Taxicab Upfront Fare Pilot Program
Docket No. P-21-03-01: Implementation of Taxicab Upfront Pricing Pilot
Notice To All Interested Parties:
On March 30, 2021, the Philadelphia Parking Authority (“Authority”) approved, through Authority Order No. 21-003 (“Order”), the recommendation of the Taxicab and Limousine Division (“TLD”) to reopen a rate review investigation pursuant to a Petition for Rate Change (“Petition”) that was filed with the TLD on March 8, 2021. The Order and the Petition may be obtained on the Authority’s website at www.philapark.org/tld.
Now, based upon the Petition and the TLD’s recommendation to the Authority, the TLD has approved the start of a pilot program to offer taxicab passengers an “upfront” pricing model outside of the taxicab metered fare rate for taxicab trips requested through the Curb app. The Upfront Pricing Pilot will begin on Tuesday, May 25, 2021. It will be available to all taxicab drivers logged into the approved taxicab meter system and a gradual number of Curb App users.
The Upfront Fare Pilot will allow Curb App users to book taxicab rides with flat, upfront pricing that is pre-calculated. Upon request from an App User, the upfront pricing program will create a base fare for each trip based upon estimated driving distance and time. The base fare relies upon a multivariate regression analysis of historical metered rates for similar trips, which is recalibrated from time to time. The calculation of the variables will be based upon the time the trip is requested by the App user to generate the upfront pricing.** Tolls, surcharges, etc. will be added to the base fare and charged to the passenger upon completion of the trip. However, it is expected that the upfront pricing base fare will not be more than the standard metered fare.
Taxicab drivers will be presented with a passenger’s request for an upfront fare trip through the Driver Information Monitor (“DIM”), which will include the upfront base fare. The trip will first be offered to the closest taxicab driver, who has the option to either accept or decline the upfront fare. If declined, it will then be offered to the next closest driver.
The TLD will continue to monitor the pilot and make applicable recommendations to the Authority. It is intended that this pilot will give riders more transparent and flexible options and increase taxicab ridership and earning capabilities for taxicab drivers.
Instructions for the drivers on how the Upfront pricing model will function through the DIM may be obtained here: https://gocurb.com/driver-manual-philadelphia-upfront-pricing/
We very much appreciate your cooperation concerning this matter.
Christine A. Kirlin, Esq.
Taxicab and Limousine Division
Philadelphia Parking Authority
**Notwithstanding the above, any changes to the trip itinerary, including but not limited to change of destination, addition of intermediate stops along the booked itinerary, excessive traffic or other unforeseen delays, or specific user-requested routing, may result in a modification to the original upfront base fare amount. Such modifications will be governed by Curb’s Terms of Service.