Plain and simple the taxi industry had a monopoly, got lazy, didn't innovate, and didn't give a shit about their customers. I relish watching them burn down in the same way I enjoy watching Google Fiber trouce it's competition.
Now if drivers want to create an app to compete with Lyft/Uber then more power to them, if they want to run it as a non-profit then great, just as long as their app isn't a buggy/crashing POS then I'll use it but I'm not holding my breath for that to happen. The best I saw from a cab company was a mobile website that asked for your location and allowed you to dispatch a cab after typing a short message. TWICE they never showed and once they didn't even read the message as I had scheduled the cab for a specific time and they showed up 45min early and called to ask where I was...
In much of Western Europe there's less corruption on one end and less acrimony on the other end, so in Spain white-label apps like myTaxi or Cabify proliferated (whereas Uber only offers food delivery), in Denmark and Sweden each taxicab operation runs its own app, which they prominently advertise.
In Eastern Europe the concept of unlicensed unmarked "gipsy taxes" has been around for so long, that there is genuine pressure from voters for more regulation, licensing and safety standards, so any newfangled company that promises to seat you in an unmarked vehicle with dubious safety history will be viewed through negative lens of decades of yet another gipsy cab operator out to make a quick buck.
The primary reason the real disrupting was their attack on legislation by allowing anyone to become a taxi driver.
Here in SP people use it only because of the price (about 30% cheaper than taxi). Uber Black was here for some time and no one never noticed. Only when they came with cheap UberX that people started using.
But taxi lobby fought back hard and Uber is oficially forbidden here until further regulation (unoficially still running though).
Anyway, just to share that here in SP is mostly a price competition. Not much else.
EDIT: Just for curiosity, the two bigger taxi apps in SP
Easy Taxi: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=br.com.easytax...
Taxi drivers assault Uber driver in Brasilia: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&pr...
In Porto Alegre: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&pr...
In Sao Paulo:
Thats the insight here.
Markets optimize for cost. The point at which they will begin to correct for congestion is well after the point of total gridlock (since it costs the driver very little to sit in traffic). You can't drive down fuel costs, so any cost savings have to come from driver salaries and vehicle maintenance. Hopefully the Uber app provides sufficient feedbacks to correct for the market's tendency to drive down those costs, but I tend to doubt it. There is no particularly effective way to provide disincentives for gridlock as far as I'm aware, beyond limiting the number of vehicles allowed on the road. Some countries do this for all personal vehicles already, which may work better than a medallion system, but I doubt it would be popular in the USA.
In Canada it only became true ~80 years ago that most lived in urban areas according to statscan. In the territories it's only reached parity in the last 10 years.
I'm talking about the civilized northern European countries now, of course. In other parts of Europe, Uber is a major disruption because the existing service more resembles the US taxi non-service. Except possibly with even higher risk of being ripped off if you are not local.
In all parts of Europe though, just tapping in an app with automatic payment is more comfortable than calling a phone number.
Uber, on the other hand, worked exceptionally well in Belgium, and in Eastern Europe (e.g. Prague).
They choose Uber because it's reliable, cheap, and convenient.
AT&T held a monopoly during the golden age of Bell Labs, which was one of the most prolific centers of innovation in the 20th century. Google has a de-facto monopoly over search traffic today, and I think they're a genuine innovator — or at least trying to be.
Peter Thiel writes: "Monopolies drive progress because the promise of years or even decades of monopoly profits provides a powerful incentive to innovate. Then monopolies can keep innovating because profits enable them to make the long-term plans and finance the ambitious research projects that firms locked in competition can't dream of." 
I like the idea that only anti-competitive (probably large) institutions can do stable long term projects (space exploration, say). I think it's hard to argue against that claim, really. Highly competitive firms do produce a lot of stuff, so they feel productive, but the pile of new apps that came out in 2015 will not propel us into a more livable world.
But a lot of resources went into the competitive clusterfuck of building them all! Those resources should have been allocated better.
I'd prefer a responsive democratic state to direct the flow of resources and guide long term innovation, instead of a monopoly that trades stewardship of innovation for an upward redistribution of wealth and has zero accountability to anyone outside of it.
