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Tags:canada, taxi, toronto, uber, What a drag
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Comment count is 71
misterbuns - 2015-12-09
I love that uber makes taxi drivers so mad. Fuck taxi drivers.
SolRo - 2015-12-09
yeah! fuck those assholes trying to make a living!

baleen - 2015-12-09
If you spent 0,000 for a medallion in New York and you were being undercut by a weekend warrior who probably does not have the legal insurance required to be cab driver in New York, you'd be pissed too.

And this isn't a new thing. Cab drivers will do this to people outside of cities as well. I was once in something of a car chase in Chicago in a Chicago cab who was pissed off that a driver from the burbs was coming in to steal his rides. They play by different rules and regulations.

There's this whole thing in NYC with the black cars. Just fly by night outfits that pose as limo services to skirt the cab laws. I have to say I used them almost exclusively in the boros, but man were some of them sketchy. Just nasty, uninsured mob outfits.

The whole point of the laws regulating taxis is that all drivers are capable of being scumbags and that they should be fiercely regulated.

infinite zest - 2015-12-09
Yeah, I'm sort of on both sides. I was reading an article about cab drivers in either London or Paris, and how they had to learn every single nook and cranny of the city before they got to drive. And I've lived in the relatively small Portland for most of my life, but I wouldn't be able to do much good outside of a 40 block radius. So to see Uber drivers with iPhone directions doing what they had to spend years doing would piss me off.

On the other hand, most of my taxi experiences have been with either rude or apathetic drivers, and I rarely take taxis. And I'm not one to complain about bad service, but even if I did the cab company doesn't give a shit. Rate an Uber driver poorly and everybody knows. As a result Taxi drivers, at least around me, have seemed much friendlier, but decades upon decades of being the only ride in town (besides bus or subway or bike or whatever) and more often than not being assholes because they can might have put them in a situation they can't get out of.

infinite zest - 2015-12-09
It's like when Dominoes had to scramble when more and more pizza places with better pizza were delivering with competitive prices. Their ad campaign was basically to the effect of a "you've been eating our shitty pizza for years, but now we've changed everything. You won't believe it's Dominoes" sort of thing and it worked, but cab drivers and the companies they work for don't really seem to be doing anything about it except get pissed off.

infinite zest - 2015-12-09
Also is picking someone up and charging money something that is illegal, or was before Uber? Because whenever I take my parents to or from the airport they always give me a 20, since a cab ride would be at least double that.

Cena_mark - 2015-12-09
I'm likely transferring to NYC next year. I'll have to learn how to handle the rails and the taxis. I understand their frustration. Totally being undercut. I'm surprised the government hasn't really gotten to regulating Uber yet. I'm sure the taxi lobbies are going nuts.

SolRo - 2015-12-10
Uber undercuts the cabs because they exploit a desperate and uninformed workforce and don't have the same level of insurance that taxi cabs have to.

Most uber drivers are barely making any money or losing money if you take into consideration things like gas, insurance, vehicle depreciation, tire wear and repairs. Not to mention that if they get in an accident while on the job, some insurance companies would just drop them because they don't have a commercial policy.

It's a bunch of manipulative, exploitive and often illegal shit kept afloat by what I'm assuming is a massive lobbying/bribery push by Uber.

That guy - 2015-12-10
Many of you have explained why Uber sucks, but almost nobody said a word about how badly taxi drivers suck.

Being shitheads in traffic for decades is no way to get everybody on your side.

SolRo - 2015-12-10
Middle managers in BMWs/Audis/Mercs/Jaguars/American Muscle cars are the biggest shitheads in traffic, taxi drivers are grandmas by comparison.

I've never, ever, seen a taxi weaving through traffic at 20mph+ faster than the flow.

Accidie - 2015-12-10
I'm shocked to see so many old men on here repeating opinions they read on their facebook feeds.

