Yeah, I haven't used cabs for a long time either. I might sign up for Uber as a fallback someday, though it's a pretty expensive option -- probably better to just figure out a good list of taxi operators to put into my phone. I'd probably be much happier with Uber or Uber-like service for taxis rather than limos. But either way, cars for hire work out much better when you have a group of 3 or 4 people traveling together, and I usually travel around by myself.
That TC Daily Planet
article says that limo companies fall under statewide regulations, while taxis are regulated locally. The article says county-by-county, but I think it's more on a city-by-city basis (plus MSP airport has its own extra regulations). We had a taxi thread
back in the Minnescraper days, and I dug through the taxicab regulations of a few cities back in March
. Taxis charge up to $2.25/mile in Saint Paul and $2.75/mi in Minneapolis, though they're usually a bit less than that. Minimum fares are usually $4 to $5 ($5 is the regulatory max for minimum fares in both core cities). Uber has a base fare of $7 with $3.25/mi on top of that (and things get more expensive when speed drops below 11 mph) and a minimum fare of $12. But it's worth noting that tips are built into the Uber fare (Minneapolis's $2.75/mi works out to about $3.16/mi with a 15% tip).
Does Uber's app give an estimate of how much a trip will cost? It only sounds like the app is used to summon a car... It does give an estimate of how long it will take for them to show up and where the car is, but I'm always reluctant to use a service when I don't know how much it's going to cost beforehand. Apparently they also raise their rates significantly on busy nights like Halloween and New Year's Eve.
Uber's primary service area
isn't okay but not great, and is overlapped a lot by the area most well-served by Metro Transit, so I think a lot of middle-income folks would still just fall back to carpooling, taking the bus, or biking.
It's an interesting line they walk by mostly just providing a service to connect customers with limo drivers who operate independently of Uber itself. That's not obvious from looking at the Uber website. It does get spelled out in their terms & conditions when signing up, but nobody ever looks through those things... Mn/DOT is asserting that Uber is a limo company, so we'll see how that plays out.