 Apparently Thiel used to say "Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser" when he lost at chess. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/11/28/no-death-no-tax....
The article doesn't say so but I think that quote originally comes from Vince Lombardi. http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2010/03/why-the-vince-lo...
Peter Thiel's argument brings to mind similar arguments about billionaire philanthropists such as Bill Gates. Would we be better off if it simply weren't possible to amass such a fortune?
"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."
I understand market is as much of a benefit (competition) as a burden (competition). That said other monopolies ended up sour, Kodak for instance.
1) Every discussion of Uber includes these anecdotal testimonials of great Uber experiences and bad taxi experiences. Anecdotes don't tell us anything useful, and the pattern smells like astroturfing. For what it's worth, I use taxis regularly and find them reliable, pleasant and efficient - but so what?
2) If Uber wins on 10000x better experience, why do they need to invest so much in lobbying, violating the law, and treating drivers poorly? Why are they losing money?
Given that fact, as Uber your potential choices are to either: 1) ignore those laws until you grow large enough to mobilize public support 2) invest in lobbying yourself as a defensive measure 3) do both.
The fact that Uber is lobbying and in some cases outright ignoring laws has little to do with the quality of their product, and a lot to do with the realities of our current legal system.
That describes Uber to me, given that they call their drivers contractors yet tried to prevent them from driving for other firms.
>realities of our current legal system.
I might excuse this if Uber was fighting for some sort of human rights and wasn't a highly funded corporation
(That's just the US, though, can't speak for France, not having researched the market there.)
Taxi in SF was awful, and probably still is. But even there, there were pockets of decent service in the most profitable corners of the city.
In other places it works really well. Sounds like you live in a place like that.
Uber needs to fight the law because the Taxi lobby controls so much of it. In the Game of Crony Capitalism, you lobby or you die.
I take this another SV hubris in trying to look at every problem like they've been working on it for a long time, or have better understanding than the actual people working in that domain for decades.
The only reason Uber like companies can give you those rides for a cheap price is not because there is some magic, or innovation happening there. Its because they are burning billions of that VC money to subsidize your travel, transportation is a very capital intensive business.
The day these companies are subject to the same tax rules as every body else and have to work without those billions in the bank, it will be game over. There is a reason why these airlines, logistics and transportation companies are always scraping from bottom.
Its very hard to run these businesses if you play by fair rules and don't cheat.
This is certainly NOT the case in NYC where I live. Artificial scarcity of taxis was created by the city government by limiting the number of medallions to 13,000 and as a result, taxi medallions had cost $1.2 million. Much of taxi fare went to paying for those $1.2 million medallions. Uber has offered lower fees, offers greener rides and lower still fees through Uber pool where passengers share an Uber than the taxi industry with a rating system so that you know if you are getting a good driver. Now those $1.2 million medallions are worth about $700K and many taxis are now not in use and the taxi companies are declaring bankruptcy.
It is possible that if the government had not created the artificial scarcity by limiting medallions Uber may not have gained traction.
Though medallion sales also aren't worth anything near $15b, anyway -- the 1.2m figure is what medallion sales peaked at. Most sold for significantly less in the past.
Normally very few new medallions come up for auction; the city knows their value is in their scarcity. Though the current budget accounts for some $400m per year from medallion sales, mostly from the continuing rollout of green/boro cabs, which, if coming from the rest of the system instead, would still be a pretty significant fare hike per ride.
While governments may tend to think that way, it's ridiculous to assume that once they have a source of revenue it must never go away. That $15 billion could just go away.
More to the point, they already don't currently derive that level of revenue from taxi medallions; those medallions have already been sold. So the only question is whether they try to invent a new source of revenue by adding targeted taxes on something that isn't currently subject to targeted taxes.
Yes, exactly why the taxi industry has survived despite not innovating. Their protected status (your idea of 'play by fair rules and don't cheat') allowed them to be lazy and not give a shit about their customers.
A journalist thinks, Uber is fair and innovative but a ad blocker is unfair and cheating. Steve Jobs collaborating with other CEO's to drive down programmer salaries is unfair and cheating, while Uber offering the same to drive down driver salaries is perfectly fair to us.
