How Uber, Tesler Are Disrupting Transportation Monopolies: Viewpoint

By Bloomberg Editors | April 22, 2014

  • April 22, 2014 at 11:58 am
    Bill says:
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    Great article!

  • April 22, 2014 at 4:13 pm
    Hmmm says:
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    Highly disagree that “Uber and other services like… are also running up against government-sponsored monopolies” This is NOT, NOT, NOT an issue of monopolistic profits (seriously???). This is about private passenger cars that get a certain car insurance rate based on how the auto is used ( which means does NOT pick up passengers for higher), trying to cheat the system. This is about skirting regulations that were set up to protect the public. Why is it OK to be a “taxi” and have to deal with tax issues, licensing issues, tag issues and a multitude of regulation which Uber and the other services don’t have to do and call it an even playing field. What about the Uber drivers that think as long as Uber has promised them a $1mm liability policy while passengers are in their car, they are OK (oh whoops – they don’t have physical damage coverage on their personal auto policies as well when used for livery). What about when the Uber driver is injured in a car accident with an uninsured motorist (or underinsured motorist) – they are not an employee of Uber to be able to receive workers compensation? They are not protected by their personal auto policy.

    • April 23, 2014 at 2:44 pm
      Ed T says:
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      Uber has $1mil policy while drivers drive you around in their own car. Works perfectly

  • April 28, 2014 at 10:46 am
    Jim Jensen says:
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    The $1,000,000 liability policy is for the Uber company… not the individual drivers and thier activities. The personal insurer of the driver will reject the claim. It is nothing more than “Hichicking”… bad idea.

  • April 28, 2014 at 12:49 pm
    FurriePrincess says:
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    There is also the issue of license. Most individuals have a class C license while cab drivers, bus drivers, school bus drivers have a class A license which also requires periodic medical checks. Further, I think that most private passenger auto carriers are going to not just deny a claim, but cancel policies for misrepresentation as livery use is an ineligible activity.

    • May 23, 2014 at 5:02 am
      Lyla says:
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      Los Angeles only requires a class c. But there are drug tests five times per year the driver must drive 50 miles away to get and pay $50.00 for. The Association sends the sober drivers more often for more random tests.

  • May 8, 2014 at 7:50 pm
    ClaimsAdjuster says:
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    A recent NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit broadcast shows that shows Uber’s policies can leave drivers and passengers in the lurch if there are accidents. And despite administering background checks, Uber still employs drivers with criminal records that include burglary, domestic assault and drug trafficking.

    http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/Is-Uber-Keeping-Riders-Safe-256438921.html

    Uber’s reaction to the lawsuit filed by Jason Herrera, an UberX passenger injured in the accident mentioned in the report is that Uber is a tech company that is not responsible for its cars or drivers. “…Uber warrants that it is a technology company and denies that it is a transportation company or common carrier” states the company’s response to Jason A Herrera v Uber Technologies.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/209100904/Uber-Herrera-Response

  • May 23, 2014 at 4:54 am
    Lyla says:
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    The City Government gets about $5,000 per cab per year for its seal or medallion in Los Angeles. They have a Dept. of Transportation DOT law enforcement officers that make ON AVERAGE $55,000 per yr. salaries. Chief Engineer earns $255,000. Insurance on a taxi runs $2,500 per month on a $350,000 policy. Taxis must belong to an association with dues of $750.00 per month. Taxi vehicle must be no more than 4 yrs. old, preferably electric at $32,000. Comprehensive coverage is unavailable to taxis. They have truly been priced out of the market. One owner in Los Angeles funded his own insurance on the fleet himself for five years and then went bankrupt, paying no one any money for any accident they were in. (Lawsuits take five yrs. to get to court.) This was timed perfectly. Then passengers disappeared slowly but surely over the past 30 yrs. For twenty years they made a living with senior ride coupons for the poor and elderly supported by taxpayers of the city. The drivers themselves were never considered employees but independent contractors, with all expenses born on their backs. They had no medical. One driver when shot in the face had to rely on the state to rebuild all the teeth in his mouth. The City DOT will never allow their taxi cash cow to go away. They will come up with another way to charge Uber and the drivers for all these expenses, and tickets for every little infraction that taxis pay, from overplaying a stand, to a bald tire, to a customer complaint, or for picking up in a wrong county (a $10,000 dollar fine for every occurrence!) I hear Goldman Sachs is funding Uber. This should get pretty interesting. Regular cars only carry 30 grand insurance in case of accident. Taxis are involved in a lot of accidents. Most private insurance policies do not cover vehicles for hire. Never mind the super high cost vehicle repairs from most crooked mechanics. Good luck getting the costs down on this business model.



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