I’d happily pay more for it (and usually go for select or black when I can). I tip where I can. I don’t like Uber’s bro culture and wish Lyft would get better and broader coverage. But Uber is on to something big.
UberEATS I can take or leave as others have comparable experiences (Skip the Dishes, DoorDash, etc).
Eh. Lyft provides essentially the same feature set. Here in NYC we also have Juno and Gett. The point is not that Uber is bad, but that it's utterly replaceable. The one plus they do have is their presence in so many cities around the world, and while that is a benefit, I'm not convinced it's enough - I don't think that many people travel that often that it can keep the company competitive.
It's enough in all those markets/countries where there is no viable alternative to Uber. Here in Australia the main competitor would be GoCatch but, while it's a very good app for calling taxis, the "private car / ridesharing" service is still in its infancy.
Another field where Uber has no competitors thanks to its international presence is international travellers: when overseas, most people are obviously going to use Uber since it's a huge hassle to do your research and then sign up to local alternatives every time you travel.
Or we just use a taxi in the many cities where there is decent taxi service. I travel to London a fair bit and rarely bother with using Uber there.
In Kiev, for example, very few of the taxi drivers speak English, and I don't speak Russian. Uber is both extremely easy to use there, there is no issue with the language barrier, and it is absurdly cheap (from my US perspective).
I tried to sign up for Ola in India to try it out, but that was impossible without an Indian cell phone number
Uber really shines for international travelers
Drivers can be paid for delivering lost items, and the process is kicked off without the need for customer service staff.
Lyft had no infrastructure fpr this, and relied on Zendesk and customer service reps to facilitate the delivery.
There was no function for paying the driver, the item was delivered days later because i had to wait for someone to answer a Zendesk ticket, and even then there was no way for the rep to set up proxy calls between me and the driver.
There are other reasons to suggest that Lyft lacks technological expertise, but this is a perfect example of a feature that is well considered by Uber and not considered at all by Lyft.
I'd love to support Lyft more, but I am forced to use a substandard product in order to do so.
I keep hearing Uber is replaceable, but no one has really done it yet. This strikes me as underestimating how hard it has been to pull off what they’ve done.
Just Juno, now . (Gett acquired Juno and retired the former's brand in New York.) My personal favorite. Prediction: Juno will pass Lyft in 2018, in New York City, to become Uber's No. 2.
I was with another person, and we tried hailing a taxi, but none of them bothered to pick us up, so we gave up and ordered an Uber. Once we were in the uber, we were able to split the fare with no issues at all.
And the taxi drivers wonder why people prefer Uber.
I helped him sign up for Uber, and I don't think he's ever taken a taxi again.
Uber may be a shitty company in a lot of ways, but they do what they say they do, and they do it well. Every bad experience I've had has swiftly and appropriately dealt with.
Yes it's technically illegal, no there is no one enforcing that.
Uber/Lyft come along and create an incentive structure where the driver can't discriminate even if they want to, and everybody wins.
There are real benefits to what ride-sharing companies have been able to accomplish.
I don't think I would I have moved to LA without Uber and Lyft.
I watch eagerly to see the complete demise of taxis in SF, I hate them with a passion.
The taxi dispatch system is perverse, because riders will take a street hail if one shows up before the dispatched taxi. Because of that, dispatched taxi will take any street hail they pass on the way to their intended pickup. So, riders call competing dispatchers, taking the first to arrive and guaranteeing at least one driver is wasting their time and gasoline. So, many drivers disobey the dispatcher, etc. Etc.
I tried this a few times. I had a cab scheduled to take me to the airport. They didn’t show. I called, they said I never scheduled anything but could have a car there within an hour. That would make me miss my flight. My wife drove me and was late to work. I tried calling the city and the cab company said “we have no record.” And that was the end. Even though I had a call record showing I called the cab company the day before. Nothing happened except about an hour of me on the phone, two letters and a lot of frustration.
Another time, a cab in NY ran over my foot and broke some bones. Despite a police report, the cab company denied that it was them and never paid. They self insure (per NY rules) with a law firm. Seriously, not an insurer, a law firm. They denied claim. NY taxi commission received my complaint and did nothing.
The reality is that the laws are pretty useless as they aren’t / can’t be enforced.
I also tried reporting when thit driver was different than the license shown. Nothing happened.
I have a bunch of these stories over the decades of using taxis.
Uber is much better because they log everything and actually care about their customer. That’s why if I must trade, I’d rather take the extremely small chance of being raped or harasssed and the driver definitely being caught and convicted than a taxi.
