The first time I heard of Uber I was overjoyed. I’ve felt for a while that the taxi system is long overdue for an upgrade and that the tools are certainly here to make it happen. I’ve even had a few taxi-related ideas penned down in my idea-notebook that I could now retire thanks to Uber. But at the same time I was not sure how well the service would stack up to all the hype and I wanted to try it out for myself before writing anything about it. I also “knew” that this might take some time as it would take close to forever for Uber to ever reach Sweden. Why would they? It’s a tiny market where at least a few competitors work reasonably well.
But now they’re here! They’re only in “soft beta”, but I have completed half a dozen or so Uber-trips in Stockholm and let me tell you – I’m not going back to Taxi Stockholm after this.
Not that there is anything wrong with Taxi Stockholm. In fact, they have up until now been the far superior brand of taxi in this city. I never ride anything else and my company has a non-exclusive contract with them that might as well have been exclusive. We never ride anything else. Until now.
Uber’s cars are far superior with their Mercedes S-Class cars topping the list. The drivers deliver a completely different level of service – you can think of the difference as the difference between a good fast food experience and a good restaurant experience. (There is nothing wrong with fast food… but it’s fast food). Not to mention the nice feel of never handling money or credit cards in the car.
The Uber app is also superior to the Taxi Stockholm app with real time maps showing the whereabouts of the cars, pics and ratings of the driver, make & color of the car picking you up, maps of your route (something that those afraid of going by taxi late at night for example will love) and just an overall more attractive experience.
Taxi Stockholm still has two or possibly three advantages:
1. You can pre-order Taxi Stockholm. Not so with Uber. Yet.
2. There are more Taxi Stockholm cars out there. This hasn’t been a problem for me now that we’ve been so few customers in the Uber beta phase, but could possibly become a problem if the service doesn’t scale fast enough.
3. Uber and Taxi Stockholm prices are still similar. I’m not sure if this will change after launch, but if it does it will keep Taxi Stockholm in the game.
But overall – I’m sold. Good bye Taxi Stockholm, hello Uber.
This blog is written by Walter Naeslund and has been around since 2007. The blog is about the journey of starting an advertising agency and a sneak peek behind the scenes of what goes on at the Honesty HQ in SoFo, Södermalm. It is also a blog about communication & technology. The blog has gathered almost a thousand posts over the years with several longer and shorter breaks. Welcome and enjoy.