New Year's Eve is the biggest night of the year, with Uber alone saying it plans to complete 2 million rides. But it's going to cost you — New Year's Eve is notorious for high surge pricing, and lots of people are going to be looking for alternatives. Flywheel, an app for booking regular taxis using your smartphone, is offering one: $10 flat-rate rides in San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, and Sacramento. From 8PM Wednesday until 3AM Thursday, you can get you to your destination at a cost that is likely less than its rivals.
There's fine print worth reading: the $10 fare is only good if your regular fare would have been less than $50; after the first $50, you have to pay the balance of the ride. But $50 can get you pretty far in the four cities where the promotion will be running. And while the flat rate is likely to increase demand on lesser-known Flywheel, the company says they're incentivizing drivers with a 100 percent tip on every ride, paid by Flywheel.
The conventional wisdom about ridesharing is that it's a two-way race between Uber and Lyft, with Uber firmly in the lead. Flywheel is betting that dirt-cheap pricing on taxis' biggest night can help it stand out from the crowd. If you're on the West Coast for New Year's Eve, it might be your best bet, too.