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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Off topic maybe, but when I traveled to Austin for work, I was surprised how many rideshare companies there were out there. Kind of frustrating and confusing what app to download and who to order from since there were five or more rideshare companies to choose from. The fare was pretty expensive with Ride Austin, and if I compared that to Uber I bet it should (or would have been) have been 1/3 more vs Uber fare. Bad for rider, good for driver. My Ride Austin driver was a former grade school teacher from Houston, and he's full time in the business.
Summary, not having these two monopolies in Chicago may be good for smaller rideshare companies like Fasten and Ride Austin, ie, good for the drivers for a livable wage, fare price or cost to riders. Thoughts?
 

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Small competitors are all well and good - until somebody needs a ride.

The drivers will go where the passengers are, and the passengers will go where the drivers are.

For the time being, that means that Uber is still the king, and although Lyft helps to keep them in check, Chicago is still a two-party town.
 

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Off topic maybe, but when I traveled to Austin for work, I was surprised how many rideshare companies there were out there. Kind of frustrating and confusing what app to download and who to order from since there were five or more rideshare companies to choose from. The fare was pretty expensive with Ride Austin, and if I compared that to Uber I bet it should (or would have been) have been 2/3 of Uber fare. Bad for rider, good for driver. My Ride Austin driver was a former grade school teacher from Houston, and he's full time in the business.
Summary, not having these two monopolies in Chicago may be good for smaller rideshare companies like Fasten and Ride Austin, ie, good for the drivers for a livable wage, fare price or cost to riders. Thoughts?
I agree with your main principle. If Uber somehow got snuffed out, the aftermath would be like the Cambrian Explosion, because the market has already been artificially created by Uber. No way, in my opinion, does that rideshare ecosystem emerge in Austin if not but for the groundwork that Uber and Lyft did there...

The biggest benefit for a driver would be if somebody had a kind-of Universal app that would give you the best option among several competing companies. The reason that doesn't happen is because the web development is dependent on APIs, which are proprietary and come with terms of service. So Uber will not allow the API to be used in an app that *competes* with Uber.... it's like a catch 22... Google has opened the door for that concept somewhat, but it's complicated as to the how.

But once the consumer can shop for rideshare in exactly the same way I go to Google Flights and find the best deal, then it will take away the network effects that actually create the monopoly power.

Also: Keep in mind that Uber/Lyft were not *banned* from Austin, they left the market voluntarily because (why?).... a fingerprint requirement....

So all of the drivers should WANT a fingerprint requirement anyway, because that's one way that you prevent the streets from being swamped by Ubers. Taxis figured this out decades ago, but we live in an ahistorical world now. When Uber was leaning on drivers to fight City Hall, I was like, "no I think I'll sit and watch."

From there we can circle back around to The Pax. What exactly are they buying? A taxi? They could have had a taxi before Uber. There was never any public outrage over a lack of transportation options that I can remember, the kind of thing that would signal a need for development. The Uber phenomenon is 100% driven by price. And the service is incredibly cheap because the business model is not credible in and of itself. So the idea that Uber Pax are these sophisticated, progressive, urbanophiles is pure bullshit. They are Wal-mart shoppers, and the old-line industry mainstays are the 'mom and pop' stores of yesterday.
 
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From there we can circle back around to The Pax. What exactly are they buying? A taxi? They could have had a taxi before Uber. There was never any public outrage over a lack of transportation options that I can remember, the kind of thing that would signal a need for development. The Uber phenomenon is 100% driven by price. And the service is incredibly cheap because the business model is not credible in and of itself. So the idea that Uber Pax are these sophisticated, progressive, urbanophiles is pure bullshit. They are Wal-mart shoppers, and the old-line industry mainstays are the 'mom and pop' stores of yesterday.
I think you're giving Taxis too much credit. What was a Taxi before Uber? It was an unkept pisshole of a vehicle with 300,000 miles on it and an immigrant with bad English who mistreated passengers and pretended their credit cards were broken so they could get paid under the table in cash. Said immigrants were basically indendured servants to the cab companies who were paying $350,000 for a cab medallion, and passing the cost along to the cabbie's rental fee so that the cabbie had to work 80 hour weeks just to make a living. So you have a miserable immigrant driver, working insane hours to make a living, in a crap car ..... and PAX have to stand outside in rain, sleet, snow, sub-zero temps to hope to flag down a cab on a major street .... if you live in the city. If you live in the suburbs, you need to call 2 hours ahead just to hope to have a cab available on time. So .... how awesome the cab experience was before 2012. Man. I can't believe everybody wasn't trying to take a cab, when the bus or L comes every 10 minutes and the driver speaks English.

Now, Uber comes along. Most of the drivers are fluent in English. You need on average, 5 minutes notice in the city for pick-up at your door and 10 minutes in the suburbs. You don't need cash. The vehicles are typically newer than cabs. The costs are cheaper during non-rush-hour, about the same as taxi during rush-hour, and cost more during peak times. Believe it or not, people do put a premium on the technology and the pick up at the door, especially in inclement weather. Uber does not compete with cabs IMO. Cabs should be for drunk people to puke in and horny people to have sex in the back seat of. Everybody else should use Uber or Lyft.
 

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I think you're giving Taxis too much credit...
Yes, point taken. That business was driving itself into the ground anyway. But I'm just saying that many of these Pax would never be in a private car to begin with if the cost wasn't artificially dirt-cheap.

If there's anything that bugs me, it's when I hear pax of relative means raving about how much better the service is, but disregarding the fact that it's 50% off or more. They think that the pricing was all due to the evil taxi monopolies, but as we all know that's only half of the story. If our product is a better product, it should cost more, not less, but when you dial up that price we see exactly what happens and all these sophisticates vanish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Small competitors are all well and good - until somebody needs a ride.

The drivers will go where the passengers are, and the passengers will go where the drivers are.

For the time being, that means that Uber is still the king, and although Lyft helps to keep them in check, Chicago is still a two-party town.
Uber and Lyft left Austin bec they knew majority of drivers replacing the churn wouldn't be able to fill the gap ie applicants wouldn't pass more stringent finger print test. Does this mean there are a lot of drivers with criminal record?
 

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Uber and Lyft left Austin bec they knew majority of drivers replacing the churn wouldn't be able to fill the gap ie applicants wouldn't pass more stringent finger print test. Does this mean there are a lot of drivers with criminal record?
It means an FBI fingerprint background check costs a crap load more money than a regular background check.
 
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