not stopping smaller players from trying to muscle their way in.

One of those competitors, Gett—formerly known as GetTaxi—is putting pressure on Uber by banning surge pricing throughout Manhattan. In a direct attack on Uber's oft-complained-about pricing techniques, Gett's "surge-free guarantee" promises the on-demand black-car service will never raise prices, regardless of changes in demand.

Gett founder and CEO Shahar Waiser said the plan to take on Uber in Manhattan is largely a means to penetrate the world's largest marketplace in what he believes is fostering competition.

Source: Gett

"In this huge market, you have Uber, who is the big player right now and by definition it's not competitive. When you have only one player in the market, you're really paying extra," Mr. Waiser said on "Squawk Alley."

While New York is home to a few ride-sharing services, including Lyft (not to mention the largest taxi cab fleet in the U.S.), Uber is a brand that has quickly become a household name. Mr. Waiser noted that Uber is currently the primary player in the U.S. but said that "once you have an underdog who is offering an alternative, that is when everyone wins—the drivers, the consumers and the company."

Competition in the ride-sharing industry may threaten to shake up companies such as Uber, but Mr. Waiser said the entrance of new players, albeit smaller and lesser-known, is helping to generate predictability in prices which will ultimately benefit both the consumer and driver.

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Gett has already snagged $207 million in funding and has more than 2,000 black cars on the streets of New York. It slashed prices by more than a quarter last month.

But when asked about his plans for Gett's development, Mr. Waiser dismissed the idea of expanding too quickly. Although the service is available in more than 30 cities around the world, Gett won't be giving up on Manhattan anytime soon.

"We want to focus entirely on New York to continue the no-surge, flat guarantee pricing and once it gains traction, then we will expand to other cities, too."