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Posted by
6872 posts

If he had no prior record, how could any background check catch him? A check is only valid at the point in time it's taken. Not sure why this is directed at Uber - is that his only employer?

Posted by
439 posts

I used it once because I had a coupon. The driver was very nice & had no problems with him. However, when I started hearing the background checks were not thorough, I have opted for the more traditional cabs and car services.

Mary

Posted by
11450 posts

I have never been comfortable with the Uber concept.. and so have never used it, and I doubt that I ever would..

Posted by
31471 posts

Unbelievable! I wonder if this mental case figured he was playing in a scene from the movie Taxi Driver? Once again, my thoughts and prayers to the victims of this senseless and heinous tragedy.

Posted by
1350 posts

I remember a few years ago there was a huge rise in violent muggings of taxi drivers in the T.O. area. When Uber started popping up in the news, I wondered who would want to be a driver? Let alone be a passenger.

Posted by
544 posts

I highly recommend using Uber and Lyft in Seattle. They are much easier to book, faster to arrive and have a higher standard of cleanliness compared to the local taxi companies.

Posted by
101 posts

No, it's not. If one Uber driver out of the currently estimated 162,000-plus is a homicidal maniac, it's clearly not safe for any of us to ever take an Uber again.

Taxis, now, are a completely different story. You don't have a thing to worry about when hiring a taxi, since no taxi driver ever committed a crime.

Some of these "safety" questions really tickle me. I wonder if people are serious in asking them.

Posted by
6361 posts

This generation of far too many people sharing far too much via social media has created an environment lacking safety and privacy. No checks and balances. I'd walk rather than use Über. As this tragic story proves, too many whack jobs out there. Why, to save a dime, would you put yourself in a potentially harmful situation with a stranger? Trust? Belief in your fellow man? Shall we hold hands and sing kumbya?

Posted by
11289 posts

MrsEB: Minicabs are similar to "car services" in New York City.

As for cash vs. cards, one popular minicab service is Just Airports (I've never used them). Note from their website that they take both, but charge substantially less for cash: http://justairports.com/index.php

Posted by
12898 posts

I'll sing that but minus Uber. I'll walk too or find some other means of getting from A to B. Uber will never see me as its customer. I boycott Uber, avoid them totally and, to be sure , would never call upon them, am also glad of every predicament/court judgement that costs them $.

Posted by
607 posts

Never been a fan of Uber. I don't think it is fair that Uber drivers do not pay all the licensing, insurance and permit fees required by regular taxi drivers. Also Uber can charge surge pricing during busy times which is grossly unfair to taxi drivers whose fees are regulated.

Regarding customer safety, taxi drivers work together with other taxi drivers as part of the community of a taxi company. Many are owners of their licences or have a personal stake in the taxi company. They have a local dispatch office where they meet during shift changes and get to know each other very well. If there was a sketchy driver amongst them, it would be in their best interest to weed the bad driver out. While on the road, taxis are monitored by the taxi dispatch office.

On the other hand, it is extremely unlikely that uber drivers know each other. Each works as an individual and is monitored digitally. Much easier for a crazy to hide in a situation like that, imo.

Posted by
21731 posts

Funpig put a good spin on it but I would prefer an Uber driver any day over a random taxi driver who I have no idea who he is. I stood on more than one street corner waving at taxi after taxi going by either being full or ignored. I know exactly when the Uber is going to show up. And he greets me by name because he knows who he is picking up. Surge pricing is simply market supply and demand. If you don't want to pay the price, then try to find a regular cab. A great business model that many taxi companies should be trying to adopt.

Posted by
796 posts

We use Uber all the time. Most drivers are just fine. We've never had any problems. We've gotten to know a number of the drivers. Keep in mind there have been taxi drivers who have done similar things.

Posted by
439 posts

Hi,

Taxis are safer in NYC just for the simple reason, you have checks and I use them. You have a picture & license number of the driver. You also have the license number of the taxi. I always note both getting into the car, especially late at night. If the picture does not match the drive, I have gotten out of the taxi. In NY, you also have a phone number, 212-NYC-TAXI, which I have threatened drivers that did not want to go to Queens or were driving erratically. Granted none of these would have protected me from a random shooter similar to this weekend but if you are getting into a stranger's car, it is the safest you will be. The only times I have heard of anyone having a problem is when they hailed a car (car service driver making extra cash) off the street.

