The Free Market Works, Just Ask Uber & Lyft

February 2, 2015

by Nick Novak
MacIver Institute Director of Communications

If you are anything like me, then you have suffered through the painful experience in many cities that is catching a cab. I’m not sure why it is so difficult, but it is. And if you have only had good experiences with cabs, I for one am jealous.

Whether you were traveling for work to a different city or you were catching a ride home after having a few drinks with friends, cabs were your only option for decades. In New York City, in fact, it is sometimes hard to find a vehicle in traffic that is not bright yellow.

But, just because someone has the monopoly on an industry – sometimes by law – that does not mean they provide great service.

A personal case in point? Hailing a cab in Washington, D.C. is nearly impossible and calling one to pick you up doesn’t guarantee it will actually happen, either. On a trip to D.C. about a year ago, I tried to take a cab to a meeting. After an eternal wait and no cab, one of my colleagues suggested Uber.

He quickly signed up on his phone, got some free credits toward his first ride and we hailed a car. The app told us the driver’s name and what kind of car to expect. Within minutes, we were picked up and on our way.

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