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(Mother Nature Network)   That death knell you just heard was for the traditional taxi cab industry in California   (mnn.com) divider line 64
    More: Sad, Uber, MNN Bloggers, California Public Utilities Commission  
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10731 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Sep 2013 at 9:09 AM (47 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-21 09:14:20 AM
I prefer death gnomes.
 
2013-09-21 09:14:21 AM
"The services will have to put their drivers through background checks, police for alcohol and drugs, and train their drivers. They'll also have to post $1 million insurance policies, which is what personal car sharing services do. There are 28 regulations in all, and all the services will have to be state registered."

Sooo...  they're taxi cabs?

Also, for you, Subby:

oi44.tinypic.com
 
2013-09-21 09:15:40 AM
www.grudge-match.com
 
2013-09-21 09:20:35 AM
At the risk of being pessimistic about human nature, is this service not more likely to attract sexual predators as potential drivers than genuine good Samaritans? I don't imagine it will be very long before we hear about the first rape case from this.
 
2013-09-21 09:24:26 AM

Brosef Stalin: At the risk of being pessimistic about human nature, is this service not more likely to attract sexual predators as potential drivers than genuine good Samaritans? I don't imagine it will be very long before we hear about the first rape case from this.


Not sure too many such people will carry $1 million insurance policies.
 
2013-09-21 09:24:42 AM
Maybe the taxi industry would do better if they could actually guarantee someone will get to you in a reasonable time and used GPS routing to keep drivers from gouging the crap out of you.

Or they can whine about it to paid off legislators, that's cool too.
 
2013-09-21 09:25:07 AM
....and Uber charging taxi-type rates, but not requiring tipping

But it's those greedy 1% bastards that put the rest of us out of work.
 
2013-09-21 09:25:55 AM

Brosef Stalin: At the risk of being pessimistic about human nature, is this service not more likely to attract sexual predators as potential drivers than genuine good Samaritans? I don't imagine it will be very long before we hear about the first rape case from this.


There's no guarantee a traditional taxi service doesn't have dangerous people on the payroll either.
 
2013-09-21 09:30:12 AM
So, a bunch of people with a lot of time on their hands, and cars of varying/questionable maintenance, are going to be put through a one weekend rubber-stamp training course and then set out on the road with a $1 million insurance policy on them.

It's like crooked lawyer Shangri-la. Whiplash claims are going to jump 900% the first year.
 
2013-09-21 09:31:18 AM

Speaker2Animals: Brosef Stalin: At the risk of being pessimistic about human nature, is this service not more likely to attract sexual predators as potential drivers than genuine good Samaritans? I don't imagine it will be very long before we hear about the first rape case from this.

Not sure too many such people will carry $1 million insurance policies.


Why not? Is there a box on the insurance form that says will you use this policy to enable you to enlist in a service that allows you to pick up chicks in your rapemobile? I just think someone's motivations for wanting to drive around picking up strangers for free are historically not usually charitable and I don't see why sketchy dudes wouldn't jump through a couple of hoops for such an opportunity.
 
2013-09-21 09:33:32 AM

EdNortonsTwin: Brosef Stalin: At the risk of being pessimistic about human nature, is this service not more likely to attract sexual predators as potential drivers than genuine good Samaritans? I don't imagine it will be very long before we hear about the first rape case from this.

There's no guarantee a traditional taxi service doesn't have dangerous people on the payroll either.


True. But at least its a more established service with greater regulation. And also getting paid is a more reasonable motivation for picking up strangers than human kindness.
 
2013-09-21 09:37:50 AM
I find a lot of people use it here in Boston. I'm not sure how well the idea scales in a major city. A hack license is supposed to provide a barrier to entry so the streets don't become congested with a guy and their car trying to make money. Maybe the idea is outdated? I don't know.
 
2013-09-21 09:39:47 AM
I'm still having a tough time wrapping my head around that there had to be a vote of some sort to determine if it was legal for strangers to pick up strangers and take them to their destination because they were quasi-organized.
 
2013-09-21 09:41:52 AM
You know who else killed traditional public transportation in California?

images4.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2013-09-21 09:50:48 AM
Do the taxis now have competition?  This is a bad thing?
 
2013-09-21 09:54:51 AM
This is why NYC is so frightened of this.

It's a shady business.  Full of tax loopholes and questionable employees.  Of course they don't want anything new.
 
