Uber/Lyft decimated stranglehold of taxi commissions (and associated corruption) in cities like New York. Brilliance of Uber model: didn’t require taxpayers to spend billions and wait for decades on infrastructure–Second Avenue subway line proposed 1919 won’t complete until 2027!
2. In many cities in US facing budget crises (and true in other countries as well) it takes decades for public transit infrastructure to be approved and built. Uber/Lyft helped leapfrog that problem/plugged the gaps by optimizing existing transit capacity and infrastructure.
3. As big a fan as I am of public transit we have to recognize that it doesn’t solve the “last mile” problem (or help those cope with public transport related social anxiety/claustrophobia)- Uber/Lyft solved that problem while creating job opportunities.
4. We often forget what a terrible, lose-lose situation the New York City taxi cab medallion system was for passengers and drivers (price of a NYC taxi medallion went from around $200,000 to more than $1 million before Uber crashed that system!) https://slate.com/business/2012/06/taxi-medallions-how-new-yorks-terrible-taxi-system-makes-fares-higher-and-drivers-poorer …
5. Accompanied by no leaps in quality of service, by 2011, New York taxi cab fares had gone up six times since 1980, yet drivers’ real income fell because of rising gas prices and surging medallion leasing costs. This situation was ripe for disruption.
6. Anyway, before we wax nostalgic about the good old days before Uber and Lyft, read this https://slate.com/business/2012/06/taxi-medallions-how-new-yorks-terrible-taxi-system-makes-fares-higher-and-drivers-poorer.html …
7. Cities made millions of dollars selling taxi medallions, now taxi drivers are paying the price. Several drivers who had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars (some took out loans) have committed suicide as the price of their medallions plunged. https://www.npr.org/2018/10/15/656595597/cities-made-millions-selling-taxi-medallions-now-drivers-are-paying-the-price …
8. One way New York City is looking to prop up the value of taxi medallions is now causing Uber and Lyft to not hire new drivers (both have filed lawsuits) which means customers will pay higher fares (Uber, Lyft already lose money on each ride). https://gizmodo.com/uber-and-lyft-cut-off-hiring-of-new-drivers-in-nyc-as-n-1834417266 …
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