Uber and other car sharing and ride sharing startups have grown quickly as alternatives for urban transportation that are enabled by mobile technology.
Regulators and taxi companies have sought to limit Uber’s service that can call yellow cab taxis. Uber meanwhile, has sought to bring its tech-focused service to new cities, many of which have long histories of taxi medallion systems that are tightly controlled and regulated. New York City has said it cannot support Uber because it has contracts with other payments providers. Uber’s service includes payments through stored credit cards so that users do not have to pull out a credit card to pay.
Uber has grown quickly as a service for people to find a black car service by pressing a button on the mobile app. Using GPS in the drivers’ phones, riders can see the car that is driving to pick them up and see exactly where the car is.
Uber, which has raised close to $50 million from Menlo Ventures, First Round Capital, Benchmark Capital and others, has also battled with regulators in other cities, including Boston and Washington, D.C. The service has come under fire by regulators and taxi companies who have tried to regulate the service.
Meanwhile, UberTaxi is still available in Toronto and Boston.