Uber Taxi: What do you actually think about it?

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FoRiZon

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Recently, Taxi unions at Paris going full riot over Ubers Pop Service. Its main concerns because of Uber decision not to pay taxes. Previously, several countries are also banned Uber. Whetever the same case or different such as the kidnapping on India or dirty business practices on several American cities.

Personally, what do you think about Uber? Do you actually uses one? Do you have an opinion about it?

Personally, its a generous service, if it just follows regulations, paid taxes, and more communication to the existing union :)
 
11,366
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I'm no expert, but Uber sounds like a better alternative than the children in taxi drivers' clothes who were dropping cinderblocks on passing Uber cars.
 

prisonermonkeys

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I'm no expert, but Uber sounds like a better alternative than the children in taxi drivers' clothes who were dropping cinderblocks on passing Uber cars.
Sound logic.

Unless, of course, you're a passenger in one of the Uber cars being targeted with cinderblocks.
 

Liquid

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Are we talking about Uber the company or taxi apps in general?

The taxi app for Bratislava is great. It's nice to have an affordable taxi; any taxi hanging around outside a bar or on a street corner is there only to rip off tourists. Nobody local will ever get one. Nobody.
 

Brend

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The whole "shared economy" ideal Uber Taxi and similar companies like AirBnB aim to offer are simply to open up cheaper alternatives to industries which lead the way in ridiculous over-pricing. I can understand why hotels and cabbies are disillusioned but at the end of the day, It's the un-neccessary price hikes that have forced people to use alternative means.
 

FoRiZon

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Are we talking about Uber the company or taxi apps in general?

The taxi app for Bratislava is great. It's nice to have an affordable taxi; any taxi hanging around outside a bar or on a street corner is there only to rip off tourists. Nobody local will ever get one. Nobody.
Uber as a whole, basically.
 

Dotini

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I don't have a strong opinion, since I don't use taxis.

But, in my community, the heavily regulated taxi industry is harmed, and some customers of these cheaper, less regulated ride-shares are sometimes subjected to harrowing experiences.
 

Beeblebrox237

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I've used uber and it works very well. It's convenient and fast, and as long as you don't call for one at the wrong time it's pretty cheap.
 

Joey D

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Uber is great, here in Grand Rapids it's fairly difficult to get a taxi unless you are downtown. I tend to use Uber as my designated driver when I want to go out for the night and drink. I can understand why cab drivers might be upset about it, but Uber is a better business model and most of the time cheaper, cleaner, and with nicer vehicles.
 
10,511
Australia
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I_IGrayfoxI_I
Taxi companies are complaining about it because they do not want competition, If they really want customers to use their taxi company they should be cheaper.
Taxis in australia where I am still use V6 Ford Falcons even though they could be running on LPG a V6 is still a V6, so it will still use a lot of fuel.

A more smaller eco car will make running costs cheaper and that should make the cost of using it cheaper for the customer.

Plus they say it is not regulated and it is bad for the customer.

Yet we always hear stories about how taxi drivers take longer routes, use night fares(more expensive than day fares) during the day, as well as adding other fees.
But this is "OK"
 

FoolKiller

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Uber and Lyft are not yet in my area but I know plenty of people who use Uber. Everyone has liked it.

The system works well if you, as a customer, do your reviews. As I understand it, Uber has pretty strict rules on how poorly drivers can be reviewed before they are dumped. Similarly, a customer who gets regular bad reviews is unlikely to find a driver willing to help them. It is also safer for the drivers, as it is a cashless business. With no physical money changing hands there is nothing to steal.

As for the supposed dirty business practices in American cities, between multiple podcasts, articles, and personal acquaintances I have only heard of one bad experience, and that was the drunk customer puking all over the driver's car.

I personally believe this shared economy thing is a great thing for economic freedom and is tearing down the expensive regulatory hurdles that large businesses have to protect them. I've heard insane tales of how much a taxi medallion can cost to buy one from another driver. According to USA Today a medallion in Chicago is $270,000, after reaching a high of $357,000 last year. How can anyone compete in the taxi industry when you need a quarter to a third of a million dollars just to be allowed to drive one car? How can consumers receive good service when competition is locked out and the taxi fees have to cover that kind of start up cost?

