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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought I would do a post in the style of Mr. Fishy (hope you don't mind).

I know taxi companies have their own trouble with licensing costs affecting what they can charge, but why are they not doing anything else to win back customers?

Simply being friendlier and showing up on time are big, cheap and easy wins. If the many riders I've talked to about this are anything to go by (and they probably are, as they're the paying customers/target market) this would be a big hit for the taxi companies.

Providing water, mints and charging cables costs a little, but if small contractors like Uber drivers can afford it, I'm sure bigger taxi companies can buy in bulk and provide these for next to nothing.

Why are taxi companies so hesitant in improving their service?
 

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Ok shock - I will take the bait .......
Firstly the cost of licenses is not the only and not the largest cost of doing business for a taxi ... The combination of the various insurances is !!! That includes correct commercial CTP , commercial comprehensive coverage and miscellaneous coverage , together with compulsory network fees in total can all add up to over $25,000 pa. these are costs that an uber driver doesn't pay (but legally should) the network fees can be compared to Ubers 20% grab except network fees for a average taxi only equate to approx 5% of gross / therefore what does Uber technologies do for you for the other 15%?? (Ie 4 x taxi company fees)
In regards to service levels whilst your eveidence is anecdotal there is plenty of independent research to support arrival of approx 80% of booked taxis within 10 mins .
It would be interesting to ask your riders this ' if uber were only 10% more than a taxi would you continue to use them because we have great water and some nice mints ?' Let me know your research results - I think it really only about price - everything else is feel good spin - but even so I do not understand if it is all about the improved service , friendliness , water and mints then why why why is there such a need to deeply discount such a great product - in any other industry you pay more for superior service - not less . Why is it so ??
Cheers SSDD
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Ok shock - I will take the bait .......
Firstly the cost of licenses is not the only and not the largest cost of doing business for a taxi ... The combination of the various insurances is !!! That includes correct commercial CTP , commercial comprehensive coverage and miscellaneous coverage , together with compulsory network fees in total can all add up to over $25,000 pa. these are costs that an uber driver doesn't pay (but legally should) the network fees can be compared to Ubers 20% grab except network fees for a average taxi only equate to approx 5% of gross / therefore what does Uber technologies do for you for the other 15%?? (Ie 4 x taxi company fees)
In regards to service levels whilst your eveidence is anecdotal there is plenty of independent research to support arrival of approx 80% of booked taxis within 10 mins .
It would be interesting to ask your riders this ' if uber were only 10% more than a taxi would you continue to use them because we have great water and some nice mints ?' Let me know your research results - I think it really only about price - everything else is feel good spin - but even so I do not understand if it is all about the improved service , friendliness , water and mints then why why why is there such a need to deeply discount such a great product - in any other industry you pay more for superior service - not less . Why is it so ??
Cheers SSDD
Not baiting, this was a genuine question and you gave a genuine answer.

"if uber were only 10% more than a taxi would you continue to use them"

I will ask that and report back.

"why is there such a need to deeply discount such a great product?"

I dont know, but I'm assuming it's to gain a competitive edge in the market here, where taxis still dominate.

Also, I think its part of their business plan. Again, it's anecdotal but here's my theory:

A few years ago when taxis were my only option of getting around half the time I simply wouldnt go out or be involved in activities as they were just too expensive to justify using. Now, with Uber as an option I've found I am way more inclined to go out and do things without taking the car. Back in the day the price of actually getting to the destination of an activity weighed heavily in my decision to partake in it or not. Now, I dont really think about it.

I think Uber's pricing encourages more people to use the service more often for more reasons.
 

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Not to defend the cab companies, but in the States they are highly regulated. There isn't much they can do.

A TNC with a friendly disposition is combo of more flexible and shorter hours than a traditional cab that drives as much as 80 hours a week and gets ****ed around so frequently.
 

