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Uber Vs. Taxi

An Intro series about the need to hire a ride

By Jenia SilverPublished 2 years ago 4 min read
Uber Vs. Taxi
Photo by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash

Uber Vs. Taxi

Part One Question One

Taking a ride has never been more complicated. Anywhere people may travel there are two basic options: Rideshare or Taxi. In this short article I will lay-out some “need to know” information that covers those choices. Being a driver for both taxi companies and rideshare apps for over 15 years, I lay out the professional driver’s point of view. Also, first off, I was a customer long before I got behind the wheel. This is an open-minded piece which explores an unlooked at perspective on the transportation industry.

Here is the first of five simple questions I will ask in guessing which is better to use: Rideshare or Taxi?

(In this series of articles, I assimilate the company logo Uber instead of Lyft or Uber for two reasons. One: Uber opened the market on rideshare platforms and started the use of a competitor site Lyft. Two: Uber started to open market by delivering a platform which began over rigorous Federal Court lawsuits that earned the use of the vehicle for hire company. I’ll examine that little known fact in the company's history later on.)

1.Who’s behind the wheel?

The last thing a passenger wants to feel when hailing a ride is: Is this person safe to drive me? Or will we get to our destination? But that’s why so many people using a rideshare service feel it’s safe. Yes, using Uber or Lyft, the passenger gets two things known. One that their driver’s name and photo are given on their app. Two that this person must have already been approved by either company to drive. Which means their vehicle is registered to them and the driver passed a background check.

Here’s where the internet generation got lazy. Yes, that info is a basic safe feeling to know who is driving the car the rider is in. No, it’s not a guarantee that the driver owns their car or is even the person registered or insured on the vehicle’s documents. Additionally, taxi drivers are verified for more than just a criminal background. Most states have local city codes that regulate the licensing of taxi drivers. Therefore, it is a costly investment to get behind the wheel of a taxi which requires more training on behalf of that regulating authority. I say costly due to the price to be licensed and even drug tested.

Let’s have a look at this use of transportation regulation and explain why Uber is responsible for this lazy use of giving a new demand to the public.

In the City of Las Vegas, Nevada most taxi drivers are employees who earn commission off of the earned number of metered rides. Even some employees who can make a lease option, leaving these drivers to earn a higher commission rate, cannot own their taxi. By local laws, all taxi drivers must pass a drug test and a local police background check including an FBI fingerprint check. A higher standard than rideshare drivers.

The training given to taxi drivers includes a safety course which discusses the local laws for driving a taxi in the city. Making the driver pay to have a license fee which must be renewed every few years to the Taxicab Authority (the actual name of the regulator in Las Vegas). This gives each taxi driver a permit number with a photo of the driver which must be displayed in their taxi. Passengers can make complaints directly to this agency along with the driver’s cab number if anything goes wrong. Which rideshare customers can only send emails or wait on a customer service phone call centered in another state. So, lazy Uber is not the company to put trust into the public when securing road safety.

While the ride-share app gives autonomy to their drivers, they are abandoned for personnel. Most cities offer a station or what Uber calls it’ s Greenlight Center for drivers. Cars must pass an in-person inspection at this center by an Uber employee before the driver can drive it on the app. However, there are no laws about vehicle maintenance or safety training to new drivers. The rideshare local offices close at regular business hours. There is no supervisor on shift for a driver to call if they are in an accident, robbed, or in danger after-hours. It’s not a safe business model but it passes as the laziest act of business management I have ever been associated to.

I refer to safety as my most concerned topic here because I have been in those situations as a driver. Uber did update their website to give law enforcement access to their platform after several serious incidents took place across the country. However, it is nothing like the mandatory “in taxi video camera” provided and regulated to all taxis in the Clark County, NV. Or the use of TA agents that can pull over a taxi and ticket the driver for a number of known offenses. Including defrauding the passenger by intentionally taking a longer route or other know acts of offenses. So, not knowing who is behind the wheel or who else has authority over that driver questions safety. Unfortunately, in my experience that means more likely road accidents by new drivers not being regulated to even acknowledge safe driving.

For what has been presented in this article, I left out some of the scariest topics like crash statistics. A professional driving job is among the top five of the most dangerous jobs classified by the Department of Labor. With military and law enforcement being the top two. Question for yourself what is safe. In the next series I jump into what changes did Uber put into the public eye that brought this business such high notoriety. Please follow for more of: Uber vs. Taxi, a five- part series of questions exposing Uber.


About the Creator

Jenia Silver

Jenia is from North Texas, college educated, loves to write and create stories. The years of internet publications have brought on many other sites. Vocal.Media is the fifth site to publish this creator.

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