Saturday, July 15, 2017
It was always obvious that ride hailing (or ride sharing) apps such as Uber and Lyft were going to cause big problems for the cab companies. The traditional taxi operations (and their unions) were either going to have to up their game and offer better service or they would go the way of the dinosaur. But in New York City, the rise of this new business model is being blamed for the downfall of some lenders who specialize in catering to the cab industry. The Associated Press has the details.
I used Uber in London and Kiev and it was fine, always prompt and fairly professional. I used cabs as well. You could sometimes hail them on the street and they were quite a bit more professional. They also cost twice as much. In Warsaw, my Uber site was acting funny, which may have been a result of the controversy there over Uber. There I used a cab, which had to be called for me. Interestingly, you don't need to know the local language to use Uber.
Readers of this blog don't need a defense of Uber. Of course it should exist, thrive and so on. The same goes for airbnb. We used it exclusively, and never darkened the door of a hotel. Why should we? There can be minor inconveniences with airbnb, but you're paying less than half what a hotel goes for. In some locations, such as Berkeley CA, you can get a teeny, tiny hotel room for $300-$400 per night, or a perfectly nice apartment with local touches for under $200. That is what we call a no-brainerino. All hail the sharing economy! I understand there are people who rent out their places in violation of local law and then do not report their earnings on their income taxes. That disturbs me deeply.