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Aug. 17, 2015

Call an Uber

by Lauren Frost, Online Entertainment Editor
"Call an Uber," is becoming a more commonly-heard phrase in this day and age. People want to be able to get places quickly and directly, and this need has increased the use of Uber and other ride services. Uber is a ride-sharing service that allows people to call a car from an app on their phone, and the closest car will come pick them up. What sets Uber apart from a taxi service is that anyone can be an Uber driver as long as they have a car that meets Uber standards and passes their background check. As companies such as Uber become bigger, the need for taxi services has decreased. This increase in competition has created a rift between taxi services and Uber.
Uber and other ride sharing programs currently don’t have any regulations, because the technology and the idea of these types of programs are so new.
Uber allows people to call a car from an app on their smartphone. Courtesy of Uber
Uber allows people to call a car from an app on their smartphone.

In New York City, a city known for the widespread use of taxis, legislators have already struck down bills that would regulate Uber.
Uber deserves a chance to succeed further and grow as a business, and allowing the government to regulate it would take away that chance. If the government truly wanted to help the taxi service, and not hurt Uber by doing it, they should consider why Uber has had so much success over taxi’s and other services like it. The main reasons to keep Uber unregulated is that it keeps the pricing competitive. Uber’s prices are usually much lower than other companies.

One reason Uber is so popular is that calling an Uber car is much faster and much more convenient than calling a cab. An Uber car will come much faster than a cab because the cars are already driving and are looking for the person nearest to them. This is a much more effective way of calling a car than through a taxi service, where you have to hail a cab from the streets or call ahead. Uber eliminates not only the time it takes to hail a car, but also the time spent waiting for it to arrive.

To many people Uber is also seen as safer than taxi’s. Uber drivers, like taxi drivers, have to go through background checks and screenings. But unlike regular taxis, the company has a GPS on the cars, which tracks every single ride that an Uber driver gives. Riders also get the full names of their drivers, their photo, and their license plate number. The payment for the ride is through credit card and completely cashless, which somewhat eliminates a threat of theft and makes it easier for the passenger to pay.
 Uber has been huge competition for Taxi services, greatly due to their lower fares and faster service. Courtesy of New York Post
Uber has been huge competition for Taxi services, greatly due to their lower fares and faster service.

According to an article in The Washington Post , Uber is also more likely to serve poorer communities, as well as more likely to pick up passengers of color. Many people and celebrities such as actor Danny Glover have talked about the struggle of hailing a cab as a person of color for many years. According to an ABC News article this is mostly due to racial profiling and biases. The technology that Uber uses makes it hard for a driver to refuse a person a ride on the basis of their race because the driver does not see the person they are picking up.

As long as Uber continues to be transparent about how their company is run, there is no need for the government to regulate or interfere with what the company is doing. The government should be willing to make some changes in the taxi industry in order to keep it competitive with new innovation. Instead of stifling growth through regulations, the government, and the taxi industry, should adapt to the changes that are surrounding them.

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  • HLee on August 18, 2015 at 11:54 PM
    But what it is it like to have a core member of the family - usually the father - support the family with his income as a taxi driver, and perhaps his other part-time jobs? This article is entirely from the customers' point of view. Which is important, of course, but we have to protect the workers of the taxi industry as well, especially considering that Uber probably has many less workers than the taxi industry does. Uber is the new Walmart - it is, precisely because it's so convenient, completely dominating the market and crushing the existing and already outdated industry. At least Walmart has many employees and could be argued to create jobs (while destroying them...).

    Regulations are brought up for a reason. Unfortunately, too often the people with lots of money and connections - the people with power - make those regulations, so it's up to us to keep a lookout and call justice when it's needed. Uber is growing already, regardless of regulations. The regulations aren't going to shut Uber down, they're simply to control its growth, although it's dominating the market already.
  • Edward (View Email) on August 20, 2015 at 9:11 AM
    Interesting collection of responses. I can only give my own perception based on my own experiences. I have a certain advantage in uber taxi.
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