Uber's shattering entrance into the world of urban transport has raised, and continues to raise, many controversies. The strongest concerns the inappropriateness of the regulatory framework for taxis, how to make it evolve, the decline in revenues and the price of plates for drivers, as well as the jobs created by the VTC, their number, but also their social value (small jobs or real jobs, poor or decent pay) and their contractual characteristics (disguised wage earners or independent micro-entrepreneurs). In short, the debates focus on the rivalry between Uber and taxis, its reasons and effects.
They are legitimate and deserve reflection. But the insights that can be brought depend on local and national situations. Taxi regulations, labor laws and the unemployment rate vary from city to city and from country to country. However, documented analyzes are still limited to a small number of geographic markets.
Take the example of the origin and profile of Uber drivers in France and the United States. In France, a quarter of them were unemployed; half devote more than 30 hours a week to circulating; and three-quarters get the most of their income. In the United States, less than 10% of Uber drivers were previously unemployed, and the vast majority of them are part-time and supplemental.
In France, the proportion of Uber drivers in the local labor force is all the higher as their housing area is characterized by a high unemployment rate and a low median income. In the United States, Uber drivers are not very different from the overall labor force in large metropolitan areas.
By schematizing, Uber offers the United States an opportunity for those who do not earn enough and in France for those who earn nothing. This difference is linked to a whole series of specific economic conditions, but also to Uber Pop's ban in France which would have facilitated, as in the United States, part-time activity.
The benefit for the consumer
Let's focus on the consumers. When you used for the first time the services of a VTC like Uber you had the impression of entering another world: a driver who opens the door; who is very easy; who asks you if you want to listen to the radio, and if so which one? which offers you sweets and mineral water; and that does not have to be paid in cash. You may have avoided this - this happens sometimes - the smell of the dog on the passenger seat, the dirt in the cabin, the whining of the driver on the traffic, the refusal of credit cards, etc.
But you may have also observed that the quality of service of Paris taxis, competition of VTC requires, had greatly improved. Ditto for taxis in Chicago. In this city, the number of passenger complaints has decreased with the rise of Uber, including complaints of rudeness, heating down, defective card reader, and driving by calling.
Another benefit for consumers brought by Uber and a few others like Heetch is to offer a service that deviates from the city centers and offers a stronger presence at night. In New York, Uber races make half more trips outside of Manhattan than the Yellow Cabs. In France, the trips in VTC are half more than those of taxis between midnight and early morning. Millions of consumers who never took a taxi are now ordering on their mobile phones.