Uber vs. Taxi is one of the on going battles that continue to cause commotion throughout the Boston area. Last week in particular raised a lot of attention. On Monday, August 3rd, Cambridge taxi drivers demonstrated their animosity towards Uber and similar ride-for-hire services by protesting outside Cambridge City Hall and by obstructing traffic on the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge that serves as a major access road to Boston.
Ever since the creation of transportation apps like Uber, Taxi companies worldwide have suffered a tremendous blow to the value of their medallion. Originally, medallions were set up by the government to limit the number of taxicabs allowed to legally pick up passengers. At a time when taxicabs were the only option, these medallions proved to be extremely valuable. However, since the invention of aps such as Uber and Lyft, the medallion has lost much of its worth. Despite the fact that they are still the only vehicles that can pick up hailers, Uber drivers have swooned consumers through their convenience and efficiency.
Being a frequent user of both, I can completely see both sides. However, unfortunately for taxi drivers, we are living in a world that is rapidly changing. A world in which people are inclined to exercise services that are reliable, easy to use, and expedient.
In fact, just one day after the protests in Cambridge, MA Uber announced that starting August 13th, Boston will become the fifth city to offer UberPool, which gives riders the option to share a ride and split the cost with fellow customers going in the same direction.
Needless to say, Uber is not taking a back seat. On August 4th, Uber also sent out an email asking Massachusetts users to sign a petition to help protect them from a potential statewide law that could ban Uber from Massachusetts.
—Audrey Fitzpatrick, Intern