It's hard to believe that this time last year, the City Council was on the verge of regulating Uber, pushing legislation that would have temporarily capped expansion of the $62.5 billion-valued ride-share app within New York City. After a few cautionary statements about the possibility of an Uber "flood," Mayor de Blasio about-faced and scrapped the cap in favor of a study on the industry's impact—the far-from-damning results of which were released quietly on a Friday afternoon in January. The app slashed its Uber X fares by 15% around that time, and this week Uber is launching a fresh, large-scale, unhindered NYC expansion plan: two, four and eight-week unlimited passes for weekday rush-hour rides below 125th Street that cost significantly less than a MetroCard.

Here's the breakdown: starting at 4:30 today, Uber will unleash a Gilt City promotion for unlimited weekday UberPool rides below 125th Street (meaning, you share your Uber with strangers) between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., and 5:00 p.m and 8:00 p.m. The so-called "Uber Commute Card" costs $49 for two weeks, $79 for four weeks, and $159 for eight weeks. An Uber spokesman said Tuesday that the promotion will accommodate "thousands" of app users, and that the clock starts ticking with your first trip, just like an unlimited MetroCard.

The price comparison is, on the surface, tempting: two daily trips on the four-week unlimited Uber card comes to $2 per trip, compared to $2.65 per trip on the $116.50 30-day MetroCard. That's more than a 20% savings for those who take Uber instead of the subway.

"We are hoping to make commuting in the hot summer just a little bit easier," said Josh Mohrer, Uber NYC General Manager, in a statement. (The app has no plans, as of now, for year-round unlimited passes.)

But there are other factors to consider. For one, this promotion won't carry you home to Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx. Rush hour is peak traffic time—when it arguably makes more sense to bike home, or cram onto an express train like a sardine. Also, Uber drivers are under no obligation to accommodate handicapped riders, and public transit is much less of a pollutant. And, the MTA desperately needs your money.

Paul Steely White of the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives said Tuesday that he appreciated Uber's commuter pass idea, because he believes it will help convince the city that a more comprehensive surface transit system is necessary, beyond the underground tubes.

"It's a good thing that the market is responding," he said, suggesting that crumbling subway infrastructure is sending commuters running to street level, to bike or bus or carpool. "But the city has a role to play in keeping this from becoming a free-for-all on our streets. The most important thing is that our city regulate the streets in a way that favors higher-occupancy modes... like restricting private car use in Midtown, or instituting congestion pricing."

So, will thousands of these passes sell like hotcakes in less than 60 seconds this afternoon? Can Uber diehards be bothered with a promotion that won't carry them outside Manhattan—especially since the app is always pushing its transit desert service? Do people who love Uber enough to jump on a Gilt promotion submit themselves to subway sweat under any circumstances? Only time will tell.

In the meantime, here's a primer on full-time Uber drivers' primary grievances with the company, which they argue has steadily chipped away at their livelihood in an effort to maximize profits. A spokesman for the app said Tuesday that this summer promotion will not have an impact on driver take-home—that the app will compensate its drivers the full UberPool fare. Still, many Uber drivers say that compensation is far from adequate.

"I pay $1,000 a month for my car, which I financed through Uber, and I pay $500 for insurance, and every year I pay $620 for my TLC license, and we don’t even make tips," one driver told us at a rally against fare cuts in February. "So it all adds up."

"In its quest to monopolize and dominate, Uber makes workers pay the price," said New York Taxi Workers Alliance spokeswoman Bhairavi Desai, a longtime critic of the app. "Transit workers are facing displacement while Uber drivers are left earning poverty wages."

Several thousand drivers are making a push this summer for an in-app tipping option—an adjustment Uber seems unwilling to entertain. Check out our handy tipping guidelines here.