Tagged With taxis


Google is launching what's being called an Uber competitor in San Francisco, according to a new Wall Street Journal report. Google is focusing on carpooling (and not a taxi service) that will let commuters share rides for an even cheaper rate than Uber does.


The recent legalisation of UberX in Australia was welcome news just before the New Year shenanigans, even if it came with a $1 temporary levy and a public $250 million handout to taxi drivers. And while it's come at an opportune time, that's not forgetting the fact that being legalised won't stop Uber's famous surge pricing from hitting over New Year's.

Understandably, the taxi association is rather proud of this fact and would like to crow about it.


The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission doesn't like iHail, the Aussie taxi-booking app proposed by a consortium of local taxi companies including Cabcharge. First, the app was rejected on grounds that it would be anticompetitive, unifying several of Australia's tightly regulated large taxi providers and giving them extra power against smaller competitors. (To say nothing of a level playing field with Uber.) Now, iHail's in hot water over payment methods and credit card surcharges.


In a sudden crackdown on ride sharing services like UberX, Roads and Maritime Services NSW announced on Sunday that it has issued 40 suspension notices to owners of vehicles found to be involved. Any suspended vehicle found on the road after October 1st will be considered unregistered and fined accordingly.


Weighing in on the ongoing UberX vs taxi debate, consumer advocacy group CHOICE today released the results of a report that pits both services against each other. Looking at factors like price, reliability and safety, CHOICE came out with a clear winner that will be entirely unsurprising to anyone living in the 21st century. UberX was found to be just as safe and reliable as your average taxi, and on average came out to be 40% cheaper.


Uber drivers are taking our business so we're going to respond by... giving them more business? Taxi drivers in Melbourne held an ill-considered strike today to protest ridesharing apps like Uber, hoping to spur the government into taking action on this issue. Uber responded brilliantly by offering free rides, which can be redeemed by new users across Australia with the cheeky promo code "KEEPOZMOVING".


We keep hearing how technology will eventually solve the problem of vehicular traffic for good. Self-driving cars will only get us halfway to that future — they're still cars, clogging up our roads, speeding down our freeways. The personal mobility future that I'm waiting for includes autonomous drone taxis that can sail high over the city, delivering me safely to my destination.


Taxi drivers already have to contend with a lot of crap. Drunk passengers, angry passengers, passengers who insist on eating tuna casserole in the backseat, Uber, criminals... the list goes on. Add this to the list of grievances: Some cab drivers are making more money for doing the same job as others in NYC, even if riders tip the same.


Last New Year's Eve, I ordered an Uber car from the Sydney casino not long after midnight and it arrived in minutes (to the amazement of my tipsy friends). But the service is much more popular now, and will be tonight — surge pricing be damned. Interestingly, Uber Australia has posted this graph of expected NYE demand. These are the best times to ride tonight.