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Uber Is Now Cheaper Than a New York City Taxi

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the penny-pinching dept.

Transportation 139

redletterdave writes Uber announced in a blog post on Monday it would cut the prices of its UberX service in New York City by 20% — but it's only for a limited time. Uber says this makes it cheaper to use UberX than taking a taxi. Consumers like Uber's aggressive pricing strategy but competitors — and some of its own drivers — are not as happy. UberX, Uber’s cheaper service usually hosted by regular people driving basic sedans rather than fancy black cars, also cut its rates by 25% last week in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland. As a result of that announcement, Uber said its service was effectively “45% cheaper than a taxi.”

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Good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47402335)

Fuck taxis

And in other news (4, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | about 2 months ago | (#47402345)

The amount of insurance carried by Uber drivers is also probably much less than NY taxis.

Re:And in other news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47402433)

If they are young and invincible, catastrophic coverage should be an option for them. They shouldn't be forced to subsidize everyone else.

Re:And in other news (3, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 months ago | (#47402469)

For young and invincible drivers, its usually the older more mature drivers without that attitude that end up subsidizing them.

Re:And in other news (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 months ago | (#47402547)

so your ok with with a non taxi taxi hitting your car and then the they get to use EULA to get out of paying the cost to fix it? or what about if it was your kid that got killed and you where stuck with the bills?

Re:And in other news (2)

Wycliffe (116160) | about 2 months ago | (#47402767)

so your ok with with a non taxi taxi hitting your car and then the they get to use EULA to get out of paying the cost to fix it? or what about if it was your kid that got killed and you where stuck with the bills?

What difference does it make whether it is a taxi or a private car? A taxi shouldn't be required to have more collision insurance
for external collisions than any other car. You MIGHT be able to argue that they need more coverage for passengers but it makes
no sense to require them to have higher coverage for external collisions just because they are a taxi.

Re:And in other news (3, Insightful)

bws111 (1216812) | about 2 months ago | (#47402831)

Of course it makes sense. Insurance rates are based on risk. Are you claiming that a car that is on the road all day long, in very congested conditions, making frequent stops to pick up/drop off passengers has no more risk of being in a collision than any other vehicle?

Re:And in other news (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 2 months ago | (#47403475)

Not to mention driving to unfamiliar locations.

We "normal" drivers go strange places all the time, but the majority of our miles driven are on repeatable predictable paths to and from work and school and picking up the kids at Karate. Insurance calculates all of this.

Re:And in other news (1)

KhabaLox (1906148) | about 2 months ago | (#47403875)

On the flip side, taxi drivers have many more hours behind the wheel. I thinks it's fair to say that there are many factors which contribute to both raise and lower a taxi's risk of getting into an accident.

Re:And in other news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47403619)

On the other hand, taxi drivers have much more practice driving since they do it all day. So we can expect them to be involved in fewer accidents for this reason. And, as it turns out, cabbies are safer drivers than normal people: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/28/nyregion/28cabs.html

Re:And in other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47403061)

it does when the claim is rejected because of using the vehicle for commercial purposes, that leaves you with your uninsured motorist... better make sure its taken care off. Also don;t be a pedestrian getting hit by an uber "taxi"

Re:And in other news (2)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 months ago | (#47402841)

No, not at all. My statement was only related to who subsidizes who's car insurance. Anything more was in your mind.

Re:And in other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47403607)

so your ok with with a non taxi taxi hitting your car and then the they get to use EULA

As a non-party to the EULA, I'm not sure how a EULA would have force to prevent me from collecting. /corporate attorney

Re:And in other news (4, Informative)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 2 months ago | (#47402475)

Not to mention that Uber drivers probably aren't paying as much as $1 million [nytimes.com] for a single taxicab license.

Re:And in other news (1)

JcMorin (930466) | about 2 months ago | (#47402747)

That's a nice starting advantage!

Re:And in other news (0)

Xicor (2738029) | about 2 months ago | (#47402993)

having to pay for a license to drive ppl around is ridiculous. in england, in order to be a taxi driver, you have to take a test saying you know at least 90% of the roads.... this is just plain dumb... we have gps for that.

