Driver-Owned Taxi Cooperatives
"While the struggle between taxi companies and ridesharing startups like Uber grab all the headlines, a pioneering group of cabbies are combining the best of traditional taxi service and new ridesharing systems, but with an important twist. These cabbies are creating cabby-owned taxi cooperatives, sometimes with the help of unions, and offering smartphone taxi hailing on top of a traditional service. This new setup gives drivers more job security, better pay, ownership of and a say in their company as well as the ability to offer more convenient smartphone hailing taxi service to customers. This is part of a surge of experimentation in democratizing ownership in enterprises." (http://www.shareable.net/blog/cabby-owned-taxi-cooperatives-on-the-rise)
"In 2007, Denver taxi drivers joined Communications Workers of America Local 7777. In 2009, they launched the city’s first taxi driver-owned worker’s cooperative: Union Taxi. Five years down the road, a new bunch taxi drivers, tired of the high cab leasing fees and poor working conditions at traditional cab companies, started clamoring to organize another cooperative in Denver. They joined CWA Local 7777 and are in the process of launching a new worker-led company." (http://www.shareable.net/blog/cabby-owned-taxi-cooperatives-on-the-rise)
Kyle Harris interviews Lisa Bolton, president of CWA Local 7777, "who is helping to organize the second cabby-owned taxi cooperative in Denver, Colorado".:
* What are the benefits of a driver-owned cooperative?
In a co-op, for one, everybody has a vote: one worker, one vote. You get a say-so in the business. You get a say-so in who your boss is by electing them. You get a say-so in the day-to-day business operations, if it's in your bylaws as things you have to have a vote on. Also, there are times you're obviously going to let the board of directors take care of a lot of the business operations, but there are things that they have to pass votes on. By far, the biggest advantage was the lease rate. It was cut by two-thirds almost, at least. So they were working less hours, which gives them more time at home. They were taking home a lot more of their money that they were making, and everybody was contributing the same amount to the business.
* How do you think that impacts consumers?
Well, personally, I think that it helps consumers because: 1) The drivers are going to be very safe because they're working less hours; 2) They're going to be invested in customer service because they know it's not just “I'm working for another company. It doesn't matter. It's that every customer that I lose is going to effect my business, because I'm part owner.” And there is the pride of having your own piece of a company." (http://www.shareable.net/blog/cabby-owned-taxi-cooperatives-on-the-rise)