Last week I was in Denver on business and needed to get a ride to the convention center from an area that didn’t have a cab within miles. One of the people I was with arranged a ride with Uber after I revealed that I didn’t have the app on my phone because we didn’t have the service where I lived (Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina). For the first time in a long while I felt like a backwoods Luddite.
Guess what? Uber’s coming to the Triad starting today:
The California-based company is expanding to Greensboro, Winston-Sale, Durham, Chapel Hill, Fayetteville and Wilmington, according to the newspaper. The company connects riders and drivers and has mostly been available in larger cities. It is already in use in Charlotte and Raleigh.
The mobile app is linked to a credit card and replaces hailing a cab or arranging for a car service. Customers download the app and the nearest available driver picks them up. A base fee of $2.43 is charged, and the customer is charged $1.46 per mile and 30 cents per minute. Uber gets a 20 percent cut and the driver keeps the remainder.
How about the argument that the permitted and regulated taxi and transportation services which pay license and other fees to the cities will be squeezed out as well as needed revenue by W-S & G’boro? And how do cities truly ban a phone app as has been done in some areas?
I don’t know that they can ban the app, but they can ban the drivers or cite them for violating a local ordinance. You’d think a better option for the city would be to assess the same fees and require a permit of some kind – just work a deal with the ride companies that would be set up kind of like a sales tax that then gets passed on to the municipality. As for the taxi companies…I guess they’ll learn how retailers feel about Amazon.