From the other side of the world
In the US, most cities have terrible taxi service, with no more than a tiny (if not in fact zero) percentage of vehicles with disabled access, and in most places insisting on cash payments – assuming they show up at all. In New York, there are many fewer cabs than the customers would like, but the street grid simply cannot support more --- which is what led to the absurdly high auction prices for taxi medallions just before the arrival of Uber. And while you can often (if the weather's not too bad or its not rush hour – that is, when you most want a cab) hail a cab on the street in busy parts of Manhattan, it's impossible to do so in the outlying parts of the city. And heaven help you if you, like I do, live in the suburbs around a major city. Then there's at most one taxi company "servicing" your area, and they act with the customer serve orientation of all monopolies — and their vehicles are run-down, poorly maintained, and usually driven by foreign nationals with whom it's sometimes difficult to communicate.
The answer to the complaints about Uber management's practices (which begin at odious and sink from there) is for the regulated taxi companies to band together and offer an app-based taxi call service. If Lyft can do it to, they wouldn't be violating any patents. Yet they are resistant to such changes, because they're used to decades of regulatory protection in a shared monopoly.
Well, tough for them if a more agile and imaginative capitalist or two eats their lunch.
And yes, it was innovative for a firm with capital behind it to use a smartphone app to enable people to find out if there was a car near enough to them to wait for, whether Uber invented that technology or not.I find Mr. Slee rather a pompous fool, and his arguments somewhat less than fact-based.
One final note: each time I've used Uber in the US, I've asked the driver if he or she was happy with the deal. Only one of a dozen or 15 answered in the negative; he was a recent immigrant who had had to have Uber finance a new car purchase to enable him to drive for them, and found the terms oppressive (see "business practices, odious" above). All of the others, new or with a few years' experience with the company, driving several hours a day or only occasionally on weekends or work holidays, were positive. If the drivers in Seattle had grievances, they were right to organize, which gives their negotiations with the company some balance. The drivers around the US I've talked to haven't, with that one egregious exception, seen the need for that kind of leverage.