By on June 4, 2014

UberBURGER-700x300-300x234

Faced with nearly intractable opposition from the entrenched power bases of existing taxi bureaucracy from coast to coast, Uber is taking the very tech-company approach of trying to outsmart them instead of outfight them. The newest weapon in the struggle: a hamburger.

Today, for a few hours, Uber users in Oakland will see a hamburger icon on their app screens. Clicking that button will get you up to twelve hamburgers from a food truck, delivered to your door. And why not? Uber already has a transportation infrastructure made up of independent drivers and data coordination. What else could it be used for? Will this be like a pop-up mole game, as municipalities everywhere react in years to crush Uber innovations that appear every few days?

More to the point, can Uber’s databases and analysis, coupled with multiple services, crank the utilization level of their drivers up to the point that existing medallion holders will sell them and join the Uber wave? Why sit in line at a hotel for a taxi fare when you can deliver burgers in-between giving rides to prepaid customers?

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

79 Comments on “The Uberburger...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. – Wimpy

    Now I want a burger outfitted like the “cheeseburger in paradise.” That’s a great recipe to me.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    I’m all for using competition to break up ossified monopolies like taxi services.

    The only thing is, I’m going to miss the Russian cabbies doing 90 mph in Manhattan rush hour and driving on the sidewalks to avoid traffic jams.

    C’est la vie.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I thought part of the monopoly was cities like NYC charging a fortune for a taxi medallion. They’d probably back off if they could get their hands in Uber’s pockets.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Noone in NYC politics and bureaucracy gives one iota about how much money NYC in and of itself collects. They care about what they themselves collect. And, what those who sponsor their campaigns collect. Even if Uber could be taxed, those moneys would not be used as efficiently for reelection as monopoly rent collected by cab owners dependent on you the politician.

      • 0 avatar
        ChesterChi

        If I remember correctly, the medallions are re-sold from one taxi operator to another. The city may have sold a medallion a long time ago, and it has been re-sold many times, going up in price along the way.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          When medallions become available, they are auctioned off by the comission. because the number of medallions is generally fixed, demand drives the price sky high.

          Clearly there is a demand for more taxi services, but the cartel that is the commision has the interestes of their current holders to consider. They don’t want competition.

    • 0 avatar
      Stumpaster

      Taxi is a public transport. Monopolies are undesirable because they control and gouge the pricing. That’s why NYC has the TL&C. TL&C may be gouging for the medallions but they also do a lot of work of maintaining a standard where you can just jump into a cab and not expect to be ripped off.

      I don’t see how Uber with its higher prices than the yellow cabs can break up that monopoly. Just go on Yelp and read NYC Uber reviews – the dominating majority are negatives and mostly because the passengers say the cabbies took the long route.

      So yeah, if Uber wants to deliver burgers, more power to it. As to jumping in with random moonlighting folks in their random cars, f that. It’s scary enough to see all the beat up Town Cars trying to get a fare during busy hours. And guess what, they gouge too.

      • 0 avatar
        bills79jeep

        “Just go on Yelp and read NYC Uber reviews – the dominating majority are negatives and mostly because the passengers say the cabbies took the long route.”

        Aren’t Uber and other rideshare services prices agreed to before the pickup? Tip and all? Are they complaining because the driver didn’t really know where they were going?

        • 0 avatar
          probert

          Yup.

          Negative reviews on Yelp – news at 11.

        • 0 avatar
          Stumpaster

          Never used it but I understand that there is an “estimate” and there is a real charge based on either time or mileage:

          “I’ve emailed them and requested that I be charged the amount that was estimated when I used the app to see how much it would cost ($17-$20) and asked that I be refunded because $80 for a drive that I could’ve walked is absolutely ridiculous! It’s been a week since, and I still have not gotten a reply.”

          “He started the meter from when he got ‘lost’ to picking us up and then proceeded to drive all the way out to 3rd ave from Park, to the UWS. For anyone who knows NYC, that was pretty ridiculous. He tried to take a few other long-cuts that me and my friend stopped him.

          I emailed Uber and told them that the fare was much higher than I normally paid, told them about the experience and wanted a reduction in the cost. I was not demanding a refund, just asking for them to make it right.”

          “He then proceeded to go the wrong way after I told him which way to go and a ride that only should have been ten dollars turned into $17.00 because of his stupidity and know it all attitude.”

