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Ever thought of escaping rush hour traffic when desperately trying to reach the airport on time? New Yorkers, there's good news for you. Uber has started Uber Copter from Manhattan to JFK Airport to cut down on the time spent stuck in rush hour. Take a helicopter from Monday to Friday with a window between 2 pm and 6 pm to book a ride.
The one way ride, which costs around $200-$225 per person, is now available to all Uber users, as opposed to earlier where the service was available only to Platinum and Diamond tier users.
“The focus in the near term is to open this up to all riders, to demonstrate this vision of seamless connection between cars and helicopters,” said Eric Allison, head of Uber Elevate, the company’s flight business, as reported by Bloomberg.
The ride takes about only eight minutes; however, one has to take a ride to the heliport that is in Lower Manhattan. The rides can be booked up to five days in advance and only in the designated zones, which include all of Manhattan south of Houston Street and certain areas with access to the West Side Highway.
According to Uber’s website, “Simply set your pickup and dropoff locations—one in Manhattan and the other at JFK airport—to see Copter’s windows of availability and pricing.”
Uber Copter is now available for all riders, enabling people to seamlessly travel from Manhattan to JFK ðÂÂÂ— Uber (@Uber) October 3, 2019
The pilot is designed to generate learnings for a future all-electric Uber Air ride-sharing network. pic.twitter.com/oUtDSO67Zg
According to Bloomberg, “Uber is using Bell 430 twin-engine helicopters operated by Newark-based company HeliFlite and has two pilots on every flight. There are six leather passenger seats for a maximum of eight people on board. They have Rolls-Royce 250-C40B turboshaft engines, are capable of speeds up to 161 mph, and cost about $6.2 million each.”
The service is currently available for iOS operators only.
The firm is also looking forward to developing shared air transportation—planned for 2023—between suburbs and cities, and ultimately within cities. According to their website, “Uber Elevate team is working toward transforming the world through aerial ridesharing at scale.”
Uber has been known for coming up with unusual ways of transportation. The firm also introduced scUber in May this year. scUber was the world’s first rideshare submarine on the Great Barrier Reef which was available for a limited time (from May 27 to June 18) through the Uber app.
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