The new digital ridesharing program, Uber, has made quite a splash in Boston over the last couple of years. Through the new digital app, consumers can request a ride and the app will let the consumer know where the closest driver is located and how long it will take to arrive. Then users just sit back and wait for their ride.
No more hoping a cab will arrive soon, no more pounding the pavement, and no more hailing taxis in the rain.
So how does a local driver join the ranks of Uber? It is simple. You basically just need to register with Uber, get a vehicle, and a criminal background check.
Some local Dealerships have implemented Uber Boston Purchase Programs that afford new Uber drivers the opportunity to purchase or lease vehicles for little to no money down. Many drivers are even getting approved for credit despite having substantial blemishes on their credit record.
Uber business has kicked it into overdrive in Boston. According to Uber co-founder and CEO, Travis Kalanick, since its introduction in 2012, Uber has grown to over 500,000 active users, it has created over 4,000 new jobs all while decreasing wait times for rides. Sounds great, right? Well, the Boston cab drivers don’t exactly share in the excitement over Uber.
According to representatives for the Boston Taxi Associaiton, Uber is squeezing out hard-working cab taxi cab drivers through the use of these unregulated, unlicensed drivers and vehicles. But, how many of these cabbies are truly independent? The majority of the medallions have been hoarded by a limited group who rent them out to the tune of $110/day.
There are many questions left to answer and many new developments to come, but Uber has opened the door to a new wave in the ridesharing business and it is too late to go back. Hopefully, the introduction of Uber will spur the waning Taxi Cab industry to new growth, new ideas, and a healthy level of competition in the transportation industry that will benefit all digital hitchhikers.