The application of the modern technology is characterized by strengths and weaknesses. Although it is crucial for effectiveness and efficiency, it can also cause problems if its use is not planned appropriately while involving all the stakeholders. In fact, this is the case with Uber, whereby it pretends to be utilizing it without the relevant licenses of operation. As rideshare and taxi company in San Fransisco, it provides tech in the form of mobile application to connect the demand side with the supply side as Anderson (2014) contends. From a consumer perspective, it is not right because the company is not registered to provide services. Evidently, apart from the conflict with taxi cab drivers, the company finds itself entangled in other problems. For example, there are issues concerning Taxation and Foreign Direct Investments’ (FDI) (Anderson, 2014). When taxi cab drivers complain, supporters of Uber argue that the drivers are trying to bring down the company. The reason the taxi-cab drivers’ revenue has declined is because there are not licenses that are obtained to the taxi in this company.
There are many issues that are clearly brought out in the conflict between Uber company and taxi cab drivers. The first issue that is prevalent is that Uber drivers are not licensed as their counterparts in the taxi industry (Anderson, 2014). It is vital to note that this is the issue that sparked the initial protests on behalf of taxi companies across the world. This is because it means that owning and selling taxi medallions is a lucrative operation that Uber drivers bypass (Cote-Marshall & Darbyson, 2015). Besides, the fluctuating legal status of the company in all states shows that there is no universal solution to solve the conflict. In fact, the price of medallions has skyrocketed in many cities, such as Boston for the reason that there is a finite amount of available drivers (Cote-Marshall & Darbyson, 2015). Taxi drivers argue that using a different model does not imply that the company should be exempted from paying tax, yet, it is in the same industry. A failure to license their drivers is what gives them the competitive edge concerning the prices. This is because they do not incur many charges compared with the taxi drives, making their prices lower than their counterparts.
Moreover, the app the company allows people to use on their smartphones as well as the introduction of the less expensive UberX feature that utilizes taxi cabs and personal cars instead of fancier livery vehicles are other areas of conflict because of the apps increase competition (Freischland, 2015). This is fuelled by the fact that car-sharing services, such as Uber do not need mercantile licenses to operate. This implies that they are not regulated by the same regulations as taxi cab drivers. The argument is that Uber and other companies that utilize similar application are undermining their tax can drivers’ businesses by driving down prices and providing services that cabs cannot afford to offer (Freischland, 2015). Uber does not require a background check of their drivers and does not undergo the extensive check or inspection the cabs go from the police department. The incidence in Fransisco where a driver hit and killed a six-year-old girl in a crosswalk has drawn public attention (Freischland, 2015). It is inhuman to argue that the company was not responsible because the girl was not in the car, and the driver was neither picking nor dropping any passenger. The taxi cab drivers want Uber to revert to a conventional cab service, something the company is opposing. One of the worrying issues that Uber does is to discriminate against people with special needs, such as the blind and the physically challenged persons. The company has tried many times to avoid disability laws (Freischland, 2015). It is not right for a transportation company to operate while displaying such acts of discrimination. This is because everybody has fundamental rights.
Negotiation style and practices of the parties involved in the Uber conflict issue
It is important to state that there are many negotiation styles and practices that have been taken against Uber. The fact that the company has global outlets implies that the practices are different in various countries around the world. The adverse effects that Uber causes are not in the taxi cab drivers only, but also to the government. Evidently, the taxi cab drivers sued the company, and the argument that was clear is that the two companies could operate if they were under the same law (Davis, 2015). It is significant to note that the taxi cab drivers had genuine reasons because they claimed that the customers were not provided with the safety, losing many lives through accidents. The first successful practice was witnessed in Colorado when it passed a law that regulated the industry by requiring background checks, vehicle inspections as well as compulsory insurance for the drivers the moment they log into the app (Davis, 2015). This practice is better compared with the one that recently took place in Boston where the Taxi Drivers Association attempted to get Uber out of the city. They organized a rolling rally outside the company’s offices in Boston. The association was demanding for the mayor if the Boston and the Police Commander to order all Uber-X and Uber XL for-hire transportation vehicles off the streets until proper regulations are put in place (Davis, 2015). This is because the association has been working with the city of Boston to introduce regulations for the car-sharing industry. The reasons the company needs to be stopped us that it does not keep up with the changing times of the taxi-for-hire services. The Boston Association was supported by London’s black taxi for the regulation of the company. Cease letters have been sent to Uber and Lyft, stating that they were violating state laws (Davis, 2015).
Although the management of Uber has painted the city officials and called them protectors of the interests of the corrupt cab companies, the city portrays it as a rogue outfit that is against complying with simple directives or respect for the basic laws of the cities (Sun & Edara, 2015). In some cities, there are conversations that have been held between the firm and the city. However, most of the meetings did not bear any fruit. Sometimes, the company does not engage city officials in its meetings and informs them through communication. This has triggered misunderstanding among the parties. When the company continued to launch a new product without the due consultation, the city officials were annoyed and they saw it as a sign of poor communication on the side of the Uber team (Sun & Edara, 2015). Although the negotiations would have helped, one of the officers claimed that the city officials were not interested in their issues, making the process complicated.
Therefore, it is explicit that any attempt the taxi drivers and governments make to ban Uber, it takes an immediate step of countering the acts. For example, in an attempt to confront the stifling restrictions on tax driver licenses in France, it launched a service called UberPop, which attracted many customers (Witt, Suzor & Wikström, 2015). The France government responded by charging Uber’s general director for enabling taxi-driving by non-professional drivers and deceptive commercial practices (Witt et al., 2015). It is vital to underscore that the application of the modern technology is not bad. However, I feel there is more that should be done when it comes to solving the conflict. This should be done without favoring either side. The fact that Uber utilizes a different model does not qualify it to evade tax and licenses. This is unfair to the taxi drivers. Additionally, steps of conflict resolutions should be used if the matter is expected to be solved. The government should give parties an opportunity to air their grievances and address them effectively.
- Anderson, D. N. (2014). “Not just a taxi”? For-profit ridesharing, driver strategies, and VMT. Transportation, 41(5), 1099-1117.
- Cote-Marchall, J., & Darbyson, (2015). Taxi vs. Uber. Retrieved from http://thefulcrum.ca/uncategorized/taxi-vs-uber/
- Davis, j. (2015). Drive at your risk: uber violates unfair competition laws by misleadinguberx drivers about their insurance coverage. Bcl rev, 56(3), 1097-1249.
- Freischland, N., (2015). Whey motorcycle taxi drivers are ganging up on-demand ride app in Indonesia. Retrieved from https://www.techinasia.com/startups-in-indonesia-indonesia-motorcycle-hailing-taxi-apps-jakarta-gojek/
- Sun, C., & Edara, P. (2015). Is Getting an Uber-Lyft from a Sidecar Different from Hailing a Taxi? Current Dynamic Ridesharing Controversy. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board,3(2536), 60-66.
- Witt, A., Suzor, N., & Wikström, P. (2015). Regulating ride-sharing in the peer economy. Communication Research and Practice, 1(2), 174-190.