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Old 16.02.2015, 22:39
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Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

Uber, the private taxi firm, has been operating in Basel since December 2014. Having used Uber in various other cities, I finally got round to using them in Basel last weekend. Same great service, wallet friendly pricing and digital convenience that you find in other cities.

The driver told me that there aren't many people in Basel using the service yet, so if you have't tried it already then download the app and give it a go!

I reckon that Uber probably works out at close to half the price of traditional taxi's.

Embrace the future - it's here!
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Old 16.02.2015, 22:45
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

Out of curiousity, how many cars did you see blipping around Basel, and how long did your ride take to arrive? In L.A., it there was an average 1 car every 3-4 city block. In Zuerich, it seemed like there were 4 cars for the entire city.
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Old 16.02.2015, 22:53
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

Yes, same experience in Basel. There are typically 4-6 cars operating in Basel at any one time, which means that unless you're near the city centre there tends to be a longer wait.

This is the main reason for my post. This type of service needs people to use it make it work.
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Old 16.02.2015, 22:57
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

Well, with so many trams that can get you where you need to go at just the right time, when is this ever needed? Aren't you more likely to be late for an appointment with a car than a tram? It may be more useful when travelling in and out of Basel.

I think I would only want to use it after midnight to early morning.
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Old 16.02.2015, 23:04
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

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Well, with so many trams that can get you where you need to go at just the right time, when is this ever needed? Aren't you more likely to be late for an appointment with a car than a tram? It may be more useful when travelling in and out of Basel.

I think I would only want to use it after midnight to early morning.
Agree, this is most convenient late at night when the trams are less frequent or no longer running. It's also particularly attractive when you live a 15 minute walk up a steep hill from the nearest tram stop...
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Old 16.02.2015, 23:15
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

I've been an user of Uber for some months now, although not in Basel.
I think the business is awesome, reliable and cheaper too.
The second time I've been stood up by taxi drivers whom I had booked in advance, and almost missed my flight, I decided no more taxi, just Uber.
Taxi drivers get no sympathy from me, plus Uber is clearly covering a business need that was not met by taxis, so...go Uber!
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Old 16.02.2015, 23:20
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

Its also more accountable than a taxi service. Uber knows the driver and can trace. It would be safer for the more vulnerable. Ever take a Swiss taxi? OMG, horrible and ridiculously expensive.

First time I got on one, my friend told me it was his personal driver, and I believed him.

Good luck!
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Old 16.02.2015, 23:33
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

weren't they doing free Uber rides in Teslas in Basel recently?
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Old 17.02.2015, 11:54
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

Let me try to get this right:

a. Swiss banks violate US laws in Switzerland and the US legal system is unleashed upon them, resulting in multi-billion fines.
b. A US based company says f*** you to any and all relevant regulatory and legal requirements in Europe and this is the greatest thing since sliced bread just because one can save a few bucks ?

I am far from trying to defend Swiss banks or Swiss cab prices, but doesn't this look a bit like double standards ?
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Old 17.02.2015, 12:13
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

At one point about 5 years ago, I was thinking of getting a taxi driving license in Bern, and I found it made very little sense unless you had a second income or were registered in another European country and received some extra payments there. There are about twice as many taxi licenses as are necessary in Swiss cities, leading to extreme competition.

The tax levied by the city and the operating regulations are horrendous. Bern was bad, but I heard Geneva & Zurich were worse off. The established companies are making very nice profits, but the employed drivers work very hard to get just CHF 3'000 gross per month.

I suppose with Uber operating, the one car small operators are able to use the Uber call system, and avoid the long taxi queue at the airports and stations. Good luck to them!
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Old 17.02.2015, 12:16
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

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Well, with so many trams that can get you where you need to go at just the right time, when is this ever needed? Aren't you more likely to be late for an appointment with a car than a tram? It may be more useful when travelling in and out of Basel.

I think I would only want to use it after midnight to early morning.
This.

In much of the US, public transportation sucks and trying to fix it doesn't appear to feature very high on anybody's radar.

So Uber is a workaround for that. The fact that it's needed at all is a reflection of the poor state of public transportation. So it's not so much about embracing the future as about making do until somebody wakes up and fixes the underlying problem.

Trying to transplant a workaround to a situation where the original problem doesn't exist sounds like a pretty bizzarre objective to me.
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Old 17.02.2015, 12:56
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

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Let me try to get this right:

a. Swiss banks violate US laws in Switzerland and the US legal system is unleashed upon them, resulting in multi-billion fines.
b. A US based company says f*** you to any and all relevant regulatory and legal requirements in Europe and this is the greatest thing since sliced bread just because one can save a few bucks ?

I am far from trying to defend Swiss banks or Swiss cab prices, but doesn't this look a bit like double standards ?

Well if it is a better mousetrap. But the market can decide that, no?
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Old 17.02.2015, 14:04
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

Uber is dangerous, and I don't mean for the passengers but for the economy.

