ratpag must be old, because we don’t “get” Uber. The company, Uber, makes an app, also called Uber, that connects ride-seekers with operators of taxicabs, limousines, or just private citizens who happen to own a car. Uber sets the rates, which change dynamically based on anticipated demand, and takes a 20% commission.
The part that seems to trouble regulators is the private citizen drivers, or as Uber calls it “ride sharing”. There are some stipulations to being a private driver. It varies based on jurisdiction, but generally the requirements are that a driver by at least 23 years of age, with personal insurance, and a four-door car in “excellent condition” which we assume means a $5 state inspection. They also run a background check, but since they’re a private company we have to just trust them to do a thorough job.
ratpag doesn’t doubt that there are plenty of safe drivers now. The problem comes when surging supply outstrips demand, and Uber has to cut prices, and suddenly every driver is working for minimum wage plus tips. Have you seen the typical non-regulated “professional” driver in a personal vehicle?
“Comparing a silly pizza commercial to a industry titan like Uber? Come on ratpag, be serious!”
Oh believe it. Uber is worth $18 billion, and their CEO uses the words “dude” and “magic” when describing their business strategy.
“The reason Uber could be expensive is because you’re not just paying for the car — you’re paying for the other dude in the car,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said at a recent conference. “When there’s no other dude in the car, the cost of taking an Uber anywhere becomes cheaper than owning a vehicle. So the magic there is, you basically bring the cost below the cost of ownership for everybody, and then car ownership goes away.”
To recap: renting will be cheaper than owning when there’s no driver, because of what, free parking? You’ll still have to pay for fuel, maintenance, insurance, cleaning, tolls, other user fees, etc. It will just be rolled into the cost of rental.
Oh wait, he already answered the question. Literally “magic.”