I imagine a job market where companies bid for programmers who would work for least prices. A global kind of a platform which consistently drives our salaries lower.
From one of Raymond Smullyan's books: There was one Japanese diplomatic code the US code-breakers couldn't quite figure out during the war, but they settled on an interpretation of "Pro-Japanese" as a working theory. Years later, one of the US crypt-analysts met a Japanese foreign service member and found out from him that the code meant "sincere."
The problem is not knowledge, it's service. Taxis are a perfect example of regulation and stagnation. The shitty service taxis provide have nothing to do with it being hard to provide a good taxi service. They could have provided a better service, they just have no incentive to, because they were protected.
The regulatory capture that entails means that the industry has no reason to improve service because nobody is allowed to compete with them. That's not "SV hubris", that's basic understanding of big business.
"It's so much more convenient to use an app than a taxi dispatch" - totally true. The taxi industry was definitely lazy. But now most Uber markets also have a competitor to dispatch a taxi by phone (Flywheel, etc).
"The drivers are not (jerks|unsafe|scary|etc)" - at this point half of the smart taxi drivers have gone to Uber, there's not much of a difference in driver quality.
I think the real thing that nobody else can do that Uber does is sell you a cheap ride. Uber is cheaper than a taxi in almost every city (30% in my experience). If taxis were 10% cheaper than Uber, I'd go to Flywheel immediately. How did they achieve this low price? Simple: by ignoring laws, not paying for expensive regulations, and passing more costs on to the driver.
This is not impressive to me. I could think of 10 industries that could easily be 'disrupted' if you add the rule 'You're allowed to ignore all existing laws and regulations'. I could provide you with a $20 massage ... assuming you don't want a licensed massage therapist. How about a $10 light repair ... assuming you don't want a real electrician.
You might respond: "but habosa, who cares? You're getting a good ride at a lower price with more convenience". My frustration comes from the precedent this sets. Uber says that if you have enough VC funding, you can make lawbreaking and regulatory blindness a central pillar of a billion-dollar company. There are a lot of people who have invested in credentials such as taxi medallions (or the equivalent in other industries) because they didn't have a hundred million dollars of VC funding to shake off the lawsuit. And some Uber-like company can come into their space and instantly devalue their investment. I don't believe the ends justify the means because soon there will be an Uber we don't like, and there will be nothing we can do about it.
Au contraire - the rating system put consequences in place for poor driver behavior. Previous to that I had plenty of drivers simply never show or show fabulously late for pre-booked appointments. I don't know if Uber will penalize a driver for taking too long to show, but I know I can with a poor review. Not only will my negative feedback make it to a customer service rep but if enough people also rate him low he's out of the system. There's no equivalent feedback loop in the taxi system.
Totally not my experience. Somehow Uber's rating system has coerced gonzo taxi drivers into sane drivers w/ good customer service. That's the real disruption, IMHO.
But I have a few counterpoints:
1) That's a good argument to adding a rating system to taxis, not trashing the industry entirely.
2) I bet if taxis were much cheaper than an Uber a lot of people would go for the cheaper ride over the better one. Sort of like how UberBlack is so much less popular than UberX.
And it seems that the same is true of Uber itself. It's possible that the existing laws and regulations aren't necessary. People seem to be able to conduct themselves properly without being licensed and bonded. I consistently hear more good things than bad things about Uber, and all of my personal experiences have been positive. Whatever they're doing, it's working.
The same might not be true for an electrician or a massage therapist. As much as I hate to say it (deep breath), the Free Market seems to be sorting this out just fine. I'm not going full libertarian and suggesting we conduct social experiments with the FDA or the fire department. But in some cases, maybe the best way to figure out which regulations are really necessary is to ignore them and see what happens.
As far as The Free Market, I agree 100% that Uber provides a good service. However I feel bad for the people who made investments in the taxi industry by following the law and then had those investments completely devalued by a lawbreaker with good PR.
A ton of america's certifications are not necessary, I'd bet. But the proper method for removing those certifications is not to just ignore them with a fat stack of money. One day that will go wrong.