Re:And in other news (5, Informative)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 2 months ago | (#47402483)

NYC Taxis have to carry $100k (per person) / $300k (per incident) liability insurance. That's the same for Uber drivers.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/do... [nyc.gov]

Re:And in other news (0)

OzPeter (195038) | about 2 months ago | (#47402533)

Uber drivers are covered by a lot less when they are looking but have not accepted a fare.

Re:And in other news (1)

silfen (3720385) | about 2 months ago | (#47402887)

No, that's wrong. When they are not carrying passengers, they simply have lower legal requirements, but their actual coverage is likely higher than the minimum legal requirements.

And what difference does it make anyway? Why shouldn't the same insurance rates apply to everybody, simply based on mileage, driving history, and vehicle type? I mean, if I wanted to pick out a category of drivers to charge more, it would be mothers with children in their cars (they are dangerous), not Uber drivers looking for rides.

Re:And in other news (3, Insightful)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 2 months ago | (#47403021)

Remember that adage that 90% of car accidents happens 5 minutes away from the departure point or 5 minutes before the arrival point? Guess what a taxi service is constantly doing...

Re:And in other news (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 months ago | (#47403461)

Remember that adage that 90% of car accidents happens 5 minutes away from the departure point or 5 minutes before the arrival point?

No, because that is nonsense. The actual* figure is 52% (not 90%) of accidents occur withing 5 miles (not five minutes). But that is not because driving within that radius is particularly dangerous, but simply because most driving occurs within that radius.

* This figure comes from a survey [progressive.com] conducted by Progressive Insurance in 2002. Many articles attribute the study to the NHTSA, and often exaggerate the percentage, or the distance, or both.

Re:And in other news (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 2 months ago | (#47403495)

To tack on... ...I explain this to my wife constantly. The reason most accidents happen close to your home is exactly as you said -- most driving occurs close to your home. I use it as a reason to have her buckle up even for short trips, but it's also a lesson in our house about manipulating statistics.

Coming up next, the percentage of American's that live "near" water.

Re:And in other news (3, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 months ago | (#47403685)

The reason most accidents happen close to your home is exactly as you said -- most driving occurs close to your home.

So don't drive anywhere near this guy's home.

Also stop paying attention hear home (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 months ago | (#47404193)

Because you are used to the area, you do not think about driving as much near home - instead thinking about what you will do where you are going or when you get home, when you are close. It's easy to grow inattentive and miss a change that leads to an accident.

Picking someone up and dropping someone off has none of the risks of familiarity since each situation is different.

Re:And in other news (4, Insightful)

SethJohnson (112166) | about 2 months ago | (#47403049)

Why shouldn't the same insurance rates apply to everybody, simply based on mileage, driving history, and vehicle type? I mean, if I wanted to pick out a category of drivers to charge more, it would be mothers with children in their cars (they are dangerous), not Uber drivers looking for rides.

Consider the scenario where you are standing on a street corner and a car comes rushing towards you at a high rate of speed. Collision is imminent. You're going to survive the impact, but you'll be paralyzed from the neck down for the rest of your life.

If the car that crippled you was operated by an employee of a cab company, it might mean that a legal settlement would be reached such that you'd spend the rest of your life at your house with inhouse nurse care.

If the car was an Uber driver rushing down the street to pick up a customer before becoming inpatient and choosing a different car in the app, well, I hope you have substantial insurance through your own job. When you attempt to sue Uber over your injuries, they'll say they have no liability in the matter because their driver wasn't on the clock with a passenger. And they'll exert significant legal resources to prevent creating a precedent that'll put them out of business. They'll happily spend more fighting your case than the amount for which your suing. In this scenario, you're likely to have to live at an institution to be provided needed medical care for the rest of your life.

As for your stereotyping of mothers with infants, the most common cause of car accidents is distracted driving due to cellphone usage [marketwatch.com] . Seems that Uber drivers looking for fares would strongly fit into that category....

Re:And in other news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47403343)

Don't you have health insurance?
And what if some random car that isn't a taxi and isn't an uber car hits you?