I can see large cities, who benefit from the taxi industry themselves, doing everything they can to restrict or block Uber. But in more open areas where public transportation is not a necessity and is the exception, not the rule, they will flourish. Politicians in those areas don't have a giant taxi lobby to support them, but risk angering every drinker who votes.

Ultimately, anything that reduces drunk driving rates is a good thing. Nosey politicians can try to get in my business all they want, but they will have to explain to me how less drunk driving, less accidents, and less deaths is dangerous. I think of some of the tragic tales hear about drunk driving accidents and I wonder if they would have changed their behavior if they had a better alternative to a taxi.
 
8,912
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In my experience, it's vastly better service for better rates. It's the good side of capitalism. Taxi companies will have to work hard to stay relevant, and that's a good thing.
 
906
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What do I think of UBER? its long overdue...whats even better is the fact it has government's the world over running scared as its a better market alternative to a government monopoly.
 

CinnamonOD

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Used it already: It's amazing. Drivers are nice, they wear decent clothing, they don't take any alternate roads to increase the fare (And those things are not fixed to increase the fare) and you feel safe inside one.

On the other hand, the normal cab drivers, it is exactly the opposite, and it doesn't help that there are a lot of clone units used to kidnap people (I've seen 4 different cars with the same number).
 
3,679
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My university is just outside the area that uber registered taxis tend to drive around :( , however I think the idea is brilliant. So many times this year have taxi drivers ripped us off late at night, and even one time drove a mate 5 miles in the wrong direction before kicking him off (Mate told the driver "I only have a tenner, take me as far towards Warwick Uni as you can" ).

The industry is difficult to create competition in as there are so many taxis with little to nothing to differentiate between then when choosing which to get in at the taxi rank, however uber has created some much needed differentiated competition.
 
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In my experience, it's vastly better service for better rates. It's the good side of capitalism. Taxi companies will have to work hard to stay relevant, and that's a good thing.

This. It seems to me that established taxi and private-hire companies (differing things in the UK) don't like Uber because it's a sensible rate for a good service, something that many existing companies aren't well known for. They like to emphasise the occasions when Uber drivers are engaged in nefarious activity so that we know how bad Uber drivers are as people.
 
8,912
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Marin County
This. It seems to me that established taxi and private-hire companies (differing things in the UK) don't like Uber because it's a sensible rate for a good service, something that many existing companies aren't well known for. They like to emphasise the occasions when Uber drivers are engaged in nefarious activity so that we know how bad Uber drivers are as people.

Taxi companies in the US have the worst, most belligerent customer service I have ever experienced in any industry. Notice I didn't say "some of the worst" I said actually "the worst." I would rather go to the DMV than call up a Taxi company.
 

Shaun

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V6 Ford Falcons

A what?

Totally agree the taxi industry here though needs a shake up. Haven't used Uber so not sure about it.

One concern I have here though is the differences in vehicle registrations, I'd assume an Uber driver will have his car correctly registered (ie no just privately registered) for insurance purposes and the like.
 
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10,511
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I_IGrayfoxI_I
A what?

Totally agree the taxi industry here though needs a shake up. Haven't used Uber so not sure about it.

One concern I have here though is the differences in vehicle registrations, I'd assume an Uber driver will have his car correctly registered (ie no just privately registered) for insurance purposes and the like.

Large Sedans.

Also seen Mitsubishi Magnas.

I can understand the need for a large vehicle when taking a large group from one place to another, but these days you can get cars like Honda Civics, Accord, Hyundai I20, I30 that are very fuel efficient.
Heck in a CBD they can even get a hybrid to help reduce fuel when they are stuck in traffic.
 

Famine

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Personally, what do you think about Uber? Do you actually uses one? Do you have an opinion about it?

idontcar2.jpg

That said, if someone has a more attractive and competitive way of doing things than you do, you must adapt or die. Calling for it to be banned because you can't be bothered to adapt is moronic.
 
