„Uber does not contribute anything new“
“The Swedish taxi industry is unique”, says Claudio Skubla from the Swedish taxi association in our guest-comment.
„The Swedish taxi industry is unique. Unlike how it looks and works in other countries of the world. There is free competition and the right of establishment since 1990, when it was deregulated. This has resulted in a sharp increase in the number of taxi vehicles and focus on service and on technology development. ‘Taxi please hold’, as the taxi dispatchers used to say, is a long-forgotten joke.
Therefore, it is quite understandable that Uber and its supporters constantly choose to describe how the taxi industry looks like in other countries where it is tightly regulated, the service lousy and technology neglected. In Sweden Uber does not contribute with any technical change to speak of. This has already been done.
Übers main contribution to the Swedish taxi industry is that they have shown very clearly that there is a hole in the market to be filled by offering the urban elite elegant, discreet vehicles, well-dressed drivers and an air of exclusivity. But from a technical perspective Uber is just another player on a free and deregulated market, offering its clients a similar app technology to that already used by the established taxi companies in major cities.
The Swedish Taxi Association has not got anything against the company Uber itself, its technology or its elegant cars. Our objection to Uber has a bearing on the issues Swedish Taxi Association has been working on for …