Re:And in other news (1)

countach (534280) | about 2 months ago | (#47403407)

I don't know how it is in the US, but in some countries, all drivers must be insured against hurting third parties. You lament about how if an Uber driver hits you they are less insured than a taxi. That's cold comfort when 99% of the cars are neither a taxi nor Uber, yet they might hit you.

Re:And in other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47403621)

Sigh, but 99% of the cars on the road aren't there for the better part of 8 hours a day. You don't think driver fatigue and general mood matters? Uber will become regulated as soon as the first huge accident happens that really makes the news.

Personally, I think its rather backwards to allow Uber run a taxi service without being a taxing service...Why the heck should the cab companies continue to pay the city to operate if the competition doesn't?

Re:And in other news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47403893)

What difference does it make if it's an Uber driver or any other driver who paralyzes you? If you think this is a serious problem, then insurance limits need to be raised for everybody, and/or get yourself disability insurance if your state doesn't already require it (many do).

But instead of making that argument, you pick some small group of people and try to stick it to them. I wish you sincerely that you'll be at the receiving end of such stupid knee-jerk legislation yourself.

And if you think you can get lots of money out of taxi companies, think again: they are usually limited liability. You're far more likely to recover money from a private driver if he is actually at fault.

As for mothers with kids, that wasn't stereotyping but personal experience.

Cab companies are not LLCs (2)

SethJohnson (112166) | about 2 months ago | (#47404207)

What difference does it make if it's an Uber driver or any other driver who paralyzes you?

Difference being that Uber is sucking up around $213,000,000 per year by avoiding significant insurance coverages that their competitors are having to pay. They're offloading this chunk of the insurance burden on their 'independent contractors' who are not able to cover injuries like a $1 Billion / year revenue company can.

What does it matter? It's the difference between being compensated properly for a life-changing injury caused by an 'independent contractor' working for Uber and suffering "tough luck" by getting zilch in compensation. Compensation is the deciding factor between institutionalized living or as normal-as-possible life for the remainder of your years.

And if you think you can get lots of money out of taxi companies, think again: they are usually limited liability.

That corporate structure doesn't work the way you think it does. An LLC is created so it can implode in the face of a liability claim and protect the owners. If Yellow Cab were operating as an LLC, they would have dissolved after the first accident by one of their cabs.

Instead, in the big cities like New York and Chicago, the cab companies are trying to shield themselves from liability in the same way as Uber-- the drivers are independent contractors [legalexaminer.com] .

Re:And in other news (1)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 2 months ago | (#47403065)

Uber drivers are covered by a lot less when they are looking but have not accepted a fare.

Not in NYC. Same insurance requirements, since they're all regulated livery car drivers.

Re:And in other news (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 months ago | (#47402619)

Around here, you also have to declare and insure for a 'purpose', not just a liability amount. After all, $1 million dollar liability on a sunny summer weekends only car is less than the same risk as a Taxi.

Around here, there is, in order of increasing cost:

Pleasure (pleasure use only, a couple days per month commuting are ok)

Commuting (driving to and from work, not "for work" itself - different sub classes depending on how far you commute)

Business (drive for work, meeting customers etc)

Delivery -- For the delivery class there are sub classes depending on what type of vehicle, and what is being delivered. Pizza drivers need this I know from personal experience. And I bet anything that 'delivering people' or 'taxi' insurance is in here to, that uber drivers would be required to have it, and that many do not.

Re:And in other news (1)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 2 months ago | (#47403069)

Around here, you also have to declare and insure for a 'purpose', not just a liability amount. After all, $1 million dollar liability on a sunny summer weekends only car is less than the same risk as a Taxi.

Around here, there is, in order of increasing cost:

Pleasure (pleasure use only, a couple days per month commuting are ok)

Commuting (driving to and from work, not "for work" itself - different sub classes depending on how far you commute)

Business (drive for work, meeting customers etc)

Delivery -- For the delivery class there are sub classes depending on what type of vehicle, and what is being delivered. Pizza drivers need this I know from personal experience. And I bet anything that 'delivering people' or 'taxi' insurance is in here to, that uber drivers would be required to have it, and that many do not.

Again, in NYC, Uber drivers carry the same insurance that taxis or any other livery car driver carriers. It's commercial vehicle insurance.

