Uber Has Arrived.

Travis Kalanick, C.E.O. and co-founder of Uber. Photograph by Art Streiber for Vanity Fair.

Travis Kalanick, C.E.O. and co-founder of Uber. Photograph by Art Streiber for Vanity Fair.

Uber is a smartphone-based car service that has the taxi and transportation business up in arms. It has entered the city of Charlottesville market and many of my fellow taxi drivers are concerned about being displaced in the coming weeks, months or year?

My main concern is that just about anyone can easily become an Uber driver. As Uber says, “Pick them up, get going, get paid, It’s that simple.” Well, it isn’t that simple for taxi drivers. One example is you do not have to carry commercial insurance to be a Uber driver like I do. Another is my taxi business has to go through a special process and pay to receive a taxi license and permit in the State of Virginia to be recognized as a lawful and legitimate taxi and transportation business where Uber drivers don’t. Now you can see in part why taxi drivers are displeased.

In the December 2014 issue of Vanity Fair, it points out that Travis Kalanick, Uber co-founder and CEO “has found no shortage of foes. He has directed barbs–in speeches and videos, and on Twitter–especially fervently toward the taxi industry, but also toward city and local regulators across the country.” Read on about the history of Uber and more of the story of Uber’s controversy here.

Tell me what you think. It makes for a very interesting conversation. I would be glad to hear your comments.

PLEASE NOTE: I am phasing out Cab Chronicles. You can now read and subscribe to my blog via email (on right side bar) on my Charlottesville Transportation & Taxi website at http://www.charlottesvilletaxi.com/category/blog/ Please add your comments to this article on my website. Thanks.

“No, you’re weak!”

“Make that light!,” he yelled, as it was about to turn red. At the time, I didn’t have it in me to speed up and go through it. So I stopped. “You’re weak!,” the customer said. When the light turned green, we passed through the intersection and around the corner a police officer was sitting there. I said to my passenger, “No, you’re weak!” as I pointed out the police car to him just waiting there for someone to make a wrong move. He laughed trying to make light of the situation. He couldn’t believe what had just transpired.

I Wept Last Night

Late afternoon, my dispatcher sent me to pick up a woman and said she needed to go to a clinic. It was to get an abortion.

I froze, paused, and prayed and said, “where is she?” I could have not taken the assignment but felt the need to do my job as a taxi driver with the task of being salt and light in this situation.

Once in my cab, with her goth like appearance and many facial piercings, I asked about her story and just listened. She said that it was her second visit to have an abortion. She felt she was not ready to have a baby right now. Even though she had a boyfriend, she just didn’t want to commit and have that responsibility right now in her life.

As we approached the house, there was a lady already at the door waiting for her as if she wanted to make this as comfortable and welcoming as possible for my customer.

That evening as I was driving my taxi home, I thought and reflected what had happened that afternoon. My mind and heart could not get past what she had done to herself and her baby. Trying to figure out my role and duty in all this. Confused and perplexed, I finally just broke down and wept.

God’s divine obsession with his own, his beloved, both woman and child, overcame me. I had an overwhelming presence that my Maker was weeping over me and with me, as we both cried out for his own, lost, loved ones.

May the God who offers the gift of forgiveness, healing, and hope restore you, hold you, and see you through, until we meet again.

Play and Sing For Me

One thing about cab driving is that you just never know who you may pick up and meet. I knew this was going to be my last customer for the evening as I cruised downtown one last time at 2 am in the morning. The customer I picked up had a backpack and guitar in hand. He just finished a gig that nite and I sensed he was very happy with his performance as he mentioned to me that he had a standing ovation at the end of his final set. As we went onto our destination, to my surprise, he decided to pull out his guitar to play and sing. What a treat! Thank you, Michael, for playing and singing for me. And now for your listening pleasure…

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