Tangentally, I think AirBnb will one day get bitten by this. They're gonna have some shady AirBnb burn down without a fire alarm or give a bunch of people an infectious disease and everyone will realize why we have hotel regulation. Again this is another service of which I am a happy customer, but we are playing with fire.
Who gets to decide that? Should I get to break the law because I have $40 billion and want to?
> People seem to be able to conduct themselves properly without being licensed and bonded.
Do you have any data?
Remember, they started as (what's now called) UberBlack, which simply allowed licensed limo drivers to fill in dead spots between requests. And, they had to overcome the barrier of not being able to just flag down a passing taxi.
They also solved a major collective action problem: drivers privately benefited from screening destinations (and races); enforcement of the laws thereagainst were far too spotty, and victims themselves had to bear a disproportionate private cost to testify and make the system work. So Uber/Lyft put a "veil of ignorance" over destinations, ensuring that everyone got a random share of the bad routes. The reputation system also obviated much of the reason for for discrimination against "scary looking" people.
Furthermore, even flouting regulations should tolerated if the provider can accomplish the goals of the regulation (thereby revealing a more efficient way), and it looks like Uber/Lyft have solved the traditional problems of e.g. discrimination, fighting over fares, clogging major pickup locations, drivers being targets of robbery, longhauling, declining credit cards, kidnapping passengers, reliable service and whatever else. If Uber/Lyft were externalizing major costs that the regulations were preventing, it would have shown up by now.
(FWIW, I think they are externalizing a cost in terms of screwing over drivers and bystanders on insurance, but the incidence seems to be rare enough that if they were forced to cover this, it would not significantly impede their business model.)
Well damn right, if all I want is a bulb replaced I don't want some jerk insisting it takes a ticket to read the spec on the bulb.
I want liability insurance for the driver, etc, but all the value-adds that Taxi companies claim to have (see posts in this thread) aren't, to me.
I want to the freedom to choose any qualified driver.
Welcome to America.
It was created by ex-taxi drivers too and every taxi driver I talk to speaks very highly of them and how they manage to satisfy both drivers and passengers. Hopefully they can manage to expand further
However, VTC Cab operates "as a nonprofit association with a membership fee" which is pretty sweet. I'd like to see more platforms operate that way-- either as a non-profit, or as a co-op-- in order to avoid the exploitive nature of platforms like this.
The more substantial part of the grievances that taxi and limo drivers usually have with uber is about prices and the number of participants in the market. That is a negative sum game. Drivers' gains come at the expense of consumers and (often) other drivers.
So it's the people providing the service who bear the brunt of the force of competition. They get paid shit and/or get treated like shit.
From this perspective, a co-op for taxis sounds like a splendid idea for everyone except investors.
People should be focusing on local and national businesses (and things like co-ops) to keep their communities alive. The startups that are celebrated on this website are the antithesis of that mindset.
But, for this dynamic to be more favorable for drivers you need to price fix and/or get drivers out. Either way, it's not the best for consumers. It also seems unlikely to succeed unless they can prevent new drivers from undercutting them on Uber. This is effectively a cartel of some sort, regulating prices and producers.
I'm not against co-ops. In some cases they make sense and maybe this is such a case, but they are not a neutral party. They have their interests and those are not necessarily everyone's best interests. They also will use regulation and/or market power to benefit themselves at others expense, if possible.
The reason I would support a co-op version of Uber over the actual Uber is exactly because that would be an organisation run democratically by it's drivers.
I'd prefer one where customers got a vote too over that as it goes.
But this is why it makes a difference whether it's a corporation, a non-profit, a worker's co-op or a workers-and-customers co-op: Who gets control? Who gets the profit?
Non profit's are marginally better than corporations because at least the few in control can't obviously easily use their power to directly claim it's resources for themselves.
Worker's Co-ops are marginally better than non-profits, because they give democratic powers over the decisions of the organisation to all of the workers, not just the bosses.
Customer Co-ops are marginally better than Worker's Co-ops because the customers also get a vote in that democratic enterprise.