Re:And in other news (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 months ago | (#47403137)

Uber drivers carry the same insurance

I'm not questioning if they *should*; I question whether they DO.

Re:And in other news (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 months ago | (#47403919)

I'm not questioning if they *should*; I question whether they DO.

..and you've been told more than once that they do.

That doesnt seem to have stopped you from continuing to be in the "question" state instead of the "answered" state.

Re:And in other news (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 months ago | (#47403989)

..and you've been told more than once that they do.

Ah well, that's settled then.

Then again...

âoeI went to Geico, filled out an application and told them I was going to transport people,â he says. âoeThe application was declined as âundesirable.â(TM)â

[...]

You can see my dilemma. It seems to me the only way to comply with Uber by getting personal insurance would be to misrepresent my use of the vehicle, which I do not feel comfortable with. My conclusion from this indicates that if there were claims against a TNC driver and the insurance company found out that the true use of the vehicle was falsified, they would deny coverage.

[...]

Last week on the Lyft Lounge, a Facebook meeting area for drivers, one member posted a cancellation notice she received from Geico. The termination was for âoecommercial use of your 2012 Toyota Prius.â

[...]

Because of the fear over such cancellations, at least some ride-service drivers have kept their status a secret from their insurance companies.

[...]

Said another driver: âoeI donâ(TM)t think I should let my insurance company know because Iâ(TM)ll probably get dropped.â

[...]

âoeMany insurers donâ(TM)t know their customers are involved in these kinds of program,â says Pete Moraga of the Insurance Information Network of California. âoeIf these drivers arenâ(TM)t telling their insurers, thereâ(TM)s no way for them to know.â

http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/... [kqed.org]

That doesnt seem to have stopped you from continuing to be in the "question" state instead of the "answered" state.

I think moving to the "answered" state as you propose seems more than a little premature, don't you?

Re:And in other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47403071)

There is a big difference between non-commercial insurance and commercial insurance. If the insurance co saw someone was using Uber, they would not cover any claims of injury when (not if) a wreck happens.

Re:And in other news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47403355)

there's a hell of a lot of difference in premium costs between private personal liability insurance and commercial passenger-for-hire liability insurance.... something i am sure many if not most uber drivers do NOT have, nor would the 'typical' (ride or two a day, as intended -- uber is not supposed to be a 'full time job') uber driver be able to afford.

Re:And in other news (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 months ago | (#47404123)

NYC Taxis have to carry $100k (per person) / $300k (per incident) liability insurance. That's the same for Uber drivers.

But how much do you want to be that UberX drivers dont have that level of liability insurance. Here in Australia private car insurance (the kind everyone has on their car) does not cover business use, so if you're using your car for mini-cabbing (Uber isn't new, it's just Mini cabbing with a web 2.0 interface) your insurance wont cover you (also in my state, you're driving an unregistered vehicle because with private registration you get a tax cut off the cost of business rego). But Uber will flounder and die here because its not only just as expensive as a regular Sydney or Melbourne taxi, they're also extremely unreliable.

Re:And in other news (3, Informative)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 months ago | (#47403229)

Not according to Uber's web site [uber.com] .

If you’re taking a ride requested through UberBLACK, UberSUV, or uberTAXI, your livery or taxi transportation provider carries a commercial insurance policy in at least the minimum amount required by local regulations. If you didn’t get his or her insurance information at the time of the accident, please reach out to us so we can connect you.

If you’re taking a ride requested through uberX, some transportation providers are rideshare drivers providing transportation with their personal vehicles. Rideshare providers carry personal insurance policies. In addition, there’s a commercial insurance policy with $1 million of coverage per incident. This policy covers drivers’ liability from the time a driver accepts your trip request through the app until the completion of your trip. This policy is in addition to the driver’s own policy, but it acts as primary insurance if the driver’s policy is not available for any reason. An additional insurance policy covers drivers when they are logged into the Uber app but are not currently on a trip.

There is also uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UI/UIM) of $1 million per incident for bodily injury, in case another motorist causes an accident and doesn’t carry adequate insurance. So, for example, injuries caused by a hit-and-run accident would be covered by the UI/UIM.