Interesting thoughts

What they are essentially doing is creating a taxi service in which they hold no responsibility for the employee. They are the platform that connects drivers with customers (much like a dispatch or a licensed taxi service) but they don't actually pay for the car expenses like a taxi service would. They say they're not a taxi company but the rate and the methods they use to recruit drivers make them a de facto one.

From everything I've read on the internet drivers that are using Uber as a sole source of income do not get by, because prices are being driven down and they can't keep up with the car costs. Drivers that are using it as a side thing are having a blast.

Plus their business practices are horrendous and their attitude is absolutely irritating.


Taxis are bad alright, but Uber is worse in the long-term. There is a lot more than buyer-seller transaction and the involved price in any market, and many markets fail spectacularly by not accounting for huge externalities. Some regulation is necessary in some cases and I think taxis is one of them.

Uber is riding a well-justified taxi hate wave and is given much more credit and lenience than it deserves...
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Old 17.02.2015, 14:05
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

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Well if it is a better mousetrap. But the market can decide that, no?
I'll expect the first EF user who was involved as paying Uber customer in an accident to complain here on EF about being sent back and forth between Uber, the driver, the vehicle insurance and their accident insurance.

But don't get me wrong: Plenty of work for us lawyers.
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Old 17.02.2015, 14:10
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

I don't know if you've actually taken it, but the concept is brilliant in terms of optimum market distribution and logistics. It provides just in time delivery, optimizing resources, without clustering inventory in central locations.

It is bad for existing Taxi services, but the system should be adopted by Taxi services. In Los Angeles, the City has mandated professional Taxi services use an Uber like system.

I could see this model applicable for for a whole range of other goods and services. There is actually an Uber inspired pot-delivery service. But we Californians, you know, we do crazy shit like that.
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Old 17.02.2015, 14:34
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

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I don't know if you've actually taken it, but the concept is brilliant in terms of optimum market distribution and logistics. It provides just in time delivery, optimizing resources, without clustering inventory in central locations.

It is bad for existing Taxi services, but the system should be adopted by Taxi services. In Los Angeles, the City has mandated professional Taxi services use an Uber like system.

I could see this model applicable for for a whole range of other goods and services. There is actually an Uber inspired pot-delivery service. But we Californians, you know, we do crazy shit like that.
The concept is far from new. I have read that some of the big tankers leaving places Qatar don't actually know where they're going. The owners watch the market develop and dynamically re-chart destination priorities according to need.

Taxi queues at places like major rail stations and airports make sense. Its pretty inefficient for drivers to wait for a particular client when they could be making money serving a client who is already there. This improves the ratio of productive to unproductive time. But in a general city situation where people seek to start journeys stochasticaly, randomly driving around hoping to be hailed is not the optimum algorithm.
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Old 17.02.2015, 14:43
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

I suspect part of Uber's success in the US coincided with a rise in unemployment/underemployment. There were people with cars, and no jobs, and was an easy jump to offer a ride.

Apart from personal transportation, I imagine it could be an applicable distribution model for other kinds of goods and services. I'm thinking of things that are not suitable for stocking huge inventories of, or are time-delivery sensitive.

It may be more suitable for the New World with their sprawling spaces. It may be less suitable for infrastructures with centralized economic systems, perhaps like European cities.
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Old 17.02.2015, 14:56
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

I was having an intersting discussion some time ago.

Suppose the self-driving car thing gains traction.

Then if you have one, you could circumvent parking fees by having your car drive round and round the block until you need it again. This makes economic sense as long as car parking fee > fuel + other operating costs.

What we are seeing here is not the free market but a distortion of the free market caused by you having to pay to occupy a piece of land with a parked car, but you don't pay to use land for a moving car.

Maybe at some point city planners may catch onto this and impose mileage-based road usage fees, which similarly to parking fees, would be more expensive the closer to the city centre you get (thus reflecting the economic value of the land and infrastructure)

The market will then respond by seeking to reduce costs for the individual and adapt this model away from personal vehicles and to a car sharing system. You eliminate the need to store vehicles (partially) as your self-driven car is free to go off and seek a new passenger (presumably guided by some app).

Uber is the ultra-low tech version of that, as you actually have a guy driving. Its trying to provide tomorrow's functionality with yesterday's technology, or transmit a jpeg by Morse Code and a telegraph wire. It's a good idea but crippled by an inefficient implementation.
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Old 17.02.2015, 15:10
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

Great point. It seems a bit theoretical though. I do agree it is old-tech clothed in new-tech. Do you know of any real study of Uber effect, apart from protests by taxi drivers? I do know customer satisfaction is high in many places.
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Old 17.02.2015, 15:13
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

I couldn't see anything on there site mentioning anything about insurance?

Most car insurance doesn't cover you to take paying passengers, and what about liability cover, or for the owner, who covers the costs if I throw up in the back of the car etc etc

I have to say I HATE these kind of companies, they take none of the risks or responsibilities and wash there hand of it when things go titsup (yes ebay, paypal and shiply I'm looking at you)
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