Imagine a world without Uber? Okay, now come back to 2016. Unless you are in Queensland, Australia.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: mashable.com
I arrived at Newark airport on my first trip to NYC at midnight. There was a sign above the luggage carousel saying, beware of gypsy cabs. I had been traveling for 24 hours and just anted to get to bed in my hotel in Manhattan. I looked around and there wasn’t a single yellow cab. There weren’t even any staff around, zip, zero, not even security.
A 6 foot something African man in a suit asked me if I wanted a ride and gave me a very impressive looking business card. I said I did, told him where I was going and he quoted me about $75.
The cab turned out to be a Jag and didn’t have a meter. I was anxious and asked if he really was a cab and he responded with “Sir this is a limousine service, would you like to ring my office.” I did and got a good response, knowing that it could still be a set-up.
It was a long drive and he told me about growing up in Nigeria and how he now had a new life in America and after a very long tense drive we arrived at my hotel and he had convinced me to book him for the trip to JFK the following week.
When I checked in, I asked if that was a reasonable fair and the response was, its right up there for a two way trip, but you’ve been had if that was one way. They then explained to me what a gypsy cab was. Basically just people in cars with no passenger license, operating illegally and filling a gap. The first thing I did when I got to my room was ring and cancel the return trip!
I like that Uber has a trust concept whereby you can check out the driver and the fare before you book your journey. I like the concept of the drivers being licensed the same as any other taxi driver.
I don’t like the concept of blocking a new business to protect an old one that isn’t meeting the needs of the people. The taxi industry can easily fight back by changing their business model. Some of them are now putting out apps and before long there will be loyalty systems and more information, emulating the disruptive services offered by companies like Uber and Lyft who are racing around the world faster than the Zika virus.
Imagine banning Kindle to protect the book industry or banning TV to protect the cinema industry. To be fair I haven’t used Uber, mostly because I almost never drink alcohol and have no need for a driver. I use public transport frequently, although not after closing time. I have heard plenty of stories of registered taxi drivers from reputable firms, up on sexual assault and violence charges, so you can’t tell me that regulation makes passengers safer.
In fact when you look at the hospitality industry and what happened when they reduced alcohol levels for drivers, it had a profound impact on restaurants and bars who make most of their profit from selling alcohol. Young people couldn’t afford to pay high prices for alcohol AND a taxi, older people didn’t want to pay the high fares for taxis and there was a slump in the industry. Many premises closed. That hurt the taxi industry too.
Now when I ask people how they get around, the word is Uber. It’s not there by stealth or because it is counter to the ‘system’. It is there because customers want it and because they feel safe and they feel (most of the time) that they are getting good value.
We are not riding faster horses, this is the 21st century and IMHO this is the century of the customer, of transparency.
Businesses don’t own sectors by right, they own it by delivering the services customers want at prices they are prepared to pay.
Even Uber understands that and are planning for a future when they have driverless cars while the taxi industry is still arguing over who should be allowed to drive passengers.
It’s all about customer outcomes.
It’s all about customer outcomes.