For additional information, visit our blog: blog.uber.com/ridesharinginsurance

Re:And in other news (1)

jythie (914043) | about 2 months ago | (#47403437)

Yeah, it is easy to offer lower prices when you get to skip over the costs other people pay. It is the same reason child and slave labor are still popular.

Re:And in other news (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 months ago | (#47403943)

Yeah, it is easy to offer lower prices when you get to skip over the costs other people pay.

Its easy to prevent competition when you jack up the cost that other must pay to insane levels such as $1 million per medallion.

Let taxis suffer the regulatory capture that they themselves created. There is no reason for anyone else to suffer it.

What? (3, Interesting)

ottothecow (600101) | about 2 months ago | (#47402347)

It was more expensive than a taxi in NYC?

Every other city I have used it in, UberX was at a fair discount to a regular taxi...after all, why would you hop a ride in some random person's car (whom you will have to provide with directions because they don't know the city) if it costs more than an actual taxi service? The only thing more expensive was the black car (limo) service.

Re:What? (3, Informative)

MindStalker (22827) | about 2 months ago | (#47402427)

It appears so.
http://www.taxiautofare.com/us... [taxiautofare.com]

I didn't know taxi fare in NYC was so reasonable. I guess there is more competition in NYC. They also make up for it in quantity. Many other places the taxis sit around waiting for fares much longer.

Re:What? (4, Informative)

bws111 (1216812) | about 2 months ago | (#47402755)

Cab fares are regulated in NYC. Competition has nothing to do with it. http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/ht... [nyc.gov]

Re:What? (4, Interesting)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 months ago | (#47404179)

Cab fares are regulated in NYC. Competition has nothing to do with it.

Shhh,

If you listen carefully you can hear the Randian's heads pop.

Everywhere I've travelled, the less regulated the taxi industry the more they take the piss and rip off customers. Thailand is a good example, in Bangkok taxis are cheap. From the Airport to the city centre is 400 Thai Baht + 70 Baht in tolls (approx 30 Baht == 1 USD), that's a distance of 35 KM and includes an airport fee. Taxi's are well regulated in Bangkok (its the same story in Singapore).

In Phuket, a taxi wont even turn on the engine for less than 200 Baht, it's less than that to get into a taxi in Australia. Taxi's aren't regulated at all, they operate like a Mafia using violence against their competition, ripping off customers. They sit there all day turning down paying customers because they aren't paying enough. The local Phuket govt isn't interested in doing anything (since the recent coup in Thailand, I've heard the army has been attempting to clean the taxi mafia up).

Re:What? (1)

saikou (211301) | about 2 months ago | (#47402951)

Plus don't forget the "surge pricing" which, for some reason, always happen when you actually want to use the Uber :P As in, when it's raining, holiday, blah-blah

Re:What? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 2 months ago | (#47402435)

I've horrible luck with NYC taxi drivers knowing the city.

By cross street, address, or landmark.

I don't fucking know how to get to the city courthouse, because I don't fucking live here, ugh. It's gotten a lot better in the last 5 years with smart phones, but a lot of them did not know the city, or have GPS up until then.

Re:What? (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 months ago | (#47402555)

Because that said random car will actually stop for you during peak hours, and all the taxi-holding medallions won't because they're overwhelmed. Have you ever tried hoping into a taxi that won't even slow down to pick you up?

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47402611)

They tend to stop when you hurl a brick through their windshield.

Re:What? (2)

ottothecow (600101) | about 2 months ago | (#47402885)

Well...during peak hours, Uber X will go into surge pricing and cost far more than a taxi anyways.

Usually when there is surge pricing, I just use Uber to hail a normal taxi (in cities where this is possible). With a normal taxi, you pay a small fee to Uber, but otherwise the rate is straight-meter. Of course, that still won't help if literally every taxi is full, but it gets you better odds than simply standing on a single street corner and waving your hand.

No thanks. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47402349)

Enjoy being robbed, raped and/or murdered.

Re:No thanks. (3, Funny)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 2 months ago | (#47402387)

Enjoy using your million-dollar taxi medallion as a coaster from now on.

Re:No thanks. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47402399)

I like the part where you think a medallion prevents any of that.

Re:No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47402939)

I like the part where it's trivially easy to troll the Aspergers nerds of Slashdot.

