Taxi cabs have been an iconic scene in many large cities where the majority of citizens do not own cars or need to get somewhere by the end of the day and can afford to wait. New driving services – like Uber and Lyft – are beginning to take a large chunk of the taxi cab earnings away from the taxis. However, there are still reasons to use a traditional taxi.
One reason is the pricing. Services that have on demand, instant ride arrangement opportunities – such as Uber – use what is called surge pricing. This means that pricing is often unreliable during peak points of the day when more rides are wanted. Traditional taxi cabs have a reliable fare determining how much they will pay for a certain ride. They usually do charge per mile, but it has a reliable algorithm behind it. On top of that, many cab companies cannot use this surge pricing in a lot of the cities they operate in.
Uber drivers are not vetted as well as traditional cab drivers. The share ride company has recently run into trouble for hiring drives with anything but savory backgrounds. They have hired criminals, people who have assaulted others in physical and sexual ways, and that they have had reckless drivers. Traditional taxi companies have a more extensive background check because they are not looking to fill more cabs on a daily basis. Uber has a 48 hour turn around, which lacks depth. It is worth mentioning that an Uber driver in Houston, Texas was hired after being denied a taxi license from the Taxicab Commission. He had served a federal prison sentence two years prior to applying for the taxi license and for Uber.
Taxi companies are keeping up with the reasons that Uber and Lyft have sky rocketed in success. Many traditional companies are making sure they have websites and apps where people can have the same time saving experience as they would get with the share riding companies. Cab numbers, prices, and driver names are easily shared via the apps and websites when people book cabs via these companies, much like a ride and driver name are shared via Uber or Lyft.
Ever had a taxi cab driver you didn’t like and filed a complaint with the company? While Uber and Lyft both have their fair share of ways to alert the company that they don’t like a driver – such as giving them a bad rating and an explanation of why – traditional taxi cab companies do much more to keep customers safe. Files are kept on drivers, with every filed complaint – whether by Twitter, Facebook, or email. The ride share companies attempt to distance themselves from their drivers – whom were not properly vetted to begin with, as stated earlier. If a driver has a record of bad behavior, a taxi company will usually let them go after a certain point. Uber and Lyft…not so much.
Taxi cab companies rule at staying on top of the trends.