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Commuting by Uber in New York City cheaper than the subway this summer

Commuting is tiresome and expensive, no doubt. And it gets hot in the summer. Uber and Gilt City have announced a special summer program that can help some New York City commuters with the dollar drain and perhaps make their commutes more comfortable. For the months of July and August, UberPool weekly passes can cut the daily commuting costs by Uber to less than it costs to take the subway, according to Quartz. But there are some limitations.

The UberPool Commute Card goes on sale on the Gilt City website Tuesday, July 12 at 4:30 p.m. ET for a limited time, according to Woman’s Wear Daily. No cutoff date is announced, but the promotion is announced as a summer deal, so don’t expect it to last forever. Commute Cards cost $49 for two weeks, $79 for four weeks, and $159 for eight weeks.

Per usual NYC UberPool rules, the Commute Card promotion applies during rush hours, 7 to 10 a.m. and 5 to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. During those time periods, the Commute Card is good for unlimited rides beginning and ending in Manhattan below 125th Street.

The standard UberPool rush hour flat rate is $5 per ride. The Commute Card cuts the per ride rate to $2.45 for a 2-week card, $1.98 for a 4-week card, and $1.99 for an 8-week card, in each case assuming two rides five days a week.

NYC subway 7-day passes cost $31 (or $3.10 each for 10 rides a week) and 30-day passes are $116.50 ($2.91 each for 10 rides a week). So UberPool wins in this price comparison — but only if you only take the subway twice a day, weekdays only, and also only below 125th Street.

The subway passes are good for all five NYC boroughs 24/7. On a cost basis, the UberPool Commute Card works for Manhattan commuters who only take the subway to and from work.

But cost isn’t the only factor. People who’d rather not take crowded rush hour subways might prefer to ride with a few other people in an Uber car, especially during the hot summer months.

Summer heat is the focus of the UberPool Commute Card program, according to Josh Mohrer, New York City’s Uber general manager. “We are hoping to make commuting in the hot summer just a little bit easier by expanding our $5 UberPool flat-rate option to include unlimited UberPool rides in Manhattan,” said Mohrer.

It will be interesting to watch if the program is continued in the fall, in which case what is being billed now as a promotion might turn out to be a market test.