jcr, you're a regular poster as am I, you're a level headed guy, but as an ex taxi driver I have to say you have your head up your arse on this one.
IMO Uber are the worst kind of rent seeker, the kind that prey on people who are desperate enough to sign up as a driver. Uber's over-inflated "market value" has to collapse because at some point the "market" will become bored with the legal battles over 'freedom' and want a real ROI. I don't have any pity for the investors, just the honest drivers who go in with a reliable car and no money, and come out a year or two later with an unroadworthy clunker, and still no money.
If you think I'm exaggerating, the oldest taxi I ever drove was 5yrs off the showroom floor, it had 1.1 million kilometers on the clock, only the body work was original, even the seat sliders had been replaced at least once. Unless the Uber driver is also a mechanic, it would be cheaper for them to buy a 'runout-model' used car once a year. Most taxi's are a one man / one car operations, they lease/rent it to another regular driver or two to keep it on the road 24X7, and buying a 'new' car once every year or so is how they handle the entropy problem. They don't earn a lot of money, the 'plates' (medallion in the US) is the taxi owner's superannuation. The "hidden costs" are the reason Uber refuses to play by the rules, driving a cab doesn't pay enough to satisfy them so they insert themselves in the middle, they even "generously" offer to pay the drivers fines while at the same time offloading all the real costs onto the poor sap.
Also they are not a 'taxi' company as they would like you to think, in most places they are a traditional 'limo' company using sub-contractors, fuck me they were around when I was driving in the 80's, nobody had heard of the internet but we did have phones. Limos can't be flagged down, nor can they use taxi rank infrastructure. Using sub-contractors and ordering it on a computer is hardly revolutionary, so it's not the regulations that are broken, it's Uber's business model. For good reasons it was illegal before the internet was born, "on a computer" doesn't change that.
Again, I'm genuinely surprised you have swallowed Uber's 'hipster' marketing.