As far as car services go, my company provides one when we leave after 9pm, the few times I have a problem with the driver, I have complained, never saw that person again. The one I use for personal use, I have been using it for about 20 years, and never had a problem with any driver.

Mary

Posted by
11262 posts

As to the question about early morning flights from Heathrow....I'm in the same ballpark twice in the next few weeks. Two very early morning flights from Heathrow. I've decided to just stay near the airport the nights before my flights. Less stress and a little more sleep.

Interesting this discussion of Uber vs. Taxi...

When I used to live in NYC, I frequently had trips into and out of LaGuardia. On one return, I got into a cab, told the driver my address in Manhattan--actually the closest cross streets--and sat back. He turned around and asked..."How do you get to Manhattan?" He was new to this country and driving a taxi.

While I have never had an opportunity to use Uber yet, I wouldn't hesitate. It's not just any driver picking you up. You are given information about the driver and his/her vehicle before you are picked up. Since no cash changes hands, Uber had a record of the driver as well. And since Uber drivers own their own vehicles, I would think they would drive a little more carefully than someone just leasing the vehicle for the day.

From where I currently reside, the fare to the airport on Uber is about half that of a taxi. As long as I am not going at a busy time, it's more reasonable.

.

Posted by
607 posts

Many taxi companies have developed their own mobile app, or use eCabs, which allows you to book your taxi in a similar manner to uber.

If the whole industry is deregulated to put uber and taxis on a level playing field, be prepared for more unlicensed and unregulated drivers harassing tourists for rides during slow times and when the weather is bad or traffic is busy, all drivers will be able to charge whatever the market will bear. Think about that when you are in a rush trying to make your flight during rush hour in a snowstorm. Or if you have a short ride from the airport and the drivers have the un-regulated freedom not to take you because your fare is too low.

I am not a cabbie, but I know many people who drive. Many of them have invested a lot of money to get a taxi tag to earn a living to support their families. Most are immigrants doing a job that traditionally many people do not want. They have to work hard to pay for their tag and all of the regulatory fees and insurance required for a legitimate taxi. Now anybody with car can compete without having to comply with the rules. All of these thousands of uber drivers out to make a quick and easy buck are really hurting taxi drivers. How would you feel if anybody could do any occupation without any regulation, licensing or proper insurance? UberDoctor, UberDentist, UberEngineer? (btw, Dr. Cabbie is a funny movie).

Posted by
8987 posts

Amen funpig! I find the Uber's technology quite neat, but everything else about the company's culture is rotten to the core especially it's disregard for law, rules and regulation in many places. More info about that can be found here:

https://youtu.be/_er85psPOrM

Posted by
9363 posts

" You have a picture & license number of the driver. You also have the license number of the taxi. I always note both getting into the car, especially late at night. If the picture does not match the drive, I have gotten out of the taxi."

Mary, you are apparently not aware of how the Uber app works. With Uber, you get the description and photo of the car that is coming to pick you up, as well as a photo of the driver. You also have the license plate number. You can see them arriving on the map in real time, and you can watch the map as you drive to make sure they are not taking you some roundabout way (neither of which you can do with a taxi). At the end of the ride, you have an opportunity to rate your driver and for them to rate you, which you also do not have with a taxi. In terms of checks, Uber's system is actually more extensive than any taxi. Their drivers undergo the same background checks as a taxi, and they have additional requirements for age and condition of their cars. I have used Uber numerous times and I have always had a good experience. The incident referred to above is a random thing that had nothing to do with the guy's employer. He could as easily have been a taxi or bus driver. There is no protecting from something like that.

Posted by
8297 posts

Frank and Nancy, well said, and I agree.
As Frank said, Uber has a great business model. More and more people are using Uber because they do it better. Taxi companies are living in the past. If they don't completely overhaul their antiquated way of doing things and improve dramatically, they will eventually become extinct.

This question reminds me of the "Is Paris Safe?" question. Yes Uber is safe. As safe as anything is. There are whack jobs every where.

Posted by
8777 posts

I used uber several times while I was in Seattle and wouldn't hesitate to use them again. As previously stated, on your phone you receive a description on the car and a photo of the driver. You can track the car on your phone so you know when it approaches.