Re:No thanks. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47402407)

If you think that the average taxi driver is some how morally superior to 'random strangers'(who have to pass criminal and background checks)....I know you haven't been in many cabs.

Re:No thanks. (3, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | about 2 months ago | (#47402545)

This is the only reason I use Uber (though I push it a notch and use Uber Black, even though its pretty expensive).

When I need to take a cab at 4 AM to go to the middle of nowhere (I don't have a car, as I only need this like twice a year or something, not worth it), hailing a shady dirty taxi who'll bitch and moan about me asking to go somewhere unprofitable isn't exactly my preference.

Uber (Black) has been doing quite nicely. Up the standard of normal taxis, even if you have to double the price, and I'll happily use them again.

But how many bodies can it fit? (2)

rsborg (111459) | about 2 months ago | (#47403107)

When I need to take a cab at 4 AM to go to the middle of nowhere (I don't have a car, as I only need this like twice a year or something, not worth it), hailing a shady dirty taxi who'll bitch and moan about me asking to go somewhere unprofitable isn't exactly my preference.

I will take that recommendation, though I hear Uber SUV can fit more bodies in the rear. I wonder if heading over to Patterson incurs surge pricing? Will the driver help you unload your "luggage"?

Re:But how many bodies can it fit? (1)

haneefmubarak (2383338) | about 2 months ago | (#47403805)

When I went to NYC about a week ago (first time!), I took an UberX to my relatives' house. The driver was very friendly, the pricing was quite reasonable, and he did indeed help unload our luggage.

Re:No thanks. (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 2 months ago | (#47403183)

Who is going to rob, rape, and/or murder you? The person being tracked via satellite who is specifically responding to your request for a pick up? It's not even worth it to try and rob an Uber driver. You would need a stolen phone and credit card in order to be able to do that, otherwise it's pretty easy to prove exactly who was there. It's not like with a taxi that you can anonymously hail, shoot them while they're sitting in the seat, take everything and go.

Confused by the blurb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47402361)

UberX has always been substantially cheaper than taxis.

Reminds me of public transport here (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47402393)

1. Deregulation;
2. Big newcomer with huge financial backing undercuts established companies;
3. Everyone flocks to newcomer;
4. Established companies reduce routes or go bankrupt;
5. Newcomer uses new position to engage in gradual programme of regulatory capture;
6. Newcomer boosts prices way above previous companies;
7. Newcomer shuts down less profitable routes, because see 5.

Bus services here used to be comprehensive and cheap. Now all the short routes are dominated by one company.

Re:Reminds me of public transport here (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 2 months ago | (#47403075)

Yeah and do not forget. They get the regulatory capture because they are 'too big to fail' and there are 'no alternatives'.

and if an accident occurs will uber get to use fin (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 months ago | (#47402401)

and if an accident occurs will uber get to use fine to get out having to pay up like a real taxi?

Re:and if an accident occurs will uber get to use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47402571)

No, they will simply refuse to pay for any injuries or damages. Remember, you agreed to indemnify Uber from all liability as part of the EULA you agreed to by using Uber.

Re:and if an accident occurs will uber get to use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47402599)

If you think that this is an important characteristic for you use a normal taxi and do not use Uber. People should decide the insurances they want, not you or the government.

Re:and if an accident occurs will uber get to use (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 2 months ago | (#47402717)

You do realize there may be people injured in an accident who are not customers of Uber, right?

Re:and if an accident occurs will uber get to use (1)

temcat (873475) | about 2 months ago | (#47403083)

I guess those people won't have indemnified Uber then?

Re:and if an accident occurs will uber get to use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47403151)

they are of no concern to a corporation

Re:and if an accident occurs will uber get to use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47403099)

People should decide

And is democracy or the size of your wallet a better approximation of "people", please?

Subsidies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47402405)

It's pretty easy to undercut taxis when you are subsidized by venture capital (and therefore ordinary people's retirement funds etc.) and don't have to obey any of the same regulations.

Uber is the new Slashdot buzzword. sorry Bitcoin. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47402413)

Daily stories about Uber have replaced the daily stories about Bitcoin. The same 12 people will comment about how skilled cabbies are much better than strangers driving cars. Slashdot is predictable and stale.

