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Is that really the case in the US?

At least in Germany, my standard way of getting a cab (wherever I want) was calling one of the dispatch centres.

Taxi-hailing apps made this slightly more convenient, and displaying the cab's route to you removed some stress, but it didn't fundamentally alter the service.

And Uber really doesn't add any value except for undercutting prices by subsidising the rides via investors and shovelling risk etc. onto the drivers.

In my area of the US, calling dispatch would get you a ride only when things are not busy whatsoever. Once there is any level of demand, the service will send the call to the fleet but no one is required to fulfill it.

Wow! That makes Taxis largely useless, IMHO.

I think about 99.9% of my taxi use has been call-ahead, often a day before ("I need a cab to the airport at 9am tomorrow").

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