          “Uber quoted us $27-$35. There was A lot of traffic and at the end of the trip the cost was “emailed” to me costing $75″

  • avatar

    It is the BROODWICH.

  • avatar

    One of my friends asked me if I thought it was a good idea to join UBER.

    It’s becoming a big thing in many countries – but it completely subverts the Taxi/Limo/commission – and can even subvert the police’s efforts to fine unlicensed cabs since the point-to-point nature of app communications means the police can’t tell the difference between a pick-up by relatives or a pick-up by an unlicensed cabbie.

    I think it’s a good thing, but most likely, someone will figure out a way to use it for evil (kidnapping,rape, robbery,etc).

    My friend wanted to buy a Mercedes so he could cater to the luxury-priced Uber-user.

    • 0 avatar
      alexndr333

      but most likely, someone will figure out a way to use it for evil (kidnapping,rape, robbery,etc).

      Didn’t take long. In Los Angeles yesterday, a “‘driver for the popular ride-sharing app Uber has reportedly been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping a woman, with the intention of sexually assaulting her’, law enforcement said Tuesday” according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

      UBER and all the other tech-dependent services who hope to eliminate the middle man will find out something that has been known since the beginning of the Industrial Age: Ultimately, we live in relationships with each other, and the human factor cannot be replicated by technology.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        333,
        Thankfully, medallion taxi drivers have never been arrested for a crime.

        I agree with you that technology does not replicate relationships, but the relationship today between a fare and a cabbie is that one stuck up his hand, while the other drove by and was available.

        With Uber, there is a lot more accountability – your smart phone knows who the driver is, where they picked you up, when, and where they went.

        It’s a lot easier to do something nefarious in a yellow cab than with Uber.

        • 0 avatar
          alexndr333

          VoGo, so whether traditional taxis or Uber, the driver is still a potential problem. The taxi industry will have to update its ID technology, and it wouldn’t surprise to see Uber franchise its platform to Yellow Cab and the rest. My taxi experiences have been all on the West Coast where I have found, especially in smaller cities like Sacramento and Palm Springs, the cabs are uniformly in very good condition and the drivers mostly polite.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            The Google ‘Driverless’ car will eliminate the threatening ‘Human’ factor.

            So now we are all in a panic over an incident that will be one in a million+. The threats are everywhere so just stay home behind your triple barred doors and windows…jeeezus

            A nation of nambies has no future.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          And thankfully because medallion taxi drivers have to keep logs and general records that Jitneys don’t they’re more likely to be caught and dealt with. I see your argument and raise you a safety concern because assuming that the uber-system is somehow inherently safer when all it is is a tech-updated variant of Jitneys doesn’t really do much for your argument.

          I’m fairly sure your smart phone doesn’t know squat nor does Uber because nobody is verifying anything on any end except for some accounts. If a person was mildly savvy they could easily create a false account and get verified.

          If what you say is accurate, then why not just keep the medallion system and hook it up to Uber and others? Why does it need to circumvent the legal system for a private system with less accountability?

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            Because many users prefer Uber. Isn’t that reason enough?

          • 0 avatar
            wmba

            Round these parts, your car insurance is automatically void if you carry passengers for hire and reward, unless you have the requisite operator’s licence, and are registered as a taxi or bus company.

            The last thing I need is some yob with a private car and no insurance ferrying me around.

            Couldn’t care less if people prefer it. They’re as dumb as two pointed sticks anyway, and having unlicensed cabs running around just shows me that dumb is as dumb does.

          • 0 avatar
            RustyShitboxIsTheNewFast

            Holy man 3deuce, that brought around some profound thought. Can you imagine a world where a driverless, control-less car picks you up when you summon it on an app; where range anxiety is a thing of the past, it knows where your going and how much power that takes. It goes and charges itself among a fleet that may or may not be owned privately and operated by a guy with uber and a tablet. I assume the Google car will have some kind of interconnectivity with android or apps. That’s the future Son!

            Did, did I just shit my pants?

      • 0 avatar

        “Although police reputedly contest the claim that the woman used Uber to get home that night… the driver in question was not logged in, connected to or operating on the platform at the time.”

        Seems like the worst way to initiate a crime when they have your name, address, phone, dob, credit card, etc. Better to use one of the government park & ride locations that encourage you to get into a stranger’s vehicle with no record keeping or tracking.