Re:Uber is the new Slashdot buzzword. sorry Bitcoi (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47402447)

I'm certain our first story about Uber accepting Bitcoin will shake things up quite a bit.

Re:Uber is the new Slashdot buzzword. sorry Bitcoi (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 months ago | (#47402499)

I welecome the change. Bitcoin makes othewise smart people stupid. The arguements with uber are a thousand times more palatible.

Re:Uber is the new Slashdot buzzword. sorry Bitcoi (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 months ago | (#47402511)

I welecome the change. Bitcoin makes othewise smart people stupid. The arguements with uber are a thousand times more palatible.

Well, some of them are.

But you have to admit, a lot of the arguments are Bitcoin-level stupid.

Re:Uber is the new Slashdot buzzword. sorry Bitcoi (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 2 months ago | (#47402593)

If you mean anti-Bitcoin stupid, then yeah, I agree with you.

Re:Uber is the new Slashdot buzzword. sorry Bitcoi (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 months ago | (#47402793)

Either way.

As in most things, there are moronic arguments on both sides of the Bitcoin/Uber debates.

Re:Uber is the new Slashdot buzzword. sorry Bitcoi (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 2 months ago | (#47402579)

Yep. I'm so stupid I'm about to retire in my forties. With coins I bought less than 2 years ago. What an idiot I've been.

Re:Uber is the new Slashdot buzzword. sorry Bitcoi (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 months ago | (#47402863)

Well, I made $90 billion investing in Bernie Madolff related investments. I'm not the stupid one.

  I also make $10,000 a week working from home, you can too! Just follow my link for more details https://ipromisethismultilevel... [ipromiseth...yascam.com]

Re:Uber is the new Slashdot buzzword. sorry Bitcoi (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47402961)

Because we all know that no one on the Internet lies.

Re:Uber is the new Slashdot buzzword. sorry Bitcoi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47403689)

Bitcoin makes othewise smart people stupid.

Wrong, it reveals the stupidity of people who had up to that point successfully hidden it from view.

One key clarification (4, Informative)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 2 months ago | (#47402431)

UberX in NYC is somewhat different from UberX in most markets. In NYC, UberX uses licensed livery cars and drivers (who have livery licenses, commercial insurance, etc), the same as Uber Black, etc., and the standard car service companies. The only difference between UberX and Uber Black in NYC is that UberX will have less nice cars (typically Camrys vs. Town Cars).

This is very different from UberX in SF, LA, etc., where it's pretty much "got a car? got a license? congrats, you're an UberX driver!"

Well Sure (1, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 months ago | (#47402503)

It's easy to undercut the competition when they adhere to regulations and you don't.

Re:Well Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47402895)

You say that as if it's a bad thing...

Re:Well Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47402977)

Well, yes. We are not all corporate cock sucking, libertardian fuckwits like yourself.

Re:Well Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47403469)

/|\
roman_mir

Re:Well Sure (0)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 2 months ago | (#47403287)

it's easy to undercut the competition when the competition is a government-protected unionized racket that uses political arm-twisting and actual arm-twisting to keep their monopoly in place. The "regulations" you speak of are only in place to keep better businesses from entering the market. Sucks to be them, good for consumers. I am not shedding tears.

Re:Well Sure (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 2 months ago | (#47404149)

Uber announced in a blog post on Monday it would cut the prices of its UberX service in New York City by 20% — but it's only for a limited time

A limited time X; where X is infinitesimally greater than the time it takes to establish a critical mass which will lead to a monopoly? Just wondering :D

Auditable logs? (1)

rjstanford (69735) | about 2 months ago | (#47402693)

One thing that you get from taxis that you don't get from Uber (or clones) is an assurance that the rates will be metered fairly.

I use Uber Black whenever its available because I trust the company and I enjoy the product. That doesn't mean that I don't acknowledge the need for some regulation in the taxi market. We tried going all gypsy before and it didn't work very well - hell, DC was annoying until just a few years ago with random pricing.

