Before I begin, I want to start up by informing you that I have no affiliation with Uber whatsoever. I am however enraged by the #ChooseTaxi campaign recently started by Co-Op Cabs, a taxi company.
Essentially, the campaign is fear mongering people away from UberX, Uber’s car-sharing service. The campaign is directed towards women (there are apparently going to be ads in public washrooms), telling them that it is much safer to ride licensed cabs.
I’ve become a frequent UberX rider (I’ve also ridden black cars in the past) and all of my rides have been pleasant. The drivers are always friendly, or silent if I’m not having a chatty day. As a 20-something-woman who frequently rides alone, I have never feared for my safety. Everything is tracked: the route you take, the licensed plate of the driver, the driver’s name. You can even choose not to hail certain drivers if their rating does not satisfy you. They can also choose not to accept you as a passenger if your rating (which you actually can’t view publicly) isn’t up to par.
The same can’t be said for regular cabs. We’ve left items once in them and had no idea how to trace cabs after the fact. A cab drive once threatened our safety by playing the tambourine driving. I pulled a bottle of vodka from under the passenger seat of the same driver. I’ve had cabs refuse to pick me up because I wasn’t going far enough (so I was stuck at Sound Academy) and drivers that risked friend’s safety so they could use an ATM in a very unsafe location because they do not want to take debit (when most cabs have the capabilities to).
The bottomline for regular cabs never seem to be the customer. They are always about the money first. When waiting for the bus, I am frequently honked at by cabs who think that honking at me would drive their business. The first few times were scary as fuck. It was the same kind of feeling I felt when strangers honk and whistle from their cars. It does not make a girl feel safe. Just because a cab is licensed does not mean they are safe.
I am writing this post because I want people to be informed. I want them to make choices based on their own experiences and not because propaganda tells them to sway a certain way. We only read about the few negative stories worldwide about Uber involving assaults, but you have to remember that Uber is a billion dollar worldwide brand. What we don’t realize is that there are probably a thousand times more of these incidents in regular taxis because they don’t have a big enough brand. Or their stories are never told.
I for one have made a choice and won’t #ChooseTaxi.