What once seemed like a war is now more like a partnership. Cab companies across the U.S have waged war for long against giant transport companies like Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. as they were losing customers to them.
This was a war they were bound to lose from the ending and they eventually did. They aren’t giving up though as they have adopted the style of these giant companies in order to compete against them.
One example is the Pittsburgh Yellow Cab who have taken the initiative and rebranded their company to zTrip. The company followed that up by launching their own mobile app and offering other services. The company has gone a step further to accept payment by cash or credit card. Their cabs can be called on the street or can be scheduled online. In order to attract more customers, the company refused to adopt Uber’s controversial surge pricing during peak periods. The president of the company Jamie Campolongo stated that “The pie’s bigger, so why not get over in that segment?”
Campolongo has been able to achieve that largely due to the regulatory changes the ride-sharing companies championed. The two giants Uber and Lyft have so far spent millions of dollars across the 50 states in order to get the approval of their web and mobile-based business plans. This has allowed them to bypass the numerous regulations put in place by cab companies. Some of these regulations include background checks with fingerprinting and requirements to carry commercial insurance.
This move has changed the market entirely as the number of independent Uber and Lyft contractors have increased by 174% over the past five years, a figure that has dwarfed the 21% recorded by cab drivers during the same time frame. Giants Uber and Lyft have driven some cab companies to bankruptcy as they have almost taken over the taxi business.
Currently, ZTrip has deployed over 300 of its cabs out along with 126 independent contractors to be used by ferry football fans across the country. They stated that “We would have never had 426 cars on the road. The ebb and flow of this business allow the company to kind of expand and contract.”