Uber can ferry passengers around for cheap because some VC is pumping money into the company through a firehose. Take out the VC money, lets see how many Uber drivers will drive 80% below minimum wage to provide services.
Its easy to blame the regular taxi drivers. How many people here on this forum would take huge salary cuts to add profits to somebody else's wallet?
But it's easy to blame the regular taxi drivers because they are completely at fault. They could have increased the number of taxis, but they thought having a monopoly would make them richer. They could have provided better service, but they didn't want to. Now they have true competition, and their way of life is being erased because they don't want to admit that they are at fault.
I'm glad that ridesharing, be it Lyft or Uber or whoever else comes up, has destroyed the taxi industry. It's a great example of how fragile a monopoly is and how terrible service gets perpetuated by monopolies and lazy people.
And that will increase the supply of taxis and dilute wages. We are in a time, when even doctors control the supply of their kind so that they can have profitable careers.
>>Now they have true competition, and their way of life is being erased because they don't want to admit that they are at fault.
They have no competition. Unless Uber finds another set VCs to raise another $10 billion or so. And then VCs should be ok to not see a dollar of profit in return. Or Uber will have to raise its rates higher than regular taxis, and of course severely restrict the supply(You can't raise rates, with a oversupply of vehicles). Either option creating a system worse than taxi medallions.
In India that was never true, ever. The regular taxis existed, and Auto Rickshaws eat their lunch big time. Of course if you are ready to pay good money there will always be a service for you.
>>The most significant factor is not the price, it's the service.
And service comes with price. And price matters because for anything to scale the price has to be agreeable to a mass audience.
>>Taxi's do not come anywhere close to the simplicity, reliability, and comfort that Uber/ride-sharing apps deliver.
Sure. Very soon they have to turn in profits. We will see how much of that they can provide for a profit margin of something like 10-25 rupees per ride.
Walking down the path of anarchy and replacing millions of already modestly paid jobs worldwide with even worse jobs, just because Uber provides a better app (an app!), and better service through constant reviews, is not an answer. Don't forget that Uber subsidizes their fares via the wonders of Silicon Valley venture finance. Once they have a monopoly, those prices will go up.
The taxi industry is ripe for changes, but I think few of us would like to be receive personal reviews 40 times a day, and see our already modest income and job security cut even further as we are forced to become independent contractors.
The answer might very well be ensure that the existing taxi companies can use similar apps (which is banned in many cities) and to provide easier access for new companies to compete with the existing taxi companies. In a not so distant future, self driving cars will also be a reality. But I'd rather suffer with the so-so service of the existing taxi industry than hand it all over to a few Silicon Valley billionaires.
Ultimately, the customer is the point of business - we should not be “suffering” anything. I do agree that government should be able to slow down capitalist disruption for regulation and to preserve obsolete jobs for enough time to let the social impact get somewhat sorted out. But there have been jurisdictions where the incumbents are hopeless and cling to government regulation BECAUSE they’re hopeless (see SF’s taxis)
So, it’s important to have the ability to challenge old industries and assumptions, and force a change in how people work. I don’t buy the argument that Uber is successful because it subsidizes fares. That certainly helps, but is not sustainable. It is a better service, period. One hopes it leads the way to a sustainable business for its workers and itself, or at least enables a successor to do so.
I also LIKE that there is an institution funding a mission to provide a consistent, better ride service everywhere, and secondarily encourages change to these taxi laws which in many cases are corrupt and have been decried for decades (medallions!). It is also refreshing to be able to get the near-same experience in Austria, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia, US, and Canada with no extra work on my part as a customer.
This disruption has a name: Software is eating the world (cf. Andreesen). It’s a good and bad thing. I’m don’t think it can or should be stopped. I agree with the argument that we should be careful in just allowing a global bunch of valley (and Seattle) bros dictate our future. I’d love to see competition. Uber (like its founder) was overzealous in its contempt for government, to its own detriment. It’s a balancing act to build a business model that challenges bullshit laws (good) but maintains respect for local governance (also good).
I also think the new CEO is fixing the broken culture there, which had me stop using Uber for shout 6 months while Travis was clinging to life as CEO.
