In many cities around the world, consumers are becoming more familiar with ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft being used as taxi alternatives and precipitating a type of war between the two. As this innovative industry grows at a fast pace, the taxi industry continues to fight for their place in the urban transportation spectrum.
Uber allows customers to find and reserve a ride, within minutes, through a mobile application. Through GPS tracking, consumers can see the distance and location of their driver, and then they are given a clear pricing for their trip. With a fast changing world comes changing expectations from consumers, and this is part of the reason why this company is so successful. According to a writer from Forbes, any new technologies that can leverage the six Ds will result in a win. These 6 items include digitized, deceptive, disruptive, dematerialized, demonetized, and democratized. The new company Uber fits this model because it solves the problems of the consumer, and it does so cost effectively.
Besides being affordable, Uber continues to innovate. News of them offering helicopter trips has been released, and this has caused investors to take notice, as this company is at an estimated value of $17 billion. According to many Uber users, these reasons make it convenient and gives consumers something new. On the other hand, many taxi companies do not view this as good news for their industry. They have started protest in different cities and states to protect their jobs and livelihood. Many drivers have stated that Uber drivers should be required to pay the same fees that they have to pay. A conflict of interest has arisen and a Uber vs. taxi war has begun.
Cab drivers are looking for laws and regulations which will protect them, and that will put a standstill to the bills being passes that will allow Uber to operate with many more advantages. Writer Peter Diamandis explains that when an industry turns to protectionist regulations to exclude a solution that is more cost-effective, then they are at their last resort. In addition, a horse vs. automobile is the example used from the 1900’s. Back in those days, automobiles were hated because it frightened the horses, which was the main source of transportation. At that time a Pennsylvania statute required that all drivers who saw teams of horses approaching were required to pull over and attempt to “blend in” by placing a blanket over the vehicles so that the horses could pass. An old example, however, it is an example of an industry using laws and regulations to protect themselves. Many are saying it parallels the conflict between transportation companies.
If it is proven that Uber is a better system that implicates stability, affordability, and convenience, then there is a chance that the taxi companies will be forced to deal with the new competition if they want to continue to exist. This will be a possible motivation for cab companies to make some changes that will allow them to keep up with new technologies. The Uber vs. taxi war will have to eventually end, and the taxi companies may well have to adapt to the new changes.