Uber’s Growing Pains in Los Angeles

Posted on May 14, 2013 by

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A recent report illustrates some of the growing pains the fast-rising ride share technology company has been encountering. According to pandodaily.com, an upset Uber driver showed up at the company’s Santa Monica office space CoLoft, and was escorted out of the building and told “you are forbidden from coming in here.”

The incident follows Uber’s recent move to stop holding driver meetings at the company’s Los Angeles headquarters location because of the overwhelming number of cars that would flood the CoLoft parking lot, which is a commercial building housing more than 100 other small business entrepreneurs.

Uber Los Angeles now holds its meetings at offsite locations, but the incident harkens back to a similar event that occurred in San Francisco, where a group of current and former Uber drivers gathered outside the main office there to hold a protest over what they said were unfair practices and treatment from the company.

Uber has held its Los Angeles branch for over a year and is relocating its offices there in June. The company is receiving very large valuations, reportedly near the $1 billion mark, and growing its number of drivers as they spread into new locations.

As being new to the industry, I’m learning the quality of service that limo operators take pride in begins with the chauffeur, as it is the human contact and a reflection of the company’s commitment to exceeding the expectations of the client when it comes to customer service.

And whether it is a limo operator who employs chauffeurs full-time, or a new startup transportation company that coordinates with independent drivers, the relationship must be strong so that the chauffeurs create a great traveling experience to the client.

If your chauffeurs are not happy, it’s likely your clients will not be. As new app-driven transportation hits the mainstream, such as Uber, Lyft, and others, I’ll be testing them out and writing about them here on the LCT Blog. You also can find a lot of info about new technologies influencing this industy on the LCT Fast 40 Facebook page, which is geared toward operators who are under 40 years old, and how new technological innovations are shaping the industry.

— Tim Crowley, LCT senior editor

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