The Uber Benevolent Dictator Problem

Uber logo as dictator symbol.
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People love Uber, and I’ve personally been delighted in the past by the efficiency and “magic” of the service. It is amazing that one can press a button on a phone and have a car show up to take them on their way. As an economist, I’ve loved the fact that one of the worst cesspools of rent-seeking regulation-protected market inefficiencies – the taxicab market – has been disrupted. But if Uber is truly upending this market, why should consumers ever trust a single company to own that market, even if they claim to be doing good? This is a … Continue reading

Yellow Card! – Uber Played Dirty Against Gett

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I’ve been open about liking Uber in the past, and devoted ink to writing about its prospects for ridership in a new market, or how it empowered female drivers. The folks in the transportation industry, myself included, have generally liked the regulatory-bashing, market-inefficiency killing style of Uber. My goodwill ended today with news reports that they fought dirty against an upstart, Gett. Yellow card. Uber’s on Transportation Planner notice. Everyone go download HailO, Gett, and Lyft because they are competition, and competition is good. #Penance Why Uber Was the White Knight Economists hate regulatory capture and market inefficiencies, and taxi regulations with taxi medallions … Continue reading

Can Uber Break 1 Million Riders in Charlotte?

Uber Charlotte
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**UPDATE 1/27/2014** ** OVER THE WEEKEND IT WAS REPORTED THAT UBER ENGAGED IN UNETHICAL BUSINESS PRACTICES. READ HERE ** Based on some of the job postings around, it comes as no surprise to anyone that the everyone’s favorite taxi/technology company, Uber, has been expanding at breakneck speed. As they plan to enter the Charlotte, North Carolina market, some may wonder if this service is viable in a city that is not New York, San Francisco, or Washington, DC. I decided to run some numbers and do some fancy-pants statistics, and the preliminary figures are: its possible to get towards 1 million even … Continue reading

Is Uber Empowering Female Drivers?

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**UPDATE 1/27/2014** ** OVER THE WEEKEND IT WAS REPORTED THAT UBER ENGAGED IN UNETHICAL BUSINESS PRACTICES. READ HERE ** I want to share an interesting theme that came up the other day when I was taking an Uber ride (and briefly tweeted about). I was in DC using Uber for my first time just the other day and headed to lunch when I pulled out my iPhone and called up a black car. Because I was centrally located at 14th and K for work, it took well under 5 minutes for the car to roll up – it was a nice black Escalade. As a transportation professional, … Continue reading