Thank you for your persepctive. However, I have to admit I don’t really understand the argument you are making. If your point is about public values, and that “serving everyone at a high basic level fairly — including drivers — “ is more important than the success of a highly profitable “subsitue basic private service,” you are assuming that the private service is not as fair, or as high quality (to drivers and riders) as what we had before? You might also be assuming that somehow Uber is manipulating the market, so that it’s growth is less the result of rider demand, and more the result of big market bullying (your disdain is a bit transparent!). I would want to agree with you on that point (no one likes bullies), except Uber didn’t bully me. I use Uber because the previous model was really really bad, and Uber is better. It’s more fair (I can see the route and price on my receipt and verify accuracy myself — I have no idea how a Taxi meter works, and unlike you, I don’t have a default trust of city regulators). It’s more responsive to my questions (I can only imagine the customer service journey I would take with most taxi services v. with Uber HQ).
I understand the nostalgic feelings for the old taxi days (I have fun hailing from a curb in NYC — thought that never worked here in LA). And I appreciate the familiarity many taxi drivers have with their context (Uber drivers are hit and miss). And surge pricing feels at times like a scam. I appreciate that you want an opportunity to make the old service a better service. That’s fine. But many of us like to have a choice. And 5 out of 6 times, I’ll likely choose Uber (or Lyft). Not a taxi.