Uber continues to innovate while the old models continue to strangulate.
Here’s a good comment on how to move forward (as if the city could get its act together)
It is very simple.
UBER is not a new phenomenon – this type of transit is popular in eastern europe, particularly former soviet republics. Its called a “marshrutka” there.
Basically its a private transit that fills the gaps left by official city transport. Not as cheap as city transit, not as expensive as taxis. And it works.
Toronto needs to adopt this model rather then fight it.
1) Deregulate taxi industry. Remove fees, surcharges, most rules, plate limits – everything. Being a taxi driver should be very very simple: clean driving record, a car, insurance – and thats it. No need for special cars or rules. This will allow cabbies to compete – some companies will fail, others will spring up.
2) Work with insurance industry to launch a special type of car insurance for these drivers. its not rocket science – just basic liability with premium adjusted for higher time spent on the road. Thats it. Nothing special.
3) Deregulate TTC, let them launch their own variant of UBER. I see NO reason why TTC cant attract private drivers to drive on ad-hoc routes on a subcontractor basis. Copy uber’s app, call it something snappy, give drivers a framework, and let the market set price and schedules and routes. TTC takes a smaller cut then UBER of course. Let TTC compete with taxis. And everybody wins. Pressure is taken off crumbling street cars and overcrowded subways, public is given flexibility they need.
4) if roads and traffic jams are the problem – BUILD. NORMAL. ROADS. Key word – BUILD. Politicians waste time, while population and density keeps on growing. If council cant agree – sweep them away, put normal people in there that CAN make normal decisions.
Pools of SUVs, minivans and other high-occupancy vehicles waited at locations in Liberty Village, the Distillery District, Fort York and CityPlace.
Another good article on how the cab industry is full of parasites who hurt drivers first and then fares.