SolRo - 2015-12-10
You here to 'disrupt' us, yuppie boy?

infinite zest - 2015-12-10
At least five of my friends are taxi drivers, and I still think taxis suck. I don't really get needing them (or Uber) in NYC though, or at least their omnipresence. Thing about Portland is the bars stay open until 2:30AM and the public transportation shuts down at 1, so if you plan on burning the midnight oil tough tit if you're a responsible driver or pedestrian. That's when the cabs are out. In NYC public transportation runs 24/7, and while I understand the inherent risks of taking a late night subway ride, it's not dangerous like it was back in the 80s and 90s

EvilHomer - 2015-12-10
I use neither cabs nor Uber, but if the public prefers Uber, then the public prefers Uber. Perhaps cab driving is a lost art; like movie theaters and video arcades, it is an industry whose time in history has come and gone?

IZ raises an interesting point about iPhones and the loss of specialized knowledge, but that is the classic robots-took-our-jobs story, a story so common that we should really be used to it by now. Perhaps, instead of fighting against progress for their own selfish reasons, cabbies could learn to adapt? They could lower their prices (which, let's be honest, are completely absurd); a perfectly normal solution to problems like this. They could offer a "luxury experience" which justifies their rates (in much the same way that technologically-inefficient farms have found new life by rebranding their methods as "organic"); I imagine plenty of hip urban types would enjoy riding in cabs, if cabs looked nice and featured extra amenities, like complementary gluten-free beverages or built-in WiFi hotspots. I know I would! Or maybe they could quit their jobs and work for Uber.

Nominal - 2015-12-10
I sure Evilhomer chimes in with a ridiculous devil's advocate text block!

Fuck Uber, but cab companies need to get their shit together with 2 things: offering online/app reservations and taking credit cards. The number of them still going with phone (voice) and cash only is ridiculous in 2015.

SolRo - 2015-12-10
How many are still doing it by phone?

I used one last new years via app and paid with a card.

also the service was stupidly fast, considering I wasn't downtown or anything, and they texted me when the cab showed up each time, didn't have to wait at the curb...plus, no surge pricing, bitches!

infinite zest - 2015-12-10
That probably depends on the city. If yours doesn't have it, it probably will soon, not that I find booking online with an app any easier than waiting on the line.

Problem I have with Uber is, how do I know that the driver's not as fucked up as I am when I need a cab? One of my Taxi driver friends was telling me that he found this old training manual from the 90s going over the reasons why it's important not to drink or do drugs within 8 hours of your shift start. Sounds like common sense, but I know plenty of people who wake up still drunk or high and drive themselves to work. And while it's not fine, they know the way, if they get in an accident it's just them, etc. And at least in Portland, they're really strict on that shit and test (not just for cabbies but bartenders or anyone working around drugs or alcohol too) at random and constantly, like every other day constantly, or at least to get the message across.

But as far as I know Uber doesn't have anything like that for their drivers. So I could be getting in a car with someone who seems "fine to drive," who's about as good as a driver as I am if I've had a few, and I'm potentially putting my life in the hands of a complete stranger.

Adham Nu'man - 2015-12-10
A taxi driver busted my nose and pulled a knife on me.

One of my teachers had a minor accident with a cab driver and all of a sudden he was surrounded by an entire mob of them and they smashed his windshield and threatened him and his wife (with their infant daughter in the backseat).

A good friend of mine was beaten up by about sixteen cab drivers because of an argument he had with one.

A co-worker had half his face paralyzed because a group of cab drivers beat the shit out of him with lug wrenches.

I understand that Uber exploiting the legal grey areas to gain a competitive advantage is a problem, but at this point it is very difficult for me to feel ANY sympathy for the plight of cab drivers.

baleen - 2015-12-10
"In NYC public transportation runs 24/7" Well, that made me snicker.

baleen - 2015-12-10
Adham, where the hell did this happen?

