Uber Vancouver

  • uberNo longer just a word your teenager uses to describe something in the superlative, Uber has been generating an awful lot of buzz recently - good and bad.

    What is Uber? From their website, they state:

    Uber is evolving the way the world moves. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps, we make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers. From our founding in 2009 to our launches in over 200 cities today, Uber's rapidly expanding global presence continues to bring people and their cities closer.

    In plain English, here is how Uber works once you've downloaded the app and setup an account:

    Say, for example, you are in San Francisco (unfortunately, Vancouver isn't an option currently; see below) and you're in need of a ride somewhere. Your typical options are bus, taxi and limousine. With Uber, you can open the app and see if there are any drivers in the area willing to take you where you need to go - for a fee of course. The app will show, in real-time GPS, where the driver is and what their ETA is.

    This concept of moving people raises a number of questions and quite frankly, it probably should. I believe solid innovation is built on a foundation of more questions than answers at the beginning. However, where I have a problem is when government gets in the way of the "Q & A" and simply shuts the door on the subject entirely. Because of government intervention, Vancouver is one of the major cities in North America that Uber can't operate in because they are considered a "taxi service" and thus, require drivers to be properly licensed and adhere to a certain set of rules.

    While Uber might not be the solution to the problem, at least it is servicing a need (and demand) that is currently unavailable from the current options.

    Thoughts? Would you use Uber? Why or why not?