And of course, often, visionary leadership from a single benign dictator that can ignore his customers, his workers, his shareholders and just DO THE RIGHT THING is powerful like dynamite.
Dynamite can be used for good or evil, obviously.
As you said, some things need managing in different ways.
Also: I've never actually used Uber or any of these other apps. I tend to get the bus frankly. The bus timetable apps are great ;)
A 20% of your revenue is a huge deal for any business, and a bigger deal for people in the working class.
> Presumably the fee will not be that far from that 20% cut.
I don't see a reason to presume this. The development and operating costs of the app shouldn't be that high.
> Drivers' gains come at the expense of consumers and (often) other drivers.
And at Uber's expense.
What I mean is, to compete with Uber it's a good idea to build taxi calling platform that all local taxi networks could adopt (and brand to some degree). Same way that Google needed to create open platform that established mobile manufacturers could participate in.
They will eventually adopt it because it brings customers (and they can't adopt Uber), and customers will adopt it because they'll be able to use central platform to call local taxi with all the conveniences of pre-defined destinations and automatic payment.
I think the Uber is successful not because of price achieved by hiring non-professional drivers with their non-professional cars and getting the price down. I think they are successful because you no longer need to talk to the driver or manually pay to get somewhere.
Now that's a misleading title. These guys seems perfectly reasonable, and it is clearly an alternative platform that suits better their own interests than Uber, not something done by an angry mob.
E.g. some hours are much less profitable for Uber drivers - so they set the fare higher and thanks to that you can always find a driver when needed. On the other hand, higher current fare works as an invitation for the new drivers. It auto adjusts to drivers/users availability in given region.
Drivers provide capital goods (a vehicle) and work (as opposed to hiring a bunch of employees which you'd have to pay even if there was no work) and they provide these at a moments notice at Ubers discretion.
If Uber allowed drivers to set their own rates that would initiate a 'race to the bottom' reducing the fares and thus Ubers percentage.
Because it is convenient to make these operators out to be independent entities for legal reasons does not rule out Ubers desire to treat them as unpaid employees for totally different reasons.
From Ubers persective some independence is good, just enough to not assume any responsibilities that go with operating a company like this but too much independence (such as control over the rates) is a bad thing.
The 'new middlemen' have to ride a very fine line here to protect their income stream.
A real free market is simply not in Ubers interest, they would like the prices to stay as high as possible, basically what the market will bear.
Not necessarily, it could easily go both ways as it would create a market for people that want to pay more for "better" drivers.. people with nice cars (teslas and generally expensive automobiles) just to be seen in them or to experience riding in them, drivers that pamper their clients with newspapers, in vehicle entertainment, free water, etc.
So individual drivers may well increase their rates if they're left free to do so.
But the biggest discriminator between getting a lot of fares and not getting fares will be price, not newspapers or free water and I suspect that the majority of the drivers would drop their prices in order to compete with other Uber drivers, rather than with other Taxi companies.
This then takes away control from Uber over their revenue stream and would quickly erode the market. In countries where I've been where cabs were completely de-regulated cab rides were ridiculously cheap because of this effect.
Part of the beauty of the uber experience is that (at least from a UX perspective), it's very very frictionless. You make two, maybe three selections and hit go, and you the car arrives.
That could easily balloon to a pretty large number of elements.
Plus, there clearly is a point where drivers don't find it economical anymore. And it seems from the article, that so far it is Uber who's trying to make rides cheaper.
All great theories, but in practice, history has shown that the thing that drives most situations like this is price, not anything else.
Taxi's I've taken didn't care about anything and I'd sometimes step in some fluid I'd assume was puke from a previous fare and they had no care outside of giving me dirty looks because I only gave a $2 tip on a $10 fare.
Nah, having to own and maintain a fleet of vehicles would bring about similar issues. Uber wants driverless vehicles but they'll want to subcontract to fleet owners (or individuals), not to be on the hook for maintenance and legal issues.
Particularly in emerging markets, one of the biggest appeals that Uber offers is that you don't have to compare prices and haggle with drivers.
Competition benefits consumers, but winning is what most benefits corporations.
Surge pricing aims to balance the supply/demand curve and a consistent experience, resulting in more future rides.
