What are your thoughts on businesses like Uber? I've only seen them work in large cities. And my home town has regulated them right out of the area. Which made buying a car necessary for me.
I should have been more specific in my OP. I meant investment wise. I think they're a smart deal and should grow, but what I saw in my town has me worried. I'm worried other cities might follow suit and kill the whole concept while it's still young.
They shift a lot of tax burden onto "independent contractors" who are too ignorant to know what that entails and who are willing to take on insurance liability and associated costs and risks. They're likely to thrive in labor markets where they can undercut existing transportation because of their low overhead and able to move into markets where transportation services are scarce due to smaller markets that couldn't support a larger service.
However, as the labor market figures out that they're putting lots of miles on their vehicles (a direct but invisible cost), assuming the cost of insurance, and assuming a higher tax rate Uber will quickly become non-competitive.
Uber in Europe could never compete. They are trying but their prices are the same as a normal cab and they have lesser legal responsibilities for their passangers. At least in Vienna that is the case.
This is by-product of a weak economy. Whether or not the economy ever rebounds will determine if services like this stay in existence. Past that, I can still see this being heavily used in big cities, as you mentioned.
Ultimately Wealth is measured in Time.
Efficient use of time is the critical aspect of success.
Cabs do not capture this at a full scale, uber is multiple services in one gigantic independent fleet.
They are experimenting with some very interesting technology that will wholly improve lives in a productive economy.
once automatic cars are go, imagine this.
All kids go to school in ubers, parents don't need to do much. and large chunks of new work are accessed.
Uber is currently experimenting with errand running services, they did it small scale with Christmas shopping this year, but soon, even min wage workers will trade an 8$ hour to uber for a 5$ hour of errands. Uber however can do 3 of these easily and with denser populations much more. Tremendous value for uber.
With further integration into existing distribution hubs like amazon and supermarkets and walmarts uber will encroach on existing Logistics giants like UPS and several Micro economies of personal delivery.
Further should uber become integrated into the population at large, people with gap time can further trade an hour or two for a few shekels with massively online organized carpools.
Uber is kicking seven shades of shit out of established taxi firms in London (and I presume other UK cities). There's quite a bit of muttering that they're dodging the regulations that other taxis have to follow, and some kind of proposal was made that would shit all over them, but I don't think they're going anywhere. We believe in a free market here in the UK.
Unlike America. Politicians for sale, laws made by vested interests. Top kek.