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What Is the Curb App (and How Does It Work)?

By: // Updated: September 17, 2020

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For riders seeking a convenient and modern service, ridesharing has long been a leader in the Uber vs. taxi debate. However, as taxi drivers fight back for their competition, tech entrepreneurs are helping them change perspectives — perhaps making taxis a preferred mode of transportation once again. With the Curb app, hailing your next taxi can be just as simple as requesting an Uber ride.

Even in our golden age of rideshare companies, there still remains a demand for taxis. Governed by stricter regulations, taxis are driven by professional drivers who undergo more thorough background checks and vehicle inspections for a safer experience. With taxis, you can also avoid surge pricing no matter the time of the day and access even the airports where rideshare companies are unavailable.

Curb is fixing the technology gap that remains a huge reason why users are still choosing Uber and Lyft as their preferred transportation services today. This article will help you learn more about how you can hail taxis and pay for your rides with the tap of a button.


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What Is the Curb App?

Curb app screenshot

Curb is known as the top taxi app in the United States. The platform enables users to connect with nearby taxi drivers straight through their smartphone and quickly get a ride to their destination. It can also turn your cab ride into a completely cashless experience, regardless of whether you hail from the app or from the street.

Curb Mobility, LLC (the company behind Curb) first launched its app as Taxi Magic in 2007 — even before Uber was founded — but nowadays, the rebranded platform is more relevant than ever. It’s helping the thousands of taxi drivers across the U.S. prevent loss of income, while helping you easily access a great option to fulfill your commuting needs.

How the Curb App Works

The Curb app offers two primary ride-hailing services.

“Ride Now” is the most frequently used one, allowing users to get to their destination on-demand, just by inputting their pick-up and drop-off destinations. Upon arrival, the credit card, debit card, or PayPal account you have saved on the app will be charged with the final cost of your ride.

“Ride Later” is Curb’s ride scheduling service, which allows you to reserve a taxi as much as 24 hours in advance just as easily.

When it’s more convenient for you to flag down a taxi yourself, you can still use the Curb app to make your life easier. In select cities, Curb offers a Pair & Pay feature that enables you to pay your specific taxi driver with the preferred payment method saved on your app, instead of with cash.

When using the Curb app, you can even expect to face fewer cancellations. Not only are you getting a ride from a professional, commercially licensed driver, but the company also places five-hour penalties on drivers who cancel on riders. This way, you’ll have a guaranteed, reliable ride whenever you need it.

How Much Does Curb Cost?

Lineup of taxis at the airport

When using the Curb app, the cost of your taxi ride will still be based on the current rates in your city. However, if you book and pay for a ride through the platform, you can expect to be charged a flat $1.95 service fee that helps Curb continue to develop and maintain its technology. No extra charge will apply if you’re only using the Pair & Pay feature.

NYC riders can expect to be charged an additional $3 fee, on top of the service fee, when using the Ride Later feature. For riders in all locations, a $3 cancellation fee can apply if you’ve already been matched with a driver for over 30 seconds before cancelling.

Tipping your cab driver is also expected, even when you’re using Curb’s modern platform. We recommend budgeting out at least a 15% tip for every ride. You can use Curb to tip drivers at no extra cost, or simply tip in cash. Our Uber tipping guide has a handful of tipping etiquette pointers that you can implement for your next cab ride.

Before requesting a ride through the Curb app, keep in mind that the price you see will be an estimate, not upfront pricing, since taxis are still metered.

Getting Started With the Curb App

If you’re ready to try out taxi-hailing for the modern era, the next thing you need to do is pick up your smartphone and download the Curb app on your iPhone or Android. Then, read below as we guide you through the complete sign-up process, as well as how to use the app.

Step-by-Step Sign-Up Process

Signing up for the Curb app is a painless and straightforward process. Here’s how to join the platform:

1. Open the app and allow location permissions when prompted. You may also be prompted to provide phone access, which will help the app verify your phone.

