It's all about the money.......
I posted this on another Uber thread, reposted here for thoughts.
By far and away the biggest single removable cost item from cabbing (be it Black Cabs, Uberites or Mini Cabs) is the driver.
If you take some conservative numbers.....
Let's say London has 105,700 cabbies in total.
40,000 Uber (Ubers own numbers)
21,000 Black Cabs (TfL Numbers)
84,700 Licenced Cab Drivers 2015 (Govt report linked below) subtract the 40,000 Uber = 44,700 (non Uber)
The 'average' London Black Cab makes around £40-50,000pa after tax and costs. Let's take the lower figure of £40,000 and multiply by number of cabs 21,000 = £840m pa. The tax revenue from that is probably in the order of another £400m pa (Income Tax, VAT, Petrol Taxes).
There's no firm number for Mini Cabs and Uberites, but let's say they make £25,000 per year after expenses and Tax. £25,000 x 84,700 = £2.12Bn the tax revenue from that as per above is say £1bn.
I realise these numbers are highly subjective and we've all seen the stories of Black cabbies making £90k per year etc....for the purposes of this lets keep number conservative.
So there's about £3bn of removable costs and the consequential loss of a further about £1bn tax revenues.
If anyone thinks that Uber isn't trying to dominate the market now, to ensure they get the lions share of £4bn a year flowing to their San Francisco base, while only paying a tiny amount of Corporation Tax, you're not really paying attention.
This is just one (admittedly big global) city. Worldwide we're probably talking 10-20m drivers who could be replaced by driverless cars.
If they pull it off the $70bn valuation will look cheap.