2013-09-21 09:55:44 AM
A buddy of mine owns a dive shop on Catalina island and the local cab company complained that he was taking money from them by giving rides to people who had rented gear from him, to the dive park a mile away.  Not safety related mind you, they specifically complained about the money.  The problem is, the cabs won't let divers in wet, salty neoprene get in to the vehicles, so basically it was a giant eff u to both a local business and visitors to the island because the cabbies couldn't rip them off.  And before anyone comes back with "what's wrong with just walking a mile?" - walking a mile in normal clothes and walking a mile in a 7mm wetsuit with two tanks, dive gear and weights is a little different.
 
2013-09-21 09:55:53 AM

EdNortonsTwin: Brosef Stalin: At the risk of being pessimistic about human nature, is this service not more likely to attract sexual predators as potential drivers than genuine good Samaritans? I don't imagine it will be very long before we hear about the first rape case from this.

There's no guarantee a traditional taxi service doesn't have dangerous people on the payroll either.


imageshack.com

concurs.

//Taxi drivers are gonna be out of work anyhow once we can finally have driverless cars.
 
2013-09-21 09:56:51 AM
If a RoomFullOfMonkeys had a bunch of typewriters...
 
2013-09-21 10:01:31 AM

Brosef Stalin: EdNortonsTwin: Brosef Stalin: At the risk of being pessimistic about human nature, is this service not more likely to attract sexual predators as potential drivers than genuine good Samaritans? I don't imagine it will be very long before we hear about the first rape case from this.

There's no guarantee a traditional taxi service doesn't have dangerous people on the payroll either.

True. But at least its a more established service with greater regulation. And also getting paid is a more reasonable motivation for picking up strangers than human kindness.


FTFA: All three of these services are cheaper than a standard taxi, with Lyft and Sidecar soliciting "donations" and Uber charging taxi-type rates, but not requiring tipping.

Not exactly free.

For the taxi companies: Just give it a few years, these enterprises will either collapse because people stop offering their time, at some point it is just not new or trendy any more and then there won't be enough cheap "cabbies" to keep things going, or it will get ever more organised until they are a cab company as well. With all the accompanying red tape and so on.
 
2013-09-21 10:07:53 AM

Brosef Stalin: At the risk of being pessimistic about human nature, is this service not more likely to attract sexual predators as potential drivers than genuine good Samaritans? I don't imagine it will be very long before we hear about the first rape case from this.


At the risk of being pessimistic about the economy, I think that inflation and salaries will get to the point that the benefits of gypsy cabs will outweigh the "Ermagerd what if he's like Ted Bundy" factor, as seems to be happening already.  And the worse things get, the harder it will be for the Nanny State to do background checks and say, "you were caught with a doobie at 16?  No gypsy cab gig for you."
 
2013-09-21 10:12:10 AM

DerAppie: Brosef Stalin: EdNortonsTwin: Brosef Stalin: At the risk of being pessimistic about human nature, is this service not more likely to attract sexual predators as potential drivers than genuine good Samaritans? I don't imagine it will be very long before we hear about the first rape case from this.

There's no guarantee a traditional taxi service doesn't have dangerous people on the payroll either.

True. But at least its a more established service with greater regulation. And also getting paid is a more reasonable motivation for picking up strangers than human kindness.

FTFA: All three of these services are cheaper than a standard taxi, with Lyft and Sidecar soliciting "donations" and Uber charging taxi-type rates, but not requiring tipping.

Not exactly free.

For the taxi companies: Just give it a few years, these enterprises will either collapse because people stop offering their time, at some point it is just not new or trendy any more and then there won't be enough cheap "cabbies" to keep things going, or it will get ever more organised until they are a cab company as well. With all the accompanying red tape and so on.


I think self-driving cars will be the final nail in the coffin for traditional taxi services. Nobody  is going to tip a machine, and a lot of people don't like making small talk with strangers, even ones that speak English. Whether or not ride-sharing companies grab a slice of the pie first probably doesn't matter much.
 
2013-09-21 10:12:23 AM
img90.imageshack.us
 
2013-09-21 10:18:51 AM

FilmBELOH20: A buddy of mine owns a dive shop on Catalina island and the local cab company complained that he was taking money from them by giving rides to people who had rented gear from him, to the dive park a mile away.  Not safety related mind you, they specifically complained about the money.  The problem is, the cabs won't let divers in wet, salty neoprene get in to the vehicles, so basically it was a giant eff u to both a local business and visitors to the island because the cabbies couldn't rip them off.  And before anyone comes back with "what's wrong with just walking a mile?" - walking a mile in normal clothes and walking a mile in a 7mm wetsuit with two tanks, dive gear and weights is a little different.