2. Tap “Sign Up” once you reach the main screen.

Curb app phone screenshot

3. Enter your first name, last name, mobile phone number, email, and preferred password. Tap “Sign Up.”

Curb signup on app

4. You should receive a text from Curb. Text the number back with the word “CURB” to complete your verification.

Automated exchange between Curb and user

5. Read through and agree to the terms of service, then tap “Accept.”

Curb app terms of service

6. Add a payment method by following the prompts and you’ll be all set to start riding.

How to Request a Ride

Once you’re on the platform, you can tap “Ride Now” or “Ride Later” to request a ride. If you select “Ride Later,” you’ll first be prompted to input your preferred pick-up date and time. Otherwise, you’ll be taken straight to the map screen.

App interface of Curb

When you reach the map, input your pick-up location. You can also move the map with your finger if you just want to drop a pin. Then, enter your destination. Once complete, tap “Request Taxi” or “Schedule Taxi” to complete your request.

How to Pair & Pay

If you’re already in a Curb taxi and simply want to pay with card or PayPal, the Pair & Pay feature is easy to use. When you start your ride, simply tap the “Pair & Pay” button in your app, then enter the seven-digit code that shows up on the backseat of your cab. You’ll then be successfully connected, and your preferred payment method will automatically be charged with your taxi fare at the end of your ride.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Curb app is a great alternative to ridesharing that lets you turn back to taxis without letting go of convenience. To learn more about the platform, read our answers to these common questions:

1. Does Curb offer any promo codes?

Yes. Curb allows current users to share their personal referral codes, which gives new customers $5 in credits to cover your first Ride Now or Ride Later request. You can ask friends or family members, or simply use our promo code “60p79a” to claim your discount. The referral codes “y46l42” and “w82u48” are also currently active.

2. Where does the Curb app operate?

Curb services are available in 30 U.S. cities, with a presence in California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C.

However, the Pair & Pay feature is currently only available in Boston, Las Vegas, Miami, New York City, and Philadelphia. Within these markets, it’s only available in cabs that have Curb Mobility technology installed.

3. Will my Curb ride cost more than an Uber ride?

This depends on many different factors, including the current level of traffic on the roads, the real-time Uber demand in your area, and the Uber ride option you select.

On a normal day outside of peak hours, UberPool and UberX riders do tend to be cheaper than Curb rides. However, when there’s high demand for Uber rides and surge pricing multiplies fares, you may find taxis to be cheaper on Curb.

If you want a professional driver, Curb rides are commonly cheaper than ride options like Uber Black, which are branded as luxury services.

Request Your Safe, Reliable Ride

The taxi industry has always offered a handful of benefits over ridesharing companies, but their reputation for being outdated has long been its downfall. The Curb app is making it easier for cab drivers and taxi companies to win back the customers who simply want a cashless and convenient smartphone-based service.

Lucky for taxi drivers, Curb isn’t the only app that’s connecting users to easily booked cab rides. Read our guide to the Arro taxi app to get the details about an alternate option you have in the United States.

2 thoughts on “What Is the Curb App (and How Does It Work)?”

  1. try it again. I have been using it for the past year to set rides in advance or after getting into a cab and it works perfectly well.

    Reply
  2. I signed up for Curb the other day, used it for one ride, and then deleted the app from my phone. While I’d love to support the taxi industry, they need to ‘get with the program’ if they want to remain competitive.

    After I added the app to my phone and set it up with my credit card, and everything appeared to be set and in order, the next day I tried to order a ride. Kept getting weird error message. It simply would not work. Contacted ‘customer service’ via their app, and naturally got no response until 24 hours later. Their ‘explanation’ was that their fraud detector noticed ‘strange activity’ on my (brand new!) account and so it was ‘temporarily suspended’.

    In the meantime, the next morning I tried the app, and this time it ‘worked’. A taxi was en route to me. But guess what? For some reason, even though my home address showed building #4015, the Curb app showed that my driver was going to building #4005. Now why that would be, I’ve no idea, since my own home address (which was my Pickup location) clearly showed my correct building number. So I tried to contact/call the driver and got an error ‘driver can’t be reached’. Finally the taxi appears at my building.

    So I get in, go to my destination… a destination I go to ALL THE TIME via taxis hailed on the street…or via Uber…. and in the end, guess what?? For what is typically an $8 ride including the tip, this ride cost $10 with the tip! That’s a big price differential…. a 25% markup in fare, which showed some b.s. ‘fees’ and taxes added.

    Never again will I use Curb.

    Reply

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