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Has Uber and Lyft killed the taxi business?

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GeorgeMendes
34 Rider
 Posted 2 months, 1 week ago

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I'm a dispatcher, they haven't killed us but they have surely given us a wound we can't really recover from. Most of our drivers if they're not answering our calls or alerts from their systems about potential jobs we're assuming are doing Uber jobs.

Uber, Lyft, and Juno are all apps that show up on their phones during monthly inspections. We also have to make sure they're not using GPS cheaters to fake being somewhere while doing an Uber job.

Mostly what keeps us in business is SUV work and specialty vehicles like Mercedes Sprinter Vans and Passenger Vans, we also offer a lot more hands on responsibility than Uber. Our customers like knowing if they have a problem they can speak to someone who will give them an answer then and now. They also get to know and request their drivers and with Uber it's always random, so mostly it's older people who don't trust this new technology enough to let someone random drive them home a way they're unaccustomed to.

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    Samarov
    1414 Rider
     2 months ago

    By ignoring the changing technology, cab companies killed the business themselves. They had it their way so long they had no inkling it would ever change. A halfway functional phone app back in 2012 would've cut Uber et al off at the ankles; instead cab companies kept functioning as if there were still kerosene lamps lining city streets.

    Whining about rideshare  is a bunch of crocodile tears. Time to bury the old cab business and start calling rideshare by its true name: TAXI.

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      CWalcutt75
      240 Driver
       2 months ago

      I agree that they fell behind the time with the dispatching technology. However the taxi industry tried but they couldn’t keep up.  Why?

      Localized regulations, localized taxi companies, localized taxi and medallion ownerships.  There was no centralized organization that could invest, adopt such technology, and implement it everywhere.  Uber has no regulations to deal with (in the beginning) and the world as the targetable audience, they had a huge leg up over localized taxi companies.

      Speaking of regulations and medallions, the government who enforced those rules on them should have protected them or at the least made a move on Uber at much earlier stages. Not sure if that would have worked, but the complete ignoring of the taxi companies and medallion owners was purely pathetic. 

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      danirevd
      77
       2 months ago

      "A halfway functional phone app back in 2012 would've cut Uber et al off at the ankles "


      A truer statement has never been said. Can you imagine if Taxi just lowered their prices a little and had a decent app right when they heard about Uber. Uber never would have been able to compete.

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      King1Midas
      39
       2 months ago

      Our office has had a net going whether rideshares will end up being called taxis again at some point.  

      I mean, that’s what they are. Just with a better technology

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    Bigfrank
    410 Driver Driver Rider
     2 months ago

      The owner of your company is still suffering from Uber shock and stuck with a taxi mentality . Learn to adapt because Uber has not killed me and I'm been doing this story for 30 years.

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    FuegoJuno
    116
     2 months ago

    You say older people but if your company is relying on old people, you are doomed. 

    They exit the market every day, you know. You are naturally losing your audience. 

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      Bigfrank
      410 Driver Driver Rider
       2 months ago

      That is partly true but baby boomers have the cash and value personal service

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      JBachman
      55
       2 months ago

      OMG. So morbid 

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        Bigfrank
        410 Driver Driver Rider
         1 month ago

        Its better than driving vomit tightwad robots 

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    momof4
    7533 Rider Driver
     1 month ago

    I frequently go to EWR Airport. They have an entire lot filled with yellow taxi's so they must still be able to make money. I also go into NY city (which I hate) they are stilled filled with taxi cabs. In some markets they are still being used and still making money. I always wondered why when I am looking for car unsurance they ask how many times per week I drive in NJ and NY. I now know why. NY and NJ have some of the most ignorant, rude, crazy drivers I ever seen. I thought CC Philadelphia was bad. NJ and NY are far more rude and dangerous. You can always tell a NY driver, they are always beeping their horns. Bumper to bumper traffic no where to go but NY taxi drivers are still beeping their horn. If I am ever given less than a year to live going to buy an old army jeep with reinforced bumpers. Then I am going to take a few rides into NJ and NY:) #hateNJ&NYtaxidrivers

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    Bigfrank
    410 Driver Driver Rider
     1 month ago

    The metered cab will never be killed as long as your service is a comfortable safe ride and I am still making a living without ride share apps and you can do it too. 

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    chawes
    704 Rider Guru
     2 months ago

    Here at RideGuru we notice a lot of people write in with questions about scheduling rides. I think that is an area that taxi companies could really own.

    Yes, Uber and Lyft allow ride scheduling, but it's flaky. There is no guarantee that a driver will be available, and we have heard anecdotes of people getting stood up by Uber and Lyft in those situations.

    Limos do guaranteed scheduling, obviously, but are more expensive than taxis.

    Market yourself as the go-to source for scheduling rides in your area and maybe you can carve a profitable niche.

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    ClayClaymore
    102 Rider
     2 months ago

    I would love to hear more about your view on how your taxi dispatching business has survived. You definitely mention some good reasonably like SUVs. 

    What’s this mean?  “we also offer a lot more hands on responsibility than Uber.”

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    MingiPark1982
    78
     2 months ago

    You’ve got a lot of content there that are raising Lots of questions in my head. Here are two

    - what is GPS faking and why would they do that? 

    - how can taxi drivers drive as Uber and Lyft? That wouldn’t be allowed, right? Unless of course your taxi drivers drive their own cars that are registered in their name. 

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    ronmistretta
    12
     2 months ago

    Do you find that the majority of your customers are adamantly against Uber?

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    SilviaSilvia
    10
     2 months ago

    Benefits of taxis I can think of:

    1) Minivans and SUVs are the same price as sedans. 

    2) Kids can ride without car seats. 

    3) The drivers seem way more experienced than Uber drivers 

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    BeMatt
    104 Rider
     2 months ago

    I opened this thread thinking it was a question and when I read the OP's text I actually found it super fascinating. It is rare to hear insight from a dispatcher. Thanks for sharing! Would love to hear any other stories you might have, I am sure there are a few.

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    remyFuller
    2
     2 months ago

    Can you explain this bit more? "We also have to make sure they're not using GPS cheaters to fake being somewhere while doing an Uber job."


    I haven't heard of this cheat yet...

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    BehindTheName
    111 Rider
     2 months ago

    Umm...yes?  Of course. Haven’t you been listening to the news? J/k

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    LisaWicks
    8
     2 months ago

    I hope it never kills it.  I’ll get in a cab before I ever get into an Uber or Lyft again..