Ride-sharing services face rocky road in Japan

By Akiko Yasuhara

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In Tokyo, Osaka and other major cities, taxi companies boast of top-notch services. Passengers do not have to wait long for a taxi once they call one, for example.

Except when it rains, is really windy, during earthquakes, when Kim sends rockets up etc.

How does Uber check the health of drivers in America? How do they check the maintenance of the cars driven? Perhaps the Japanese can send a 100 man fact finding team overseas for a few weeks or months to find out.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"The quality of Japanese taxi services is extremely high,

Extremely high? No! quality is not that bad, IF you are lucky.

50% of the drivers are cold and grumpy.

50% of the taxis smell either to tobacco or those car-perfume thingies

20% of the drivers love to break. gas. break. gas. break. (Oh god I think im gonna be sick)

Other than that? Yeah, not bad.

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And majority of drivers do not use any GPS to find a way to your destination so you need to tell them exactly how to get there. At least in smaller cities. That sucks.

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I'd rather existing taxi companies develop their own apps.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I sometimes wonder if the posters here live in a different Japan I do. I travel a lot and find Japanese taxi drivers among the best in the world.

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Except when it rains, is really windy, during earthquakes, when Kim sends rockets up etc.

In fairness, Uber's model works on people paying three times the going rate at such times. Uber is only cheaper when it is off peak.

I've never taken an Uber so I have no experience to speak of. Trains in the UK run on peak-based pricing though, and that system is almost universally hated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I agree with stage strangeland. Taxis in JP are pretty reliable across the nation.

I'd rather ride a bus, train or any of my road bikes coz I'm poor but if I have no option than taking a cab, I know I will have zero problem with them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Rarely use taxis in America, but my last recollection in Long Island I called a cab to my hotel. Jalopy of a huge Ford Crown Victoria pulled up. Female driver was dirty with no teeth, opened the trunk full of junk and garbage where I put my suitcase, in back seat filthy. Empty pizza box on floor. She kept complaining about some violence from her boyfriend. Safely arrived.

Recent taxi in Japan from Narita to my home. Frail old man, maybe late 70's tried to put my suitcase in the trunk but I was embarrassed to have him lift it at his age so I put it in. He proceeded to drive 130-135 km/hour into Tokyo which is faster than I drive myself. Not terrifying but not a warm and safe feeling. Got to my home unscathed.

Taxis are clean and plentiful in Japan NEAR TRAIN STATIONS!!! Get anywhere off the beaten path and you will NOT BE ABLE TO FIND A TAXI, without calling. If you are not Japanese you may have no idea how to call a taxi. I think Uber has a viable business model in Japan in areas not well served by Japanese taxi companies.

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Change is tough in Japan but it does happen. My guess is that the ride sharing product will work in Japan, like other places.

In December, Japanese Tech company SoftBank bought 20% of Uber to add to it's other major holdings of ride sharing companies: China’s Didi Chuxing, Grab in Southeast Asia, and Ola in India.  Yep, Softbank is the ride sharing king. Softbanks first move was to pull Uber out of Southeast Asia which leaves that part of the globe to Grab, LOL do you see the monopoly happening. Cabs, no one investing in Cabs...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is an app used in a few cities in California and Washington called 'Flywheel' which is a uber like app for Cabs. I often used it when I lived in 'The City', AKA: San Francisco.

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Uber service works in many urban cities where there's is no trains. For instance, Las Vegas area. Uber business men are independent fairly new car owners who. are covered by auto insurance in Vegas area where you can't find taxi. With trains all over in Japan, Uber might not last too long in Japan.

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Uber may do well as a 12am to 5am service within Tokyo, Japan.... as that's the time when Trains generally don't run. But, I sort of wouldnt feel comfortable with an unknown Uber driver at that time anyway.

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