The Philadelphia Inquirer published an interesting article this week on a new cab/limo service called Uber, which is now operating in Philadelphia.
The service costs almost twice as much as an ordinary cab, but by using a free app on your smartphone you can instantly summon a car to your location by tapping a button, ride in a shiny black Lincoln Town Car, and enjoy free cold water bottles while you ride. Additionally, the app instantly charges your account for the cost of your ride (tip included) so you do not have to worry about having cash on hand.
I found this concept interesting, and worthy of a discussion on multiple points.
- Some local cab companies are getting upset arguing that Uber should not be allowed since Uber cars that act as a hybrid taxi/limo service did not register for an official Philadelphia cab license and do not follow licensing rules to operate (I believe Uber is arguing there is a loophole that applies to their service since they are not officially taxis).
- What prevents people from accidentally butt-dialing Uber and ordering a ride? Do you think there are consequences if people order an Uber car, and then end up not waiting around until the car arrives at their location?
- Would you pay for this service?
- Interesting Note: they just opened a London Uber service in time for the Summer Olympics