The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I have been using Uber for a couple of years now, after discovering it on a trip to NYC. Using taxis in Miami is probably the single most unpleasant aspect of visiting our city. For years, clients and friends who visited complained about their experiences. Since I started using Uber, I have realized that the taxi experience in our city is nothing short of atrocious. Imagine you are a tourist who flies in from abroad. You leave the airport and have not yet had time to change currencies. You get in line at the taxi stand and realize that all the taxis are 20 year old retired cop cars. You tell the stand attendant where you are going, as if that meant something. As soon as you get in the cab you'll just have to repeat it. You have a large suitcase, and instead of getting out to help, the driver pops the trunk and waits for you to put your own bag in. You get in the cab and realize that he has slid both font seats as far back as possible. The car smells like its full of old gym socks, and your driver won't turn on the air because it uses too much gas. You give him the address you are going to, but he has no GPS, so you end up having to give him directions. When you arrive after directing him the whole way, you ask if there aren't flat fares from the airport, but he explains that for some reason, your trip did not apply. Instead of fighting, you take out your credit card, because after all, it is the 21st century. He then explains that he does not receive credit cards. He refuses to take your card and you have no local currency, so with the meter still running, he drives you a few blocks to the ATM, and then back to the hotel. Naturally, when you arrive for the second time he poops the trunk while sitting in the car so you can remove your luggage before complaining about the lack of generosity in your tip. We live in a tourist city in a tourist state, and this is the first impression we give our travelers. I have found Uber to be prompt, courteous, clean and safe in a way I have never felt about cabs in this city. This service provides a clear alternative for people who want a positive transportation experience, and I count myself among the many who believe that it provides a healthy and necessary competitor to our current transportation system.