And I'll tell you why - read this:
Here's the short version. The taxi industry in San Francisco is $140M/year. Uber's business there is $500M/year. Note that Uber hasn't taken that much business from the taxi industry - that's on top of it.
So, right now we can see that the actual taxi industry in that one city was 1/4 of the potential. That is seriously damaging the economy, particularly when you multiply it out among every city in the US. Put another way, the taxi regulations (bought by the cartels) were causing $500M less money to change hands every year in one city. Just so that they could keep competition low.
There's a great rant on here earlier about what the taxi industry does that stupid (hiring non-English-speaking-just-off-the-boat foreigners, etc.) and it's really kind of amazing to me. Uber's model is simple to replicate, and would be pretty simple for the taxi industry to take on at least parts of it. Have an app so I'll know who my driver is and can rate him. I saw a loon on here a couple of weeks ago claiming that the traditional taxi industry is better because there's a centralized complaint process. Uh, yeah, right. How does that work? How about after my ride I just click a button on my phone? That's a true "centralized complaint process" that even my mother could figure out.
It's clear that the taxi industry doesn't want to change, but it'll be the death of them. They've been buying politicians for years, and with Uber bringing in 3X the revenue the whole "buy a politician" business model is about to get priced out of the taxi industry's league. That really sucks because I don't have any reason to believe Uber will be any nicer than the taxi industry was from a regulatory standpoint, but at least it'll likely allow more competition.