Friday, November 21, 2014

Uber is not a race to the bottom

Today, a famous Toronto newspaper columnist tore into Uber, based on the fact that the founder is an obnoxious pirk.  They all are, down there, and we need some of those in Toronto.  I mean, we have Conrad, but he's kind of useless.

Now, columnists really are in a race to the bottom, as we see here.  His economic analysis is based on the pre- Industrial Revolution cottage industry.  Taxi drivers in Toronto are like that, since all the medallions are held by Conrads.

As I have mentioned to my good buddy, John Tory, Uber is a 'free-rider' in two things:  insurance, and congestion charges.  But I don't think they are any worse than the typical Toronto business, single person car commuter, who has a free (tax-deductible) downtown parking spot.

I foresee the day when we all are forced to have a provincial sealed gps unit, probably run by the insurance industry.  Congestion charges will be automatically forwarded to the City for transit.  Uber will pay just like everyone else, but their quality is controlled by reviews and choice.  Thus, if you really want to be picked up by a high-rated BMW, then you choose to wait for another minute or two.  And the driver can choose not to pick up a notorious drunk puker.  You have no choice and no reviews for taxi drivers, who pick you up in a barfy car with broken seats.

I just did this because my daughter used Uber while visiting in Palo Alto.  It was great service, totally safe for a single woman.

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