Recent reports about Lyft burning hundreds of millions of dollars in a relatively short amount of time, without gaining much market share most places, shows just how high of barrier there is. Hailo pulled out of all of North America this year for similar reasons. It's just really expensive to try to subsidize your way to competing with the network effect.
Once the user is blindly choosing between providers based solely on price/ETA then the established companies have no advantage anymore and the margins will go to zero just like the airline industry.
Does the app also remove drivers with consistently low ratings from the system? From where I stand, _that_ is the killer feature of Uber. In the early days, I was happy to pay a premium to Uber not to put up with the typical crap you get from cabbies in Los Angeles. For example, swearing the entire duration of a cab ride from LAX to El Segundo or Manhattan Beach because they were hoping to go for a longer ride.
I've never had an Uber or Lyft driver that was anything but pleasant to talk to.
An app that functions much like Uber (handles payments, hailing, logistical things, etc.), has a recognized brand and federated logins (users can travel and use it in different cities, much like they can Uber), but which can be sold to municipalities, counties, and states, as a means for managing their taxi infrastructure. In other words, Uber, but for licensed cabs who manage and publish their own pricing structure through the system.
Now, I'm not suggesting that this would necessarily lead to immediate gains in customer satisfaction, but it avoids creating a monopoly on driver employment, which really bad in the long run, for many reasons. Some of the bad things that can and will happen, if Uber corners the global market (they haven't quite yet):
1. Replace all drivers with self-driving cars, starting with the busiest routes first
2. Raise both fare prices and the percent they charge to drivers (we've seen them experiment with the latter many times)
3. Take (even more) shortcuts to increase profits, at the expense of driver and rider experience, since there is nowhere else to look
So, while Uber makes most taxi companies today look bad (quality, and price in some cases), the situation is not sustainable when they become a monopoly.
I travel as well, and really wish I didn't need to have an entire folder of transportation apps on my phone.
But alas, I have a feeling that many services would not go along with this because of direct competition in the same market area. And some probably just aren't sophisticated enough to publish an API, much less adopt a centralized / standardized interface.
But I can dream.
My local cab coop uses it, and I'm quite happy with it.
So the drivers need to make at least €1,250/month for this model to be better than Uber (for the driver)? Not to mention that it has a higher upfront cost.
Sounds like most drivers would rather pay 20% on whatever they make than pay an upfront fee with no guarantee of revenue.
Don't forget the extra insurance required when you are using your vehicle to transport passengers, commercially. Of course, not many people actually buy it, which is essentially insurance fraud. Don't think so? Call your insurance provider and ask their opinion.
I'm not sure if you could survive long in Paris on a 1250€ fixed wage. Self employed with 1250€ gross revenue, you're not gonna make ends meet.
Also, that is not the ENTIRE personal income, just the income from Uber or the competitor.
True, but customers can and do put up with a terrible product if they have a good reason. Look at things like Napster - that was an appalling product but it had millions of users because it did something people really wanted. In the case of an owner-operated Uber clone, that app could be much worse if people want to support a business owned by their local drivers more than they want the smoother service of Uber.
I have no idea how many people are anti-Uber enough to support a rival whose tech is only, say, 70% as good as Uber, but I wouldn't be that surprised that it'd be enough to work in some regions.
* The fewer drivers you have, the longer ETAs there are.
* The longer ETAs there are, the less drivers earn.
* The less drivers earn, the less drivers there are.
* Rinse and repeat.
For someone operating on multiple platforms, they'll have to go offline when the other app gets a ping. This resets their priority, and really just results in a multi-operating driver getting 80-90% of their pings in the busiest app.
It's easy to tell them apart. Which team has a properly restful API available to the public.
It's a litmus test. Obviously your milage may vary but I've taken more Uber per month than I have taxis per year before Uber came to Stockholm. They made it so available.
Something I would have experimented with is price being a query parameter instead of a nested route.
Though I appreciate the proper verb usage and not seeing shit like post /v1/bookCar GET /v1/getCars
If Uber becomes the dominant service, which due to the network effect would be the only place to find customers/drivers, what will they do to their workers?
