Here's our "day in the life" video comparing the experiences of driving a taxi and driving for Lyft. You'll see that the drivers comment on many of the issues in the ongoing battle between taxis and ride services: the loss of business for the taxis, the lack of insurance for the ride-service drivers, and how Lyft and Uber have been able to exploit the weaknesses of the taxi industry.
One of the many interesting things about covering this story for a couple of years now is seeing the evolution of attitudes on the part of those on the front lines of the conflict.
To be sure, many cab drivers still despise Uber/Lyft and the part-time workers who have scooped up a substantial portion of their customers by driving their own vehicles, no less. And it’s true that some cab drivers would still rather pick up a drunken, carsick barbershop quartet than try to stake a claim in the “sharing economy.”
But over the past year, many who used to drive taxis have been jumping ship to the upstart companies, leaving their former employers struggling to fill shifts. Obviously, many think they'll get a better deal working on their own. (You'll see in the video that cab drivers start every day in the hole, since they are responsible for renting the cab.)
On the ride-service side, when I talked to a group of Lyft drivers in 2013, just about every one felt like like they’d stumbled upon the greatest part-time job in the world. Good pay -- $25-40 per hour -- plus a cherished ability to literally work whenever they want with absolutely no notice required.