For consumers, a service like Uber offers a number of benefits, with a big one being convenience. But, with that convenience brings a large number of caveats, some of which we've seen exhibited over the past couple of months. Take, for example, an executive that encourages digging up dirt on journalists that are critical of the company, or the fact that the company will invoke surge pricing during emergencies. And we can’t forget that ridiculous "safe rides fee".
For these and other reasons, many have issues with Uber -- especially some countries overseas that have decided to prohibit the company from operating within their borders. And, I'm sure it wouldn't surprise you to learn that traditional taxi companies and drivers also have a beef with Uber. It's not hard to understand where they're coming from, though.
Because of how a company like Uber operates, it doesn't have to deal with the large number of requirements that normal taxis do. A major component of that is the taxi license, but it extends to needing to pay far more for insurance and registration. The fact that Uber doesn't have to deal with that means it can charge less, allowing them to cut deep into traditional taxi service.
In Raleigh, North Carolina, Uber has made such a major impact that many drivers have left to go elsewhere. Despite a group that represents 650 drivers pleading to city officials to begin regulating Uber drivers, no action has been taken.
"People are just suffering," said Elmutaz Adloa, a Raleigh cab driver. "They cannot make a living out of this industry."
That being the case, many taxi drivers have decided to take matters into their own hands. How? By not working on New Years' Eve - the night that has a bigger need for taxis than any other.
This is going to prove interesting.
I'm sure Uber drivers will be glad to hear that taxi drivers are taking the night off, but hundreds or perhaps even thousands of customers wanting a cab won't be. To the benefit of taxi drivers, lawmakers are going to be discussing the fate of ride-sharing companies in the near-future, but for those who have their livelihood impacted now, those discussions are not going to happen fast enough.
As for Uber, its drivers think that cabbies just need to realize that a better alternative has come along to shake up the market. "This country is based on competition, and I think that the cabbies don't like the competition and they have not done anything about improving their customer service,” said Uber driver Betty Jean Smith. “So, people are calling Uber.”