Uber could choose to work with the cities and go in offering full (anonymous, 1 week delayed) logs of all trips with pricing information. Any city inspector could take a trip and then compare his calculations to his receipt and, when it appeared publicly, the log records. There are many things they could do in fact if they weren't intent on being assholes and pretending that all regulations were dumb.

Hell, pre-negotiated pricing through the app with an add-on congestion charge would also work around many of the complaints.

The worst part about this is that this weird obsession with the Lyft market may well bring down the wonderful, "traditional" Uber Black service. And that would be a shame.

Re:Auditable logs? (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 2 months ago | (#47403755)

One thing that you get from taxis that you don't get from Uber (or clones) is an assurance that the rates will be metered fairly.

Uber could choose to work with the cities and go in offering full (anonymous, 1 week delayed) logs of all trips with pricing information. Any city inspector could take a trip and then compare his calculations to his receipt and, when it appeared publicly, the log records.

You say you've taken Uber before, but you make this uninformed statement? Every time you complete an Uber ride (or Lyft ride), you get an email saying the exact distance and exact duration of the ride, then the costs associated with each and the sum to the final bottom line. It also includes a map of the area you traveled, with a bright line showing the path of the trip. So this takes care of concern for your "metered fairly" issue. Sounds like you're an astroturfer for the taxi cartel.

When will we have Uber for airplanes? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47402703)

When will we have Uber for airplanes? There are many private pilots who would love to make some money by flying paying passengers yet FAA requires some pesky commercial pilot license. How can we "Uber" that license requirement?
There are so many rules that I would like to "Uber"...

laws about that (2)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 2 months ago | (#47402801)

The FAA has some very clear and very strict laws about that. A private pilot can not charge for transporting passengers. The on;y exception to this is that a passenger can pay for, at most, their share of the cost of expenses such as gas. That means if a private pilot transports two other people, each can pay for up to 1/3 of the costs for gas and such but the pilot must pay for his own share. And those costs absolutely can not include things like annual or hourly maintenance costs. If you luck out and find a pilot already making the same trip (I did once) you can get a great deal and help defer some of his costs. But you're not going to see private pilots legally offering their services on any wide spread basis.

Re:When will we have Uber for airplanes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47402815)

Well, there is BlackJet [blackjet.com] , and now there's also Blade [nytimes.com] which is essentially Uber for helicopters.

Uber astroturfing marches on... (3, Interesting)

smoothnorman (1670542) | about 2 months ago | (#47402737)

Where's the posting which shows that Uber, which is bank-rolled against the small time (typically immigrant) taxi owner, is now coupled with ALEC ("the notoriously evil American Legislative Exchange Council" aka Koch brothers)?: http://slog.thestranger.com/sl... [thestranger.com]

immigrant taxi owner? (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 2 months ago | (#47402845)

Never priced a medallion I guess. They don't own the taxis.

Re:immigrant taxi owner? (2)

smoothnorman (1670542) | about 2 months ago | (#47402925)

They do in Seattle and SF and Chicago at least (often, but not always Sikhs). they started as drivers and now own a medallion. often they are paying off loans for it. and along comes Bezos backed Uber...

the cities demanded that they buy them to do business. now some of these cities are negotiating with Uber. how does your trusting immigrant business owner feel now?

Re:Uber astroturfing marches on... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47403765)

which is bank-rolled against the small time (typically immigrant) taxi owner

Great! Now maybe we can stop letting fucking immigrants into this country just to drive fucking taxis. Obviously Americans are willing to do the job, so we don't need so many struggling immigrants now.

Cash Cab with Ben Bailey? (1)

acidradio (659704) | about 2 months ago | (#47402995)

So how will this affect Cash Cab? Will Ben Bailey now have to put a pink mustache on the front of his vehicle? Will people have to use an iOS app to get a ride? Will people be required to fist-bump Ben Bailey as they enter the car?

Get an education, cabbies. (0)

kuzb (724081) | about 2 months ago | (#47403245)

If your job is going to the way of the dodo, then get off your ass and learn something that isn't. I have no sympathy for people who spend their lives in bottom-of-the-barrel jobs only to be surprised that they're being replaced with a better system.

Temporary Sale? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47403699)

I thought the whole point of Uber is it's always cheaper than a taxi. Guess not.

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