Why don't they just swim to the ocean? There must be rivers or at the very least run-off ditches that they could navigate in their S&M Cousteau costumes?
 
2013-09-21 10:22:06 AM

Dinki: You know who else killed traditional public transportation in California?

[images4.wikia.nocookie.net image 310x173]


You know who else was in the taxi cab industry?

home.comcast.net
 
2013-09-21 10:22:31 AM
FTFA: Come to think of it, there's no guarantee that your taxi driver isn't Ted Bundy.

I think him being dead is a pretty good guarantee.
 
2013-09-21 10:55:45 AM
Between this and AirBNB and Spirit Airlines, your next trip can really suck ass but you can save like 30%.
 
2013-09-21 11:00:17 AM
As I understand it, the taxi industry is responsible for the l.a. subway stopping a mile short of lax, so they can fark right off along with the political whores that took their money.
 
2013-09-21 11:02:09 AM
A friend of mine just started this and here's what I can tell you that these stories don't after looking into it myself:

1: No anonymity - Unlike taxis in downtown areas where anyone can hail a cab, Lyft relies on an app that is tied to a facebook account and a credit card. If something were to happen, they would know who was the driver and who was the rider. Two firms of ID so to speak - Facebook and a Credit Card. Enough to track anyone down quickly.
2: Being in a new market, the 'cars of questionable state of maintenance' has come up. One of these ridesharing companies requires a car be less than 10 years old, clean, and able to pass local inspections (most cities where they operate require safety and emissions inspections), and another I was looking at today had a simple rule: of the 80% of 'fare' you earn, for every year of age of your vehicle, you lose an additional 3.5%. So that 2010? 69.5% of the fare is all you will earn. 2005? 53% of the fare is all you get. They do this to deter those with older and less maintained cars.
3: The do NICS background checks, as well as state and local checks beyond what's in the NICS database.
4: One thing people don't get is - a 'driver' can lose their status if they get enough less-than-stellar ratings from riders. Show me a cab driver who has been fired for their lack of perfect performance?
5: Since these services provide the route viewable by both driver and rider (at least the one my friend uses does), this means no more taking the 'long route' for people who don't know their way around town. Less scamming the tourists.

And what training? Here in NC, it's a 2-day class, a pee cup, and some forms for background checks, and $250 out of pocket. That's it. And they only check the last 5 years for both criminal and driving records. Many taxi cab drivers are drug users, criminals of misdemeanor crimes, and even registered sex offenders. Lyft wouldn't allow them to drive based on the difference in requirements.
 
2013-09-21 11:08:23 AM

ZzeusS: This is why NYC is so frightened of this.

It's a shady business.  Full of tax loopholes and questionable employees.  Of course they don't want anything new.


Oh for god's sake. "shady employees." Wait, wait, anyone who ever did anything bad ever anywhere no matter how long ago should never be able to have a job anywhere ever. Because Jesus.
 
2013-09-21 11:11:13 AM
This is one of those cases where the startups seem ignorant, perhaps willfully so, of the problems taxi laws ( and in some cases monopolies) were put in place to solve.

It's been the general experience that you need some central way to deal with customer grievances because the potential for abuse is high.
 
2013-09-21 11:13:30 AM

FilmBELOH20: A buddy of mine owns a dive shop on Catalina island and the local cab company complained that he was taking money from them by giving rides to people who had rented gear from him, to the dive park a mile away.  Not safety related mind you, they specifically complained about the money.  The problem is, the cabs won't let divers in wet, salty neoprene get in to the vehicles, so basically it was a giant eff u to both a local business and visitors to the island because the cabbies couldn't rip them off.  And before anyone comes back with "what's wrong with just walking a mile?" - walking a mile in normal clothes and walking a mile in a 7mm wetsuit with two tanks, dive gear and weights is a little different.


If the cabbies wouldn't pick up the divers anyway what are they biatching about?
 
2013-09-21 11:17:48 AM

Brosef Stalin: At the risk of being pessimistic about human nature, is this service not more likely to attract sexual predators as potential drivers than genuine good Samaritans? I don't imagine it will be very long before we hear about the first rape case from this.


Oh my God, there is a person over there who I haven't known for the last 20 years, She must be a child molesting serial murderer rapist who parks overtime without feeding the meter.
 
2013-09-21 11:29:03 AM

FilmBELOH20: A buddy of mine owns a dive shop on Catalina island and the local cab company complained that he was taking money from them by giving rides to people who had rented gear from him, to the dive park a mile away.  Not safety related mind you, they specifically complained about the money.  The problem is, the cabs won't let divers in wet, salty neoprene get in to the vehicles, so basically it was a giant eff u to both a local business and visitors to the island because the cabbies couldn't rip them off.  And before anyone comes back with "what's wrong with just walking a mile?" - walking a mile in normal clothes and walking a mile in a 7mm wetsuit with two tanks, dive gear and weights is a little different.


