Uber isn’t Beating the Taxi Industry, the Taxi Industry is Beating Itself

Uber isn’t winning because they’re doing everything right, they’re winning because they’ve exposed everything the Taxis are doing wrong

James Martensen
Jul 23, 2016 · 3 min read

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed since the emergence of Uber, it’s just how shitty Taxis are. Not only are they shitty, but they refuse to recognize how shitty they are, and they’re arrogant enough to think they will win despite all the evidence that proves how shitty they are.

The Taxi industry is a perfect example of how you can lose by beating yourself.

In sports, there are two ways to lose:

  1. Your opponent beats you. No matter how good your performance was, your opponent performed better.
  2. You beat yourself. No matter how poor your opponents performance was, you performed worse.

In baseball specifically, most games are not won at all, but rather lost by the team who makes the most mistakes.

That’s what is happening with the Taxi industry. They make more mistakes than Uber. Plain and simple.

Uber isn’t perfect. I only need one example to prove how far from perfect they are: they didn’t even have a system to properly insure Uber drivers. This is a huge issue. As a driver on the road, insurance is mandatory. It’s one of the very few basic requirements. Uber couldn’t even satisfy that requirement when they entered the market.

Yet, despite this and many other issues, Uber is manhandling the Taxi industry. The market is loud and clear that no matter how many mistakes Uber makes, the Taxi industry is worse.

My Uber driver isn’t properly insured in case of an accident? Fuck it, still better than a Taxi.

My Uber driver’s car hasn’t passed a thorough safety inspection? Fuck it, still better than a Taxi.

This alone isn’t even enough to defeat the Taxi industry. Despite the mistakes Taxis may have made before Uber came around, and despite the market’s demand for something better, Taxis still had the upper ground when Uber entered the market.

Taxis had established regulation on their side, they had established infrastructure on their side. They had familiarity, and they already had the customers. They literally had a monopoly on the market.

Taxis are losing both despite their advantages and because of them.

Despite all their advantages, Taxis still made more mistakes than Uber. And because of their advantages, they probably thought they could get away with it. Well, they were very, very wrong.

Taxis have refused to improve. They have refused to adapt to new market demands. They have refused to even listen, and they are losing because of it.

The punchline is this: without their shitty attitude, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed how shitty their performance really is. My view of Taxis was neutral. They got you from A to B, and that was it.

But because they’ve been so loud, arrogant, and stubborn in a very obviously shifting marketplace, I have now noticed how shitty they are. I have noticed when they cut people off. I have noticed when they illegally use the bus lane. I have noticed every time they do something shitty.

Just the other day I was stopped at a red light in the only straight-through lane, and a cab pulled up to the line beside me in a right-hand-turn-only lane. He didn’t turn right, but waited for the light to turn green and floored the gas pedal to go straight through and pass me by changing back into my lane in the middle of the intersection, narrowly avoiding the cars parked on the side of the road on the other side of the intersection. After I honked at him, he had the audacity to flip me off, as if what he did was okay, legal, or even safe for anyone involved.

I have noticed these things more frequently, probably not because they are happening more frequently, but because Taxis have been so shitty during this battle that they are drawing more attention to themselves.

People like me are paying more attention to Taxis, and because they refuse to acknowledge that they could do a better job, they keep making these mistakes, and now we are noticing.

I support Uber, but I don’t support Uber because of how great Uber is. I support Uber because of how shitty Taxis are. Taxis make more mistakes than Uber, and they are losing because of it. Taxis refuse to improve and adjust to new market demands, and they will continue to lose because of it.

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