Uber Alles

6 thoughts on “Uber Alles”

  1. Uber is not really meant for small town where its comparatively easy to walk or use bicycle to reach most of the places. Such places don’t really use taxi also. Uber is more for big cities where you struggle to find a parking spot.

    Uber is trying to make people get ride of their cars, trying to make travelling on shared ride cheaper than owning a car. That’s the only way people will actually prefer Uber over a personal car.

    It should always be kept as an option and not the only way to travel around your city.

  2. Uber and Lyft are just an alternative to the sclerotic urban taxi business. Originally, taxi drivers sold rides to passengers. Then taxi companies sold shifts to drivers who then sold rides to passengers in hopes of earning enough to pay for the shift and to live on. Uber and Lyft brought back the driver selling rides to passengers by selling a dispatch service to the drivers. Of course, Uber and Lyft have a fair bit of power, so I’m hoping the drivers organize and push back as part of keeping the local government from shutting down such services.
    I live in a town of 20,000 in a rural county, and we have some bus service, but most people need to own a car. There are a few taxis available, but there is not enough ride density for ride on demand like Uber or Lyft. It would be nice of it could all be done with bicycles and short walks, but some people need taxis. Even relatively poor people use them to shop at the bigger stores and haul stuff home. Sometimes they are needed for medical appointments. A lot of these trips could be scheduled, so there is probably a niche for a small city or suburban dispatch service, but it wouldn’t be Uber or Lyft.

    1. When I was a kid in Glendale CA the rich old ladies up in the Verdugo Hills area would send a taxi to pick up their groceries or whatever and bring the stuff to them. And this was back in the 1940s and 50s. so the concept isn’t really new.

  3. Uber and Lyft are good coping mechanisms for the unfortunate way we have built our neighborhoods and cities. Living in a place where a walk is interesting and useful seems like a real luxury when you encounter place after place that is designed primarily for cars. Considering the painful and jerky process of transition from culture and habits of the automotive model, Uber and Lyft provide a high grade brand of methadone.

  4. Nail on the head. Uber is a minor (software) update on the taxi & taxis don’t work in suburbs. And autonomous vehicles are still cars. Maybe they’re cheaper, more efficient and/or can reduce congestion (I’m not convinced on those counts. I doubt Google is out to lose money.)

    But who cares? It’s all so much nibbling at the edges of the real problem, which is our strange self-inflicted dependence on automobiles and the associated subsidy required for our continued “freedom.”

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