        • 0 avatar
          3Deuce27

          @_RustyShitboxIsTheNewFast!

          And it doesn’t try to cheat you like too many taxi drivers do in big tourist cities like Vegas. The Google car knows the best route for the traffic conditions, and doesn’t ask for a tip.

          Now go change your pants

  • avatar
    brenschluss

    You sold me.

    The lack of a good, widespread cheeseburger delivery service is my #1 problem with the American Way. F*ck pizza.

    I have no need for Uber’s standard services, but I’d pay good money to be able to get that thing up there delivered to my face.

    No, I haven’t eaten lunch.

    • 0 avatar
      multicam

      Agreed,
      Just deliver me a burger in Fort Irwin, California, please.
      I’ve been eating MRE’s for 45 days and also haven’t eaten lunch.
      Thanks, TTAC, I come to you for an auto-industry distraction and you make me hungrier.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    With increasingly autonomous cars, Uber, and Tesla trying to sell direct, technology is causing a real challenge for government. The pace of technology change is so fast — and continues to accelerate — while the pace of government remains slow. If anything, at the federal level, the US Congress has even slowed down, calcified along party lines and unable to build a majority for any real change.

    I am surprised none of the people running for President in 2016 appear to have given this much thought. As a nation, the US is really challenged by its ability to adapt change. If our governments cannot keep up, then the innovation will migrate to places that can, taking with it the innovative people who drive progress.

    Remember when W put the lockdown on stem cell research in the US? That did nothing to stop the research – it only moved to Singapore, the UK, China and India. Do we want to repeat that with our technology and auto industries?

    • 0 avatar
      multicam

      I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure he didn’t make stem-cell research illegal. He just pulled government funding.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Multicam,
        You are correct – the Bush policy was to pull government funding, not to make it illegal. But the impact was far reaching: “The research is allowed in Britain, which in the years since Bush’s restrictions, has become a world centre of stem cell study.” – The Guardian

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      That’s a bit much, I mean as it stands the US is a mecha-economy and while China may eclipse us in the next few years it won’t suddenly turn us into a backwater burgh of a society. We’re not seeing any major upheaval in the system, we’re seeing new paths of delivery. Tesla is fighting the states for dealership control which was designed to keep local dollars local and in a time when fly-by-night makers were folding and reinventing themselves.

      The argument you make is a bit harsh, right now the 2016 election is looking pretty lopsided in favor of the left candidates unless Rand Paul runs in which case his brand of isolationism could become center-stage, but the popular consensus is heading towards forward progressive movement but with a corporate right completely entrenched seeking to maintain their monopoly the political party they support is likely to maintain their staunch opposition to everything.

      • 0 avatar
        CRConrad

        s/in the next few years/a few years ago/

        There, FTFY.

      • 0 avatar
        guevera

        The left candidates? Surely you jest. There are no left wing candidates likely to be on the ballot in all 50 states. Hillary Clinton would qualify as center-right in any other industrialized democracy, as would any of the other likely Democratic nominees — Warren, Biden, et. al. Please don’t mistake them for actual leftists.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Xeranar,
        I am going to ignore the politics and focus on the heart of the matter. Picture two states: State A has a government that embraces technology and change. They dump their medallion taxi system, and privatize it with Uber and others. And they do it in a smart way that enables Uber to make a buck, but also serves citizens better than before (no redlining, good data to prevent crime, satisfaction transparency). State B keeps things as is, which keeps medallion owners happy and retains its local bureaucracy.

        State A embraces Tesla and allows direct sales to consumers. Car prices fall, and the state becomes a haven for people from neighboring states to buy cars at fair prices. Some local millionaire car dealers are upset, but they find other things to do besides rip off grandma. State B keeps things as is.

        Broadly, State A enables technology, enables entrepreneurship, allows citizens and businesses to improve the quality and efficiency of the services it provides. It starts to attract talent from around the world, generates wealth and allows everyone in State A to benefit.

        State B remains mired in politics as usual and watches its talented, job creating citizens move away. It spends billions to attract a few factories to get more jobs for people, but then has to raise taxes to pay for those incentives that it gave away to big business.

        Where would you rather live?

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    They need to offer six packs with these burgers!

  • avatar
    sproc

    In DC, they were delivering manicurists on Mother’s Day, and they’ve had other similar crazy promotions.

