It’s not long before mobile application technologies change the face of today’s society as we know it. Uber, as an example, is already creating that change. The buzzword today is “disruption.” Uber is just the first example of this disruption. Taxi drivers around the world probably did not predict that their occupation could become more challenging, and less rewarding due to circumstances that they cannot control. Uber is just an example of one ridesharing program – there are others, such as Lyft. Lyft is gaining popularity in the U.S .
Ridesharing programs are gaining adoption in Canada, in major metropolitan areas. The younger generation is obviously a much faster adopter in this premise. However, these kind of technologies are not to be ignored. Cab and taxi drivers the world over have quickly become obsolete – just like computers become obsolete quickly, a new technology such as Uber is turning all kinds of people and businesses into obsolete ones too.
So what can the cab and taxi industries do to combat this shift in consumer mindset? Not a lot, honestly. Uber has them beat. Uber intergrates with Google Maps to provide an all-in experience. Drivers have access to Google maps while in their car, which automatically loads directions and street locations from Uber. Drivers can choose to follow the prompts in the app – or, if they feel they know a faster way, they can try the way they know, too. Uber rewards drivers for dropping off their fare as quickly as possible and moving onto the next.
This is a shift in culture that taxi drivers were not prepared for. Until now, taxi drivers made more money the longer someone stayed in the vehicle. Not only that, but taxi drivers always knew their own way around. This has resulted in many riders over the years commenting that the taxi driver went the slowest way possible, in order to run up the meter.
There are many who would say that the taxi industry was in need of a wake up call – that they had a monopoly on the transportation fare industry, and that it’s simply time for a change.