As part of Community Conversations, we’re sharing your answers to this question: Can Uber change Miami car culture?
We asked the following question to readers on social media and the Public Insight Network recently: Can Uber change Miami car culture? Thanks for all of your responses. Below is a sampling of your comments, some of which were edited for length and clarity. Learn more about the Public Insight Network and comment on previous discussions at MiamiHerald.com/community and select Community Conversations.
Uber is magical. You press a button and a friendly person comes within very few minutes in their lovely clean car and whisks you away for a very reasonable price. What’s not to love? I’m over 50, not the typical Uber customer, I would guess, and I love the service and can’t stop singing its praises. It’s here to stay, like it or not. Broward County officials need to accept the inevitable and stop fighting progress.
Patricia Gill, Bal Harbour
Governments at various levels have long regulated car services — presumably for public safety and to ensure professionalism, but this has failed miserably — and kept a firm grip on these near-monopolistic businesses without regard for the customers best interest. Just as the internet and new technologies have allowed for the democratization of information and knowledge, so have new technologies offered innovative solutions for many of life’s needs. Uber is a car service that makes sense and we must move forward to embrace these opportunities, but it’s also a clarion call to reevaluate many old systems that don’t make sense in the modern world, mired in a mess of bureaucratic complexity and inefficient oversight.
Robert Burr, Redland
Uber alone cannot change Miami’s car culture, however the car culture did not happen overnight or with one change either. If our cities, county, region and state want to encourage innovation and attract young professionals, they need to embrace car and bike sharing as a way to attract talent and the newer generations — and also save money on costly road expansion projects.
Alexander Adams, Miami
If the taxi companies cannot move with the times, allow competition and provide better service with consumer ratings per driver, then they should be allowed to die off — like Blockbuster, Kodak and Blackberry all have experienced for not keeping up with technology and what their customers want. Give the people what they want.
Greg Bito, South Miami
Absolutely not. For one, Uber has surge charges when the drivers get busy. This alone negates any chance of Miamians giving up their wheels for Uber. We love our cars too much. Sorry Uber, you are stuck being the sober driver in Miami. Thankfully, we party a lot.
Christopher Corey, Miami
Uber can change elements of the car culture. In its current form, Uber is still a gasoline power vehicle that doesn’t have the high density passenger features of a public bus or train. Yet Uber could serve an important role in a well-done transportation system for the “last mile” travel. However, currently Uber’s effect on changing Miami car culture seems to be muted somewhat by other factors, including poor regional transit design and lack of affordable housing near employment centers or high density population centers.
Kareem Brantley, Miami Beach
The way Uber and other car-sharing companies are set up, they get an unfair advantage over taxis that must have insurance, have limited numbers and have driver and cab inspections. Remove the restrictions on the cabs or add them to Uber to have a fair playing field. That is the way to change the culture.
Alfred Sasiadek, Miami
I think that on a small scale, Uber — or something like it if Uber misses — can make a change in the most densely populated and commercially busy areas. The challenge will be getting enough people to try it and stick with it long enough to know for sure if it saves them money and — maybe more important — the angst of driving in Miami traffic. I doubt it will accomplish anything as sweeping as changing Miami’s car culture on a large scale, at least not for a long time if ever.
Arnold Markowitz, Miami Shores
Uber is a whole new ball game, and it’s reinventing the wheel that is taxi service.
Joe Gato, Miami Beach