No-hassle Travel at Last

January 27, 2016

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What’s the story with Uber? This is the car service that has revolutionized the taxi industry and provoked the Mayor of New York to make extreme statements. When I read the latest news report in the New York Post, which is going after this man with an unprecedented vigor, I said to myself, “When is this person – that we elected – going to get a handle on his job.”

Mayor de Blasio has denounced Uber and said that it will eventually cause more even traffic mayhem in Manhattan (while using Uber’s services for himself). Of course, it turns out that de Blasio is beholden to the Yellow Cab owners because they plowed a great deal of money into his bid for mayor.

New Yorkers have a “love/hate” relationship with Yellow Cabs

Due to the fact that Uber is such a hot topic in Manhattan, I was intrigued when I opened up the October 2015 issue of Fast Company magazine and spotted an in-depth article about the company by Max Chafkin, who spent five months on this piece. I decided to rip out the Uber pages so I could read everything in comfort. Guess what? It ran 13 pages and had so much information I was overwhelmed.

Courtesy of Fast Company, October 2015

Like all of us, the most I've read about Uber is about its founder and CEO who, without a doubt sounds like a monster. Or, as Chafkin writes, “The 39-year-old has been presented in an almost cartoonish light, coming off as either a Randian superman, a Snidely Whiplash-style mustache-twirling villain, or both. And yet Travis Kalanick has wooed some of the most august financiers in the world to give him, essentially, a blank check.”

Love him or hate him, Kalanick has, with two earlier startups under his belt, succeeded in revolutionizing an industry – and the cab-using public is cheering. Personally, Yellow Cabs have ticked me off for years. Their drivers can be temperamental and downright rude. Here are a few things I’ve experienced many times: you give directions where you want to go and you’re met with a stony silence that leaves you wondering, “Did he hear me? Does he speak English?” Another is, give a hefty tip and there’s no thank-you – not even a mumbled one. And, although I’ve never experienced it, going to an address in the outer boroughs of Manhattan is like going to Mars.

Along comes Uber with its fast, efficient service and the Yellow Cabs – with their high-priced medallions going down in value daily – are in complete shock.

Yellow Cabs taking care of tourists in New York City

Let’s take a look at where Uber is going in the years to come:

  • 7 million: This is an estimate of the miles saved in June 2015 from all UberPool (shared) rides in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin and Paris.
  • 50%: This is the percentage of New York taxi trips that would be saved if users were willing to wait up to five minutes to share with another passenger.

Okay, now let’s take a look at Uber’s future in China:

  • 50: This is the number of Chinese cities Uber will operate in by mid-2016
  • $2 billion: This is the U.S. dollars Uber will spend in the year ahead to fuel its expansion into China and India -- $1 billion for each market.

The future looks very bright for Uber – worldwide.

MAY WE SUGGEST…

Do you have a birthday or anniversary coming up? It’s time to start hinting to your beloved about the ease of ordering your favorite lingerie on Adea’s website. Men hate to shop, but he’ll love this idea.

Shaun Nelson-Henrick



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