Uber in Chicago: Under Attack or Unfair Advantage?

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1 Comment

  • Mark

    I am a former cab/limo driver in Chicago. I would still have my chauffer’s license except that I was told I didn’t have to renew my license in person the following year and that it would be mailed to me. Well the next year came and no notice came in the mail so I was out of luck after realizing it expired. They told me I would have to go to the classes, re-take the test, etc. and pay for it…again. I have been driving for Uber for about 2 ½ months now and love it! I hated driving a cab as you had to lease the car by 12, 24 hour, or weekly rates. The cars weren’t always that great either. Then you were a sitting target with all that cash (I got robbed once, and luckily the clown got out of the car during the 2nd attempt before I drove off). Also, I had a businesswoman stiff me once as she said, “I forgot my wallet on my desk, I’ll be right back.” Sure you will. With Uber you know the person is in the system, so I happily go to the west and south sides, something I would not do on purpose driving a cab. You don’t have to worry about non-payment as that is handled through the company via credit card. The customers love us because the cars are clean (I take care of my car), I’ve been told we’re more friendly, they love the cashless payment as most complain about cab drivers claiming their credit card machines don’t work. And it’s in and out, no waiting to count change, etc. Some people will program into the system where they are going so you know and don’t have to ask. It’s very convenient. And taxi drivers keep 97% of the Uber fare and they use their meters. UberX drivers, like me, get 80% of the fare. The cab companies are only interested in protecting the monopoly that they’ve had for years. They make their money up front from the leases and aren’t a part of the fares the driver makes. To me, this is the day of reckoning for the cab industry that has provided substandard service for far too long. The success of Uber and Lyft tells me that consumer wants an upgrade, and we are providing it for them. It’s a great second job that I can do whenever I want, which is another reason I love it. It gives me a lot of flexibility. If I leased a cab for a week and then had an emergency and couldn’t work for a couple of days, the cab company doesn’t lose out, I do. So I see this as win/win for the driver and the passenger.

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