Uber, Rideshare and Lyft are filling a void the taxi industry has left wide open – that of consumer choice.

These services are all part of the growing “sharing economy,” a socioeconomic system built around the sharing of human and physical resources. They’ve caught onto the way to do business in the 21st century.

Securing a cab often involves waiting long periods of time, long taxi lines or even fights.

Taxis – and drivers – come in various shapes, languages, sizes and smells. There are certainly excellent cab companies with excellent drivers, dispatch, radios and more, but those are the exceptions. The majority of people believe taxi drivers couldn’t care less about their passengers.

Technology has delivered new ideas and new ways to do old things. The cab industry is a prime example of technology passing tradition by.

The consumer choice that’s granted by services like Uber or Lyft empowers you, the customer. You’re given the chance to rate your driver, know when your ride is on its way, contact the person who’ll carry your life in his or her hands. That’s not to mention bonuses like complimentary bottles of water in the car, and cashless payments.

Instead of fighting innovation and embracing mediocrity, perhaps the taxi industry should work to keep in step with the new age of getting around. Some areas already have – here in San Diego, a growing number of taxi drivers also work for Uber to get the best of both worlds.

In countless forms, technology continues to make our lives better and more efficient. As a consumer, ridesharing services give me a choice. Local government and territorial cab companies shouldn’t be able to take that away.

Jim Madaffer is a serial tech geek and a former member of the San Diego City Council. He currently serves on several public boards and commissions. Madaffer’s commentary has been edited for clarity. See anything in there we should fact check? Tell us what to check out here. Want to respond? Submit a commentary.

Catherine Green

Catherine Green was formerly the deputy editor at Voice of San Diego. She handled daily operations while helping to plan new long-term projects.

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