I have never heard of any of that bullshit going down. Eight years of taking taxis routinely in Chicago and NYC and I have never experienced anything remotely that shitty from taxi drivers. Half the time I have interesting conversations with them, the rest of the time is spent in total silence.

badideasinaction - 2015-12-10
I'm torn here as someone watching this battle unfold in Toronto which seems to be a flash point for it. Taxis are a forced monopoly (well, multiple companies and a few indies acting as one) and that does breed complacency. On the other hand, outsourcing to joe lowest bidder is a really bad precedent to follow. Not to mention the legal risks of "sorry, this guy drives for Uber on his spare time so we voided his insurance, too bad he hit your family".

Taxi drivers have been handling this incredibly badly, on the other hand, though I thought I had read something before that Uber was essentially paying off press to side with them.

Ultimately it's undercutting people for part-timers which is following the model of everything else now. Gotta love people who spend all their time demanding that they get a living wage but are happy to throw money at whatever "disruptive" business undercuts others.

In other words everyone loves to use the fuck barrel, until it's their turn in the fuck barrel.

Nominal - 2015-12-10
This might be a recent thing, but the other thing Taxis need to get with is drivers knowing the fucking city or giving them all GPS.

Not knowing specific streets other than the major ones? Fine. But prominent areas and landmarks? When I was living in Boston, I got in a cab in Harvard Square asking to go to Union Square and the guy asks where it is. Fucking seriously? That's like a SoHo Manhattan cab not knowing where the East Village is.

Nominal - 2015-12-10
badideasinaction, exactly.

I've had shit experiences with cabs but fuck if it's going to make me support the continuing workers' race to the bottom with universal temp/contractor work replacing full time positions.

It's about a bigger issue than feels. I've had bad experiences with lazy Postal Service clerks and union workers, but fuck if I'm going to side with the people who think anyone getting paid over k is a job-killing parasite.

BHWW - 2015-12-10
Uber has gained ground because they undercut tremendously, until their drivers end up living off of cardboard shaving and cigarette butts, pay off city officials, and have lobbyists hiding in every toilet on Capitol Hill to allow them to operate a business outside the bounds of regulation, and have found ready allies in politicians who are normally all about the regulations but when it comes to Uber suddenly it's laissez faire time.

Plus a not insignificant percentage of customers are dumbshit babies who have not a care in the world for the ethics of a business as long as it is cheaper and comes in an app.

EvilHomer - 2015-12-10
Assuming you were posting in good faith, Mr Nominal, might I inquire as to what you found "ridiculous"? It is not my intention to play the Devil's Advocate here; I am simply trying to be a moderate voice of reason, offering logical, sensible, and dispassionate solutions to the problems taxi drivers will face in a post-taxi world. If there are factors I have not considered, then please let me know.

yogarfield - 2015-12-10
Fuck Uber, yay Lyft.

Two Jar Slave - 2015-12-10
Uber is affordable, and every driver I've met has been friendly, well-rested, and enthusiastic about the job. They have also been aware that my review could damage their career, so they've been courteous and aware of basic customer service. On my end, I'm aware that the drivers rate me as well, and even though I'm not totally sure what a low during would mean it has kept me polite. The only bad ride I had was a somewhat reckless driver who sped through traffic with my pregnant wife in the car. I one-starred him, got my ride refunded and an email conversation with an Uber rep that same afternoon. Their initiative.

Sure, instate better insurance and regulations. But let's not pretend this isn't a superior system. The future has once again improved on the past, fellas. Get into it!

Old_Zircon - 2015-12-10
I've also used black cars in NYC a few times, every single time the driver was watching a movie while driving.

Old_Zircon - 2015-12-10
Also, I've had almost 100% positive experiences with cab drivers, and the bad experiences were relatively benign - one guy made some gross comments about some underage, drunk girls who he had just let out before picking me up, and one guy just never answered when I spoke to him and took a different route than I requested that cost maybe extra, other than that cab rides have usually meant interesting conversations.

Old_Zircon - 2015-12-10
Plus cab drivers, like bus drivers, would have to be pretty bad for me to really be offended, since they're basically treated like subhuman garbage most of the day. The worst behavior I've seen from them is still way better than what I see coming from passengers most times I ride (and I commute to work by bus so that's a lot).

