. Without an aggressive company the monopoly of taxis in so many cities would never have been broken.
what monopoly? In most cities there are at least 4-5 taxi companies. If Uber wins, however, then you will see what it is to have a monopoly.
I am referring to the instances where Uber skirted regulations that made it impossible to legally offer it's service. Had it asked for permission initially it would have simply been refused. Once the drivers and general public got used to the servuce, municipalities were forced to compromise.
Second, it's simply untrue to say the before Uber there were lots of can companies offering sufficient services. I have tried in many instances to obtain a ride in the past from them and have been turned down. Some of them are very rude and gruff. Some suburbs have only two functional services and you have to pay a significant surcharge to get a cab from somewhere else along with a significant delay. Sometimes they don't even answer their own phone! Uber cars don't stink and their drivers generally don't smoke. Taxi cabs drivers love to smoke and I personally find being around cigarette smoke to be repulsive. The health hazards from second hand smoke are huge and yet somehow municipalities don't care about that and if would complained the driver would screw with me.
Third, taxi medallions are not going nowhere, they are just worth less and of municipalities want they can increase the supply to increase competition. They are the only vehicle that can be hailed from the street. Although cities stupidly don't increase the supply because the owners of the medallions are big campaign contributers in local elections. And Lyft is still around. And Uber has been lowering prices because previously prices were too high even to maximize profits under an app based monopoly - where price elasticity equals one. Fourth, no one complained about the previous system. It sucked! It was deeply corrupt. And getting a ride was hard. Uber means you can go from having a two to a one car household and not be worried about getting a cab. It means you know what you will pay and not to have to worry about taxis breaking the law. I have seen taxis press the wrong rate button when I have exited the airport because they thought I was a tourist or refuse to use the meter and then make up a fair. But the law was not enforced.
I asked my economics professor that given that this was such a huge problem, why would we not do something about it. They answered "politics". Somehow now that Uber is disrupting the industry everyone cares. Well were you all 8 years ago. Why when people like me complained, was I told "it is what it is? Why are you being so selective about whom you criticize for doing something wrong???