A cab-sharing app, no friends required

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With subway lines sputtering, we’re always on the watch for new ways to find that cheap late-night trip home. Taxi-sharing’s a nice idea but a) it takes a village to make it truly cheap and b) the city-run version hasn’t made it across the bridge quite yet. So, where to look next? The App Store (obvs), for one of the latest necessary additions to your very existence. This one? Weeels is the name, and livery cabs the game.

Weeels: “Social Transit” is a brand new free app for sharing livery cabs in NYC. Livery cabs are privately-owned, fully-licensed cabs that exist in all corners of the city (Weeels is partnering with Brooklyn’s Eastern Car Service).

The app works like this: You enter a destination into your phone, Weeels searches for another user traveling a similar route and it hooks the two of you up to share the ride. If no one’s going your way, you can still take the cab solo or cancel the trip altogether. Like other ride-sharing services, it’s a community, so you get to see your potential sharer’s profile and you both have to approve the trip. Here’s the FAQ page for all the details on how things work (safeguards, availability, etc).

Picture 1Weeels has pre-negotiated rates with their providers, so fares are guaranteed to be consistent for a given route. Here’s our survey of what your BK cab ride should cost, without the share.

The app’s geared toward areas where yellow cabs are lacking—mainly Brooklyn and lower Manhattan—but service is guaranteed anywhere in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. Staten island and The Bronx are iffy, the site says, and anywhere outside the city ‘s a no-no (except for Newark Airport).

For now, Weeels is available only for Apple products, but its creators are working on versions for other mobile devices. And they say a version for yellow cabs also is on the way. We’ll let you know about that one. Free download and more info here.

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