Friday, October 03, 2014

AMERICA - Triditional Cabs vs the Likes of 'Uber System'

"Is the traditional taxicab an endangered species?" PBS NewsHour 10/2/2014


GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  Is the traditional taxicab becoming an endangered species?  In the age of the smartphone, it’s more and more likely, as consumers trying to get from here to there opt for technology-driven ride-sharing.

Economics correspondent Paul Solman takes us along on the ride as part of his ongoing reporting Making Sense of financial news.

PAUL SOLMAN (NewsHour):  The long-regulated taxi industry and its drivers are under siege.

AMILCAR PEREIRA, DeSoto Cab Driver:  These guys just jump in their car, go out there and providing the same service that we are, totally unregulated, totally unsafe.  It’s not fair.

MAN:  OK.  You got it.  We’re on the way.

PAUL SOLMAN:  It’s a classic fight between regulatory tradition and technological disruption.  And drivers like these, who work for San Francisco’s oldest cab company, are caught in the crossfire.

MUAFFAQ MUSTAFA, DeSoto Cab Driver:  I feel like I’m — just been betrayed.  I have been a driver for 20 years.  I give up half my life for this industry.

PAUL SOLMAN:  The Uber system allows riders to request drivers at any time.  You have probably heard of this tech threat, even if you haven’t used it yet.  Uber, a mobile phone app which connects passengers with non-cabbie drivers for hire, a new surge of competition on the road, unregulated.

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