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Difference Between Uber and Taxis

Difference Between Uber and Taxis

The Top 5 Differences Between Uber and Taxis:

Photo of a taxi's top sign showing the word taxi.

1. Taxis are cheaper during the times you need it most.

Taxis carry fair, consistent pricing, no matter how busy they are. Ride-hailing services make the majority of their money on surge pricing, which is dictated by demand at different times during the day. Even trusted consumer watchdogs, Consumer Reports, say taxis are cheaper.

In their analysis, they say that during windows of high demand, surge pricing can boost fares by 400 percent. And they go onto to say that even in non-surge periods, taxis are cheaper for short distances due to the high price point for entering an Uber versus a taxi.

By using a taxi, you know you won’t get gouged on pricing just because other people need a ride as well.

2. More than half of Uber drivers don’t know what they’re doing.

For those familiar with the ride-sharing experience, many people can relate to that pang of fear felt about five minutes into the ride, when you realize you’re driver has no idea where he or she is going.

In a hushed, poorly veiled panic, your driver is frantically switching between the map app on their smart phone and their dashboard GPS, fresh off the clearance rack at Best Buy, like tourists in a foreign city.

After realizing you’ve been traveling in the wrong direction, you weigh the feeling of awkwardness in telling someone how to do their job against whether you can afford not to, finally intervening with a strained: “….Um…you might want to turn here…”

Let’s not fail to mention that many drivers drive for both Uber and Lyft at the same time! There are even guides on how to blend the two services.

According to Uber’s driver data report, put together by the company last year, 51 percent of Uber operators have never previously worked as a driver. That’s crazy! This means its basically a coin-flip on whether or not you are paying for a professional service or paying some amateur who’s renting out their car for a quick buck.

On the other hand, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most taxi drivers go through a training period prior to become professional drivers. Many states and cities, including Sacramento, require drivers to get a specific license to operate a taxi, which is prominently displayed on the dashboard of their vehicle.

3. Taxi drivers have decades more experience on the road.

Also, according to Uber’s driver data report, 49 percent of Uber drivers are between ages 18-39, whereas 63 percent of taxi drivers are between the ages of 40-64. This means, by taking a taxi versus an Uber, you have a greater chance of paying for 23 years more experience on average between drivers.

Over two decades of knowing the roads and routes of a metropolitan area that covers more than 21,000 square miles, like Sacramento does, can be crucial when making an important meeting or appointment.

Especially with a major Sacramento highway being known as the most dangerous road in America, choosing to be a passenger in a car with a less experienced driver, who may or may not be a professional, might not be the best safety choice you make that day.

4. Convenience is no longer Uber’s strongest selling point.

When ride-hailing services first hit the scene, to be honest, they were definitely more convenient than hailing a traditional taxi. At a push of a button on your smartphone, your driver will be able to locate you with relative accuracy, the entire act of obtaining a ride streamlined by technology.

This shift in the customer experience has created the “evolve or die” mentality for the taxi business. And taxis have responded by capitalizing on emerging technology to up their game. Now the convenience of ordering a taxi is carried through mobile apps like Curb and the taxis themselves are becoming leaders in transportation technology.

And for riders in the Sacramento region, taking a taxi is sometimes way more convenient than taking an Uber, which sometimes rely too much on mobile technology to function. For instance, at the Sacramento International Airport, on the edge of Natomas, depending on your carrier, cell reception can be spotty, making it difficult to coordinate with your Uber driver on pick-up location.

5. Taxi drivers don’t keep an electronic record of their judgments of you.

An often over-looked reality of a ride-hailing service is the awkwardness of the review process, for both rider and driver. Since Uber drivers are a community of independent contractors, they have a customer rating they assign to their riders. This is meant to help future potential drivers avoid potential problematic interactions by declining to accept fares with low ratings.

In theory, this practice is meant to protect both drivers and riders, by raising the standard of how people treat each other during the business transaction overall. Yet in practice, an awkward bubble of etiquette is created between both parties, preventing a relaxing atmosphere for the passenger. The issue has grown so much, that multiple articles have been published on Uber etiquette.

With a cab, you are paying for a professional service, and the only requirements from your driver is, like all other business transactions, just be a decent human being. In the back of a cab, you don’t have to worry about how your behavior on this ride will affect your opportunities for future rides.

Had a bad day and don’t feel like making the extra effort in engaging with your driver? Don’t worry, your cabbie won’t mind. Not a tipper? Don’t worry, the cabbie probably won’t appreciate it, but there will be no digital record of your behavior for other cabbies to decide whether or not they want to pick you up next time.

With a taxi, you are paying for a quality, professional service to get from Point A to Point B. More and more riders realize, that as long as the above happens safely and at an affordable rate, the frills of Uber aren’t really necessary.

2 thoughts on “Difference Between Uber and Taxis”

  1. Lovie Reply

    November 16, 2016

    Articles like these put the consumer in the driver seat -very important.

  2. Maklaut Reply

    November 16, 2016

    Most days, he starts driving around 7 a.m. and ends his day around midnight, with a few hours break in the middle. He says that how much an Uber driver makes depends on how much you want to work and that he takes home between $300 and $500 a week.

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