posted at 04:50
Author Name: Jim Edwards
Uber Is Destroying The Value Of Taxi Monopolies In A Bunch Of American Cities
Uber is destroying the value of taxi monopolies and cartels in various American cities, The New York Times' Josh Barro reports. This is a huge part of Uber's entire business model: That cities have these artificial, rent-taking taxi commissions that license a limited number of operators for taxis. Because licensing creates a cartel or local monopoly, taxi company "Medallions" can sell for astonishing sums of money. Uber - by allowing anyone to drive and pick up anyone who wants a ride - renders these medallions pointless. CEO Travis Kalanick has repeatedly railed against the way taxi cartels end up in control of cities, fixing prices, reducing competition and not letting competing companies offer rides. Recently traded prices of taxi medallions in US cities: New York City: $872,000, down 17 percent Chicago: $298,000, down 17 percent. Both its revenue and ridership are growing, and municipalities - and taxi lobbyists - are failing in their efforts to stop it. Plus, despite the company's awful PR issues, the fact is that once people use Uber once, they tend to want to keep using it because taxis - especially in America where almost zero qualifications are required in order to become a taxi driver - are generally worse than Uber cars.

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