Vegas Gang #116 – December 18th, 2014

This time on the show:

– Special interview episode where we talk about Uber with longtime Vegas cabbie, @LVCabChronicles.

I ride the compressor pretty hard on this one to try to eliminate phone-sounds… So that’s intentional…

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6 thoughts on “Vegas Gang #116 – December 18th, 2014

  1. Hunter, I think you tried to do the right thing early and get the guest to talk about what cabs could do better. But like a typical politician, all he could do was deflect and make it about his adversary. Uber exists because they do certain things better than cabs. Everyone who uses Uber does so because in some way, they find utility in some part of Uber’s service the cabs aren’t providing. The semantics around how these services are classified doesn’t change that fact.

    Making an argument that I (as a consumer) am not smart enough to determine my own personal risk tolerance when choosing whose car I get into….doesn’t resonate with me. I don’t need another parent. If I want all of the “assurances” that come with a regulated cab, then I’ll choose that.

    Love the podcast. But I might suggest not doing an episode like this without being able to secure opinions on both sides of the issue.

  2. I thought the podcast needed a pro uber person in there. The main economic point of ride sharing is that people’s cars spend 90% of there time parked so if there owners could spend time driving people it make use of an otherwise idle capital asset. If his beef is customer safety then force the individuals to be vetted like cab drivers. I think the cab driver you interviewed doesn’t want the competition.

  3. After leaving my comment I recalled something else. The driver you interviewed when asked about long hauling said “Buyer beware.” But why should we have to be wary. We indirectly pay for the regulations. I travel to Vegas often for business and pleasure. Last summer I took my sons for a stay downtown. On the way out a cab driver took us for a $42 ride to the airport. I was busy answering emails on my phone when I looked up and saw what he was doing. He made an excuse that there was a convention blocking traffic. Pure BS. Filed a complaint to the TA. Had the cab company name, drivers name, and times. They did nothing because they wanted the cab number. My father drove cabs. I am sympathetic to the driver you interviewed. But there is something very wrong with vegas cabs. They are not customer centric.

  4. Uber is a valid topic today, but the episode was 60 minutes of a one-sided monologue. It would have been much more credible had there been someone speaking for Uber.

    Having said that, I don’t like the way Uber tries to bully its way into markets without regard for regulations. While listening to the podcast, I was also searching for some more information on insurance coverage. This Forbes article was informative:

    For the time being, I will still use cabs.

  5. I’m going with the majority on this. Good subject, not so good on the execution. Sounded like I was at a union meeting.

    And the worst part, in my opinion, is that he just rambled and rambled on about stuff that is not part of a consumer’s choice… their insurance plans, etc. If there are insurance concerns, it should be between the Uber drivers and the company; if the driver doesn’t like the choices, he has the option to not be an independent contractor. That, as a consumer, has nothing to do with whether I choose a cab or Uber.

    (Here’s where I disclaim that I have never used Uber, and shy away from Las Vegas cabs because I can’t understand a $30 cab ride downtown when I can get a rental for $30 a day).

    I also took great offense when your cabbie told us that the buyer should beware regarding long hauling and should know where s/he wants to go. That was quite a BS statement for him. Like it or not, taxis are part of a public trust… I am a tourist in your town that needs to get to Point B. The trust is that you know where you’re going. The bad reputation that cab companies carry with them is largely earned. I often use the phrase “perception is reality”. If there was no long-hauling, if some cabs didn’t smell bad, if some cabbies didn’t smell bad, if taking a cab was a more pleasant experience, there would be no bad reputation.

    I made it through about half the podcast, to about the point where the preacher was talking about some insurance company that had only been around for ten years – Ten years, can you believe it? – and didn’t bother with the rest.

    I don’t personally care that there wasn’t an opposing viewpoint, but this was just a union rally and if this podcast were a talk radio show, the caller should have been cut off after the first side road in which he diverged.

    Overall, though, I love the podcast and wish you’d increase to every third week. Thank you.

  6. This was a very beneficial listen if only to give us an education on the subject before we make a decision on which product to use. The problem is we don’t have a choice to make. The cab authorities will make sure we don’t have a choice and they will do it by telling us it is for our own good and safety; a sure tip-off that money is at stake here.
    Even if Uber is nothing more than organized fee-based hitchhiking in which you use an app instead of a thumb, the market wants an alternative. That is the root of the comments above and that is what scares the current establishment. Cab rates/fees in LV are already some of the most expensive in the country. And, while there are some pro’s out there driving cabs in LV, the overall service and trust component has diminished over the years creating a space for something better.
    In my idealistic world, Uber would force the LV cab companies and authorities to look underneath their own hoods as a result of popular opinion being against them. We don’t really need another side to the story. What we need is for cab drivers in LV to know where the Silverton is, know the difference between the rush tower entrance at the Golden Nugget from the regular entrance , and have zero tolerance for long-hauling. Easing up the fares on tourists which are already inflated due to the circuitous routes cabs need to take just to exit a property would help also. And yes, not having to wait 1/2 hour for a cab at the Peppermill or even longer at an off strip bar would also be appreciated. If you do those things you would not have to worry about Uber.
    As consumers, we need to ensure that when we get an honest ride, and the driver is one of those types that actually enhances your tourist experience, not only tip them, but say thank you with a smile like you would to a dealer or a bartender.
    Competition is really a good thing for the consumer. While it sounds like Uber has hit a nerve, what is really broken is the relationship between the cab drivers, the cab authorities, and the customer.

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