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  #21  
Old 17.02.2015, 15:14
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

given what a horrible company uber seems to be, i will be glad to see them fail here and elsewhere.
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Old 17.02.2015, 15:19
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

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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.
Uber 2.0 (courtesy of Google or the iCar - pick your favorite)
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  #23  
Old 17.02.2015, 15:19
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

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given what a horrible company uber seems to be, i will be glad to see them fail here and elsewhere.
How are they horrible?

Taxi services also run like syndicates in many cities. It's often a conduit for criminal activities in many places. Uber seems to offer a choice.
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Old 17.02.2015, 15:21
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

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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.
Taxi drivers don't "drive around randomly" hoping to be hailed - certainly not in London - and they also don't necessarily wait at ranks. The best example of this is London City airport - once a certain number of taxis are on the rank the rest just head back into the city - often via docklands.

The same is true pretty much across London - if you need a cab, you head onto the nearest main road heading in/out of the centre - and look for a cab. Cabbies supply that natural demand.

In terms of "Executive transfer" type companies - the dispatcher and drivers are always looking for an occupancy rate of >65% - or 2/3 of a triangle. EG Heathrow to Birmingham (loaded) - Birmingham to Nottingham (empty) - Nottingham to Heathrow (loaded).
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Old 17.02.2015, 15:26
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

I feel sorry for taxi drivers at Fasnacht. They have to transport slobbering idiots around while fearing customers make puke or run away at any minute.
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Old 17.02.2015, 15:27
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

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How are they horrible?

Taxi services also run like syndicates in many cities. It's often a conduit for criminal activities in many places. Uber seems to offer a choice.
just google "uber nasty" or Uber+whatever and see all the things they've been up to. also http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirh...wing-pleasure/
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Old 17.02.2015, 16:04
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

I googled "deutschland uber alles", hoping to find out everything about them in Germany, and was shocked to find their connections and that they were "closely identified with the Nazi regime."
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  #28  
Old 17.02.2015, 16:07
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

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just google "uber nasty" or Uber+whatever and see all the things they've been up to. also http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirh...wing-pleasure/
Oh, yeah, I see some nasty stories there. It looks like they are gold-rushing to incentivize performance at the employee level without proper governance. In this case, quality will likely degrade.

I could see this industry shaking out eventually. I dont really see what Intellectual Property Uber has that cannot be easily reinvented. Uber may have led, but can eventually fall by the wayside. A bit like MySpace falling away to Facebook, or Alta Vista/Yahoo to Google.

I think in the end, an appropriate level of quality, corporate governance and community responsibility could easily beat out Uber. The market sounds like it is calling out for more of it.
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Old 17.02.2015, 16:10
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!



Uber and other similar Services like AirBnB as well seem great at the beginning and might even work out cheaper and could also be nicer or really cool for the individual person on most instances. However, there really is a reason why professional services like taxi or hotels are more expensive. Insurance being one point, employee treatment and securities other examples. Taxi or hotels have to stick to many rules and regulations. These rules and regulations have been set in place with a purpose (most times). Uber and AirBnB and others do not have to adhere to these rules. Therefore they can lower their prices. Another reason I do not want to support Uber is the collection of data. They store everything and because you canít pay cash they collect a lot of information. This is fine for some people but I do not want to be tracked electronically so try to avoid these services.

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Old 17.02.2015, 16:31
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

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Oh, yeah, I see some nasty stories there. It looks like they are gold-rushing to incentivize performance at the employee level without proper governance. In this case, quality will likely degrade.

I could see this industry shaking out eventually. I dont really see what Intellectual Property Uber has that cannot be easily reinvented. Uber may have led, but can eventually fall by the wayside. A bit like MySpace falling away to Facebook, or Alta Vista/Yahoo to Google.

