As Uber booms in New York City, drivers note pros, cons


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Uber is a pretty shady company. All of their "stats" are from New York or San Fran which has the highest rates in the country. Pick any other city in the U.S. and you will earn a third as much. And that number will continue to drop as more drivers hit the road.

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Rideshare is appallingly unregulated transportation service, unlicensed drivers and vehicles, underpinned by impenetrable 'at your own risk' terms and conditions. On pushing that agreement button Uber will not be a party to negotiations of any disputes regarding services or payments between you and the 'drivers'. The system of driver approval is woefully inadequate.

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The bottom line is, if you don't like Uber you don't have to use it. From the other side, if you don't want to drive for Uber, you don't have to.

There is nothing wrong with a bit of competition. The big taxi companies have had it their own way for too long, and have had an effective monopoly on business. They control the taxi medallion system and often rent out taxis to drivers, who have to pay leasing/rental fees to the companies. These companies are crapping their pants in fear that their medallions (which can sell for upwards of $1 million each) may be less valuable in the future.

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Little doubt that taxi/cab companies need a proverbial kick up the backside. 'Ride-share' in the form of Uber, 'Lyft' takes some convincing as the complete answer. On the recent strike days in London Uber drivers behavior is reminiscent of highway robbery with the added benefit of wheels, without the necessity to wear a mask.

Competition calls for a level playing field, with registration, licensing of drivers and vehicles. Background checks should be strictly enforced, the thought of passengers being served up in the puttanesca meatballs at some Hannibal Lecter type gourmet dinner party doesn't bare thinking about. It just feels like a race to the bottom.

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What taxi companies do or don't do doesn't make Uber's actions any less shady.

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Are they they coming to Tokyo?

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@JapanGal: Uber is already here. Just download the app.

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