As an example in DC, a single cab company is given the contract for Dulles airport - but this also requires them to provide a set level of service with x number of cabs available at the airport even during very slow late night hours.
Uber would just surge price you to $100 or more during those late night hours and still not guarantee anyone would be there providing service.
There's no doubt existing cab service can be lousy, but scrapping it without providing the same level of service 'all the time' is something the Uber/On Demand simply hasn't been able to articulate yet - except for 'surge pricing' with no guarantees.
The problem is when the 'on demand' service is in reality a required infrastructure for a modern society.
Comparing taxi service in NYC (or any modern city) to ebay and Etsy is just ridiculous.
If taxi's are removed in favor of Uber, how do you guarantee you'll have sufficient service available? That's called regulation and is required for infrastructure...else you get jacked rates as demand increases for a scarce good. Good economic theory but bad macro planning for a functioning society.
Uber's response is surge pricing...which prices people out of the market and pricing people out of basic infrastructure isn't generally a good idea for said functioning society.
Never said the current system was great or efficient.
"Now, when your flight's coming in to land, you can order a ride on your cellphone"
At 3AM? What if no Uber drivers feel like working that shift? Maybe they do, but you can't just leave it up to chance. Edge cases matter and you still haven't answered how to handle them except waving your hands saying it will be ok.
The problem of having no taxis available at all hours was solved via regulations and the medallion systems. Just solve that problem with Uber and it's a non-issue. Problem is nobody seems willing to do so.
'Efficient' means some people don't get served because they aren't a profitable customer.
Taxis in a major city are effectively a piece of the transportation infrastructure. In DC, a single company is contracted to serve Dulles airport. Why? Because it isn't profitable for a lone taxi to sit at the airport at 3am on the off chance someone might need a ride.
It's an edge case, but when applying infrastructure to a city you need to serve everyone, subsidizing the expensive with the cheap.
If Uber is able to cherry pick only the profitable (efficient) customers the existing Taxis end up with only the unprofitable customers and go out of business. Now what? Do you *require* Uber to have people standing by at the airport at 3am? Hell is there even anyone on call at 3am? At what price?
These are questions nobody here seems to ever want to answer in the defense of the new and shiny.
Exactly. Perhaps comparing the GPS locations of the car and of the phone may help.
Or in the simplest case, are the 'relay' devices 1 way or 2 way? Having a back and forth handshake would at least require 2 way communication...or have something that requires a some delay that allows your phone to notify you and give you the option to say 'no' before it unlocks itself (and of course alert you that hey someone is unlocking your car!).
The exact way it was handled? They talked to him and determined he wasn't a threat. Keep monitoring for hints of actual plans but until then he's just a lunatic ranting...which isn't a crime or many of us would have incarcerated grandparents.