From an editorial Wednesday in The Orange County Register:
If you have noticed that your taxi ride has become more pleasant and your driver more polite over the past couple of years, you’re not alone. A 2015 study by the Technology Policy Institute’s Scott Wallsten helps to explain why: competition from ride-booking services.
Though traditional taxis’ strategy has been to use the power of government to prevent drivers and customers from using services like Uber and Lyft, the competition these services have introduced has forced taxis to make changes in their own service.
Wallsten’s study of taxi complaints in New York City and Chicago before and after Uber’s entry into the market shows “that the number of complaints per taxi trip in New York City has declined along with the growth of Uber, even when controlling for underlying trends and seasonal events that may affect taxi use.”
Note that even those who do not use services like Uber and Lyft benefit from the higher-quality taxi rides their competition fosters. This is all the more reason for government to take a hands-off approach to regulation, and allow companies to innovate and best serve their customers.