I think in the end, an appropriate level of quality, corporate governance and community responsibility could easily beat out Uber. The market sounds like it is calling out for more of it.
Uber seem to have realised and are trying to change their image:

https://hbr.org/2015/02/uber-needs-o...ission-to-grow
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Old 17.02.2015, 16:35
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

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Uber and other similar Services like AirBnB as well seem great at the beginning and might even work out cheaper and could also be nicer or really cool for the individual person on most instances. However, there really is a reason why professional services like taxi or hotels are more expensive. Insurance being one point, employee treatment and securities other examples. Taxi or hotels have to stick to many rules and regulations. These rules and regulations have been set in place with a purpose (most times). Uber and AirBnB and others do not have to adhere to these rules. Therefore they can lower their prices. Another reason I do not want to support Uber is the collection of data. They store everything and because you can’t pay cash they collect a lot of information. This is fine for some people but I do not want to be tracked electronically so try to avoid these services.
Companies such as Ebay have democraticised the second-hand goods market. There's now virtually nothing you can't get any more, which is good news for those of us seeking those items, while at the same time worldwide comparison and competition has curtailed some of the sometimes obscene prices you used to get charged for what the shopkeeper claimed was a rarity. It's not a rarity if there are a dozen on ebay.

On the down side, Ebay has put many a small shop out of business and the expert service many small shops used to provide has fallen by the wayside. Sure, you can regard or punish sellers with the feedback system, but there are still plenty of scammers out there who manage to slip through the net too often.

Easyjet is often perceived as having shaken up the airline world and shown that many passengers prefer low prices to corporate pampering. But in reality it is about more than just the money. Easyjet is about things being easy. You book online. You don't need to choose between different comfort categories (should I fly economy plus or business minus and is super extra we-hate-you economy actually more or less crappy than plain economy and how much free stuff do i need to drink in the executive lounge to make that upgrade worthwhile?). You don't need to get your brain around some loyalty system and whether taking that into account a nominally more expensive flight may actually be cheaper in the end and whether your loyalty status means you can check in luggage for free. One day people will laugh that such things even existed and their kids will accuse them of making it up. You can check in weeks in advance and don't need to remember to do so on the day. The whole things has got easy spelt all over it, and despite it even being in the name, the legacy carriers haven't got it and are still trying to fight back on costs alone. So like Ebay, Easyjet has given us something new, something better, and we're not going to go back.

But is Uber the Ebay of the taxi world? People complain about poor service from taxi drivers. What exactly do they mean? Did the taxi driver not unload their luggage for them? Or was the taxi smelly? Or did the taxi driver get lost or get unnecessarily caught up in congestion? The taxi drivers I know are proud of not getting caught in congestion. They are proud of knowing their city like the back of their hand and being able to get their customers to destination regardless of the odds. How many Uber drivers have that same level of knowledge, or do they just slavishly follow their satnav? To me at present, Uber is chiefly about price. That may still change, but at the moment I don't see it.
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  #32  
Old 17.02.2015, 16:39
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

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Uber seem to have realised and are trying to change their image:

https://hbr.org/2015/02/uber-needs-o...ission-to-grow
Great article.

Image is one thing, but if they are truly a greedy, money-grubbing, pirate organization, its kind of hard for a leopard to change its spots. I was just reviewing their IP strategy, and most of it is attitude rather than substance. Although they do have capitalization to buy things.

I think the future of these kinds of apps is more like a public utility service rather than a nickel and dime operation. There maybe opportunities here to leverage the app for carpooling, which would be very popular with cities and environmentalists.

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Old 17.02.2015, 16:58
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

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Great article.

Image is one thing, but if they are truly a greedy, money-grubbing, pirate organization, its kind of hard for a leopard to change its spots. I was just reviewing their IP strategy, and most of it is attitude rather than substance. Although they do have capitalization to buy things.

