Why TAXI Stock is being Rained on by the RideShare Economy

The following is a guest blog post:

Technological entrepreneurship is reaping havoc on the the taxi industry. Taxi stock is being gobbled up and the industry, as a whole, is in a dank spot. But why?

Taxi service has changed recently.  No longer is Yellow Cab the dominant force it once was.  With Uber and Lyft popping up on the scene, it seems there’s a giant galactic battle going on to keep balance in the taxi universe.

Fresh and determined entrepreneurs are introducing a new market for a shared economy from the likes of traditional cabs who seek to preserve the monopolistic taxi empire.

 

You may even have a story about a traditional taxi experience?  One when the taxi…

  • Took their sweet time to pick you up (or maybe never picked you up at all)
  • Drove you around like Little Miss Daisy in a blatant attempt to bleed your wallet dry of a few more dollar bills
  • Reeked of kindred spirits when you opened the door.

Compared to Uber and Lyft, those old cogs in today’s marketplace are kinda like a classic Ford Model-T car which now sit in a museum somewhere.

 

Is taxi going out of style?

In the 21st century, there’s no longer a need to call anyone.  You just simply reach down for your phone and hit your Uber or Lyft app and tell it you need a ride.  And…you’re done! It’s quick and easy.  Plus, you can see on your phone where the driver is in relation to your requested pick-up spot.  And they’re usually within minutes of you.

Gone are the days of standing out in the elements – hot, cold, rain, sleet or snow – wondering, “where’s my cab?” Another scrupulous benefit to Uber and Lyft is, it’s all paid for by credit/debit card, so you don’t have to worry about not having enough cash, the need for change and that uncomfortable moment on how much to tip. Not to mention, rideshare can be lighter on your wallet, making it one of the most affordable and easiest ways to hail a ride.

The crabby cabbie

Cabbies are upset with the emergence of Uber and Lyft both moving in on “their territory.”  Business as usual has been thrown out the window with the click of a button.  Cabbies now argue over what’s fair about a fare. But, the truth is, competition breeds price competitiveness. And, traditional cab drivers in major markets have to pay big money for medallions (or a license) so they can operate their cabs.

How much does it cost to get a medallion? According to CBS, in New York City, the high for taxi medallions was $1,000,000 million dollars in 2011. However, that dropped down to $250,000 dollars in 2016, according to a recent article by the Business Insider.  So, you can see why a cab driver just might be a little upset with the new cabs on the block. And this is putting pressure and in some instances putting the, “business as usual” gigantic big boys (Yellow Cab) out of business.

Rideshare economy has standards

Now, even though Uber doesn’t own a single cab, they do have standards. There are some minimum requirements that must be met like simply being 21 years old. Then there are the “other requirements” like not scaring your passengers half to death with the way you “normally” drive. You can check out the best Uber cities to find out if Uber is offered in your city. Aside from Uber’s minimum requirements, it’s a great way to make extra cash, have some flexibility and be your own boss.

Other share economy companies follow with high standards and requirements. Companies such as Lyft, Airbnb and HyreCar also offer the option of making some extra money, with the potential of more, just by using your assets and they are striving to make it an easy, safe and profitable experience.

4 thoughts on “Why TAXI Stock is being Rained on by the RideShare Economy

  1. It is really the same as any disruptive technology. It will always take a bit of the market as it is new, effective and cheaper than the original product. For far too many years cabbies have gotten away with high charges, now with disruptive technology they are one step behind. Good on Uber and Lyft for doing this.
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    • Hi BHL,

      I’m all for disruptive technology that gives the consumer better options for the same product or service. I just question the true economics of the whole rideshare business. We know that any venture backed technology operates on the premise of grow, grow, grow, fast, fast, fast at all costs. In essence, the reason Uber and Lyft are so popular is because they take you from point A to B cheaper than a taxi in part because rides are “subsidized” to ensure fast growth and adoption. Before the dot com bubble burst we saw many other heavily backed companies grow like wildfire until the venture funding dried up. Just my two cents. Thank you for commenting.

    • Hi Jay,

      No question the loan holders for those medallions are shaking in their boots. At the current downtrend medallion prices are showing it will be reminiscent of all those banks holding mortgages for houses that are under water. They don’t call it disruptive technology for nothing. Thank you for commenting.

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