The other day I saw two 40-something white women scream at a black man for a good 5 minutes about his BUS DRIVER PRIVILEGE (not joking) because he wouldn't stop half a block from the posted bus stop to pick them up, and they had to break into a slow jog to get to the stop (that he DID stop at for them because he saw them waving). Neither of them took their eyes off of their iPhones during the whole ordeal, either. And that wasn't atypical.

Just in general, people in service industries get a lot of slack from me, because it's shit work that deserves good pay and legal protections.

Old_Zircon - 2015-12-10

Middle managers in BMWs/Audis/Mercs/Jaguars/American Muscle cars are the biggest shitheads in traffic, taxi drivers are grandmas by comparison.

I've never, ever, seen a taxi weaving through traffic at 20mph+ faster than the flow.

Old_Zircon - 2015-12-10
Also what kind of bizarro world to you people live in where Uber costs less than a cab? Because it's usually about 20% higher the few times I've had the misfortune of using it (all of which have been when a yuppie friend of mine treated me to the ride, because he of course thinks Uber is wonderful).

I don't use cabs that often but I can typically get across town for maybe before tip; it's at least 20 with Uber.

yogarfield - 2015-12-10
Whaaa? Uber / Lyft are always cheaper than cabs in Seattle.

infinite zest - 2015-12-10
@baleen by 24/7 I mean that the busses and subways don't stop running, usually on the 15 or 30s, unless that's been changed since I was in NYC, which was a good 13 years ago. In Portland, they literally do not run between (depending on the line) 12:45AM and 5:00AM, which really sucks when you're at a bar, or at a show where the touring group doesn't understand this. I've had to leave shows early because my date didn't have a bike, etc. and it really sucks.

Adham Nu'man - 2015-12-11
Baleen, in Costa Rica.

Just in case you are inclined to think it's just a weird phenomenon where taxi drivers in Central America are just a crazed mob of maniacs, I rode in many taxis on a daily basis for years (I didn't own a car for a good while and taxis are relatively cheap here), I had a lot of friendly conversations with a lot of them, heard lots of shitty comments made towards women walking on the street (fairly standard for Latin America), but in general most experiences were "ok".

Nominal - 2017-04-07
Reading this now in 2017, jesus christ was EvilHomer's shtick tired.

I seriously think the guy had legit mental issues, or that this was the closest he had to any actual friends.

misterbuns - 2015-12-10
im not reading any of this (jimmyboblahey this is how you troll)
Binro the Heretic - 2015-12-10
Uber is terrible as a company, but threatening the drivers is like screaming at the person working the counter at McDonald's or assaulting the person wearing the Mickey costume at Disneyland.

If this jackass had gotten himself run over with his little stunt, I would have little, if any, sympathy for him.
SolRo - 2015-12-10
Not quite the same, imho.

mcdonalds actually follows laws and regulations.

This is more like yelling at an unlicensed street food vendor if you want to go the food example.

Nominal - 2015-12-10
There were dozens of contemporary and historical comparisons to make, and you went with two inaccurate ones relating to fatty food and childhood.

Oh, Binro.

Binro the Heretic - 2015-12-10
Yeah, fuck me for using examples people could easily identify with instead of splitting hairs.

Okay, fine, It's like yelling at the person behind the counter of McDonald's if McDonald's was a company that put out an app that allowed people to obtain food and recruited people to work behind the counter and set up a financial structure to allow the people who wanted the food to pay into an account from which the person behind the counter would be paid a small portion of what the customer paid and also the person behind the counter would have to pay for their uniform, the counter, the food and cook the food themselves and deal with all the associated permits & taxes of being a food vendor.

Happy now, you nit-picky pedantic mother-fuckers?

SolRo - 2015-12-10

SolRo - 2015-12-10
Wait, no.

This hypothetical mcdonalds app thing wouldn't tell the guy behind the counter about the taxes or licenses, because that's just useless regulation and this is all about disrupting the marketplace!

