Uber not so über for Kingston

As a de facto ridesharing company, Uber has a decent model, but it’s unlikely to thrive in Kingston.

Uber is a worldwide, app-based taxi company. Through the app, prospective passengers are connected directly to drivers, have the opportunity to provide feedback and can split their fare with strangers.

The company has been the subject of backlash, partially because it eschews the taxi licensing and regulation systems of the cities it operates in.

Uber’s drivers range from professional chauffeurs with commercial licenses to 21-year-olds looking to make some money on the side.

They’re now looking to make a move on the Kingston market. This will help increase competition, which could prompt standard taxi companies to make concerted efforts to improve.

Uber would have a limited pool of users if it expanded into Kingston. A large portion of the city’s population is made up of transient students, urban-sprawl residents with cars and seniors who aren’t likely to have smartphones.

With the popularity of ridesharing among students, though, there’s an opportunity that the app will catch on. Students would have the chance to set their own prices and drive or be driven by their peers.

While Uber has a user-friendly model, there are aspects of the company to be wary of, especially its ignorance of established regulatory systems.

The onus is on the company, despite not being subject to pre-existing taxi laws, to ensure the safety of its users.

Journal Editorial Board

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