In today’s day and age, ride-sharing has become increasingly popular amongst teenagers and young adults who use the service for a variety of purposes: as a designated driver, as a convenient navigator, and increasingly, as a backup in the event that public transportation fails. In contrast to other modes of transportation, ride-share services have done their utmost to virtually guarantee a set of commandments: fairly priced, always sober, and always safe.
Unfortunately, this has also caused a decline in public transportation, specifically the taxi. Though taxis can sometimes be cheaper, it’s questionable whether or not they are dependable. With one tap of your screen, you could hypothetically order one of many possible Ubers in an area. With taxis, there’s no app or definite ride.
Even major cities like New York City or Los Angeles are seeing a fall in public transportation in favor of ride-sharing. The efforts of the government to ensure that taxis stay on the road will soon not be enough. With recent innovations in technology and ride-sharing, the demise of taxi driving is inevitable because ride-sharing receives major support and will not fail unless Uber or Lyft themselves find a way to limit driving services.
However, that hasn’t stopped taxi drivers from mounting a fierce resistance effort.
The New York City Council has proposed a new law that aims to decrease the influence of the ride-sharing industry, which has been the recipient of blame for low wages and poor traffic conditions. According to an article by The Verge, this law would make NYC one of the first cities to ever put a maximum on the number of ride-sharing vehicles on the streets, granting favor to the marginalized taxi.
According to the New York Times, the bill was first introduced in 2015 but was abandoned after many supporters publicly backed Uber and Lyft. The bill was brought into the rotation again in 2018, and if the legislation is approved, ride-sharing allowance will be based on “needs,” such as transportation to work or school, as opposed to “wants.” Uber employee Josh Gold, along with customers, voiced their disapproval for the legislation, stating that “the cap will leave New Yorkers stranded.”
An article by CNBC also stated that taxi drivers in London are preparing to sue Uber for 1.3 billion U.S. dollars on the account of lost earnings. Although Uber recently won the right to operate in the United Kingdom, the company’s legitimacy could soon be abolished due to lack of proper employee preparedness, like drug testing and background checks. If Uber is unable to operate in the United Kingdom, it would be a major win for the taxi driving industry in the U.K.
Nevertheless, for those who live in residential areas like college towns and neighborhoods such as Isla Vista, the lack of widespread public transportation means that most residents are forced to use a ride-share service.
There is no doubt in the public mind that ride-sharing applications will eventually have a leg up over taxis. It may sometimes cost you more in a big place like New York City, but it is a small price to pay for efficiency and reliability. For those who urgently need transportation, Uber and Lyft are your best bet. The only way that ride-sharing can fail is if the companies are part of a larger controversy. With the support ride-sharing has received and will continue to encounter, however, it is likely that taxi driving may become a thing of distant memory.