Interesting article. What is even more interesting to me is the lack of ANY talk about the suburbs.
Some of us make our bread and butter AWAY from downtown specifically to avoid the rat nest down there. (Not just traffic, but a large proportion of idiot pedestrians and amateur-hour bar customers.)
Out in the burbs I hear a lot about the ride share companies, and while some of the feedback is good, for the most part the same problem applies: "It take forever to get a ride."
The leases are high for the cab companies, yes, but some of us consider that a "peace of mind" cost of doing business. The lease covers insurance, dispatching and most importantly: maintenance.
If my car breaks down...I have a loaner waiting. If the indy breaks down...he's done until he can get it fixed.
(I don't count the car, because about 70% of the vehicles in taxi
fleets get paid down in a couple weeks as most of em' are cop car
auction purchases...which cost about 1200$ a ride to said companies.)
That said, I am NOT defending the lease rates for the two major companies.
THEY ARE TOO HIGH, and no matter
what math I use, if I were running a cab company I wouldn't be able to
justify the lease rates in a free and open market. Of course in a free
and open market the traditional cab companies wouldn't be able to
attract enough drivers to fill a prius by charging what they do.
Competition is good. It is capitalism at its heart. If the traditional companies can't compete, then they will fail and something better will fill the niche. It is how things are supposed to work in this country. <----putting on the rose colored glasses for that last bit, because things don't work like that here anymore. :-/