Tags – Uber Taxis

Currently operating in 69 countries and over 900 Metropolitan areas, UBER has taken over the private car hire industry with much controversy surrounding its name. 

So How Did They Do It? 

Launched in San Francisco in 2009 as UberCab by friends Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, the idea behind the start-up resulted from a trip to the technology conference ‘Le Web’ in Paris (2008).

Having failed to secure a taxi to the event, Kalanick and Camp began developing a system that would ensure no-one was left stranded again.

Both Kalanick and Camp had recently sold their businesses for a considerable amount of money to provide the financial backing for UberCab. 

In 2009, despite being the CEO of StumbleUpon, (the company he sold to eBay for a neat $75 million!) Camp decided to develop a prototype for UberCab and convinced Kalanick to join him as ‘Chief Incubator’.

They created an app that allowed you to request a cab and tested it in New York with three cars before being officially launched in May 2010 in San Francisco. 

The simplicity of the app made UberCab exceptionally popular, especially within the business sector, where sudden trips and meetings required urgent transportation.

In 2011, Uber introduced its cab service at the place of its conception. PARIS!

Having enjoyed success in the US, Kavanick and Camp thought it only right to bring the solution to where their idea was born. 

And the company has only grown ever since, with subsidiaries such as:

  • UberPool – designed for communal taxi trips for those going in the same direction
  • UberMilitary – a service for Military personnel and their families.
  • UberEats – an on-demand delivery service for takeaway food 

These are just a few of the many services UBER provides.

So Are There Any Downsides To Using Uber? 

Over the years, Uber has suffered some significant scandals and safety concerns regarding its service and its drivers.

Regulations surrounding data protection, security, and personal safety at Uber have been questioned publicly in headlines across the world.

So Should We Be Using Them?

When choosing a cab, it is always advised to go with a reputable cab firm as it ensures that certain safety checks have been completed.

As Uber drivers are subtractors rather than employees of UBER, this can lead to a few concerns.

In contrast, with UK private cab firms, specific procedures have to be undertaken surrounding: vehicle examinations, car insurance, drivers licenses, liability insurance, CRB checks, data security, etc.

Any reputable taxi firm will regularly check and maintain these areas. Whereas, with UBER, after they’ve conducted their initial assessments when hiring a new contractor, these are put to bed. 

It’s essential to feel secure with your taxi driver.

This means knowing they are adequately insured and will deliver you safely to your door. So while it’s nice and easy to request an Uber, if you’re not comfortable, ring your local cabbie instead – they’re usually the safer option.

To learn more, get in touch with us today.

In the meantime, have a look at our Oxford Taxis service.

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