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Uber pulling out of Houston?
Old 05-09-2016, 12:56 PM   #1
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Uber pulling out of Houston?

Uber has just pulled out of Austin and is about to do the same in Houston. The issue here is new regulations passed by the city of Houston. Houston wants enhanced background checks of drivers, including fingerprinting. Uber says no way.

I occasionally use Uber, but not a lot, so it won't impact me much. I do see that the younger generations use it a lot, so probably a lot more impact. M youngest son (about to graduate from college) and his friends use it all the time, especially when they are out partying on the weekend. I think this is a really good thing, and cringe as I recall my college days of partying, drinking and driving. Houston says they are doing this for public safety reasons (which I doubt) to protect the public from unscreened drivers. But I think the real risk to public safety is an increase in drunk drivers, once their easy access to alternate transportation is gone.

If someone has concerns about the screening (or lack thereof) of Uber, I think they're still free to call a cab instead of Uber. This move by Houston smacks more of politics than public safety to me. I think it's a real shame.




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Old 05-09-2016, 01:23 PM   #2
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There was an assault or some other kind of attack from an Uber driver... when looked at, he had been in trouble in a different state but Uber did not do a through background check...

I think making a company that drives people around should do a complete background check... if they are unwilling to put in a few dollars at the beginning of hiring someone, then good riddance...
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Old 05-09-2016, 01:27 PM   #3
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My city councilman just posted the Austin story to our District's facebook page. Hopefully Raleigh won't go the way of Austin and Houston. Let the taxi cabs compete on service and price (and background checks/safety apparently).

My response to our city councilman: "I can't recall meeting a person that hasn't been ripped off by a taxi driver at some point. I'm still waiting to meet the person that has been ripped off by an uber/lyft driver."

I've never used Uber but I have it on my phone and it's my back up plan if our car(s) stops working. I'm trying to get our household down to 1 car and Uber is a key part of that. Fingers crossed we don't get a "public safety" oriented ordinance that shuts uber down here.
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Old 05-09-2016, 01:36 PM   #4
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Why shouldn't Uber drivers have to do background checks (until Uber uses self-driving cars and dismisses the drivers completely)? It's not that big of a deal. Uber's insurance rates would probably go down too. (ETA: both my kids are fairly frequent Uber riders, for what that's worth. They don't do it for cost savings, but for the convenience.)
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Old 05-09-2016, 01:42 PM   #5
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bummer, from the Houston airports, uber is about half the cost of a cab
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Old 05-09-2016, 01:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
My city councilman just posted the Austin story to our District's facebook page. Hopefully Raleigh won't go the way of Austin and Houston. Let the taxi cabs compete on service and price (and background checks/safety apparently).

My response to our city councilman: "I can't recall meeting a person that hasn't been ripped off by a taxi driver at some point. I'm still waiting to meet the person that has been ripped off by an uber/lyft driver."

I've never used Uber but I have it on my phone and it's my back up plan if our car(s) stops working. I'm trying to get our household down to 1 car and Uber is a key part of that. Fingers crossed we don't get a "public safety" oriented ordinance that shuts uber down here.
I second that also being from Raleigh.. we are down to 1 car. Since the buses here are limited, I can take a bus usually 1 way but need to Uber it the other because they just don't go frequently enough. Most places are only $7-10 to get to, figure with property tax on the car, insurance, basic service etc, your easily at $250/month just to have the car sit there even if the car itself is paid off.. it was a no brainer for us to lose the second car when we moved here.
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Old 05-09-2016, 01:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by karen1972 View Post
I second that also being from Raleigh.. we are down to 1 car. Since the buses here are limited, I can take a bus usually 1 way but need to Uber it the other because they just don't go frequently enough. Most places are only $7-10 to get to, figure with property tax on the car, insurance, basic service etc, your easily at $250/month just to have the car sit there even if the car itself is paid off.. it was a no brainer for us to lose the second car when we moved here.
That's my thought too. Buses are very convenient here (every 15 minutes on our route) but to get anywhere east or west or south of downtown or midtown I have to transfer. Uber is $5-8 to most areas and maybe $12 to anywhere else we might want to go (other than the $25 to the airport).

I don't think we're saving $250/month by skipping the second car, but it's still way more than a handful of occasional $1.25 bus fares or $7 uber fares. Taxes, insurance, annual inspection and registration are about $200 per year even on our old beater. Add to that some minimal level of routine maintenance plus minimal depreciation and it's probably approaching $50/mo for a bare bones old beater that's rarely driven (plus the unquantifiable hassle of having an extra car sitting in the driveway gathering dust and spider webs).

No way I would rely on taxis though. I can get an uber in 3-5 minutes almost any time of day in my location. Taxis? Probably 15-20 minutes if they show up at all.
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