    There’s been lots of writing about what else Uber might disrupt, usually revolving around the last-mile delivery of good and services.

    Personally, I love using them, and have never had a bad experience. Of course, the existing taxis are so atrocious here that almost anything is better by comparison (if you’ve ever seen “DC Cab,” it’s almost still like that).

    As BTSR’s comment, sadly just in the last day or so, it appears an Uber driver in LA took advantage of an incapacitated woman.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    The service you get with yellow cabs will do more to push people to alternatives than anything uber might come up with.

    My girlfriend’s recent experience with NYC yellow cabs included:
    – no air conditioning
    – driver arguing with her choice of airport
    – driver arguing with police
    – out of the car road rage arguments
    – near collisions too numerous to count
    – a driving style that made her car sick

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      Sounds about on par for DC. I’ll add:
      – Exposed back seat springs
      – Brakes or former brakes loud enough to torture dogs for miles around
      – Never ending arguments about the credit card machine being “broken,” despite the law requiring them to take them
      – Attempts to scam you out of change for a $20
      – Crown Vic that not only had broken A/C, but fan was stuck on blowing heat on an 80+ day, while I was in a suit headed towards an important business meeting. I looked like I swam there.
      – Driver screaming into cell phone in unidentifiable language for entire trip (in fact, this one is so common it’s pleasant surprise when they’re not on the phone)

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        When I first started coming to TTAC, I was perplexed by all the Panther Love. Probably because my only experience of Panthers was riding in Crown Vic taxis with those huge dividers which cause the rear seat legroom to be the approximate width of my calf. I could never understand how a car that long could be so tiny inside.

        • 0 avatar
          TheyBeRollin

          There is a special long-wheelbase commercial version of the Crown Vic that corrects for this problem. Some taxi fleets have them…

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @TheyBeRollin

            No, the LWB Crown Vic does not fix the problem. Unless you are only 5’6″ tall. It just makes the problem slightly less bad.

            Having used Uber in SF and DC, I hope they put the useless regular cab companies right out of business.

          • 0 avatar
            TheyBeRollin

            Yeesh. Hornet’s nest.

            Now that I look at it, I wonder what the story was on the one I was in. The rear legroom was so great that I not only noticed, but actually thought it had to have been specially modified to be like that until I looked it up.

            Now, other than that, I can’t disagree. It’s one of those government-protected industries in dire need of a shake up (like, you know, franchise auto dealerships).

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        That sounds about accurate. I enjoy taking taxis in Asia. Somehow, the Chinese get more rear-seat legroom out of a VW Santana (which looks like a 25-year old Jetta to my eyes) than we can get out of an 18-foot long Crown Vic. People complain about rear-seat headroom in the current Optima or Sonata? Never been a problem for me in South Korea.

        But I’ll do just about anything I can to avoid such a trip in DC.

    • 0 avatar
      TheyBeRollin

      My last cab ride was in 2010. Mine did three of these over the course of a 2-mile trip. After that experience, I was done. I decided walking and public transit were preferable.

      I guess they’re really suffering here because they are very aggressive at trying to get you to use them. They usually have a guy out at high-foot-traffic spots pushing you to go ride in one of the waiting cabs (as if you couldn’t see them) under signs that expressly prohibit that. They vanish when the police come by, too.

      On the other hand, I’ve always had great luck with limo/town car services…

    • 0 avatar

      I was in Houston for a convention last month. The cab driver we got to take us to a vendor party at the Houston Aquarium had to stop to have me look up the address on my phone and punch it into his GPS (note – Aquarium was less than 10 minutes from our hotel). He then couldn’t find the place – luckily I found a sign saying “Houston Aquarium make a right 2 blocks ahead”. He then proceeded to try to make a right one block ahead, which would have put him going the wrong way down a 1 way street.

      FWIW, he was driving a Grand Marquis.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      On my last trip to NYC, my driver bloody crashed. For no other reason than looking out his side window to yell at another cabbie for supposedly picking up one too many passengers. Great service!

  • avatar
    the_yeti

    Uber offered free rides in a Delorian in San Francisco. I tried for hours to get that ride with no luck. They have also delivered ice cream, and with the ASPCA kittens for snuggling. All the Uber promos sell out like hot cakes. Sites lime TTAC just increase their visibility. I only use Uber anymore. Last time I was in Vegas and had to ride in a real cab just reminded me how unrefined the traditional taxi experience is.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Side note: I always thought it strange that Uber had a German name. Then I went to Germany, and found out that the equivalent service there is called “My Taxi” – in English.

