Tuesday, February 4, 2014

In the pink

"I couldn't possibly begin to quantify it," said Christiane Hayashi, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's director of taxis and accessible services. "The taxi companies don't even know. But what I can see is a serious problem related to driver shortage."
But business is apparently booming for the new ride services, which have thousands of cars on the streets and are on a hiring spree, with billboards and online ads enticing drivers with promises of making up to $40 an hour and setting their own schedules.
Because it meets the consumers' needs;
While the new ride services are battering the taxi industry, they're a boon for folks just wanting to get a ride around town - even to longtime taxi aficionados like Lee Houskeeper, a publicist who doesn't own a car and considers himself friends with Luxor Cab Co. owner John Lazar.
Houskeeper, who takes cab rides daily, said he became a convert to UberX, one of the new mobile phone services, after Lazar installed an app on his phone and asked him to check out the competition. Houskeeper said it's usually easier, cheaper and speedier to summon a ride with Uber.
...."Aside from the convenience of hailing a ride with your smartphone, they come rather quickly, you can tell when they're coming and you get great receipts," he said. "Plus, these drivers are so enthusiastic and most of them drive new cars." 
Is there a lesson here for those who predict gloomy times ahead?

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