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Ok shock - I will take the bait .......
Firstly the cost of licenses is not the only and not the largest cost of doing business for a taxi ... The combination of the various insurances is !!! That includes correct commercial CTP , commercial comprehensive coverage and miscellaneous coverage , together with compulsory network fees in total can all add up to over $25,000 pa. these are costs that an uber driver doesn't pay (but legally should) the network fees can be compared to Ubers 20% grab except network fees for a average taxi only equate to approx 5% of gross / therefore what does Uber technologies do for you for the other 15%?? (Ie 4 x taxi company fees)
In regards to service levels whilst your eveidence is anecdotal there is plenty of independent research to support arrival of approx 80% of booked taxis within 10 mins .
It would be interesting to ask your riders this ' if uber were only 10% more than a taxi would you continue to use them because we have great water and some nice mints ?' Let me know your research results - I think it really only about price - everything else is feel good spin - but even so I do not understand if it is all about the improved service , friendliness , water and mints then why why why is there such a need to deeply discount such a great product - in any other industry you pay more for superior service - not less . Why is it so ??
Cheers SSDD
So, as an UberX drive, a major insurer has covered me for "occasional commercial use " ( 50% of my milage is UberXing with 50% of that with passengers aboard ).
Network charges etc - well the 20% to Uber covers that.
Cost of the Taxi Plate - well some investments go up.... and some, like some shares I got a few years ago, have gone down. Just ask the local video store about the investment failing... or the local newsagent or the Milliner, or the Buggy & Cart makers..
so it looks like the rest of your costs are artificial over inflation of costs.
for the Taxi Industry in Australia, lift your game and adapt or perish
 

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for the Taxi Industry in Australia, lift your game and adapt or perish
Why do they have to perish? Is that the UBER mission? I missed that if it is true, please direct me to source.

Best thing is to legalize / legislate UBER, then we have open, free market, the users can decide.... and they will very quickly!

Taxis do things UBER don't want to do, most won't admit it, I think both can survive & flourish too
 

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Couldn't agree more snowman - UberX drivers need an even playing field to help them even if they don't know it - I hope when Uber is intergrated in the ground transportation industry as a player that they all don't cry foul - obviously every government considering is also trying to equalise the safety aspects - 6 monthly proper Transport inspections over the pits, on the brake rollers and the shakers will be the first one ..
What do you think ?
Any concession given to the Ubers should also given to the taxi industry - then if Uberx drivers want to continue to drive for nothing then fine .
The simplest way to solve this problem is to launch UberBlack into brisbane to replace UberX - then everyone conforms- more an equal playing field - when you take all of the hidden costs out of driving Uber it really becomes questionable .
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Couldn't agree more snowman - UberX drivers need an even playing field to help them even if they don't know it - I hope when Uber is intergrated in the ground transportation industry as a player that they all don't cry foul - obviously every government considering is also trying to equalise the safety aspects - 6 monthly proper Transport inspections over the pits, on the brake rollers and the shakers will be the first one ..
What do you think ?
Any concession given to the Ubers should also given to the taxi industry - then if Uberx drivers want to continue to drive for nothing then fine .
The simplest way to solve this problem is to launch UberBlack into brisbane to replace UberX - then everyone conforms- more an equal playing field - when you take all of the hidden costs out of driving Uber it really becomes questionable .
This is what I've been saying all along (especially to Fishy who refuses to hear it).

As both a driver and customer I have 0 allegiance to Uber. If the taxi industry where somehow to lift their service standard and drop their price overnight I would have no qualms about using them over Uber. It's just that currently Uber offers the best.

Ideally, I would want the entire industry deregulated so Uber and taxis (and hopefully other services like Lyft) can all charge competitive prices. Not only would that be the best for customers, but also drivers who could choose the company that offers the best working conditions for them.
 

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This is what I've been saying all along (especially to Fishy who refuses to hear it).

As both a driver and customer I have 0 allegiance to Uber. If the taxi industry where somehow to lift their service standard and drop their price overnight I would have no qualms about using them over Uber. It's just that currently Uber offers the best.

Ideally, I would want the entire industry deregulated so Uber and taxis (and hopefully other services like Lyft) can all charge competitive prices. Not only would that be the best for customers, but also drivers who could choose the company that offers the best working conditions for them.
I am probably way below my league here in a Aussie discussion, but I can assure you that in the States deregulation has been a disaster. In fact, there never would have been any regulation if it worked well without it.
 

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One reason for bad response times is that cities limit the amount of taxi permits.

That is Ubers biggest advantage, it can recruit thousands of drivers that don't cost Uber a dime after they are registered.
 

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Why do they have to perish? Is that the UBER mission? I missed that if it is true, please direct me to source.

Best thing is to legalize / legislate UBER, then we have open, free market, the users can decide.... and they will very quickly!

