Uber Taxi: What do you actually think about it?

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11,055
Australia
Australia
I_Grayson_Fox_I
I have seen some bad taxi drivers(i guess we all have) this is one part that gives them a bad name.

The other part is the bloody price.
$2.50 per km.
+$2.50 call out.
So to do a simple 13km trip is $30.

Come on, it takes 15minutes or so(depends on traffic), all taxis in australia are using LPG but are 6 cylinder which is stupid so fuel usage wont be that high $2 max.

I have not seen any small taxis in australia where I live.

Just big sedans, and the people mover(called maxi taxis)

Why dont they have a small car, like prius, corrola, jazz, ect.
Smaller cars use less fuel which will mean your fees are lower which means more customers will use your service.
 

Danoff

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Uber is what happens when you take a heavily regulated market (taxi services) and introduce legitimate competition, an explosion of service for less money. It should be a rude awakening to taxi drivers whose ride of controlled market share is perhaps finally coming to an end.
 

Pupik

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By the way, my understanding of the taxi medallion is that in some cities, you can operate independently, with the potential of keeping more profits to yourself, and not have to give a cut to the taxi firm you'd otherwise work for. The municipality supposedly keeps the number of medallions to a fixed amount as a bit of a protectionist racket to the firms who operate under the local laws.

Uber is what happens when you take a heavily regulated market (taxi services) and introduce legitimate competition, an explosion of service for less money. It should be a rude awakening to taxi drivers whose ride of controlled market share is perhaps finally coming to an end.

Problem is that some cities have tried their best to prevent Uber from doing the same job. For example, many airports do not let them pick up arriving passengers in the same way that taxis are allowed to. Meanwhile, I could also ask a neighbor to pick me up at the airport for $15 and that's a-OK. What's the difference? Essentially nothing.

Why dont they have a small car, like prius, corrola, jazz, ect.
Smaller cars use less fuel which will mean your fees are lower which means more customers will use your service.

Chicago has a lot of Scion xBs as taxis, and I see a bunch of Priuses in a variety of models, which makes sense, since a lot of cab time is spent idling. Here's one in San Diego that I thought had an amusing name:

AryaCabSanDiego2014.jpg


The old Crown Vics are still in use, but you see less and less large vehicles for basic taxi duty. That's not to say that black car services (limo services) aren't using fancier fare (for greater fares).

Here's some real-life experiences with Uber and Lyft, et al; as long as we're talking competition, might as well mention them, too.
 
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Touring Mars

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I used Uber for the first time in LA. It turned out really well and I've had no bad experiences with it, although my first driver was a bit strange. He was none too subtle about the fact that he expected at least $5 as a tip - but in fact I thought that was quite reasonable since the journey was a good half hour across the city (main train station to Santa Monica) and only cost me $12 - his life story was thrown in for free. The conversation did take a slightly odd turn when we talked about personal safety, and he made an off-colour remark about dismembering women and dumping their bodies but anyhoo, he also showed me pictures of himself dressed as Ringo Starr on his mobile, which was his thing apparently. It could have been a lot worse. My second experience was later that same day when I shared an Uber with a very attractive girl who was heading to a house party in Hollywood. She didn't say a word, but as I was sitting in the front, I got the driver's life story instead. I got another Uber when I got back to OC... the driver was an immigrant from Afghanistan, and I got his life story too.

Uber works really well in OC and LA because public transport really sucks there, but that's not the case in Europe so much, hence I don't see it taking off here. That said, taxi rates vary enormously, and a bit more competition would be good. I don't think the safety issue is any worse with Uber than it already is with hackney cabs, or even black cabs. I've been thrown out a black cab in Edinburgh for complaining about the surcharge; I've accidentally got into a cab with a hooker in Sydney - and then been threatened by the driver that he would take me to the police after I refused to pay the fare (that had already been paid for me by the guy with the hooker, but I digress...); I've seen a cab driver smoking marijuana before getting back in his cab in London - I know that because it was my mate who invited him in for a smoke. You get the picture...
 
9,401
Australia
Western Sydney
mustafur
Taxi's in Sydney are terribly bad, if your a tourist they will purposely play stupid and not use a GPS and get lost on purpose, or they will take the longest route imaginable.

Also you can never pre pay as most will force you to pay the meter if it goes above, or in same cases both combined.

and because they are only interested in doing 2 or 3 big trips a shift they will refuse to take you or make a huge deal about it if your going a shortish distance, and on the weekend when people are coming home from going out, if you fall asleep they will go like 20km/h on the Motorway to try milk as much money from the ride(I see this every weekend and i do my best to horn the crap out of them so the passenger wakes up lmao).
 
7,187
Bahrain
Parts Unknown
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I can't really tell how good or bad Uber is since i don't remember it being exist here. Even if it does exist, i don't think people know or would even care about it since most people over here go to places with their cars and not with public transports. The only time i ever used a taxi was in Thailand.
 

FoRiZon

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So recently there's been a huge Taxi riot about this. The gov's already impose the Uber taxes and obligations like the normal taxi counterparts. Taxi drivers say its not enough, they want entire thing shut.
Love the taxi. Scared their profit down for not want to seek progress.
 