There's no reason to think Uber will, out of the goodness of their hearts, do any less than use their full market power to take as much as possible from their workers.
It'll be interesting to see if the zero-commission model works for them though - The 20% Uber takes is actually fairly reasonable (and much less than what a traditional taxi company takes from their drivers) when you consider CC fees & Collections, customer support costs, customer acquisition costs, marketing, etc is all covered by that. Uber is spending huge amounts of money on growing the customer base (which is good for drivers as they have a liquid market of ride requests coming in all the time), and a service like this will most likely not be able to invest as much in that since they don't have the commission and investment to pay for it.
That sounds a tad bit less (even assuming 250K, to account for "more than") considering it includes salaries for >2 app developers, hardware/AWS costs and marketing costs which seem to include Google and Facebook ads. What am I missing here?
Direct link: http://taxistartup.com/
The common thinking of "oh, it's in the app store, now I can sit back and relax" is ludicrous.
(2) the technical wherewithal to use them
(3) actually would consider doing so in a cab?
Bitcoins are exactly the opposite of credit cards, they are far from instant and it's more then a swipe/touch/insert + a pin, signature or even nothing.
The VTC app should also implement the equivalent of Uber pool which is greener than regular taxis while being able to offer customers even lower rates while improving driver income.
NYC does have a taxi app for e-hailing called Arro which is able to compete with Uber when Uber uses "Surge pricing" since the taxis don't charge surge pricing.
What bothers me most is how the OS vendors are asleep at the wheel, again. These kinds of services - "I am [here] and want [blah]" - are broadly applicable. "Word"-"Summoning" apps are a dime a dozen. Shouldn't this be a builtin by now?
But they don't get the huge 20% commission on the ride? Well that's amazing.
Also looking at how much it cost them to maintain the app, if they have 1000 drivers subscribing for just a month they already have reached a turn over.
I just hope it offers the same kind of experience Uber does: drivers are ranked, and thus can't act like taxi drivers.
PS: in Romania the rate/km is written on the cab. Even similar taxis can have very different rates. Most people don't see that and get screwed afterwards. In Vietnam they use fake counters and increase the price x10. I welcome any solutions to these problems (and Uber is def. one)
On Halloween, I saw this older Uber driver pick up/take home one groups of drunks, and idiots all night. This driver had a black Uber approved SUV. One passenger insisted on taking a 10 foot tree branch home to her destination. She tried to stuff it into his new SUV, and ripped the headliner. The driver offered her water. She then told the driver if he didn't get her home, with her light saber she would leave him a bad review. He let her hold the branch outside the SUV. Her light saber was scratching the new paint.
Passengers shouldn't be able to leave any remarks, unless their was a major problem with the ride. People have gotten way to finicky, and think they have a right to review every aspect of this sharing economy.
While I watched this guy smile, and open doors; I thought how would I handle these people. I think it would be along the line, "Get in this 4 door Uber approved chariot--that I'm still trying to pay off. Shut the F--- up, and I'll take your drunk a-- home. If you keep quiet, I won't throw the mineral water at you."
I guess I wouldn't get a good review?
You're one time anecdote won't replace my manes rides with french taxi drivers who behave like thugs. I don't know about the rest of the world, but here in France people were pretty happy about Uber mostly because of the way taxi drivers behave.
On several occasions in Avignon, I pre-paid for taxi service to the train station and during the first instance, the guy never showed, the second instance the car arrived 30 minutes late. Still attempting to get the refund.
I've used Uber all over the world and never once have I had issues like this. I have no sympathy for taxi drivers. They don't care about me when a freelance client wants to underpay me, nor do I expect them to. I'm a big boy. If some business condition arises that affects my livelihood, I don't go set fire to the Prefecture, I adapt.
Driving a car for money is still a thing. Supply and demand exists. Thus the market can solve this. The taxi crowd wants to distort the market to protect their fiefdom. While that helps the special interest, it harms the overall public.
The problem is that taxi drivers bought their license for tens of thousands of euros thinking they could resell it for the same price or more later.
Wait what? Are there that many business that have security cameras recording the office at all time?