10,511
Australia
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I_IGrayfoxI_I
Um being from Victoria I know very well what a Ford Falcon is.
It was the V6 part I was questioning as they are straight sixes.

I thought they were V6s

V6, I6, F6

Same thing to me
 

FoolKiller

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Calling for it to be banned because you can't be bothered to adapt is moronic.
In some cases adapting doesn't work because the legal barrier to entry is so high. Uber gets around a lot of taxi laws because it is people using their personal vehicles to give someone a ride for a pre-agreed price. If Uber drivers had to face the same restrictions in a city like Chicago they would need $270,000 just to get the medallion, and that is if you can get them, as they are limited in number and can be passed down as an inheritance.

Uber changed the business model enough to get around current regulations. A taxi company can't adapt and still be a taxi company.
 

Famine

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In some cases adapting doesn't work because the legal barrier to entry is so high.
Then it's the law that needs to adapt to allow competition...
Uber gets around a lot of taxi laws because it is people using their personal vehicles to give someone a ride for a pre-agreed price.
That sounds quite a lot like private hire cabs - or a minicab. They are also privately-owned vehicles and, unlike taxis (in the UK at least), they must be prebooked and cannot pick people up on the street like taxis do.

Though they can also have meters in them, so there isn't a pre-agreed price.
If Uber drivers had to face the same restrictions in a city like Chicago they would need $270,000 just to get the medallion, and that is if you can get them, as they are limited in number and can be passed down as an inheritance.
I don't really know what a medallion is, but I assume it's basically the same thing as a Hackney licence - a licence that allows you to operate as a taxi.

In the UK these are granted by the local authority with various provisions - such as "The Knowledge" in London - but the concept of them being limited in number, inheritable or buying one for a quarter of a million seems utterly fledermaus excrement insane, and that seems to be what the problem actually is...
Uber changed the business model enough to get around current regulations. A taxi company can't adapt and still be a taxi company.
As far as I can tell, Uber is just a private hire cab company with fixed rates that you can book online. I say "as far as I can tell", because I wouldn't use a minicab or a taxi even if my legs fell off, so it's a bit out of my area of expertise.

I can book a private hire cab online from my local minicab company right now. I can even use an app. They've been around for 25 years and nobody's dropped a breezeblock onto their minicab for stealing business from them. I'm not sure why it needs to be banned or made more expensive by charging them hundreds of thousands for each licence...
 

FoolKiller

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@Famine What Uber does in the Us vs. other countries might be different based on regulatory differences. The way Uber is set up here is that the software is really just an app that handles connecting the guy who needs a ride with a guy who says, "I'll give you a ride, but I need $20." Most taxi laws here require a taxi to be a dedicated taxi and not a personal car. With Uber I can walk out of work, sign in as a driver, and then use my daily driver to give people rides. There are other car options for customers, depending on location. Because the cars being used aren't taxis they don't have the same insurance and tax requirements on them. In many cases they don't even need to be registered with the local government in any way, which appears to be the biggest difference from the minicab link you provided. Uber drivers are not professional drivers, have no special licenses, most work part-time, use it as a temporary gig between full-time jobs, and can provide as little as four rides a month to be considered "active."

Uber also offers a service to order a taxi, and where available (Which seems to only be New York), a Boro Taxi. So, there is definitely a difference, but it is hard to see unless you break down the individual laws of each city they operate in.

But ultimately, all customers seem to care about is that they show up faster than a taxi, they are cheaper than a taxi, you can see the reviews of the driver before agreeing, and a bad driver will be worked out of the system quickly and efficiently due to the ratings system.

Drivers care about not needing a special car and thousands in licensing and registration fees, don't have set hours, customers are also reviewed, bad customers can be voluntarily avoided, and as all payments are done digitally there is an extremely low risk of being robbed.



EDIT: It should also be noted that due to the ratings system your issues with minicabs might be worked out. I've heard stories of drivers offering cold bottles of water on hot days and sometimes even snacks.