Uber, Lyft and other ride sharing services continue to dominate the thoughts and conversations of anyone in the transportation industry. The Taxis have taken such a hit to their client base that their future is far from certain and the limo industry is not far behind especially in cities like Miami and Fort Lauderdale where the tourism industry is nearly the only local jobs available. My argument against the service comes only from my own survival instinct as it continues to chip away at segment of my business and I use Uber regularly when traveling. The first time you use Uber you are so amazed at how convenient and cheap it is to use that it becomes popular dinner table conversation and so their free word of mouth marketing went viral.
The Argument Against Uber
The main argument is of course that they are completely illegal. Uber’s main expense by far is dealing with law and its over 175 current lawsuits (Uber Wikipedia Legal Status) and there is no end in sight. The only reason they are allowed to continue to operate other than mass appeal is there is technically no exchange of money for the service but the courts are soon to make a precedence relating to online payments. Like with nearly every country in the world the taxi industry is regulated and must follow certain guidelines and protocols in the effort to make it as safe as government can possibly make anything so hazardous. Another aspect of the regulations is to have a certain level of service to which taxi companies did the bare minimum required by law making for a horrible experience that we simply become accustomed to. In Miami, the limousine business is highly regulated to keep the level of service the highest in the nation and continue to encourage the tourism industry and not lose people just because of a single bad experience in their travel itinerary. A few limo regulations that surprised me the first time I had heard of them is that drivers get a significant ticket if not properly dressed or looking dapper and that undercover agents randomly inspect limos with a temperature gun to make sure the a/c works perfectly. With all the certifications, permits and inspections we have an employee dedicated to making sure we are always in compliance.
My next point is how Uber is pretty much slave labor and taking advantage of people who simply cannot do math. There are of course exemptions in certain areas but generally there is no way I just did that last trip for $13. In my social circles nobody ever needs a ride anymore as it would cost your buddy more than taking an Uber when you factor in the realistic cost per mile of vehicle ownership. Anyone who has driven for Uber for any significant amount of time will tell you the same thing and you can read some insightful comments on the biggest online Uber forum (Uber Driver Complaint Forum). There is however and endless supply of people who for one reason or another need a few extra bucks over the short term to make ends meet as well as bored people looking for something interesting to do. The reality is that you are simply pulling equity from your car and creating yourself a liability in the case of a car accident or a bad customer.
Here is a link to an article from the Miami Herald about the current legal battle with the county Miami Herald Uber, Lyft here to stay
This article shows the path to making Uber type services legal, however it will impose more regulation on the drivers furthering the cost of being a driver Miami Advances Regulations
If you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years and haven’t heard of Uber Click Here to visit their website.