Monday, January 15, 2018


The comments on this Ask a Manager post, from someone who was uncomfortable using Uber/Lyft and preferred taxis, ended up going into four digits. Most of them were anti-taxi.

I've mentioned quite a few times that I am not exactly an early adopter of anything, so it probably won't surprise the reader to hear that I come down on the  side of using taxis. But hear me out.

For a while, I lived in the downtown core of East Coast Big City and also did quite a bit of long-distance travel to other cities.

To start my trip, I'd call the taxi company, have a 20 second conversation with dispatch: "It's Short Geologist. I need a taxi at (my address) at 6AM tomorrow. Going to the train/airport... yes, you can use this number as the contact number" and that would be it. The only problem was that the taxi was invariably 10 minutes early and the dude (it was always a dude) would be impatient. I said 6AM, and I meant 6AM, damn it! There were a million taxi companies I could call, but the first one I ever called was fine and so I never tried a different one.

I'd arrive at my destination city and there would be a long line of taxis at the cab stand for the airport/train station, and I'd walk up and just get in.

I stayed at a hotel close to where I was working, so I'd just walk (or take public transit) during the week - no need for a taxi or ride-sharing.

At the end of the week, I'd go back to the hotel, ask the front desk to call me a taxi, and head home. Go to the cab stand at the train station/airport and get home within 15 minutes (it helped that I was always getting back long after rush hour).

I get that flagging down a random taxi can be uncomfortable, but that's never anything I had to do for work travel. And in my years of living in the city, I ended up using a taxi that way only a handful of time (coming home from a bar across the city) because we usually either walked everywhere or drove to a friend's place where we had an "in" for visitor parking.

I don't have any particular animus against ride-sharing, but I never saw the point of it for myself.

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