    Now I feel like John Travolta trying to explain to Samuel L. Jackson what they call a Big Mac in France.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Hamburgers? Forget that. I want the Uber guy to run to the liquor store for me.

  • avatar
    love2drive

    It’s more than hamburgers – a company in NYC is using UBER to deliver window air conditioners in NYC every weekend for the month of June. $300 through the Uber app, delivered to your door immediately.
    Uber clearly is getting in to the logistics/distribution business.

    • 0 avatar
      Chicago Dude

      Which is great; I don’t mind a driver making delivery runs in between fares. But I don’t want to ride in a cab that smells like a hamburger/pizza/curry delivery vehicle. This whole Uber thing is supposed to be *better* than a taxi, right?

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Licensing cabs: another well-intentioned idea run amuck.

  • avatar
    Mr. K

    I’m sure no one here gives a damn, but Uber drivers red line ghetto areas.

    How does that effect us, the middle class or above?

    The poor depend on taxi service to get to doctors, shop and even to get to work some times. Taxi’s that are regulated are safer for users, there is less coercion when it comes to fares for a population with little choice.

    What happens when the poor population is red lined? I’m not a sociologist but it will hurt us all a bit, and I am willing to pay a little extra to insure access for all rather then the cream skimming that characterizes Uber as currently operating.

    Is Uber a great idea? Sure – I live just outside Philly and don’t need cabs much – we do use them when in NYC, sometimes during the business day in Philly if business brings me there, and certainly in foreign cities when on vacation.

    If a system where Uber is forced, obliged, legally required to serve all with higher fares developed my concerns vanish.

    Once again, as with every other industry that’s been changed by the advent of low cost data driven services the middle man will lose.

    When we were in Paris once it was an early spring and the hotel was too hot. We went to the local shopping street and found a hardware store with 4 people doing very little. We bought a very dusty display unit fan.

    They cleaned it so it looked like new – since it was. The fan was the same small tabletop 12 inch unit that costs 20 bucks at the US big box store, just with a French electrical plug and it ran on 220V.

    The fan cost double what it would cost in the US at the time.

    What did the French gain?

    Neighborhood stores filling their merchandise needs

    4 people employed paying taxes sufficient to support the French welfare and health care state

    A series of CBD’s throughout French towns and cities filling space and stabilizing cities

    Reduced real cost since folks don’t have to drive out the the omnipresent Mr. Bricolage or Carrefour and less is spent on roads and the hidden subsidy we in the US give vehicles that roll on rubber tires(General Motors streetcar conspiracy), and all their costs and the health benefits of walking to the store.

    Whats best? Hell, there must be a happy medium somewhere in terms of car services and retailing.

    • 0 avatar

      If the fan cost twice what it does in the US, and that’s true for all their other consumer goods, it means that a French person who makes what someone in America makes can afford about half as much in consumer goods.

      • 0 avatar
        AMC_CJ

        Yeah, the poster acts like this is a good thing or something?? I’m confused.

        • 0 avatar
          3Deuce27

          Why is it that the simplest things are so hard to understand?

          Mr. K is simple pointing out the benefits that a local, easily accessible small family business provides, more living wage jobs paying taxes benefiting all, customer convenience and service, less pollution. You protest the cost, but do you add in the price of owning a car and driving to a box store(while polluting), and the time it consumes? There is your real cost.

          There is UPS, but will UPS get it to you in the time it takes to walk down the block or a short walk of a few minutes that benefits you physically.

          • 0 avatar
            Mr. K

            The tragedy of the tragedy of the commons is that very few people recognize that they pay for cheap stuff in other ways.

            Do I shop at WalMart? Yeah, sometimes. Do I know that many people that work at WalMart don’t earn enough money, so I pay for their food (perhaps bought at WalMart) through foodstamps (SNAP), and that I pay for their medical care through Medicaid.

            Who wins? WalMart. Who loses? All of us. Our system is set up to benefit the large corporations.