Johnnypenso

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So recently there's been a huge Taxi riot about this. The gov's already impose the Uber taxes and obligations like the normal taxi counterparts. Taxi drivers say its not enough, they want entire thing shut.
Love the taxi. Scared their profit down for not want to seek progress.
It's a really tough situation and I wouldn't want to be the politician in charge of making the decisions regarding Uber and related services. I haven't ridden many taxi's in my life and when I did I was usually too blotto to remember much about it, but I do some service work for a couple of local taxi companies so I'm familiar with how things work locally. Most of the drivers are recent immigrants, working long hours for little money. They do it because they have to work, because it doesn't require perfect English skills, is relatively free from oversight or supervision, it allows them more freedom to be with their family at hours convenient for them etc. Just guys out trying to feed their families and along comes this Uber thing, undercutting their business, making their own rules, not having to follow some of the same regulations, and not paying exhorbitant license fees. Their income plummets and they see little action from the local governing bodies that have been collecting these massive licensing fees for years and years. Violence is not the answer, but you really gotta feel for these guys, they are between a rock and a hard place.

Technological progress is like a Genie that you can't put back into the bottle so Uber or similar services will be here to stay. What needs to happen is a deregulation of the Taxi industry, cutting or eliminating huge license fees, and let everyone compete based on price and service. A highly regulated, heavily fee'd industry cannot compete with the lithe and the streamlined not subject to the same regulations.
 
20,678
TenEightyOne
TenEightyOne
This is why traditional taxi drivers hate Uber; "blindingly drunk" man ripped off by Uber driver, has digital proof, gets refund. BBC.
 

Pupik

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This is why traditional taxi drivers hate Uber; "blindingly drunk" man ripped off by Uber driver, has digital proof, gets refund. BBC.

Unless they do it differently over there, you're supposed to be charged "up front", so any deviation in the driver's route is not passed back to the passenger.
 

Touring Mars

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Yeh, I don't understand that either.

The driver was never going to get away with that since you get a text and an email confirming your bill - the email even has a GPS map whether or not you are recording your own movements anyway. Also, Uber and the customer both have a record of where the taxi was booked from and what the destination was. I presume the driver was hoping the person would not check their bill (or their bank statement), or would be wealthy enough not to care/notice, but with the ton of evidence available to prove such misconduct, it's a pretty dumb thing to do...

edit:

Here's the map from my 2nd ever Uber ride :D - incidentally, this journey took 56 minutes and cost $12... :embarrassed:
 

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20,678
TenEightyOne
TenEightyOne
Unless they do it differently over there, you're supposed to be charged "up front", so any deviation in the driver's route is not passed back to the passenger.

I wondered that too. In this case the passenger notes that he was celebrating his last night working at a cocktail bar and was pretty much incapacitated - it's quite possible that the advantage was taken before the cab even turned a wheel. The driver must have been either very stupid or, as @Touring Mars says, hoping that the passenger wouldn't check.
 

FoolKiller

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This is why traditional taxi drivers hate Uber; "blindingly drunk" man ripped off by Uber driver, has digital proof, gets refund. BBC.
Because taxi drivers have never taken advantage of customers before.

If anything, this shows that Uber's system makes it easy to catch dishonest drivers.
 

FoolKiller

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That was the point that I made and which you quoted, no? :)
I misread your post as you defending the taxi drivers. I could easily see them trying to argue that this case is an example of why to not trust Uber because their drivers will rip you off.

I apologize for the confusion. It's what I get for posting at work.
 
9,401
Australia
Western Sydney
mustafur
I do it, in Sydney you can average around $30AUD an hour after expenses if you work at night time, this doubles on weekends and triples on really busy nights such as public holidays or events.

In America it's much different and heavily depends on where you are, some city's are very lucrative and cities with too many drivers like LA or NYC are pretty poor.

Generally the newer your city is to Uber the higher it pays.
 

R1600Turbo

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R1600Turbo
I do it, in Sydney you can average around $30AUD an hour after expenses if you work at night time, this doubles on weekends and triples on really busy nights such as public holidays or events.

In America it's much different and heavily depends on where you are, some city's are very lucrative and cities with too many drivers like LA or NYC are pretty poor.

Generally the newer your city is to Uber the higher it pays.
Thanks. I went ahead and signed up anyway, just waiting for background checks to clear now. I think Phoenix is new for this, so hoping there will be enough work to keep me busy for a few hours on the weekends. At the moment that's all I will be able to do since I actually live ~40 miles from there, but I am moving back to the Phoenix area in November so it'll be easier to get more hours in.
 
1,433
Northern Ireland
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In the UK, a tribunial has ruled that Uber drivers are not self-employed, but should be classed as workers - meaning they will be entitled to the minimum wage, holiday pay and possibly a company pension. Naturally Uber are going to appeal the decision.

