The Tribune will, each year will select someone who’s had the most significant impact on passenger ground and sea transportation and the taxi limousine industry in particular. This year–our first year of publishing, we have selected UBER who is, either for good or ill, had the most significant impact on the taxi and limousine industry throughout the preceding decade.

The company is best known for its controversial practice of hiring people who were not professional taxi drivers but ordinary folks such as students with a need for supplementary income in a gig economy to drive the public around within a regulated industry.

They barged into a highly regulated industry with little or no regard for local laws and regulations such as undercutting taxi fares that are set by government regulators and recruiting as many private car owners in the face of a cap on the number of taxi licenses issued and had no training whatsoever.

Owing to the cheaper fares and the swift response times that Uber offered the public outside of government regulations, their popularity with the public shot through the roof at the extreme expense of law-abiding cab drivers who were simply not permitted to respond to the new competition.

Governments fawned everywhere with drivers complaining that governments were making them “lose their shirts”.

Ridesharing is undoubtedly a new concept of taxi service in general, particularly when taxis are in extremely short supply, and has a valuable role to play.

Uber has undoubtedly shaken the taxi industry to its core and already led to overall improvements in customer service and governments are now rethinking their overall legislative programs such as Quebec’s bill 17.

There is little doubt that thanks to Uber the industry will never be the same again.