I think your buddy is either making up or at least exaggerating his story a little bit. All kind of business have courtesy shuttles or give rides to people who do business with them. Hotels, car dealerships, car rental agencies, auto repair shops, just to name a few, all give people rides to airports, work, home or wherever in the course of doing business with them. I've never heard of a cab company going after or getting pissed off at any of them for it.
 
2013-09-21 11:32:18 AM

johnny queso: As I understand it, the taxi industry is responsible for the l.a. subway stopping a mile short of lax, so they can fark right off along with the political whores that took their money.


No.  THere is a special steering committee for LAX that meets monthly and decides how to make the airport suck the hardest.  They are bitterly disappointed at being beaten in the rankings by Jomo Kenyatta in Nairobi, and are planning to implement fecal sprayers before next year's competition.
 
2013-09-21 11:44:36 AM

Bacontastesgood: johnny queso: As I understand it, the taxi industry is responsible for the l.a. subway stopping a mile short of lax, so they can fark right off along with the political whores that took their money.

No.  THere is a special steering committee for LAX that meets monthly and decides how to make the airport suck the hardest.  They are bitterly disappointed at being beaten in the rankings by Jomo Kenyatta in Nairobi, and are planning to implement fecal sprayers before next year's competition.


The new body cavity searches they instituted kind of backfired given that half the travellers see them as enjoyable.
 
2013-09-21 12:11:25 PM

Brosef Stalin: Speaker2Animals: Brosef Stalin: At the risk of being pessimistic about human nature, is this service not more likely to attract sexual predators as potential drivers than genuine good Samaritans? I don't imagine it will be very long before we hear about the first rape case from this.

Not sure too many such people will carry $1 million insurance policies.

Why not? Is there a box on the insurance form that says will you use this policy to enable you to enlist in a service that allows you to pick up chicks in your rapemobile? I just think someone's motivations for wanting to drive around picking up strangers for free are historically not usually charitable and I don't see why sketchy dudes wouldn't jump through a couple of hoops for such an opportunity.


Probably because its cheaper to rape people without carrying insurance.
 
2013-09-21 12:11:51 PM
Is that all? I thought California had legalized robo-cabs.

Clown cabs. Our drivers are robot clowns. What could possibly go wrong?

Beagle Cabs. Fearless World War I Ace, Snoopy, will get you to your destination with flare (but no flares) unless he spots the Red Baron. The best flying cab in the Greater LA and Chicago area.

Phat Dick Cabs. Fly safely and comfortably to your destination. Our cabby is Philip K. Dickbot and our licence is global. Moscow is just a cab away!
Yes, we accept black passengers! We're that Phat!
 
2013-09-21 12:13:35 PM
Oh, no! The Red Baron is on our tail! Fly a zig zag avoidance path while I man the rear laser guns! Pew! Pew! Pew!
 
2013-09-21 12:14:30 PM

Brosef Stalin: EdNortonsTwin: Brosef Stalin: At the risk of being pessimistic about human nature, is this service not more likely to attract sexual predators as potential drivers than genuine good Samaritans? I don't imagine it will be very long before we hear about the first rape case from this.

There's no guarantee a traditional taxi service doesn't have dangerous people on the payroll either.

True. But at least its a more established service with greater regulation. And also getting paid is a more reasonable motivation for picking up strangers than human kindness.


Drivers on Lyft, Sidecar and Uber get paid as well. And because the customer logs in via computer (smartphone), all transactions are logged, which means any claim of rape or robbery can be easily checked. Lastly, the cars are fitted with special device that measures speed, direction, acceleration, location, etc. Sort of a black-box for cars. If you claim whiplash, it will know whether there was a sudden acceleration/deceleration at the moment of occurrence. Some may also be outfitted with internal facing camera (much like some cabs).
 
2013-09-21 12:27:09 PM

Zagloba: This is one of those cases where the startups seem ignorant, perhaps willfully so, of the problems taxi laws ( and in some cases monopolies) were put in place to solve.

It's been the general experience that you need some central way to deal with customer grievances because the potential for abuse is high.


Those laws were enacted because there was no easy way to determine who was the driver and who was the fare. Now, we have cameras, ride logging devices, online/smartphone reservations, pre-payment, etc. All those things addressed the problems that couldn't be solve previously without laws. Technology has made those laws obsolete.

