People were convinced that Uber was cheaper than a "taxi" because....... app. They are, but the company doesn't make any money so calling them a disruptor is a joke. Taxi companies/drivers charge the rates they do so they make a fair wage, pay the real costs of maintaining the car and can put money aside for a replacement vehicle down the road. There is also that bit about a passenger carry endorsement and commercial insurance.
I think Uber could have used their software to convince established taxi companies to hire them for dispatching. If Uber couldn't make money that, they would have to seriously rethink their business plan. I have to agree with comments above that they may have dug too deep a hole to ever get out.