The Boston Business Journal reports Worcester's Commerce Bank has just hired a senior vice president to head up lending to Boston taxi-fleet owners to buy medallions.
Smart move. Once Uber implodes, those medallions will be worth big bucks again.
And the whole mobile phone, ebook readers, and internet things are just fads.
wait until Uber "driver partners" are declared employees. Say bye-bye to that valuation.
But I would say bye-bye to the very worst drivers on the platform. I would also say hello to slightly longer wait times for passengers.
Uber doesn't need the number of drivers it has now. They REALLY won't need them if somebody tells Uber that they have to pay half the FICA of somebody with a 4.5 who gets passengers to Charlestown on their way to Longwood from South Station.
Uber definitely needs the # of drivers they have now-in fact they seem to need more. They are soliciting new drivers by mail (I got a mailer from them last week).
This dodge of listing employees as contractors isn't going to hold up in the long term either.
Uber Boston is so swamped with applicants, there's now a wait list, according to a friend who wanted to put his kid in a spare car to teach him the business.
You can always tell an Uber driver. They have one hand on the wheel, one eye on the road and can be usually seen holding their GPS in the other hand while they try to figure out where they are going.
Good luck when you tell UberX drivers they need to start paying commercial rates on their policies.
Like a local cabdriver, except for the part where they're shouting in French into a cell phone
I don't use it, or taxis. I have a good running car and a fine train service. Well, a good car...coupla thoughts on Uber:
It's not everyday you see a business where the business plan is based on violating the law. Uber is a huge taxi company that owns no taxis and has no employees. So, I guess they are just a big, cuddly agency that sets up riders with drivers.
I think Taiwan booted them completely. By the time other local governments get around to background checks, insurance, maybe car inspections, Uber will have reached parity with local medallions, almost.
Then it will be time to go public and ride off into the sunset. In big yachts.
It's true that is Uber's business plan, at least when they enter new markets.
But the laws in question are mostly bad. They exist not for the public benefit but to enrich incumbent medallion owners at the expense of everyone else. And the result is the garbage taxi service that city dwellers everywhere have put up with for decades, until now.
NYC requires Uber drivers to have livery plates and commercial insurance, which means that UberX costs about the same as a yellow cab there. And I still take UberX every time, so I can A) not get flat-out refused if I want to go to, say, the airport and B) ride in a clean car with functioning A/C driven by someone who isn't yelling into a cell phone the whole time.
But the laws in question are mostly bad
The law that you need to pay into a protection racket buy a medallion in order to operate a cab is bad.
The law that you need to have a commercial drivers' license, register your car as a commercial vehicle, and carry commercial insurance if you are carrying passengers for hire seems entirely reasonable.
Invest in those Betamax machines, VHS will never fly!
Yes, VHS turned out to be the one true format. Guess all those UberVHS investors had the last laugh! ;P
"...I want you to bring back eight tracks Cds."
once that international airport gets going out in Worcester you'll wish you thought of investing in local taxis
Nobody would need to borrow money to buy one.
Or even if you did want to make the supply finite (which, although I don't agree with it, is not a completely insane policy) you could, each year, auction off a finite number of one-year (or 3-year, or whatever) nontransferrable licenses, and just get rid of the whole damn secondary market.
The various taxi licensing commissions shot themselves in the foot long ago by issuing permanent medallions, rather than one-year, two-year, etc licenses.
They didn't shoot themselves in the foot -- on the contrary they reaped the short-term benefits of the sale proceeds, while sticking future generations with the mess they created.
Auctions would still lead to people wanting to finance the purchase.
A permanent medallion only costs $500,000 because of its future resale value. A nontransferrable 3-year license would auction for a tiny fraction of that, less than even the debt service on the medallion would cost.
Burn all the Medallions. They're a pointless relic designed to keep drivers paying rental fees to cab companies. put money back in the hands of drivers, and stop being luddites.
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