A new smartphone app is growing in popularity across the country, giving users an opportunity to summon a hired car with the tap of a finger, rather than waiting for a taxicab to finally respond to a hail.
The service called Uber is not any less expensive than a cab ride. In fact, it will usually cost riders about 50 percent more than a taxi. Even so, cities like Boston, New York and San Francisco have all started to download the Uber app, according to the Boston Globe.
The San Francisco startup uses GPS technology in a customer's mobile device to let them order the service. When a pickup address is chosen, the driver calls the individual to confirm.
However, the new service has caused some discontent among cab drivers, as they claim that Uber creates unfair competition in the business. Taxis are regulated, but the luxury car service is not. As such, Massachusetts shut down Uber earlier this month, as officials had not yet approved its system for calculating fares.
Oleg Uritsky, who runs 45 cabs in Boston and is a spokesman for city taxi fleet owners, told the news source that Uber exploited a loophole in the law, and that cabs are regulated for public safety.
On the other hand, Uber's CEO Travis Kalanick, argues that his company is disrupting a business that is not used to change.
"I'm in the technology industry," he said. "Was Yahoo upset when Google came out? Of course. In that industry, people compete. In the cab industry, they try to curtail competition."
Different companies within various industries are bound to encounter competition at some point in their existence. As such, it's vital to have a business continuity plan in place to ensure that regardless of what other organizations are doing, each one will continue to thrive on their own.