#uber

Mark Rogowsky:

Well consider this: The number of “zero-car families” has been growing since 2007, after shrinking nearly every year since 1960; it’s approaching 10%. While the recession has doubtless played a role, it’s less than you might think. First, there has been an increasing move back toward the cities, where transit is more readily available. Second, millennials seem especially uninterested in owning their own cars. Third, the trend away from driving actually dates back to 2004, when the economy was still thriving. A government measure called “per capita vehicle miles traveled,” which had gone up steadily for decades began trending down that year and has fallen ever since. After 8 consecutive years of declines, on average we’re driving as much as we did in 1996.

The trend is clear.

Incumbents Asleep At The Wheel

The numbers, as reported by JP Mangalindan for Fortune, are staggering:

The San Francisco Cab Drivers Association (SFCDA), an association for registered taxi drivers that promotes fair working conditions and business practice, reports that one-third of the 8,500 or so taxi drivers in San Francisco – over 2,800 – have ditched driving a registered cab in the last 12 months to drive for a private transportation startup like Uber, Lyft or Sidecar instead.

Read that again. One-third. Twelve months. We tend to throw around the term “disruption” way too often these days, basically stripping it of all meaning. But this is actual disruption. And it’s disruption in such a short amount of time that it can truly be felt by all.

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Michael Wolff:

Those idle words uttered in the cold and rain — “I would pay anything for a cab right now” — turn out to foretell a new business model.

The most recent uproar over Uber surge pricing has been one of the oddest tempest-in-a-teapot situations I’ve ever seen. I understand that some people want to make this into some statement about class or the state of world we live in, but it seems much more straight-forward than that. And the company is being very clear about it.

Felix Salmon:

Essentially, every time you take a cab, your money gets split roughly evenly between the driver and the medallion owner. Which means that when a company like Uber comes along, it can offer lower fares to riders and substantially higher income to drivers — a win for everybody except the medallion owners.

Which, of course, is the way it should be. The medallion racket has existed for far too long.

On Friday, to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (which is actually Saturday, so this is pre-game), if you happen to live in San Francisco, you’ll be able to open the Uber app and request a “fiesta”.

What’s do you get with a “fiesta”, you may wonder? 

Well, you get an SUV Uber that pulls up with a mariachi band that will play you a song, give you a bottle of margarita mix, and give you a stuffed piñata. 

This will cost you $100 via in-app purchase, so choose your time and place wisely.

Yes, this is real.

The only thing stopping this from being the best thing ever is that you’ll have to supply your own tequila. La vida es dura.

Disclosure: CrunchFund is an investor in Uber — mainly because they do things like supply on demand mariachi fiestas for Cinco de Mayo.