I'm not familiar with how Uber operate but I guess this is the most relevant info:

 

Johnnypenso

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In the UK, a tribunial has ruled that Uber drivers are not self-employed, but should be classed as workers - meaning they will be entitled to the minimum wage, holiday pay and possibly a company pension. Naturally Uber are going to appeal the decision.

I'm not familiar with how Uber operate but I guess this is the most relevant info:


Goodbye Uber in Britain if that holds up:lol:
 
4,464
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supermanfromazle
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That only applies to two drivers, with a number of cases before the tribunal pending. The fact that the slippery slope has started is making me worry about Uber's fate in the US.

By the way, I took my first Uber ride back on my birthday in July. I had to go from a sleep study to the TRE station in Hurst (as I had bloodwork to do that morning), the fare was about $5.50 USD, which is the minimum that they charge in DFW. Service went so well that I nearly considered using them when public transportation was late in picking me up from a Dr.'s appointment. The explaination that I got from the driver when she did show up nearly three hours later was that she had an emergency pick up in Arlington.
 
9,704
United States
Marin County
Uber's/Lyft's business model is not sustainable. But they are going to destroy the taxi industry before they fail/run out of other people's money. Worryingly, I feel a substantial portion of this area (and the US in general) is following this trend. Hype & subsequent investment has taken priority over healthy business principals and GAAP profit. Sooner or later that money is going to run out...
 

Johnnypenso

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Uber's/Lyft's business model is not sustainable. But they are going to destroy the taxi industry before they fail/run out of other people's money. Worryingly, I feel a substantial portion of this area (and the US in general) is following this trend. Hype & subsequent investment has taken priority over healthy business principals and GAAP profit. Sooner or later that money is going to run out...
Why isn't it sustainable?
 
9,704
United States
Marin County
Why isn't it sustainable?

Overall, Uber remains massively unprofitable as of the data shown in these documents. GAAP losses (net revenue minus cost of revenue, operating expenses and other costs) totaled $671.4 million in 2014. Those losses expanded to $987.2 million in the first half of 2015. Such huge losses would put most companies out of business, but not Uber. The world’s largest private venture-backed startup has raised more than more than $9 billion in funding, including $2.1 billion in a round made public in December.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/brianso...-huge-growth-even-bigger-losses/#64457d7b5c99

It's a little old, but I don't think anything has changed since earlier this year.

Ever read about pets.com? It's not a whole lot different: A "game-changing" (on appearances) type of business that gains enormous investment via hype but actually can't function as a business.

They keep up the appearances of a growing, steady company, and they are hedging they can transition to a profitable business in time....but I am skeptical. If they are to eventually make profit, they will have to pay their drivers less or charge customers more...in which case they will be essentially no different than a typical taxi company. The entire venture is a loss leader to make it's founders wealthy in my opinion.
 
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20,678
TenEightyOne
TenEightyOne
Goodbye Uber in Britain if that holds up:lol:

Not necessarily - the court has found that Uber are liable as an employer, they clearly were (as I'm sure they'll be found to be in other jurisdictions) but until a court said they were... they weren't. At least not for the purposes of employee protections.
 

Johnnypenso

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Not necessarily - the court has found that Uber are liable as an employer, they clearly were (as I'm sure they'll be found to be in other jurisdictions) but until a court said they were... they weren't. At least not for the purposes of employee protections.
I don't see how someone can be an employee when they can clock in and out at will, work or not work, work for a month, minute to minute or hour to hour or not work for 6 months etc. etc. That alone should disqualify them as employees. Either way, Uber, Lyft et. al are done if this type of ruling survives a Supreme Court challenge. The model is price competitive as it is, but won't be if you introduce a minimum wage, payroll deductions etc. It'll simply be a taxi service at that point. Tens of thousands of people earning a little extra money in their spare time will suffer because of a handful whiners.
 
4,852
United States
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I know two Uber drivers. Both told me do not do it (as a driver) unless you want to put tons of miles on your car and get paid poorly. Most of their money went back into maintaining their car from driving so much for so little pay.
 
20,678
TenEightyOne
TenEightyOne
I don't see how someone can be an employee when they can clock in and out at will, work or not work, work for a month, minute to minute or hour to hour or not work for 6 months etc. etc. That alone should disqualify them as employees.

Clearly it doesn't. To be more specific; which of the 13 examples in the ruling do you think were wrong?
 

Johnnypenso

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Clearly it doesn't. To be more specific; which of the 13 examples in the ruling do you think were wrong?
I'll have my lawyer read it and get back to you. Some of the comments from the judges sound like something from a public school fifth grade debate class and scream hidden agenda to me. Sounds like they had an axe to grind and ground it down to a sewing pin. IMO of course.
 
20,678
TenEightyOne
TenEightyOne
I'll have my lawyer read it and get back to you.

Oh come on, it's hardly in full-bore legalese and you don't normally strike me as someone who struggles to find a counter argument ;)

Some of the comments from the judges sound like something from a public school fifth grade debate class and scream hidden agenda to me. Sounds like they had an axe to grind and ground it down to a sewing pin. IMO of course.

How so? You'll probably need to refer to the ruling... :D