Uber is taking over


By now, it is rare to find someone not familiar with Uber. For years now, the ride sharing service has been challenging and beating traditional taxi services, the company’s value being estimated at 50 billion dollars. In fact, one of the few things preventing Uber from fully dominating the market is not a substitute within their industry, but rather legislation. Uber faces legal difficulties in many different places all over the world. It seems almost the only thing that is ‘holding it back’. It seems however, that Uber is fully taking over.

Yesterday, Uber won a big battle in its legal war. In the United Kingdom, London’s High Court ruled on October 16th that Uber’s app is not a taximeter, and that therefore the company has not been breaking any laws by operating in the city. This means that Uber is officially legal in London. Could this mean that the traditional black ‘cabby’, that London is so famous for, will disappear? The cabbies had been protesting against Uber for years. Is this the final blow?

In the United States of America, Uber is now challenging rental cars. According to business expense management firm Certify, business travelers already prefer ride sharing services to taxis across the country. Services like Uber even challenge the rental car market. Certify reports that in San Francisco, a staggering 82 percent of hired car rides by its customers were ride shares, with 12 percent going for rental cars and only 6 percent choosing taxis. In other cities the difference is smaller. In Boston, for example, 45 percent of Certify’s customers chooses ride sharing services, 23 percent chooses rental cars and taxis maintained a ‘high’ market share of 32 percent.

All these figures are indicative of the success that ride sharing services like Uber have been enjoying. Can Uber be stopped? Can traditional taxi and car rental companies reinvent themselves to compete with Uber?

Sources:

Bender, A. (2015). Uber, Lyft have suprassed taxis, now spell trouble for the rental car business. Forbes.com, Retrieved 17 October 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewbender/2015/10/17/uber-lyft-have-surpassed-taxis-now-spell-trouble-for-the-rental-car-business/

Norman, M. (2015). Uber is overwhelming – London black cabs’ only future is tourism. The Independent. Retrieved 17 October 2015, from http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/uber-is-overwhelming-london-black-cabs-only-future-is-tourism-and-tetchy-tories-10332790.html

Segall, L. & Thompson, M. (2015). Uber: London court rules app is legal. CNNMoney. Retrieved 17 October 2015, from http://money.cnn.com/2015/10/16/technology/uber-london-court/

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One response to “Uber is taking over”

  1. 345268sa says :

    Nice post! I got the news too about Uber in the UK and it did not surprise me. Uber is a very nice example of digital innovations and disruption of a traditional business, and I support these.

    I happened to be in Boston 3 weeks ago. As you stated, indeed many people are using Uber, especially later on when the heavy winter will start.
    The trap of these services is that you’ll stop looking to the traditional ways and start using just the new services.
    I wanted to travel at 2 AM from a bar to my house and the Uber fare was changing per minute (personalized pricing –> setting the price based on your location). At one point it was 1.5. 5 minutes later is was 2.9.
    The base price would be $10 to my house (I know because I travelled with Uber to the hotel). It would thus cost me $29

    Just to experience myself if Uber indeed was the best option in every situation, I took a taxi back to my home. And guess what, it has cost me $18.

    My advice is to keep using your common sense parallel to all the new services, products and experiences. It might not always be as pretty as it seems!

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