Taxis do things UBER don't want to do, most won't admit it, I think both can survive & flourish too
That is possible, but certainly questionable. Uber has far more money behind it thus allowing them to lose money while driving the cabs out of business. And that is not even to mention the costs they dodge by not playing by the regulations that taxis do.

I don't have a source, but why would a company the magnitude of Uber want any competitions?
 

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In my opinion, the only way for taxis to survive and create a better service is for cities to deregulate number of permits allowed and to limit permits to owner operators. No more companies that own multiple taxis.

Taxi companies make profits that could be going to drivers. With a little more money drivers would invest more in their cars and would give them a vested interest in creating a good customer experience.

That being said at least taxi company profits are spent locally, Uber sends its profits to overseas tax havens.
 
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In my opinion, the only way for taxis to survive and create a better service is for cities to deregulate number of permits allowed and to limit permits to owner operators. No more companies that own multiple taxis.

Taxi companies make profits that could be going to drivers. With a little more money drivers would invest more in their cars and would give them a vested interest in creating a good customer experience.

That being said at least taxi company profits are spent locally, Uber sends its profits to overseas tax havens.
I don't think it is that simple. At least for the most part.

Here in Austin, the drivers themselves do not care for additional permits and drivers on the streets. Why? It is simple: the more drivers on the streets mean less money for all of them, and the income here isn't all that great under the best of circumstances.

To make this work, the government would have to intervene and provide a guaranteed income to every driver. The current political climate wouldn't support this at all, although it might actually be cost effective.
 

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Why do they have to perish? Is that the UBER mission? I missed that if it is true, please direct me to source.

Best thing is to legalize / legislate UBER, then we have open, free market, the users can decide.... and they will very quickly!

Taxis do things UBER don't want to do, most won't admit it, I think both can survive & flourish too
TheSnowman, you are 100% correct, and I was loose with my language when I used the term " adapt or perish"
What I basically mean, is that consumers, when offered an option, are looking at that option, and if the Taxi Industry, wants to remain relevant and successful and protect their investment, then they may have to adapt in the current marketplace.

eg Newspaper Companies like Fairfax etc. have had to adapt to the digital age, not as many papers being sold, classified sales are well down... how are they to survive? Adapt.
Taxi Industry, in the face of a new option in the point to point transport area, may have to change the way that it does business.
Maybe the Taxi Industry should, rather than demand that UberX drivers pay the same ridiculously high charges that it does, demand to have their own charges reduced.
Anyway, as a former Taxi Driver, I'm certainly aware that UberX is not a replacement to the Taxi Industry, but a complementary product.
 

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Totally agree with you about keeping it local and out of the hands of global enterprises.

The slogan here is "keep austin weird", meaning keep our personality, support local business and arts, and just be yourself rather than being a corporate slave.

This has all been lost as the support for global TNCs is driving full time local cabbies out of business. The youngsters in particular, are entitled and impatient, and they think the app is cool and all of it is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

They should be careful of what they wish for. An Uber monopoly on global ground transport might not be pleasant.
 

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I don't think it is that simple. At least for the most part.

Here in Austin, the drivers themselves do not care for additional permits and drivers on the streets. Why? It is simple: the more drivers on the streets mean less money for all of them, and the income here isn't all that great under the best of circumstances.

To make this work, the government would have to intervene and provide a guaranteed income to every driver. The current political climate wouldn't support this at all, although it might actually be cost effective.
Maybe, but this is exactly what Uber is doing. They will put out as many drivers as they can, they don't care because there is no cost to Uber.

What the government needs to do is step in and regulate the amount of Uber and taxis available.
 

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Maybe, but this is exactly what Uber is doing. They will put out as many drivers as they can, they don't care because there is no cost to Uber.

What the government needs to do is step in and regulate the amount of Uber and taxis available.
I thought you were saying that the permits should be increased. I am confused.
 

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Maybe, but this is exactly what Uber is doing. They will put out as many drivers as they can, they don't care because there is no cost to Uber.

What the government needs to do is step in and regulate the amount of Uber and taxis available.
Oh, and really level the playing field for taxis. If X insurance and Y driver back ground checks is good enough for Uber, then the same should apply to taxis.
 

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I thought you were saying that the permits should be increased. I am confused.
Increasing number of permits is best way to better response rates for taxi companies, but means less work for drivers.
 
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