This is the story in a four part series, reported and published with the Houston Chronicle, which examines the impact of Uber, the application based ride hailing service, on Americas 4th largest city. Read parts one and two and 4.
At Bush Intercontinental Airport, Salvador Oshiro used to wait an average of 3 hours between clients wanting a ride into town. The longtime taxi cab driver passed the time chatting, weight lifting, watching television and queuing for two fetid toilets in the huge concrete shells of the taxi cab staging area, once a repair hangar for airport vehicles.
The intervals were longer in the summer, when many businessmen took vacation and the unforgiving sun made taffy of the day. However this year, with Uber at full steam, his wait at Bush International was worse than ever before! four or five hours to pick up a fare.
Oshiro was a taxi driver at Bush since 2009, when he arrived in Houston after 2 decades doing this work in LA. He owns his taxi cab, but leases the permit giving him the right to drive. Until early this year, he drove about 66 hours a week and earned $30, 000 a year after taxes and expenses. Find out what is Uber Clone Script.
The calculator in his head, continuously subtracting for gas and lease and insurance, spit out smaller and smaller numbers. His income dropped 30 percent. He extended his driving day to 15 hours and worked the hell out of downtown and the airport. Everywhere, it seemed, late model vehicles stamped with a big U, lit up by a dash panel iPhone, were snatching fares.
One day, Oshiro looked at his wifes SUV and thought that he, too, could try Uber. Since he was already a registered, licensed cab driver, his application process went rapidly, and he was soon spent weekdays in the cab and weekends logging on to the Uber app.
Although the latter pays just $1.10 per mile, half the taxi cab rate, Uber gives you more clients, all of these clients that used to take taxis. I was at the airport yesterday and did only two trips, Oshiro, who asked to use a pseudonym for fear of retaliation by the corporation, said in July. Every trip, I waited five hours. But with Uber, I went to the airport and waited ten minutes. Houston along with other major cities have long debated how best to manage vehicles for hire.