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The Uber Debate


Spaceman Spiff

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Kind of surprised there hasn't been a thread on this, but this debate has really picked up steam over the past week:

 

Read up:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2014/06/05/virginia-officials-order-uber-lyft-to-stop-operating-in-the-state/

 

https://news.vice.com/article/taxi-drivers-are-trying-to-take-down-uber

 

IMO, there's not really much room for debate.  If you've used the service, you've probably liked it.  What's not to like?  Pull out your phone, open the app, order a ride and it shows up within 5-10 minutes without fail.  I've used it quite a few times, never had an issue with it.  

 

The notion that they're operating without a permit or are regulated hasn't crossed my mind once and I really don't care, nor does anyone else I know who've enjoyed the service.  The fact that the WSJ has come out and said that the company is worth 18.2 billion right now shows that....no one else really seems to care, they just want a good service.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbertoni/2014/06/06/uber-ceo-kalanick-likely-a-billionaire-after-18-2-billion-valuation/

 

Cab companies haven't had any real significant competition and now they're crying foul. 

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I've never used Uber but it seems like a cool concept and I've heard people typically get good service. Whereas cabs are miserable. I agree with Zoony's point, but at the same time would be just fine with the cab companies dying a quick death.

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Uber/Lyft being unregulated is problematic. But there is clearly a huge market demand for what they do. I don't think regulating them the same as cab companies is necessarily right, because they are different. But there definitely should be some regulation, insurance requirements, vehicle inspections, background checks, safety requirements, etc. Cab company regulations might also be broken in a lot of cities. Sounds like that's the case in Boston with that medallion situation.

The market demand for new transportation services isn't going away either. The number of people who don't own vehicles/don't drive is going to go up, so that alone will create demand for different types of transportation services. And people don't want to drive drunk. How many cities actually have cabs that people like?

Things like Uber are probably here to stay. New technology opens up new markets. The solution is to craft and implement sensible, appropriate regulations for the industry. Regulations focused solely on protecting the public, not simply kowtowing to a taxi industry that people are clearly unsatisfied with. But that's probably much, much easier said than done.

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It sounds like uber found a better way to provide quickly scheduled taxi service.  An easy alternative to running around in the street waving your arms around hoping to win a cabbies support.  A way that also technically avoids unions and government leeches.  

 

... and the government and unions are now demanding they stop?  Unthinkable!  I would have expected them to welcome this with bright eyes and open arms.  

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It sounds like uber found a better way to provide quickly scheduled taxi service.  An easy alternative to running around in the street waving your arms around hoping to win a cabbies support.  A way that also technically avoids unions and government leeches.  

 

... and the government and unions are now demanding they stop?  Unthinkable!  I would have expected them to welcome this with bright eyes and open arms.  

Yes, they found a way by ignoring government regulations.

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I have used Uber a few times and really liked it.  Listen the Cab service in the DC area is AWFUL and extremely expensive.  Obviously, a cheaper, more reliable service will reign supreme.  However, I do somewhat agree that they should have some sort of regulation.  All it takes is one kidnapping or violent episode for Uber's reputations to go down.

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  • 1 month later...

I used Uber for the first time this past weekend in Chicago.  It was great.  Short wait time, came right to our door, very friendly and it was way cheaper than taking a cab.  If I drove a cab I would definitely be worried. 

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The cab drivers being arrogant dicks about cash is the #1 reason I take Uber now. I get that cash gives them more of a profit. I try my best to always pay with cash whenever I have it on me and I take a cab. But sometimes you just don't have it. I literally had a 10 minute argument with a cab driver last year because even though he told me he had a card machine when I entered his cab, he somehow didn't have it anymore once we arrived at my destination.

 

I have had one bad Uber experience and it was because the cab driver didn't take the correct route. And Uber compensated me back because they were able to check the route he took.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Uber is great.  The reason that cab companies have to be licensed and regulated is because the service they provide used to be the only game in town and therefore they ****ed everyone over.  Uber is a private company that people can choose to use or not use, there isnt the same need for regulation.  

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I don't feel bad for cab companies.  Antiquated model and service falling behind.  New service comes in that is safer, more convenient and cheaper.  Capitalism worked, what's the problem? 

 

The only place where I've had cool cab drivers is New Orleans.  Every Uber driver I had last month I had long World Cup discussions with.

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