Monday, June 16, 2014

European Taxi Drivers Uber-challenge: Beat them at their own illegal tricks

In a bizarre twist of karma, Taxi Drivers throughout Europe staged a strike to express their dismay with potential passengers, who, in their opinion, are not respecting the law. Uber, the car sharing app was launched in Europe, but no one knew about it until the taxis decided that passengers actually paying the right price for trips around town might threaten their monopoly on shaking down customers outright.  
As one taxi driver put it, "Are you kidding me? They pay only about 30 bucks to hop all in one car from the airport.  We charge over 100 for that kind of service - and with it, we give you a tour of all Milan or Rome before getting you to your destination. Beat that, Uber!"
In Italy, taxis were on strike, but no one even noticed, since they sit at their stations all day instead of actually carting passengers around town like in many other metropolises.  Another driver put it simply, "We can sit around all day if we like.  We just keep raising the rates. You know, it helps us offset the lack of passengers - we don't know why they'd prefer low-cost, heck, even air-conditioned vehicles. That's not what urban mobility is about, ya know what I mean?"
Another added, "Look--I make my living out of cheating customers. It's just how it's done. Foreigners? I double the meter. Sometimes I turn it off altogether. Or tell 'em it has to be a fixed rate for short distances. Bags, extra. Inside the city, outside the city, if you can double the meter at least three times a day, you're making it good. But it's not that easy. You think we're going to let these guys come in and provide a fixed low-cost price list for transport services?" 
UBER is a pusher in corrupt Milano - Outlaws
(irony not included)
But UBER, had the last laugh. I had no idea 'til today that the service even existed in Europe. Post-European wide strike, subscriptions went up by 850%. And just to show the taxis that they are a company well-versed in supply & demand, they even decided to lower their tariffs by 20%.  After all, everyone knows that taxi cab advertising garners the greatest number of hits. 


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