• @pingveno
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    611 months ago

    Lyft/Uber. They had a strategy of eliminating their taxi company competition by flooding the market with such low fares that the taxis couldn’t compete. That said, the taxi companies had a miserable reputation in many cities. They often came late or not at all, they usually required a phone call to dispatch, and they were quite expensive. But still, the tactics Lyft and Uber used to gain market dominance was dirty and monopolistic.

    The flip side of this is that I can avoid the trap of car ownership, with all of its problems and expenses.

    • petrescatraian
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      411 months ago

      @pingveno Here, car sharing companies became the new taxi in some ways. Drivers are just taking rides then canceling them, some say they’ve arrived then just leave, so that you get charged, others just stop and wait for you to cancel (or run around the city pointlessly, just so you can get bored and cancel the ride). You can contact the support team, they just give your money back and that’s it. Not all drivers do that, so your experience might be a hit-or-miss, but enough people complain about this.

      Many drivers are just former taxi drivers, so they bring along some of these bad habits, like starting to talk with you about the most insane conspiracy theories (i.e. anti-vax stuff etc.).

      Not to mention, the prices are also ridiculously higher when and where there’s an increased demand (i.e. when there’s a big concert).

      At least their cars are mostly in good shape.

      • @pingveno
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        011 months ago

        Interesting, I’ve nothing bad to say about the typical ride experience. I usually get a car quickly and can get to where I need to go. That said, there was one person who was not a great driver. They managed to miss an exit, putting us a few miles our way while I was sitting in the back seat with a broken arm. That was… interesting. That’s where taxi companies are general better, since there is a higher barrier to entry.

        I’ve never experienced surge pricing, but from what I understand it is successful at its aim: getting cars to where they are needed fast. That said, I can understand feeling fleeced.

        But yeah, my main complaint is really that big businesses were able to essentially subsidize rides initially, then take advantage of their position once they cornered the market.

        • petrescatraian
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          111 months ago

          @pingveno Glad the experience is better across the ocean. 😁

          But yeah, my main complaint is really that big businesses were able to essentially subsidize rides initially, then take advantage of their position

          On the flip side, if this competition makes a service better overall, it is welcome from my side, imo (especially when it comes to transport). Before that, taxi companies used to offer very poor service (to say the least) - and even now you have to pay attention to various shenanigans of them:

          • Dirty vehicles, some vehicles even in bad shape
          • They are allowed to smoke inside (they usually ask you right after they light the cigar if it’s okay with you)
          • You have to pay attention to the meter
          • You have to pay attention to the route they take (sometimes they will just take the longer route, so you can pay more) - otherwise you can get a premium trip where you can see dozens of train stations, tens of triumphal arches and two Palaces of Parliament
          • Drivers can get rude (at best) or outright violent (at worst) if they disagree with you on the ride.
          • Plus some of the bad habits mentioned before, but which are way more widespread among taxi drivers.

          Yet they still complain how Uber is taking their passengers and what they can do to stop this.

          (and yea, taxi companies don’t do shit about this behavior)

    • PicoBlaanket
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      11 months ago

      That’s true.

      Lyft and Uber are taking advantage of both:

      • the drivers (who are sub-contracted, legally-unassisted, and underpaid)
      • and the passengers (surge pricing).

      Even worse - those companies SEEK to replace drivers with self-driving vehicles. They will terminate their entire sub-contracted workforce (the drivers… the people who do the actual work), without obligation.

      This has been their goal from the start.

      • @pingveno
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        311 months ago

        I guess I’m more concerned about the short term well being of the drivers than anything else. Surge pricing at least has a purpose, to attract drivers to an area. And with self-driving cars, I like the idea of using them as a solution to the last mile problem in transit.

    • TheOneOP
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      311 months ago

      Why not use public transportation ?

      I personally think that public transportation is peak efficiency.

      • @pingveno
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        411 months ago

        I do 99% of the time, but public transportation is often either very slow or not present at all. Take going out to see my aunt. Luckily I can take a light rail train most of the way. However, I then have to get on an infrequent bus. It can mean a trip taking an hour and a half, both ways. And that’s in a relatively good transit city for its size and being in North America. Late night also tends to not be great for transit, though I can bike just fine then.

        Basically, I rely on bike and bus for most of my transportation, but use Uber/Lyft to fill in for the times when those preferred options won’t cut it.