            Uber is a double edged sword – It is CLAIMED to make much more money for it’s drivers, and it is claimed to deliver better service (if you own a smart phone, something I don’t by choice)

            OTOH Uber drivers do not serve bad areas – they are free to decline any ‘fare’ Serving undesirable areas is undesirable for cabs because the areas are dangerous and the chance of a return trip may well be limited.

            Serving undesirable area is undesirable for Uber drivers for the same reasons!

            The is a cost to having an underclass, there are often hidden costs when we choose the cheapest way that are transferred to society and we all pay.

            Uber is a great idea – we just need to, as a society, assign all the costs to various economic activities to those who benefit from them – buyers and sellers; not disinterested third parties.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I’ve been to cities where certain cab companies claim the rights to given areas of the city and get very angry if they see a cab from a different company on their turf. If Uber drivers skirt the ghetto areas, sounds like the cabbies have a captive market.

      This isn’t an all or nothing issue. These services can all exist simultaneously. If anything, the threat of competition should make the services better.

      From Uber, I’m seeing innovation striving to meet customer needs in new ways. From cabbies, unfortunately, we’re seeing rent-seeking whining and lobbying.

      If you’re fine with paying $40 for a dusty $20 fan to support a welfare state, fine. But I already own a car that has a primary purpose other than picking up fans, and my local hardware store is fairly competitive with the big box already.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      “I’m sure no one here gives a damn, but Uber drivers red line ghetto areas.”

      So do cab drivers, I’m sorry to say. Is it legal? No. But the law won’t get you a cab when you’re late for the airport.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    I don’t take taxis, ever. I don’t have a smart phone. I have no idea what the hell is being discussed here.

    But, I do like hamburgers, so cool I guess.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The picture of the burger made me hungry.

    Australia like the US has a lust for hamburgers. Ours are a little different.

    Here’s a recipe for a burger, the picture should have been used for this article.

    http://australianfood.about.com/od/meats/r/Hamburger.htm

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      Holy Shi!t,

      You mean, Down Under, you all season meat with things like Worcestershire and put vegetables on your burgers? How different! Clearly a better solution that we dumb Americans have not figured out.

      On a serious note, if you Aussies really use ‘extra lean’ meat for burgers, I’m afraid your burgers are, most likely, terribly dry.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        The recipe appears to be a healthy burger.

        The best burgers are from what we call a Take Away or as you call them a Take Out, we don’t have diners.

        A real works burger is around $8 where I live, but it has an egg, bacon, cheese (chedder as opposed to make believe cheese), pineapple, lettuce, tomato, sautéed onions, pickled beetroot (in lieu of dilled pickle) and you choice of sauce.

        All up they around a pound and a half. The killer is a can of Coke, they cost around $3.50. But Coke is now losing money in Australia which is good for them being so greedy.

        • 0 avatar
          Onus

          I don’t use that fake Kraft cheese plastic on my burgers.

          Here you can get real American Cheese not the plastic stuff from the deli.

          Though i do prefer cheddar as well. Vermont Extra Sharp from Cabot is my preference.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            American cheese, no.

            It not real cheese it’s what we call plastic cheese. It’s processed cheese.

            I’m talking true cheddars. I do know that the US like Australia has adopted the cheddar cheeses from Britan like us.

            We even have a brand of cheddar that’s quite good. It’s called Coon cheese. The good doers demanded it’s name change. But they lost out in court.

            I like Cracker Barrel in the US and believe it or not a US supermarket brand cheddar and Swiss from ShopRite.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coon_cheese

            Political correctness at it’s worse.

            Australia doesn’t seem to be as snobbish as the US and northern hemisphere countries. We are deemed more politically incorrect.

            Here’s a business concerning vehicles that TTAC SHOULD do an article on. Great business idea.

            http://www.somebodythinkofthechildren.com/anna-bligh-not-happy-with-wicked-camper-vans/

            Here an article written by some feminist group.

            Great article! TTAC staff have a read and come Down Under to test one out;)

            http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/why-women-should-boycott-wicked-campervans-20130207-2dztn.html

        • 0 avatar
          brenschluss

          “…a healthy burger.”

          What a dreadful idea. Healthy food should be healthy, and it’s what you should eat most of the time. Burgers should be greasy, weighty, basketball-sized things that make you feel awful an hour later, and should be enjoyed sparingly but wholeheartedly; ne’er the twain shall meet. A cheeseburger a day should keep the doctor well paid.

