UBER unveils Uptown “box” system for Mardi Gras 2017

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - We all know getting around New Orleans during Mardi Gras can be a pain, so it's best if you plan ahead, and Uber is rolling out a system to make things easier for riders and drivers.

In order to operate as effectively as possible on both sides of St. Charles Avenue, Uber has worked out a system that that allows drivers to operate within two distinct regions of the city – “The Box,” or the area between St. Charles Avenue and the Mississippi River – and everywhere else.

The Box, as defined by Uber, stretches from Napoleon Avenue to Canal Street, and the river side of St. Charles Avenue to Tchoupitoulas.

If you’re in The Box and you want to go to another destination inside The Box, you’ll catch an Uber that only works within those boundaries.

So if you’re at Magazine and Race streets and you want to go to a destination inside The Box – like Tchoupitoulas and Seventh Street – your Uber driver will come to your location and take you to your destination. No big deal.

However, if you’re inside of The Box and you want to go to a destination located outside of The Box – like Mid-City or Lakeview – you’ll need to find your way to the edge of The Box to catch an Uber that isn’t locked in to only servicing destinations within the region's boundaries.

Messaging about The Box will appear when a user opens the app around the parade route. It will include a colored notification at the bottom of the screen.

A special reminder for drivers from the City of New Orleans:

In addition to the actual parade route, there are a number of street closures needed to accommodate the Mardi Gras floats traveling back and forth from their storage dens. Streets in the Lower Garden District, Irish Channel and Garden District will be affected during the hours before, during and after the parades.

The city’s taxicab companies will be operating as usual, and the Department of Safety and Permits encourages revelers to make sure they’re only taking licensed New Orleans taxi cabs. All cabs are required to take credit cards and the meter must be engaged during the trip.

The department also reminds riders using ride services like Uber or Lyft to make sure you verify the vehicle and driver match the information provided by the app before getting into the car. Confirm your driver’s car model and license plate in the app before you hop in your ride. You can also call or text your driver.

Surge Pricing shouldn’t be a surprise. Get a Fare Estimate in the app before you ride. To avoid the highest fares, head to the festivities early or catch a ride after the parades have come and gone.

Make sure you get don’t caught up paying a cleaning fee by keeping the body paint and glitter in check to ensure there is no damage to your ride.