Friday, May 1, 2015

Uberification Alternatives

Have you tried Uber yet, the global service where you can book a ride via their mobile technology app with crowd-sourced taxi drivers?  Well they are now expanding their business model, as well as other companies that are copying their concept to create “Uberification” Alternatives.
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Uber was launched in San Francisco in 2010 and first expanded internationally (Paris) the end of 2011.  Through the years they have received their fair share of negative press due to questionable drivers (a.k.a. “Drivers from Hell”), angry taxi drivers that have harassed and attacked Uber drivers for stealing business, etc.  Well they are back in the news as a result of “Uberification” the word coined for companies that are emulating their business model.  Specifically a company in India called Ola, a competitor that operates in 100 cities compared to Uber’s 11.  In response, Uber is now providing potential customers with auto rickshaws, not exactly as luxurious as a Cadillac Escalade or a Lincoln Town Car that most American travelers prefer.  The open-air golf cart vehicles are a popular alternative to regular taxis since they are able to easily navigate through India’s traffic bedlam.  Caution: The legal maximum for auto rickshaws is three riders.  However, most drivers are ignoring the law.  Therefore you might end up fighting for a ride or otherwise clinging to the side of the cart.  

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.  Scooterino is a new “Uberification” Alternative, the first carpool that connects those in need of a ride with scooter drivers heading in the same direction.  The cost is slightly more than an equivalent trip bus fare; an easy, convenient way to navigate the streets of Rome.  Also eco-friendly!

What will be the next new “Uberification” Alternative?  Water taxis in Venice, Italy?  Camels in Egypt, Cairo?   

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