Secondly, many of us decry regulations. But it seems to me that Uber's dream of people not owning cars and relying on Uber is not going to happen without some regulations. Case in point:
And today, a coalition of companies—including Lyft, Uber, and Zipcar—officially announced that they were signing on to a 10-point set of “shared mobility principles for livable cities”—in other words, industry goals for making city transit infrastructure as pleasant, equitable, and clean as possible. Some of the 10 statements, like “we support people over vehicles,” are vague but positive. But the final one speaks loudly about what city roads of the future could look like: “that autonomous vehicles (AVs) in dense urban areas should be operated only in shared fleets.”
This point keeps getting made, but their cut is ~25%. The driver is getting ~75%. For it to be fundamentally unsustainable, it'd have to be impossible to run the entirely administrative / virtual side of the business on 25%, which is difficult to believe.
It might be true if Uber was simply a marketplace bringing together drivers and riders through their platform. Both could then agree on a price and Uber collecting 25% irrespective of the agreed price. Something like ebay. That is not true for Uber or any other ride platform.
Not only Uber brings two parties together it also sets the pricing terms. So today if drivers want a higher price or rider wants to a pay a lower price, neither can do that and have to abide by Uber's rule.
So, when someone says the rides are underpriced that means Uber is setting pricing terms which are lower than existing market. A $20 Uber ride might be actually worth $30. Drivers put up with a lowered cut because
a. Lot of people do this for extra cash on the side. and
b. Uber's incentive schemes - do x ride and get extra money.
So drivers are happy.
While as a customer, I pay significantly lower which make me happy.
While Uber foots the $10 difference for the sake of building an audience.
But, with price corrections things might change.
No. I'm saying other factors affect their profitability, and that it's very difficult to believe that a company that weren't spending dramatically in other areas couldn't be profitable by just running the SaaS platform for a 25% cut.
The rest of your post suggests a misunderstanding of how markets work. If they're getting drivers voluntarily choosing to work for them for the rates they're paying (including in competitive markets), that rate can't be too far from the market rate.
So the only way the prices could be subsidized is if the rest of the cost of the ride can't be done in the ~25% they're charging... but of course it can. That's a huge cut for administrative costs, accepting payments, and running a SaaS app.
For someone to compete with Uber, they'll have to offer better service (which will be tough) or better prices (which will be lower). There's no reason to believe some bubble is going to pop and Uber prices will increase dramatically overnight. People have been saying this for years but I don't see how it's any more than wishful thinking.
Or does it imply they're likely spending a lot of money on development, expansion, and breaking into new markets (like Uber Eats)?
It's usually good though last time I tried using it the app insisted on moving the pickup point from where I'd put the marker (by the road) to the middle of the pedestrianised complex. I thought ok whatever, called the Uber and then it headed to the wrong side of the complex with no road access and I had to cancel and run for a regular cab to not miss my flight. They didn't use to do that - I guess moving the pickup to some other location is a new 'improvement'.
You must be rich. Most people aren't. I see people rushing to work for their shifts in Uber all the time, because its cheap. Most of Uber's customers are in this category.
Cost is all there is. I will take a crappy service at a low price, than amazing service at a higher price. Also I'm only using the cab for a few minutes, I'm not exactly getting married to the cab, to worry that much about these things.
Premium services and products succeed across all economic backgrounds and countries because people aspire for better service. See Apple. See Las Vegas (which has been moving upscale for decades). The auto industry. People pick and choose where they save their money and spend their money based on the relative benefits they want.
I don't know and don't claim to say that this explains Uber's success, but it explains why I use Uber despite its notoriety.
Line just seems abysmal during peak hours, where I actually reinstalled Uber just to commute. Multiple times last month, when leaving Caltrain to go home, the Lyft would leave the awful gridlock that happens around 4th street, then a passenger would be added, and the driver would have to turn around to pick up that person at Caltrain and we would all have to sit through traffic again. One of those rides took 30 minutes for what is normally an 11 minute line ride. In the morning, Line tends to choose the strangest drivers (some that are 15 minutes away) which always leads to me guessing which train I'll be able to catch.
When I first switch to Uber (for my commutes), the most surprising thing is they recognized my street is one-way and had the driver pick me up on the adjacent street. Lyft drivers are almost always routed all the way around the block.
I will continue using Lyft when I can (their support team has been really good, and I tend to prefer Lyft drivers), but I was a bit surprised by the small differences in routing. It really challenges my thoughts on Uber/Lyft/XYZ being truly interchangeable.
Driving for Uber may be a second/additional job for many people, but I have never had an Uber driver seem like it was a super casual thing they do for a few extra bucks.
