Nicholas Stehle is Vice President for Operations at The Martin Organization. When it comes to tech, he knows his stuff. — RDM

by Nicholas Stehle
January 20, 2015

Nicholas StehleFrom Los Angeles to New York, Conservatives love Uber. Why? Oh, that’s easy. Here are seven quick reasons.

1. Uber is market disrupting

Uber is a major market disrupter, and we all know how much conservatives – especially young people – love disrupting markets. Very few things have changed in terms of service and experience in the taxi industry over the decades. For the first time, incumbent taxicab companies have real competition for customers’ business.

Because Uber drivers are owner-operators, anyone can get into the game, and one or two large companies that offer poor service and nearly non-existent dispatch no longer hold entire markets captive.

2. Uber makes clean transportation available to more people

When drivers own their own cars, they keep them cleaner. People tend to be careful with their own property. Riders who trash cars are given bad reviews and won’t be picked up in the future. The net result: I hopped in a Mercedes sedan a few nights ago in Los Angeles, and it was spotless. It had been vacuumed recently. There was no blood or vomit in the floorboard (shock!) and the car even smelled of air fresheners. The free market makes this ride less expensive and more luxurious than the competition.

3. Uber drivers are friendlier – for a reason

Because riders rate their driver at the end of every ride, drivers have every incentive to (a) be friendly and (b) avoid unnecessarily running up fares. Recently one Uber driver missed my hotel’s entrance and had to turnaround. He quickly “ended” the trip, so as to avoid charging me for his mistake. Try getting that out of most any other transportation company. Once again, free market capitalism saves the day and makes the ride more pleasant for the rider.

4. It’s easy to split fares

Uber’s app allows you to easy split the fare between multiple riders. This means it’s easy to save money by splitting rides – even when you don’t have any cash handy. And really, folks: I’m not cheap, but am I the only person who gets tired of always being the guy stuck with the entire cab bill because no one else remembered their cash? I’m sure a check is the mail, but I digress…

5. Hailing a cab is a thing of the past

Few things are worse than standing on the side the road on a cold, rainy night trying to get a cab. Since you request an Uber car electronically via your Smartphone, hailing a cab is ancient history. We conservative men are gentlemen: we don’t like making our ladies wait in the cold or the rain for a ride. With Uber’s app, we simply request a car, track the progress via the app or text/voice with the driver, and step outside when our ride arrives.

6. Uber is cashless

Most people don’t carry large quantities of cash like we used to, and we surely don’t carry denominations suitable for tips. Uber takes care of that by (a) automatically charging your credit card via the app and (b) figuring in the tip automatically. I no longer need to carry hundreds of dollars around in my wallet and hit up expensive fee-based ATM machines to keep moving.

And come on: we’re conservatives. We work for a living. Who has time to hit up the ATM every other day?

7. Pricing is transparent

I like competition. I also like knowing exactly what something is going to cost before I buy it. Call me old fashioned. Call me (gasp) conservative. But gosh, I really detest hopping into a cab, expecting a $20 ride, and getting hit up for $65. You wouldn’t buy a car without knowing the price. Why pay for a ride without a price estimate? Uber gives you the rate based on demand at the time you request your ride. The app even requires you to enter the rate as an acknowledgement of higher demand. This allows people to pay more to get a ride when they really need it – or elect to hold off until demand dies down if the trip wasn’t all that important. This is at the heart of free market capitalism, and it’s one of the reasons conservatives love Uber.


— Nicholas Stehle is Vice President for Operations at The Martin Organization.

UPDATE: Study Shows Uber Drivers Work Fewer Hours and Make More Per Hour Than Taxi Drivers  In case you were wondering if Uber was exploiting labor or some other leftist soundbite.