I think the future of these kinds of apps is more like a public utility service rather than a nickel and dime operation. There maybe opportunities here to leverage the app for carpooling, which would be very popular with cities and environmentalists.
it's a great business model. for example, a taxi medallion in NYC costs about $1million. uber are trying to bypass those regulations and just offer a similar taxi service without paying the same fees, going through the red tape and being subject to the same regulations and so can be much more competitive on price. it would be comparable to a mobile phone company just attaching their equipment to existing antennas and not paying for spectrum or land costs.

it's also something of a land-grab, they've tried to kill off the competitors early through a variety of dirty tricks including booking thousands or rides with competing firms then cancelling them at the last minute to screw over rival drivers and kill car availability on rival services.

but i agree with you, a leopard doesn't change its spots and i would prefer not to support such a company.
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  #34  
Old 17.02.2015, 21:01
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

My experience is that Uber offers something distinct from the highly (overly?) regulated taxi industry and the often poor public transport system (Switzerland being a notable exception here). And it's not just about price - it's about providing a service that improves upon the existing options. Some examples below.

A large number of London taxi's still don't accept debit/credit card payments despite the technology being readily available. I find this incredibly inconvenient and frustrating, and I never know which taxi's will or won't accept cards. With Uber I don't need to worry about this, my card is automatically charged with the journey cost. And it works anywhere in the world. I love this convenience.

It can take me longer to hail a cab in San Francisco than it does for a Uber car to arrive. The taxi is often dirty inside and the driver unfriendly with no local knowledge. Many drivers have to enter the address you want to go to into their satnav / GPS; some even ask you to do this for them! With Uber, the driver greets me with my name and the cars are nearly always clean and pleasant inside. He automatically knows where I want to go from the app, so no confusion or hassle there. Because the driver and passenger both rate one another there is almost always a friendly rapport. I've met many fascinating and interesting Uber drivers.

I'm not advocating that Uber is always better than using a taxi or public transport, but it does provide a distinct service that, for me, is often better than those alternatives. We need innovation and competition from companies like Uber to drive improvement in other modes of transport. The current systems in most countries are generally woeful, which is part of the reason why car ownership and congestion levels are so high.

Last edited by Oxbow; 17.02.2015 at 21:42.
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Old 17.02.2015, 23:30
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

Yes, I liked the Uber experience as well. Cashless, convenient, and has a community aspect to it. I believe you can rate the drivers, and the drivers can rate you. So it has inherent quality control. Its perfect for Los Angeles, which barely has a mass public transportation system. I've used it NYC during rush hour, when you normally have to fight for a taxi. Worked great for other American cities. I think its better than renting a car. I don't think I would use it during the day in Switzerland. It would be perfect for late night partying, if there were more cars.
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Old 17.02.2015, 23:33
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

Anything that can shake up the local over priced rip off taxi service has to be good
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Old 18.02.2015, 10:42
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

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It can take me longer to hail a cab in San Francisco than it does for a Uber car to arrive. The taxi is often dirty inside and the driver unfriendly with no local knowledge. Many drivers have to enter the address you want to go to into their satnav / GPS; some even ask you to do this for them!
This should definitely not happen. A decent taxi driver doesn't even need a satnav. Knowing the city like the palm of their hand is part of their professional ethos. This sort of thing makes me wonder how said people can become licensed taxi drivers in the first place. I've never been on a taxi in San Francisco so can't comment there, but generally I've only seen taxi drivers "cheat" when it was a cross-country drive and they were taking me to a place outside their area.

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With Uber, the driver greets me with my name and the cars are nearly always clean and pleasant inside.
I actually hate being greeted with my name by people I don't know personally. It's either feigned familiarity or phoney subservience, a bit like telemarketing only that you can't hang up on them. Thanks for warning me as that would be a reason for me to avoid such services.

