OpinionPoint/Counterpoint

Point/Counterpoint: The Uber vs. cab company debate rages on even after the city’s request for withdrawal

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Uber is sleeker, cooler, faster, more convenient. Why are we arguing this?

by Jon Zilinski

Although the transportation company Uber is controversial now, there’s no denying its innovative spin on ride sharing. Customers use the smartphone app to book requests, which are then sent out to the Uber drivers. The driver’s location can then be monitored in real time as the customer awaits their arrival.

It’s a sleeker way to travel in comparison to your traditional taxi. With UberBLACK and UberLUX, you’ll be riding in a high-end sedan or luxury car. Alternatively, if you go the cheaper route of uberX and your driver is showing up in a Prius, it’s still cooler than any marked yellow cab.

Even though anyone can apply to be a driver, it’s still highly unlikely to end up with some psychopath. Uber does criminal record checks for its drivers along with profiles for both drivers and passengers alike so each party can review each other prior to meeting — no hailing, no random pickups and no cash transactions allows for a much safer experience for everyone involved.

It’s completely reasonable that Edmonton taxi drivers want Uber to be under the same regulation that they are, however their demise will eventually be met if they fail to step up their product to the same innovative technology.

Stop trying to change the system. Cab company model isn’t broken

by James Davison

Things shouldn’t be changing just because technology and ambitious business people are making use of good ideas. The old ways are always the best ways. Uber is a callous, job-eating machine that promises to destroy the livelihoods of thousands of cab drivers in this city.

Instead of reviewing the local taxi industry business model and questioning why people aren’t more loyal to cab drivers, the drivers should protest and complain to the city and thrust the problem elsewhere instead of finding a creative solution of their own. Smartphones and eager individuals taking advantage of a great job opportunity should instead be fined $1,000 by the city, and the city should foot the bill for establishing an app to counter the success of Uber.

You read that correctly. You, the taxpayer, should pay for a business asset usable for only the local taxi industry, all the while disallowing Uber’s continued operation. Because that seems completely fair and not at all listless on the part of the taxi drivers.

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