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Also, Dewey, stop eating our sports equipment
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Muse March Madness 2013: Dewey vs. Lemony
submissive peeing (Dewey) ftw!!
@synack @LivefyreUserName Again, not disagreeing with the need for constructive criticism, I'm simply noting that articles like this do still serve to galvanize the public into action, spread awareness, and ultimately can help motivate MUNI reform.
4 months, 3 weeks ago on Muni is 100 years old. Too bad it won’t die like a human that age
@synack I generally agree that the discussion should be constructive, but there is a lot of truth to this article. The buses are laughably ineffective, MUNI trains have the lowest average speed of any metro rail system in the nation, are constantly delayed/off schedule, and miserably inefficient when they are even running, and BART (the best option in the Bay Area) has such a limited footprint in SF that most don't get to enjoy it. And don't even get me started on the light rail trolleys that service Market St. - I've never had an experience on those that didn't make me wish I had chosen another way to travel.
Bike lanes are about the only redeeming public transportation feature of this city, and without a little more impetus from the people, I doubt SPUR our any other organization is going to change that. SF politics and government really are that obtuse.
@KristaCaldwell @LivefyreUserName No raw data, necessarily, but I think you could easily point to Uber's success in San Francisco as anecdotal evidence that increased reliability and responsiveness have increased business for car services on a net basis. Each dollar of demand that Uber fulfills clearly has not robbed the taxi industry of an equivalent dollar.
In fact, it's very common that a longtime San Francisco resident will write in to us and say "you've given me confidence to take my wife out for dinner again. I know that if I take a taxi from my house, I will always be able to find a way back, whether I hail a taxi or use Uber."
Taxi drivers have told use we're stealing their business, but it's absolutely obvious to us that we're not simply competing directly with taxis, we've also substantially increased the market for personal transportation.
By extension, if taxi apps do their jobs correctly and can increase reliability for passengers, it stands to reason that they can achieve similar results in any city, even without a premium service like Uber tapping into local limousine supply.
Simply put, when something works 99% of the time, people are more inclined to use it than when it works 50% of the time, and will change their spending / lifestyle habits accordingly.
6 months ago on What taxi industry outsiders don’t get about VC-funded taxi apps
@KristaCaldwell Excellent summary observations. And thank you for writing on behalf of the taxi industry, which I often feel is a voice that lacks articulation in public media.
I think a lot of this debate will hinge on some very crucial arguments of social responsibility, and may even test the limits of what free markets can or cannot offer. Personally, I'm confident that free markets are ready to begin bearing some of the regulatory weight and responsibility that's currently held by the taxi medallion system, though I think we are still a few years from a clear picture of exactly how that happens.
@anulman @LivefyreUserName @KristaCaldwell Given that the queue is more of a scrum, with juicy airport fares going to the drivers who best tip the dispatchers (read: bribe) and the remaining dispatches being shotgunned out to a dozen taxis over the radio, it's no wonder drivers would want to jump the "queue". To even call it a queue doesn't do justice to the chaos and inefficiency of the modern taxi dispatch system.
It's also a fallacy that no net new rides are created. Taxi apps inherently create a more efficient, reliable network by aggregating both cab fleets and client requests, which means that city-dwellers can be more confident they'll get a ride when they need one. Better reliability = more use. It's a core tenet of the transportation industry.
A little bit surprising to hear that someone who works to build these kinds of apps doesn't appreciate their full value!
6 months, 1 week ago on What taxi industry outsiders don’t get about VC-funded taxi apps
@KristaCaldwell The individual drivers are by and large independent contractors. Once they lease the vehicle and the right to behave as a taxi (i.e. the medallion), they are free to act as they will. The fleet owner/operators are out of the equation, which means Uber and Hailo have no obligation to work directly.
And if using Uber or Hailo makes taxi drivers more money than they would otherwise make, why wouldn't they use it?
It might have been a good idea to talk with a few drivers who use these apps before writing this article. Nobody is forcing taxi drivers to use Uber or Hailo, but the drivers use them nonetheless. Probably worth finding out why.
@TracieCrisante @carlinthecapital @paulcarr It sounds like you'd want to change prices if you could. Is the problem Uber, or is it regulation?
6 months, 3 weeks ago on As NY floods, “Robin Hood” Uber robs from the rich and… Nope, that’s about it
@Jakewk Do you think you could send in details of that trip to firstname.lastname@example.org? One of the most critical things we do at Uber is monitor and enforce a level of professional standard with regard to our choice of business partners. What that driver did to you and your friend was unethical by almost every measure.
This Quora answer was written for Uber's Town Car rates, and is even more true for Uber's hybrids: http://www.quora.com/Uber-1/When-if-ever-does-Uber-become-cost-effective-vs-a-cab/answer/Scott-Munro-1?__snids__=46222538#ans1233097
Also, once you've tipped your SF taxi driver 10-20%, you might as well just take an Uber hybrid. The price difference is simply a built-in service premium, backed by excellent customer support.
10 months, 3 weeks ago on Uber Says Have It Your Way (As Long as “Your Way” Is Still Pricey Insta-Paid Rides)
RickinSF TripleAES 20th century: passenger calls dispatch...waits on hold with dispatch...has to find cross streets because surly dispatcher won't send to exact address...and maybe gets cab 20 minutes later
21st century: client opens app, hits two buttons, tracks car on map as it arrives in 5 minutes
1 year, 11 months ago on Uber Drops Fares 50% For SF Taxi Strike
Nickbrown JimDerwin I could have sworn this was about to be an argument for Uber, because they do all of these things really well.