I met an Uber driver today who was driving a black Toyota Prius. The car was dirty and a little scuffed up. The Uber logo was displayed in the passenger side of the windshield. The driver was a 63 year old disabled carpenter with less than two weeks of experience ! He was dressed in a plaid shirt, blue jeans, and running shoes. Appearance-wise he fit the profile of a taxi driver. He mentioned to me that despite putting in many hours he was yet to show a profit ! Coincidentally, a prominent labor attorney in Boston has filed a class-action suit against Uber for exploiting its riders. The car he was driving did not have commercial plates. He was not the owner of the car. He explained that the owner of the car paid a percentage to Uber and would also pay a percentage to the driver. The driver was completely unaware of the type of insurance that he was covered by in the event of an accident. This is the poorest excuse of a livery service I have ever seen. The car was not equipped with a meter or a top light or any lettering on the vehicle that identified it as a taxi cab and the driver had no San Francisco cab driver’s permit or a medallion.
The customers love being able to play with an app on their phone and have a car magically appear. Uber, by breaking every rule in the book, is able to deliver this service to their customers at the peril of every person who rides with them. As Forrest Gump said in paraphrase, Uber drivers are like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get and there are plenty of nuts. There are numerous lawsuits worldwide against Uber because of their flouting of the law, rules, regulations, and safety of their riders. Recently, officials at the Los Angeles police department have seen the danger to Uber clients that they made the decision to crack down hard on Uber and other ride-share operations. As more about this new company Uber comes to light and when some politician is seriously harmed the Governmental agencies will be galvanized into action.
Uber has rocked the Limousine and Taxi industry alike. Millions of drivers worldwide have had their incomes and their abilities to support their families seriously threatened by these upstarts. For example: Taxi drivers are required to pick up all fares, even the three dollar ones. Whereas Uber has a fifteen dollar minimum charge. In essence, Uber’s policy is to skim the higher fares off the top and leave the lower paying fares to the taxi drivers of every major city in the U.S. The PUC in Pittsburgh , Pa. issued an order for Uber to cease and desist and Los Angeles the same. So, American consumers, if you want to hire a limousine service where the drivers have no experience and no dress code you pay for what you get.