Will Uber Take Over the Sedan Business in Los Angeles?
With so much buzz surrounding Uber these days, there is no question whether it is going to go viral…it already has.
Everyone from Taxi Cab Users to Mid Range clients and even our normal executive and night life sedan and SUV clients are very happy with the service.
There is no question that this is a force to be reckoned with in the coming year or years.
with the July 4th addition of an SUV option and the announcement of Luxury Sedans such as the BMW 7 series and Mercedes S Class, it makes it an even more powerful tool for end users. (According to Uber management, the luxury sedan option will come as soon as they have enough cars registered)
It will be interesting to see if there is a second product to market that can beat these guys out.
So let’s talk a little about the pros and cons for the system.
- Fast Service – With so many Uber ready cars on the road, the wait times are almost non existent on the weekends from Down Town LA to Hollywood to WeHo, Beverly Hills, West LA and Santa Monica. (Not sure whats happening in the Valley or South Bay)
- VERY Reasonable Pricing – the price of luxury travel has been slashed. No more need for an hourly car to be paid while you are having dinner. – We have started booking a lot more transfers as the drivers can use the app while the clients are eating if the do not book hourly.
- Super Convenient – Easy in, Easy out. No cash gets exchanged as it’s all billed directly to the credit card of the user.
According to Uber, even the tip is included in the ride. (Although the drivers report that they can’t understand how they get a tip)
- Great Flat Rates – Flat rates in the system to and from LAX at amazing values. Also service to San Diego and of course… Vegas!
- Seat up to 4 passengers in a Town Car or 6 in an SUV.
- No Scheduling – You cannot schedule a vehicle in advance as the app has no calendar. Management has not mentioned adding this feature as the technology and logistics almost make it a different and much more expensive product.
- No Multiple Car Option – The drivers often get asked on the phone when they call the guests to announce their impending arrival if a second car can be dispatched, of course the driver app is not that much complicated then the user app so there is no ability to do anything. Of course the SUV option has helped this a lot as now you can fit up to 6 guests in an SUV.
- Network Bugs – Often times guests are reporting that they cannot connect to the network to order a car. – This has not been our experience and the driver app seems very solid.
- Iffy Cars – I used the app myself a few weeks ago and I got an old, short door town car with 300,000 miles on it and a shabby driver. This has been my only negative experience but you never know what you are going to get
- Unhappy Drivers – I believe this last point will make or break Uber. Many of the drivers are only using the app and have no other clients. for them, they are thrilled to have their car rolling all day and most of the night. – More solid drivers, meaning professional chauffeurs, feel that this is not a fair deal. Uber takes a big percentage of the trip and asks a lot of the drivers.
Ultimately, A happy driver means a happy client, if Uber can find a way to incentivise the drivers to make a higher percentage, they will treat the clients well and the product will be a huge success. If the drivers are only making enough to survive and not maintain the cars with the extra duty. Uber will be in trouble.
Our position is one of wait and see. We are excited to see this type of service become available in the LA Market. It opens things up to guests that in the past, would only use taxis.
We are rooting for Uber to be a great success in the LA Market – Great idea, great execution! – Good luck guys!