Problems and solutions:

1. Fare jumping out of car before paying - pre-payment through credit card
2. Driver take long way to location - GPS route mapping, or different payment system which does not value one route versus another
3. (False) claims of injury - internal facing camera, ride sensor to detect all motion (location, speed, acceleration)
4. Driver rapes/robs fare - internal facing camera, knowledge of both who the driver and the fare are. It's safer than having a friend drive you someplace.
 
2013-09-21 12:31:26 PM

Brosef Stalin: Speaker2Animals: Brosef Stalin: At the risk of being pessimistic about human nature, is this service not more likely to attract sexual predators as potential drivers than genuine good Samaritans? I don't imagine it will be very long before we hear about the first rape case from this.

Not sure too many such people will carry $1 million insurance policies.

Why not? Is there a box on the insurance form that says will you use this policy to enable you to enlist in a service that allows you to pick up chicks in your rapemobile? I just think someone's motivations for wanting to drive around picking up strangers for free are historically not usually charitable and I don't see why sketchy dudes wouldn't jump through a couple of hoops for such an opportunity.




When I have used uber, I paid. And it wasn't just some guy who wanted to drive, they contracted a driving service to use their cars and drivers during slow times. The upside? I paid a flat fee to get to my destination. No worries about the driver getting lost or missing a turn and inflating my bill. It was $30 point a to point b. he has the incentive to get me there quickly, I have the luxury of not having to watch the driver like a hawk to make sure he doesn't take any long cuts. At it was a Lincoln town car, not a cab. They don't have their own drivers in this market yet, but I can guarantee they get paid.
 
2013-09-21 12:45:54 PM
www.mnn.com

Moustache rides, har har, we get it.
 
2013-09-21 12:56:42 PM
Not like I haven't met more than a few cabbies in the Boston area that are not good at there job. A past job I had used cab vouchers for a cab company. I had a cab driver from that company lock me out of his cab because the drivers complain they get less tips per voucher than from picking up a customer from the street. And I've had other cabbies gripe at me because when I tell them to drive me to my home North of Boston, they biatch about the traffic they have to fight on the way back into the city.

Cabbies are one of the least professional service industry people to get involved with. I'm glad they have competition.
 
2013-09-21 12:58:04 PM

FilmBELOH20: A buddy of mine owns a dive shop on Catalina island and the local cab company complained that he was taking money from them by giving rides to people who had rented gear from him, to the dive park a mile away.  Not safety related mind you, they specifically complained about the money.  The problem is, the cabs won't let divers in wet, salty neoprene get in to the vehicles, so basically it was a giant eff u to both a local business and visitors to the island because the cabbies couldn't rip them off.  And before anyone comes back with "what's wrong with just walking a mile?" - walking a mile in normal clothes and walking a mile in a 7mm wetsuit with two tanks, dive gear and weights is a little different.


I've been to Catalina Island many times, but only to Avalon twice, where the shop and hotel owners were ruder and more abrupt than Parisians.   The merchants of Catalina make New Yorkers look like saints.
/The camping in Twin Harbors, many miles from Avalon, is awesome, but take the boat ride directly there, not the ripoff $150 cab ride.  Come for the camping, stay for the buffalo.
 
2013-09-21 01:06:12 PM
There is an inexplicably huge and powerful taxicab lobby in San Diego that has managed to block every attempt at getting both light rail and commuter train access to the San Diego airport, making it unnecessarily complicated and expensive to get to and from SAN. So fark 'em. Good riddance.
 
2013-09-21 01:06:26 PM

PoweredByIrony: So the taxi cab industry is for whom the bell knolls!  I've been wondering about that for years...


WRONG BAND!

Think:  "Death Cab for Cutie"
 
2013-09-21 01:48:31 PM
I've had cabbies drive so dangerously that it would have been safer in that instance to have driven home from the bar myself.
 
2013-09-21 02:05:17 PM
Uber is awesome.  You know before you order it where your cab is., and how many minutes til it arrives. And I've never had anyone but a full time driver pick me up. You can also order town cats and some flat rate stuff. And the app pays for the ride, you just get out and walk away.
 
2013-09-21 02:06:20 PM
These are all great ideas! I would completely deregulate cab services. Have a high tolerance for risk and want a low price? Use any car and any driver. Want more safety? Deal only with the established companies with the good reputations. I'm all for deregulation where the service is not necessary for life, the risks are fairly obvious and common sense can help, and where there are market incentives for providing great product. I would like to see more casual rider type offerings rather than less.
 
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