I'm a bit jaundiced by all this app-taxi bashing. My dad was a private hire driver about 25 years ago - and just like all the other drivers he rented the radio from a bloke with an office, a landline and an advertising budget. AFAICR the rental was £400 a month - quite a lot back then. Account work was paid via the office with a deduction for "admin" the rest of the work was, in those days, cash only.
Today, most private hire drivers in the UK work as self-employed - many still rent radios from the minicab firm although apps are being rolled out. Today, most black cab drivers are self-employed and pay a fee to the cab companies, many rent cabs from other self-employed drivers. Account work is paid via the office still with a deduction for "admin" and the rest of the money is still largely cash only although the rise of 4G connected terminals mean a lot of the drivers can now take cards.
All the app-taxi firms have done is automated the middle-man process and payment collection and remittance with new tech. But that's all they've done - it really isn't a revolution, just evolution as tech has evolved. I suspect all the railing against them is driven by people who see their hegemony being flushed down the toilet by the Internet or by people who never knew what the "old" business model was anyway.
When a new so-called "disruptor" comes a long and "disrupts" well, that's just business as it always has been, harsh or not and whether we like it or not. Progress? Maybe, maybe not. Are the firms involved perfect? Possibly not - but then again, who is?