Smartphone app maker offers free rides for its UBERx car service

Uber Boston, a company whose smartphone app enables users to request taxi or livery service, has unveiled a promotion that is offering free rides from Tuesday through Thursday.

Uber Boston offers several services locally, and the promotion applies to only one, its new UBERx Boston service, which is now officially launched after several months of beta-testing.

“Beginning at 7:00 a.m., Bostonians can experience the newest member of the Uber family – UBERx – Uber’s low cost option that’s faster, better, and less expensive than taking a taxi,” the company said in a press release. “UBERx vehicles are hybrid, mid-range cars in a variety of colors with seating for up to four people. Honda Accords and Toyota Priuses are just a couple examples of vehicles in the UBERx fleet.”

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Uber declined to comment when asked how many vehicles are in its UBERx Boston fleet.

The promotion covers local rides up to $20, the release added. The discount will apply automatically to each respective trip; no promo code is required. The promotion ends 8:00 p.m. Thursday and does not apply to UberBlack, UberSUV, or UberTAXI --- other services that the company offers. (UberBlack, for example, is for limousine service.)

“When we beta-launched UBERx last February, we introduced Bostonians to a new era of transportation – one that’s faster, better, and less expensive than a taxi,” Uber Boston community manager Nick Mathews said in a statement. “So today, we’re proud to announce that we’re taking UBERx out of the garage.

Uber Technologies Inc. is a venture-funded startup company based in San Francisco.

Uber’s approach has unsettled some traditional local cab companies.

In March, Boston Cab Dispatch Inc. and EJT Management, which combined have about 500 taxi licenses under the Boston Cab brand, sued Uber. The traditional cabbies contend the start-up is running an unlicensed car service and ignoring virtually all of the government rules that have been in place for years, according to a Globe story from earlier this year.

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