There is almost no reason for a Lyft driver to also not do Uber for maximum earnings potential. Uber on the other hand has enough volume that drivers can operate at a max efficiency without the hassle of managing and switching statuses across multiple apps.
Many times, I am paired with a driver 10 minutes away even though there are multiple cars less than 2.
It's interesting that UberEats reached 4B gross revenue run-rate, which according to the article means food delivery is 10% of their business. Seems like that's pretty significant given how recent UberEats is and how many competitors they have in the space. Why is UberEats better than Grubhub, for example?
Like someone else in here pointed out - they 2x'd revenue and 1.5x'd costs - which is actually great to see. If they keep that kind of trend going with revenue growth, they'll have an incredible business on their hands.
Of course, there are hurdles along the way, but if they did that in 2017 with all that turmoil, then I think they'll do fine under Dara's leadership which seems promising so far.
I haven't used GrubHub myself, but my experience with DoorDash has been considerably rockier than with UberEats. They get the order wrong often or fail to show up and you can't always order from the restaurant for immediate delivery.
100% yes to all of these and I've ordered uber eats just shy of 100 times now. The customer support has been especially surprising as a few of orders have mixed with other people's a few times (so i got a completely different order) and I got too keep the food and got my money back.
Granted, when they first started where I live, ALL delivery fees were waived so I could order a 5 dollar meal with no delivery fee, then they changed it to $30+ orders were free delivery, and now all orders have fees based on distance + surcharge so I don't order as much as I used too.
I still use uber eats every once in a while as it is generally cheaper than other delivery services since tips are not expected and the cheapest delivery fees are currently 2.50$
By comparison, Postmates has had issues with delivery every time I've tried it. Usually, it comes down to a lack of drivers in my area, which isn't ever the case with Uber.
Expending huge amounts of money to grow is actually normal, Microsoft had billion dollar losses trying to market their Microsoft Surface in an Apple-saturated market and are currently now profiting from their heavy losses in the past; you can't really see the past until you're in the future.
The real question, I thought, is: are losses per sale decreasing? If not, and if we need to see a significant price increase per ride before things can get better, I sort of wonder if the only thing the taxi industry needed to do to prevent this all from happening was develop a ride-hailing app which tracked your car and gave you the price ahead of time.
There's no way the taxi industry could have pulled this off. There's an incredibly complex dispatch system that keeps wait times and prices low, and hundreds of millions invested in incentives to create a new consumer behavior. The long term future hinges on the self-driving, hard to imagine the taxi industry being on the forefront of this tech.
Doesn't seem to be that hard.
There's no way the taxi industry could have pulled this off. They're bound by their country's labor laws.
This idea that the price is unsustainable is just wishful thinking by opponents.
Here in Melbourne, Australia the only alternative that seems to exist is "GoCatch": which just books a normal taxi for you. The drivers don't have a clue about it, and often end up asking for payment (when it's all handled in the app).
When visiting Vietnam, I've found no alternative to Uber that works.
GoCatch has ride-sharing options since February 2016 (that's two years). While I can't state accurately to today's figures, there was akin to 350,000+ unique passengers last time I poked around.
In ASEAN/AP region, Grab is huge. It's founder is from the region (Malaysia) and arguably bigger than Uber in most countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and yes, Vietnam: https://www.grab.com/vn/en/
I just opened the app now; I can't see the option? (what am I looking for?)
> In ASEAN/AP region, Grab is huge
Ah. I forgot about Grab. I think I saw some media about them, but can't say I know anyone that has tried them.
Selecting 'Economy' car type puts you in a ride share, Taxi and Maxi are taxi-related rides, Premium is hire cars or Uber.
Ride types and the monikers given have been a natural evolution in the industry. Even for most folks, when they say 'Uber' they're likely referring to 'UberX' not a hire car premium experience.
Grab's massive! Unless you're deep in the country, you might not have known but it's actually pretty big. Quote from CNBC from June 2017: "Grab facilitates as many as 2.5 million rides each day, making it the largest ride-hailing platform in Southeast Asia with over 930,000 drivers in 55 cities and seven countries. In the past six months alone, daily rides have more than doubled."
Steve Yegge famously just joined them after leaving Google/Amazon, a great blog read if you're curious about their culture, mission.
Often UberPool in the $3-4 range are now about $5-6.
Somehow the part about the record loss disappeared from the title.
Edit: replaced profit with revenue. Uber is not currently profitable.lol.
A small part of me probably prefers Uber also because the anti-Uber rhetoric in the press and "progressive" social media contacts is largely substance-less.