Monday, January 27, 2014

Rough Patch for Uber Service’s Challenge to Taxis

I blogged on this earlier, "Uber Ride Service Sabotages the Competition."

And now at NYT:
SAN FRANCISCO — It’s Travis Kalanick versus the world, and recently the world seems to be winning.

Mr. Kalanick, who is brash and aggressive even by the standards of Silicon Valley, created Uber four years ago to blow up the traditional taxi business. In more than 60 cities, from San Francisco to Berlin, it is doing just that.

Anyone with a smartphone can use Uber’s software to get a ride. No more standing on the corner in the rain, trying desperately to conjure up something that is not there. For that achievement, Uber is valued at $4 billion.

Suddenly, however, Mr. Kalanick is a bit besieged. Uber is being sued by its drivers, who say it is stealing their tips. Competitors are pressing it from all sides. Celebrity riders like Salman Rushdie and Jessica Seinfeld have had gripes too, usually about pricing.

Much worse, there have been questions about the quality of the drivers, made more urgent after one here in San Francisco hit an immigrant family in a crosswalk on New Year’s Eve, killing a 6-year-old. Her death has provoked the first wrongful-death lawsuit against Uber, which is expected to be filed on Monday...
More at that top link.