What's more popular in Taiwan Uber or Lyft?

0
Leave a Comment (0)
1 Answer

I've never seen a Lyft in Taiwan, but when Uber showed up about five years ago, it was a godsend. Taxi drivers in Taipei had really gotten complacent, never improving their service in the least bit.

Getting into a taxi in Taipei is to open the door and be greeted with a whiff of cigarette smoke, betel nut, and moist old car smell. Then when you sit in the back seat, the driver will ask you where you're going. Then he will ask you how to get there. One in three drivers will be using a GPS or Google maps on a smart phone. I guess you can't teach old dogs new tricks.

Then the driver might ask if you prefer to take the highway or the back streets, in which I always say: "I have no idea, I just want to get there."

Oftentimes I'll only have a 1000 NTD bill and the trip is under 200 NTD. So the driver will tell me he has no change, and send me to a 7-Eleven to get change. So it's my fault that the driver has no change.

When Uber showed up in Taipei, it was such an incredible experience. During the first months, the drivers were shy and nervous, and felt like they had to chat with the passengers. Now they are extremely professional. I just open the door, get in the car and space out. Ten to fifteen minutes later I arrive at my destination. No chit chat on how to get to where I'm going, no old car and cigarettes smell. No running to the store to buy a water to make change for the driver.

Uber had a bumpy start in Taiwan. They were accused of avoiding taxes and sidestepping other laws. It seems they've worked it out for the time being. Most people would be very upset if they took away our precious Uber again.

If Lyft comes to Taiwan, it would be welcome competition to drive prices down and improve service even more. I hope it happens. But as I know, it was a bureaucratic nightmare for Uber to function in Taiwan, and I'm not sure the guys at Lyft have the stomach for it.

0
Leave a Comment (0)