Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Keeping UberX for Billions

Keeping UberX for Billions of Reasons - Removing UberX is Not an Option

The Taxi industry in Sydney is a broken system. Few profit, many suffer. I cannot vouch for Uber enough and celebrate the customer service solution Uber and UberX represents.

My support of Uber's services in the desolate taxi landscape could be the thesis of a five-year Philosophical Doctorate, but I'll summarise in three points for Transport NSW:

1. End users and paying clients have the final say

2. The share-economy is here to stay

3. Be a global example of success, not failure

1. End users and paying clients have the final say

As an end user, I will only pay for a service worth using. I have a boycott on Taxis after too many service failures to count. When a taxi doesn't show up when reserved (multiple times), shows up inconveniently late or early (always), refuses to take me where I need to go (often), and then charges more than these service failures are worth, only a sane person would say NO to this broken system and find an alternative solution.

Uber is that solution, and UberX specifically levels the playing field and forces Taxi drivers to provide a service that meets the demands of paying clients. As an Uber client, I can say every single Uber ride I have taken is an amazing win/win situation for driver and customer by comparison. Drivers are rated on performance and only good drivers succeed.

Mind you, all Uber drivers have been good drivers, as their use of the Uber service proves that they care about me, the end user that pays them, and we share that same value. I could go on but I'll move on the benefits of the driver and the share-economy.

2. The share-economy is here to stay

Airbnb.com has proven that the accommodation industry can be turned on it's head when a low-priced solution can offer rooms to travellers by trusting home owners and renters to open their doors and host their location on the Airbnb site.

These share-economy technologies are here to stay as the human race continues to grow in number whilst finite resources remain fixed. It's not only good business to provide more options for consumers through room-sharing and ride-sharing, but it's a moral imperative to preserve the human race if we are to consume our shared resources wisely.

Lastly and most importantly, with redundancies and lay-offs handed out to otherwise helpless workers in corporate down-sizing, UberX and other share-economy income-streams provide workers a transitional income whilst they look for new roles, or, by fully embracing these new technologies, become service leaders in their adoption.

3. Be a global example of success, not failure

Sydney is not isolated in the need for better transport options. Cities around the world with bad bus systems, lack of reliable trains, and overpriced taxis demand UberX as an option.

Cancelling UberX would stop the support for families of drivers like Ian, who gave my wife and I a ride from Circular Quay to our home in Marrickville.

We needed to find an alternative way to get home as our trains were not running due to track work, another Sydney transport failure that is known all too well.

Despite buying Opal Cards to take advantage of one solution to the problem of waiting in line to buy train tickets, the trains still failed us and we had to find another way home.

Like most Sydneysiders, my wife and I are on a very tight budget as a result of paying overpriced rent and unable to find adequate employment in our professions.

The result of high costs and low incomes for us means that our money is tight and time is limited. Taking a bus during track work is not an option, and taxis are too expensive.

UberX is the best option for us to get where we need to go when we need to get there, being treated well, valued as customers, and given the option to rate our driver in return.

Ian gave us a comfortable ride in a back Toyota Prius whilst we helped with directions as he is only driving UberX recently since receiving a redundancy as a corporate accountant.

Taking away UberX would devastate Ian's family, further frustrate Sydney commuters like me who want better transport options, and possibly force Ian to foreclose on his mortgage.

In summary:

1. Anyone in Transport NSW who denies UberX is ignoring the fact that end-users pay for these service options and should have the final say in what is available and for how much.

2. With the changing global economy, the share-economy is here to stay as a solution to corporates sacking workers who need creative income streams quickly to cover their costs.

3. Sydney has an opportunity to lead in this changing landscape. Listening to the users and service providers successes, private industries provide services like UberX to solve problems that governments and state agencies are not able to solve.

Let the Uber experts do what travellers have needed all along. Give the people UberX.