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I'm not advocating that Uber is always better than using a taxi or public transport, but it does provide a distinct service that, for me, is often better than those alternatives. We need innovation and competition from companies like Uber to drive improvement in other modes of transport. The current systems in most countries are generally woeful, which is part of the reason why car ownership and congestion levels are so high.
I agree that some things desperately need to be shaken up, and some innovation needs to be injected into a market that hasn't seen any fundamental changes in generations and generally tends to think in very conservative patterns. But its dangerous to follow the path of "change is needed" --> "this is something new" --> "therefore it is good".
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Old 18.02.2015, 10:51
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

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This should definitely not happen. A decent taxi driver doesn't even need a satnav. Knowing the city like the palm of their hand is part of their professional ethos. This sort of thing makes me wonder how said people can become licensed taxi drivers in the first place. I've never been on a taxi in San Francisco so can't comment there, but generally I've only seen taxi drivers "cheat" when it was a cross-country drive and they were taking me to a place outside their area.
Happens a lot here too. Had a Basel taxi driver last week that had never heard of Syngenta, let alone the street it's on.

I actually prefer it when they use satnav, rather than going their cheating, money-grabbing esoteric preferred route.
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Old 18.02.2015, 10:58
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

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I actually hate being greeted with my name by people I don't know personally. It's either feigned familiarity or phoney subservience, a bit like telemarketing only that you can't hang up on them. Thanks for warning me as that would be a reason for me to avoid such services.
This is how I was fooled into thinking my first ride was my friend's personal driver. In a way, it does have the feel of having a personal driver.
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Old 18.02.2015, 12:14
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Re: Support Uber in Basel - come on EF'ers!

Have to say, I am a recent convert (last 3 or 4 months).

I am a big fan of Uber as a service (I confess, I haven't looked into their alleged business practice), but from a purely user perspective, they have several advantages over a normal taxi service:

1. Drivers are ALWAYS friendly. Feedback system means it is in their interest to be friendly. In Paris last weekend, all had water available and some even had sweets/snacks you could help yourself to. They also help you with cases, but normal taxi drivers USUALLY do this too.

2. Every car I have been in has been new and clean, with the passenger seat already pushed all the way forward - a nice touch I feel as a somewhat tall person (189cm) you have to ask most normal taxis to do this.

3. You can see where the taxi is when you order it. When I've called (ad hoc of course) taxis in the past, they say it will be there in 5 mins...10 mins later you call..."it's on its way"...5 mins later..."Just turning round the corner"...then 5 mins later it arrives. At least with Uber you can see where the taxi is, useful I think, keeps people honest.

4. It is much cheaper. For the normal taxi price, you can use the Uber Black Car service here and get picked up in "style" (usually new Merc E Class). For a normal or uberpop ride, it is a great deal cheaper than a normal taxi - makes a huge difference to longer journeys, like an airport transfer or similar.
Oh - little addition, but mentioned before - you don't have to part with any cash in the taxi, no faffing, just get in, get there, get out - no fuss about I take Maestro and VISA, but I won't take your AMEX / Don't you have anything smaller than a 50...i can't make change (hoping you round a tip up to the nearest 10chf/EUR etc).

In Paris, I thought I'd dust off my GCSE French and have a chat with the one that took me from the station to the hotel. He told me in Paris, he makes more money as an Uber driver, as there is a ~10 year waiting list to get an official taxi licence there, and they only way to circumvent this is to pay 200,000EUR to someone who is retiring or willing to let you take their place at the top of the queue. That's a huge barrier to entry. He still needed to be insured and qualified to drive people (Uber X, and Black Car i.e. normal or permium service, uberpop doesn't have this restriction) but just didn't have the Parisienne official black cab licence.

All in all, he was happy, I was happy and I think it is a good, innovative service.

The other guy I spoke to in Zurich (uberpop service) had just bought a new 54,000chf Golf (!! yep !!) and drove me for 25 mins for 26chf...he obviously had a real job during the day, but needed to pay off his car loan at night, so was moonlighting doing this!

Last edited by StirB; 18.02.2015 at 12:28. Reason: little bit extra in #4
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