New ride-sharing services like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar have stirred a heated debate with taxi and limo services.
These app-based businesses allow people to request rides from local drivers using smartphones. Users select the pick-up and drop-off locations within the app. Ride fares are determined by distance/traffic and fares are paid by using the app instead of taxi drivers.
Ride-sharing companies do not have the same liability and tax regulations as local taxi drivers and limo services. Taxi owners question the legality and fairness of ride sharing apps. They claim that these companies have an unfair advantage despite offering the same type of service.
Taxi drivers have banded together to protest the new ride-sharing services in big cities across the country. Chris Taylor, Deputy Editor at Mashable, points out that cabbies may want to focus more inwardly, “Honk and rant all you want — you can’t stop this process. The only thing you can do is meet the apps on their own turf: band together, and create your own app. You have the advantage in numbers. Get on board with 21st-century technology, and you’ll win.”
So far cab companies have not taken Chris Taylor’s savvy advice. Meanwhile the alternative app-based forms of transportation have continued to rise in popularity and power. Uber operates in more than 38 countries and is worth approximately $18.2 billion. Uber’s aggressive business tactics and ample resources will help them become even more competitive in the future.