First It Was Easy Taxi, Now Uber Doa?!

Alicia karr

Registered
I was dismayed earlier this year when the wonderful taxi dispatching app "easy taxi" was pushed out by a force of collective radio taxi strength with support from city hall. For those who were uninitiated,, easy taxi app allowed you to request a taxi and get one that was nearby, along with the drivers name, cell, license plaet and time of arrival, all from an app on your phone. It neither cost passenger or driver anything extra. But because there was no fee it was providing a less expensive alternative to a radio taxi.
Now we are on the verge of joining the first world again with the advent of Uber's arrival. Except that the taxi unions are exerting supreme pressure to block it here. Don't let me have choices. Keep competition down and prices high! I well understand the issues with Uber, but please let me make my own choices. I empathize with the expenses of taxi drivers, but Uber is a great idea and more cost effective. Buenos aires allows trapitos but we can't have Uber? Unions rule prices! I want choice!
 

JoeGillis

Registered
I was dismayed earlier this year when the wonderful taxi dispatching app "easy taxi" was pushed out by a force of collective radio taxi strength with support from city hall. For those who were uninitiated,, easy taxi app allowed you to request a taxi and get one that was nearby, along with the drivers name, cell, license plaet and time of arrival, all from an app on your phone. It neither cost passenger or driver anything extra. But because there was no fee it was providing a less expensive alternative to a radio taxi.
Now we are on the verge of joining the first world again with the advent of Uber's arrival. Except that the taxi unions are exerting supreme pressure to block it here. Don't let me have choices. Keep competition down and prices high! I well understand the issues with Uber, but please let me make my own choices. I empathize with the expenses of taxi drivers, but Uber is a great idea and more cost effective. Buenos aires allows trapitos but we can't have Uber? Unions rule prices! I want choice!
Agree 100%, Lacoqueta. Whether it be Uber or some other service, lack of choice is one of my primary complaints about Argentina.
 

Ceviche

Registered
I am a regular user of UBER in New York and Los Angeles, where I travel to, pretty often.

But I am absolutely anti-UBER for Buenos Aires. My reasons are based on my living in BA for several years and at an average, using 2-5 taxis a day - depending how busy I am.

If I use 10 taxis, maybe I will have a problem with one. However, none of them have tried to mug me or kill me or take me to some desolate spot to rob me. None of them ever asked me that they will not accept a "meter charge" or not go to a particular destination.

In late night at 3 or 4 am, I have always been able to hail a taxi and never had a problem.

In remote areas, I have used radio taxi and got a taxi.

Most of them say "good morning" or a "hello" etc when you enter the taxi. When with luggage, they are always very patient with you.

Only problematic area is Ezeiza airport, where I only use remis..namely - 'Taxi Ezeiza' and 'Transfer express'.

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The problem with UBER will be that it will create un-necessary pressure on taxi drivers and their monthly income driving them towards crime and vengeance towards customers. This may happen when they face loss of revenue, loss of work, expensive medallions to pay for, and to fight their own taxi mafia in the city in the popular areas . Though they undergo a strict criminal record check up and and repetitive checks every year.

2ndly I rarely ever been trapped in a traffic jam here (other than when driving from Ezeiza airport to Palermo, at 8-10 am) - we dont need more cars on the roads. With unemployed getting hold of bullshit cars and trying to make a living off it.

3rdly, the taxis are already cheap here. I rarely ever pay more than 100 pesos for a journey between any two places except when going to ezeiza. 100 pesos = 6.5 usd..this is not the case in USA where competition is necessary to keep the prices down.

4th - its well known that petty crime is rampant in BA. ba taxi drivers dont indulge in it. However, UBER drivers worldwide are known to indulge in it...even in countries like USA. I cant imagine what all can happen here with a driver who may be a criminal driving a UBER taxi while submitting some bullshit police record to UBER in USA. with so many English speak foreigners coming to BA and being temmpted to use UBER..who knows..what all will happen.

I am not sure if many of you are aware that actor Ashton Kutcher is one of the co-owners of UBER and he was recently in BA for this purpose only! I like watching his TV series but that does not mean I will accept any business he promotes.

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I am sure, i will have many dislikes and some spiteful messages down below. But this is my opinion basis living here long term and being a frequent international traveler in 6 continents ( and using public taxis and UBER worldwide). My opinion is based purely on my personal experiences and experiences of my near and dear ones in BA...

On the otherhand, I am sure some of you will have yr own opinions saying its very important to hv UBER. Its quite possible you guys had different experiences contrary to mine.

I just hope that taxi drivers in BA win this battle. Rest..destiny will decide.
 

thorsten

Registered
ceviche, your points don't make much sense to be honest:

1. Just because a market has a competition, doesn't mean that this leads to a situation where the sellers (or service providers) become criminal - or do you get stabbed buying vegetables in the local china because they face competition from super markets?
2. Similarly, just because there's another provider for one service, i.e., personal transportation, doesn't mean that there will be necessarily more cars on the road.
3. Competition is not just about prices, but about service quality. According to your logic, energy is cheap in Argentina, so the country doesn't need competition - a conclusion which I'd not agree with for obvious reasons.
4. I'm pretty sure that there are Uber drivers involved in crime - just like there are taxi drivers involved in crimes. So without any data that proves that one gets a significantly higher chance to become a crime victim when driving with an Uber driver compared to a regular cab, I don't think that one can make such a claim.

Also, what most people forget (or don't realize) when talking about Uber is that their price model is very smart from an economical point of view. Ever tried to get a regular taxi on Christmas or NYE? With a Uber-like model, demand is high, so prices are increasing which gives drivers higher incentives to drive on days/times with high demand. Also, while I agree with you that in general the taxis are pretty good here, there are still situations where there's a lack of service. You mentioned EZE, another example is any club on a Friday/Saturday night that is not in the city (e.g., Costanera Norte) - you will find a taxi but most won't use the meter but make a fixed price which won't favor you... Having another provider for taxi rides would most likely not only benefit the customers of this service, but also the people who still use regular taxis as it keeps them honest.
 

RodalfoWalsh

Registered
Also, what most people forget (or don't realize) when talking about Uber is that their price model is very smart from an economical point of view.
And when compared to taxis much better for the environment. Taxis spend a lot of time empty, polluting and causing congestion. In an uber world, that wouldn't be the case.
 

Ries

Registered
Buenos Aires has more taxis than any city on earth.
I have never had a problem getting a taxi.
I was at a show at Konex at the end of February, got out on the deserted streets of Once at 4am, and caught a taxi in less than 2 minutes.
This is pretty common.
So I cant see how there is any striking need for more transport options, due to a lack of taxi service.

In most US cities, Uber drivers are mostly full time workers, and they DO drive around waiting for fares. The last time I took an Uber in Seattle, for example, the guy drove for Uber and Lyft on average 12 hours a day, every day.
This is common.

Uber works in Seattle, because an average taxi ride is fifteen to twenty five dollars, for a hop across town, whereas Uber is only ten or twelve.
Neither is anywhere near as cheap as Buenos Aires taxis, but Uber is significantly cheaper.

I dont see how Uber in BA is gonna be cheaper than those 40 peso taxi rides I take now, though.
 
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