Why Taxis Need to Accept Ride Sharing
The recent battle between traditional taxi companies and ride sharing services like Uber seems to be coming to a head. The taxi industry is up in arms about the loss of business that they are experiencing due to Uber. Taxi companies tout their licenses and medallions as a way of claiming superiority, but I believe that Uber has a much better business model. Here are the reasons I think that Uber and ride sharing should prevail over the taxi industry.
#1: Ride Sharing is Cheaper
From my experience, Uber ends up being about 50% cheaper than traditional taxis. In order for taxis to break even, they must account for the cost of leasing their cabs from the taxi company as well as the long licensing process that they must undergo. While these concerns are valid for the taxi drivers, customers should not be forced to pay these higher prices.
Uber drivers use their own cars, which are often nicer and more well maintained than taxis. For an Uber driver using their own car, it is much easier to actually earn money by driving, because their only real expense is gas! It's true that Uber charges surge prices during busy times, but overall their prices are much more reasonable.
#2 Taxis are Inconvenient
Unfortunately for taxis, Uber is also much more convenient. You can easily order an Uber from your iPhone and you know exactly where they are, who is driving the car and how long it will take for them to get to you. You also input your destination right onto your phone. In order to hail a taxi, you have to either find them or call them and and then wait an indeterminate amount of time for them to show up.
When you need an Uber you have many different options for what type of car you would like. You can order a small car or a large Escalade if you are trying to transport a horde of people in style. Taxis generally all look just about the same and I tend to find them grimy!
#3: Uber Overall is Probably Safer
Uber has a bad reputation in the media for being unsafe and dangerous for women traveling alone. The media spends lots of time showcasing the horror stories of things that happen to people while traveling with Uber, but the same things happen in taxis. But despite all of this bad press, Ubers business model actually does a much better job promoting safety.
Think about getting into a taxi. You don't know who is driving you, you don't know where they will take you, and there is no real record of you actually being in the cab. Now, most cab drivers are safe, but there are not many safety mechanisms built into the taxi model.
Alternately, when you order an Uber, you see exactly who is coming to drive you, you can see their ratings that they have earned from other passengers, and you can see the route that they will be taking you along. All of this information is recorded on the Uber app, and the company can track everywhere that it's drivers and passengers go. So if something were to ever go wrong in an Uber, there is much more recourse for the passenger. This provides a strong disincentive for Uber drivers to try to fool passengers in any way!
The battle between Uber and taxi companies is sure to continue, and Uber certainly isn't perfect, but the decades old dominance of the taxi industry is no reason to keep everything the same!