Now that Uber and Lyft are public, their inevitable financial collapse is much clearer

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Good thing I still got two strong legs and a nice pair of walking shoes.


Too bad there isn’t a mutual fund that buys and sells taxi medallions. Might be a good time to buy in.


So I am now living in downtown Seattle and have gotten rid of my car. So far walking and bus have been ok but I know sooner or later I will need to go to some place where those options don’t cut it. I deleted Uber a few years ago. I use Lyft for occasional short direct trips.

I started looking into the car sharing options like car2go when I need to meander here and there for part of day. The reviews are dismal across the board. Anyone have an experience with the various companies?


I used to use Zipcar for short in city trips or for when i needed to move some furniture across town (i was in NYC). Its been a few years though. I just go to standard car rental places when i need a car for a road trip or travel. In new york they are very expensive but it seems like you can get one for around 30 bucks a day in most of the US.


Schumpeter’s creative destruction. If they were public projects, they would drag on for generations.

I was reading about some of the fleet based ride share car’s thinking they would be well maintained but saw stories of cars that started the charge timer but wouldn’t let the person in the car. Another person had the car end their ride while they were making a turn through an intersection and it just locked up. many folks just decribe the cars as thrashed and never cleaned. I will check out the more standard car rental.


Me to, but I’ve found just how fragile that can be. One broken toe and my ease of mobility went out the window or months. Same for the sprained ankle. Even using public transit relies on considerable walking. Choosing to forego a car has been a lot lest cost saving than I’d thought it would be.


What does it cost to garage a car for a day in NY? Or, the monthly cost of a garage space rent divided by 30 days?

I’m betting $600 to $900 a month for a garage isn’t outrages there. Makes $30 a day for a rental seem downright cheap. :slight_smile:


The problem is that there is a huge amount of destructive externalities in the process. We’re taking a bunch of less than ideal, but fully functional taxi and public transit systems and starving them of revenue for a few years to fund a completely nonviable system. The rest of us lose so that their eearly investors can fleece the gullible.


You might meet the eligibility requirements for paratransit with a broken toe. Have you contacted your transit system?


I’ve had pretty good luck with Car2go in NYC generally in terms of performance and appearance. Not amazing, but good enough. I will say the app can be confusing, and I had the engine lock me out once because I got out of the car without locking the door and got back in. Also the car alarm used to go off every time I got out because I just couldn’t get the steps of ending a trip in the right order. I could see some of these bad reviews being due to finickiness of the app.


Yeah, aren’t these companies effectively legal Ponzi schemes?


Ha, it was one of those weird things that seems too trivial to complain about - it’s so small compared to what other people have to deal with - yet it really did make walking a challenge, including something as simple as picking up groceries on my own. Glad that’s over with. It was a few years back. But it reminds me that as much as I favor public transit, it’s not a cure for every one’s need to get around, and it really does limit one’s options, for work, for play, and for living. And why we definitely need to support public door to door paratransit options for people who need it and require transportation companies “technology companies” like Uber and Lyft to have ADA compliance as well.


I might give it a try when I am not in a hurry. Thank you for the warning about the end of trip confusion.

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I never really understood why people believed that self-driving cars would solve Uber’s problems.

I mean, Uber’s business model basically takes advantage of the fact that lots of people own cars and don’t mind temping a bit for some cash. Uber doesn’t have to worry about these temps’ cars. That means not having to own the depreciating assets, maintain them, or buy insurance for them.

That’s a huge amount of money saved, as compared to owning a fleet of cars. Self-driving cars just means that Uber wouldn’t have to pay drivers – but they’d still have to pay countless people to keep these cars running, retrieve them when they got stuck or damaged, clean them when customers inevitably messed them up, and deal with even more inevitable customer complaints.

There’s probably a business model in this kind of thing, but you don’t even begin to approach it from Uber’s direction. Uber was, is, and always will be a scam.


That is a good idea, little friend.

Time to bust out the skateboards and grappling hooks.


as far as not letting the person in the car… I had a thing with zipcar that impressed me: To enter a zipcar you wave a zipcar card over a device on the window and it opens. One time my card didnt work. I called customer service and they were able to make the car unlock remotely via satellite or whatever and there were extra cards in the trunk. That may not be the case with other services, i dont know, but that was pretty cool. The otehr thing with zipcar is the fee you pay includes everything: even gas. if you need gas you use a card that is in the car to fill it and you arent charged anything extra for that. again this was a few years ago so I’m not sure if things have changed or if other services are better (Ive never used car2go). but when i needed it, it was pretty good for day trips.


Dunno, Michael Cohen may still have some contacts… :thinking:

That leaves us with a question, though? What to do post Uber? People making a fortune of off taxi medallions should not be a thing. Period. The market does need some regulations, but the regulated nature of the market kept it from innovation both out of inertia and out of protectivism for status quo players. App-based services are way more convenient for me. No trying to explain where I’m going, no trying to decide if the driver is lying about not having change so he can keep a bigger tip or if he is lying about the credit card machine not working, and less worry about being taken for a ride (well, except surge pricing).

How can we keep the good things about Uber and Lyft and not bring back the indifferent, at best, service and monopoly of municipal taxi services?