SolRo - 2015-12-10
Also forget the whole resteraunt. Just cook food wherever you feel like out of whatever contaminated and expired ingredients you want. Then sell it through the app. Don't need health standards because it's just "meal sharing"!

Binro the Heretic - 2015-12-10
So, is it your position Uber drivers deserve to be threatened or assaulted?

SolRo - 2015-12-10
Not exactly, but they also aren't blameless victims like you imply.

Binro the Heretic - 2015-12-10
So based on what you know of the situation in the video, i.e. a cab driver trying smash a car window to pull an Uber driver out of their car and possibly assault them, why not side with the Uber driver? If you're angry Uber has created a business model that makes people unsafe, take it up with Uber, not the drivers.

To go back to my McDonald's analogy, if you're angry McDonald's is selling unhealthy food, take it up with McDonald's. Don't try to drag the person working the counter out of the store into the street and justify it by saying, "Well, they know the food McDonald's sells is unhealthy."

SolRo - 2015-12-10
You're coming off sounding very entitled and yuppie-esqe.

No, the cabbie cant "take it up with uber" because he doesn't have enough money to sue them nor enough to bribe politicians/media more than uber does.

Also your mcdonalds analogy is still completely wrong, because uber is breaking the law and in many ways exposing customers to dangerous drivers.

Try to comprehend this; it's like if mcdonalds decided to ignore all food handling regulations and the guy at the counter made you a big old salmonella burger. You can blame mcdonalds, but you can also blame the guy at the counter.

Binro the Heretic - 2015-12-10
So you think it IS okay to assault the person behind the counter if you think they might serve someone a bad burger?

Binro the Heretic - 2015-12-10
And by "bad" I mean contaminated, not "bad" as in, "Wow, this burger sucks."

SolRo - 2015-12-10
How about if he knowingly did it, your kid got sick and went to the hospital costing you thousands of dollars, and when you confront him he just doesn't care and keeps making diseased food?

The rational answer is "no, we're a civilized society blub, blub, blub." But people that feel wronged past a certain degree don't act rationally.

Binro the Heretic - 2015-12-11
But we're not talking about a counter worker who deliberately sold a burger they knew to be contaminated. What you seem to be saying is that if any McDonald's counter worker at any point in time deliberately sells a toxic burger, it's excusable to think ALL McDonald's counter workers everywhere are intentionally selling toxic burgers.

The video shows a cab driver trying to force his way into someone's vehicle because they are an Uber driver. I don't know what his ultimate plan was. Maybe he was just trying to scare the driver or maybe he planned to physically assault them. Either is a violation of the law.

My argument is that you shouldn't frighten and assault Uber drivers just because Uber the company allows some drivers to bypass regulations and break laws without dismissing or punishing them. That's an issue you need to take up with Uber. Pressure Uber to get rid of bad drivers. Don't give assholes the go-ahead to attack every Uber driver they see.

bawbag - 2015-12-10
The Taxi Alliance and Beck (two of the larger companies involved) told their drivers not to take part in the blocking of downtown traffic during the protest. There's been blocking of Ambulances too: http://www.citynews.ca/2015/12/09/video-taxi-appears-to-block-ambu lance-during-protest/

Sidenote: Currently taxi plates can go for around 100k and their supply is artificially limited.

http://www.kijiji.ca/b-gta-greater-toronto-area/taxi-plate/k0l 1700272
Bobonne - 2015-12-10
Taxi commissions are basically mini-mafioso organizations with a very narrow focus. At best, you'll get price gouging, nepotism, sexism, and surly dickishness. At worst, well, it can get a lot worse.

The prices for taxis where I live is over three times as high as what they are in a much larger and richer metropolitan city a province over from me. For no reason other than they can get away with it. There's one neighborhood my local bus route goes through near me where you'll see a cab parked in every third driveway after 5 pm. They've been involved in scandal after scandal for endangering passengers and flouting traffic laws, in addition to bribery, artificial scarcity and discrimination in who they'll let have a medallion, and so forth.

Guess who's crying the loudest now that Uber is in town?

Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em all.
Kabbage - 2015-12-10

jfcaron_ca - 2015-12-10
Most taxi commissions started off as regulatory agencies, but many eventually shifted to become protectionist agencies. It's a typical example of regulatory capture, and basically sucks for everyone except the owners of the companies and the execs of said agency. Honestly even the drivers get screwed in the long run, even if they maintain higher wages for now.

It's like when the government starts taking the attitude that their job is to facilitate big established businesses instead of actually regulating with the long-term public interest in mind.

Old_Zircon - 2015-12-10
Kind of like what happened to a lot of unions by the end of the 70s. It's hard to imagine now that they've been completely gutted but there was a time there when unions were strong enough to actually do some of the stuff neoliberals love to accuse them of.

SolRo - 2015-12-10
The problem isn't that taxis are a monopoly, it's that they're a free market monopoly enabled by the state.

They're this weird Frankenstein of limited licenses to control congestion in big cities, some basic safety regulations, and then the rest is left up to the company running the taxis.

If anything, it would have been better to have taxis completely a government service...or at least have much stricter controls.

We see the same problem with utilities and other things.

Enjoy - 2015-12-10
I travel every week. The only city I take a taxi in anymore is London. Everywhere else I use Uber and my trip to-and-from the airport is with a private town car service.

Taxi's aren't necessarily troublesome in big cities like New York or Toronto but try taking a taxi in Baton Rouge or St. Paul. The taxi drivers don't know their cities and sometimes have shitty attitudes. Uber, on the other hand, is economical and I always have a fine experience.
Kabbage - 2015-12-10
I'm from Boston. Taxi drivers are trash. I've been loving watching them go down screaming.
Old_Zircon - 2015-12-10
I lived in Boston for a decade. Never had a bad taxi experience. Could ride from Jamaica Plain to Cambridge for including tip.

I've found my experiences with taxis in general have been so consistently different than that of most people who talk about it I suspect that it has something to do with treating them as peers not servants, and and more importantly I don't look like the sort of person who would.

I can't recall ever having a bad waiter, either, except one time in France in 1997.

That guy - 2015-12-10
This is making me think of Fallout 4.

Old_Zircon - 2015-12-10
Today I saw two different people run out into the street and pound on the door of the bus trying to get on before it had even pulled into the stop.

Kabbage - 2015-12-10
I had a job at a thrift shop in Allston for a few years, delivering couches and dressers. Taxi drivers do not give a shit about your saftey or anyone else's, and somehow they always get away with it. Hooo god am I glad they're not the only game in town anymore.

If they want to go toe to toe with Uber or Lyft, they're going to have to change their garbage operation, and that's never gonna happen.

Nominal - 2015-12-10
Yeah I'm not buying most of these anti-taxi stories. Especially the ones about gangs of drivers constantly smashing your face in with tire irons.

I suspects it's either made up hearsay, has more to do with the passenger's attitude, or it's psychological where you only think taxi drivers are all terrible because you recognize and remember cabs.

50 cars cut you off a year = nothing special some people are just assholes

12 taxis and 38 cars cut you off a year in a city where 1 out of 4 vehicles are taxis = OMG TAXI DRIVERS ARE HUMAN GARBAGE GROSS PERSON SCUM WHO WANT TO KILL ME FUCK EM WATCH EM BURN RAND PAUL 2016!!!

Kabbage - 2015-12-10
The idea that one or more of you live in Boston yet don't hate taxis is mind-boggling to me.

Mr. Purple Cat Esq. - 2015-12-10
As a cyclist (in Dublin) taxis are my natural enemy. I am delighted to witness their downfall.
Nominal - 2015-12-11
As a cyclist, cyclists are my biggest enemy.

bawbag - 2015-12-10
Turns out the Taxi-driver protestor has/had a side-job with Uber Black.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/taxi-driver-worked-at-ub er-1.3358864
Old_Zircon - 2015-12-10

Aress - 2015-12-12
Fuck taxis and their crony red-tape medallions.
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