          You seem to think there’s only one kind of American burger. I have probably 25 different varieties within 10 miles of where I sit. Some have eggs or pineapple on them, or other any number of other things atop or inside. I also make the world’s best cheeseburger myself.

          Challenging USA burger supremacy is a fool’s errand.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Wat are they gonna do about the sexual assault problem

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/28/uber-s-biggest-problem-isn-t-surge-pricing-what-if-it-s-sexual-harassment-by-drivers.html

    See cabbies who mortgage million dollar medallions aren’t going to take such risks… Uber drivers on the other hand have nothing to lose

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Sporty,
      In NYC at least, the owners of the million dollar medallions typically don’t actually drive the cabs. They rent them out to people who are so desperate for work, that they will drive a cab for the least amount of money possible. So the driver risks nothing, but one of the worst jobs possible.

      With Uber, on the other hand, the fare’s phone has lots of info – the driver, the pickup time and place, where they went, etc. Very easy for the police to track down criminal activity.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I was an early user of the Uber service here in metro DC, where, as other commenters have noted, the cabs are just short of abysmal and the DC Taxi Commission is well-known for its corruption.

    Recently, I saw a newspaper article talking about the merit of Uber from the standpoint of the drivers. Apparently, they make much more money because they’re not cruising around looking for a fare, or waiting in holding areas to join a taxi queue at an airport. The point being that the dispatch system is more efficient than either radio dispatch or hailing a cab on the street.

    I am not impressed with the supposed merits of licensed cabs. Recently, I was downtown New York and needed a cab to Foley Square (where the federal courthouses are). I flagged a cab off the street who didn’t know know to get there and then attempted to use GPS. (GPS does not work well in the canyons of Manhattan, unless you are going walking speed. Finally, the cab reached a location I recognized as being close to Floey Square, so I had him let me out and I walked the rest of the way.

    I had an argument in court in downtown Phoenix in August. After it was over, I hailed a cab. Lots of them were sitting around with the windows open, I supposed to avoid overheating their engines trying to idle and run the a/c in 115 degree heat. It turned out that the cab I got had a busted a/c, so I had a very hot ride (in a dark suit) to the airport. I could have shot the driver, since I had no other effective recourse.

    On more than one occasion, I have had a cab called to pick me up in DC well in advance of the appointed time . . . and then the cab never showed. Frantic calls to the dispatcher were no help, as I was in danger of missing my flight out of town. Most people in my neighborhood who need a first thing in the morning ride to an airport, call a limo service. They never call a cab.

    The same article that touted the greater earning potential of Uber drivers also claimed that cabbies make about $30,000 a year (vs. a claimed $80,000 for Uber drivers). That’s pathetic, but you get the service you pay for. I suspect that the cab driver has to share his revenue with so much other overhead — the dispatcher, the guy who owns the cabs, etc. and, in New York, the note used to pay for the medallion. So, if Uber really delivers better service and makes more money for its drivers, then it’s a win-win as far as I am concerned.

    Oh, and we want to talk about cabs not redlining? I work with an accountant/money manager for a lot of entertainers in New York who is African-American. The other day, while we were waiting for a cab to get somewhere, he volunteered that he often has a hard time getting cabs to pick him up — even though he is dressed in a suit. The reason: they’re afraid he’s going to make them take him somewhere they don’t want to go.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Fascinating article and comments .

    I’ve taken some really interesting Cab rides in Third World Shitholes .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    -Nate

    As I was driving ’round Los Angeles to – day I noticed so many new Prius’ are Taxis , more and more ex Panther cop cars turned cabs are back in private hands , mostly in The Barrio .

    Do other cites use Prius for Taxis ? .

    I rode in one a couple times @ work and found the back seat only passable , I have a 34″ inseam .

    -Nate

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • dal20402: A properly designed battery should be able to get you at least 2,000 full cycles or 600,000 miles for a...
  • ajla: It’s your money but there is 0% I’d spend $800/month on normie-spec 4-cylinder CUV that apparently...
  • ToolGuy: The perfect mix of vehicles for the times: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/fe g/bymake/Dodge2021.shtml...
  • WalterRohrl: The government stopped “Bribing” Tesla buyers with their own tax money two years ago and...
  • WalterRohrl: “Currently, ten yr old/120,000 mile gas cars in decent cosmetic shape command pretty good money....

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber