Uber riders may be seeing yellow (cabs)
Mar 24, 2022
Episode 627

Uber riders may be seeing yellow (cabs)

Could they make a comeback?

If you’re in New York City, don’t be surprised if the next time you request an Uber you get picked up in a yellow taxi — Uber has announced plans to team up with cab companies there. We’ll talk about what this might mean for the taxi industry. Plus, you know the housing market is red hot when a Federal Reserve governor is having trouble buying a home. And a staggering new report highlights the rise in alcohol abuse amid the pandemic. Finally, our hosts share some much-needed Make Me Smiles.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Got a question for the hosts? Saw something interesting you want to share? Send it to us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a message at 508-U-B-SMART(508-827-6278).

Make Me Smart March 24, 2022 transcript

Note: Marketplace podcasts are meant to be heard, with emphasis, tone and audio elements a transcript can’t capture. Transcripts are generated using a combination of automated software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting it.

Kimberly Adams: You’ve got birds, I’ve got jets.

Kai Ryssdal: Whatever it is. Whatever it is.

Kimberly Adams: Ambient sound as we say, ambient sounds.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh my goodness. Hey everybody. I’m Kai Ryssdal. Welcome back to Make Me Smart making today makes sense. Good to have you along.

Kimberly Adams: You sound so happy to be here, Kai. Well, I’m Kimberly Adams.

Kai Ryssdal: It’s been a day. Can I just say it’s been a day? That’s it.

Kimberly Adams: Yes. You can say it’s been a day, specifically Thursday, where we do the news fix. Come on. I was trying to be punny. Lift the spirits a bit. No?

Kai Ryssdal: No. Oh, no. Totally went by me. Whatever. I’m gonna, I’m not actually tired. I get well, so here’s the deal. Here’s the deal. Okay. Let me explain what’s going on. Let me come clean. So, number one, as I think I mentioned yesterday, but perhaps not on mic. My oldest son is on a choir trip to Boston, for which the bus left our local high school at three o’clock this morning. Item number one. Item number two is because I am a moron. I scheduled my labs for my upcoming physical for this morning, and I was late to do it. So I couldn’t get the 7:15 time slot, which would have been fine. I couldn’t get in till 9:45, which meant no coffee, no food, excess crankiness. You know, all that stuff. And then it’s just catching up with you through the day. That’s all I’m saying.

Kimberly Adams: That’s totally fair. Totally fair.

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah. Okay. All right. Okay.

Kimberly Adams: Well, I hope your afternoon slash evening improves from here. But to get you out of here more quickly, we’re gonna do news fix some, makes me –  I’m just trying to keep it moving Kai.

Kai Ryssdal: Fair enough, I appreciate that.

Kimberly Adams: Oh, and I’m Kimberly Adams. I don’t think I said that before. Meanwhile, news fix, Make Me Smiles. And then we’re one step closer to the weekend. So Kai, yeah, you go first. Okay.

Kai Ryssdal: I will go first two quick items, one of which is substantive of a kind. And the other one, which is is just kind of anecdotal. We have talked a lot on Marketplace about and we all have had conversations about how hot the housing market is how there’s no affordable housing, how people are getting priced out how millennials are never going to be able to buy – well, younger millennials are never going to be able to buy a home all of those kinds of things. Christopher Waller, one of the newer members of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors gave a speech today, in which he said, “Hell yeah, housing is expensive.” Here’s what Waler said as soon as I can pull it up on my screen. He said, Hang on. Trust me, “I know it’s red hot the housing market because I’m trying to buy a house here in Washington and the market is crazy.” I should say the Federal Reserve governors make like 200 and something $1,000 a year. Low, low two hundreds. So it’s not like he’s making oh, gosh, I don’t know, median wage in this economy. And yes, he’s in a very hot East Coast city. But still, it’s kind of it’s coming home to people. I think it’s coming home.

Kimberly Adams: Every place that goes on the market in my neighborhood has sold, like within a couple a day or two, if not right away. It’s unbelievable.

Kai Ryssdal: And what do you do with that and multiple offers? And it’s over asking, and you’re like, Oh, my God. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Item number two for me. And I just I just think this is interesting, because it tells you how much things are changing and also the way things might be going. So Uber has made a deal with New York City taxi cab companies to list New York City taxi cab companies on its app, which if you know anything about how Uber came into the New York City market, and virtually every other major market in I was gonna say the United States but also the world. There was – were knockdown drag out fights between Taxi Commission’s in New York and San Francisco and every – London everywhere, between Uber and the Taxi Commission, the Taxi Commission saying What the hell are you doing with this app thing and Uber saying your system is broken, ours is better people want what we have deal and basically muscling in on them and Travis Kalanick, the founder and then CEO of Uber was, was sharp elbowed and abrasive, one might say, but he was right that that’s what the market wanted. And now because the New York City taxi system has been clobbered, really by COVID and two years of people not coming so much into the city, there has been a meeting of the minds and Uber’s now gonna list yellow taxis where there’s going to be price discovery up front. And drivers can accept or reject the rides and all those kinds of things. And I’m sure there are many, many, many layers of regulation and bureaucracy to work out. But it’s a change. And I think it will come to other cities as well.

Kimberly Adams: I think it probably already has, I’ve ordered a couple of Ubers recently and been picked up by taxis.

Kai Ryssdal: is that right? In Washington? Wow. Fascinating.

Kimberly Adams: Yes I mean, like, and they’re definitely like taxis with the same like infrastructure and everything and the look on the outside. And it’s just, they’re also doing Uber. But, you know, it kind of is, they’ve, there’s so many of these tech companies that come in, they take over the market, pushing out all the competition for charging prices that maybe were never realistic to begin with. And then they can kind of do whatever they want, especially with pricing, because then they’re very few other options. And, you know, I was just talking to a friend of mine, it’s like Amazon Prime can kick up the price however high they want to, because what are you going to do?

Kai Ryssdal: And they will I mean, it’s like 20 bucks over here anyway. But yes. So you know. Dot com and there’s an app for this. Uber, but for taxis, I guess it’s the deal.

Kimberly Adams: Full circle.

Kai Ryssdal: Anyway, go ahead. What do you what do you what do you got?

Kimberly Adams: Okay, mine is pretty grim, but very important. There was a study out this week from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, showing just really staggering growth in the number of alcohol related deaths in the first year of the pandemic up 25.5% spike over the previous year. And to put that in context, in 2020 more adults under the age of 65 died from alcohol-related factors than died of COVID-19. So as seriously, as we’re taking the pandemic, we need to also be taking very seriously the rise in substance use disorder, alcohol-related concerns, and look, everyone knows I love myself good cocktail. And you know, you enjoy your beers. But it’s it’s just very important to take care of ourselves, take a break when you need to. Mocktails can be delicious. And there are a lot of things available. Like maybe it’s been harder for people to go to like meetings or to get their typical support that they might have usually gotten during the pandemic. But there are also medications you can take, there are other outpatient interventions that you can do. There are a lot of resources available. And we’re going to have some of those on the show page if you’re struggling. And like look, you know, take it easy if you need to. That’s all I’m saying. That’s all I’m saying. All right. Perfect opportunity for a Make Me Smile.

Kai Ryssdal: Okay, I kind of love this one. I’m just gonna dive right in here. I’m a big, I’m a big cured meat guy. And so this one got me right away. Right away. It’s all – it combined space to which I think will appeal to you. So José Andrés, who I think a lot of listeners might know, runs World Central Kitchen does a lot of humanitarian work. He goes to places where there are natural disasters and also manmade disasters. He’s in Eastern Europe now feeding a lot of the people coming out of Ukraine with his organization. He, you know, got his name, obviously, running a bunch of restaurants. And his restaurant company has made a deal with a company out of Houston called Axiom Space Incorporated, which is in the process of building or wants to build the first private space station to create meals that will feed the four person crew headed to the International Space Station as part of that. So among those things that he’s going to put on there is a ibérico ham, which is extremely tasty. I like that. And I would not mind going to space. If I could have some ibérico ham, I would just like to say that. I would just like to say that they’re supposed to launch by the way – ten day missions supposed to launch on after April the third which as soon as like a week and a half or something, which would be cool. So there you go.

Kimberly Adams: Is that a plane?

Kai Ryssdal: It’s a helicopter, this is LA.

Kimberly Adams: Ah, of course. Okay, well, mine is going to get a song stuck in everyone’s head. There’s going to be a Baby Shark movie.

Kai Ryssdal: I hate you. Is there really?

Kimberly Adams: Doo doo doo doo. Yes. So there’s already a Baby Shark TV show. And so now there’s going to be a Baby Shark movie. And there’s a story in the AV Club, which says that not only is there going to be a movie and there is a TV show, but apparently coming up on the TV show they’re about to be special appearances from Cardi B and Offset who are going to appear the upcoming episode of the Baby Sharks. It’s called Baby Shark’s Big Show. And I’m just going to read this. So they’re going to appear as “Sharky B” and “Off Shark” two cool and populous shark rap icons who just released a hit new song called “Seaweed Sway.” Also, the pair’s real life daughter Kulture will appear as a shark named “Kulture Shark.”

Kai Ryssdal: Oh man, you’re pretty pleased with that one aren’t ya? You’re pretty pleased.

Kimberly Adams: I am!

Kai Ryssdal: Good stuff.  Baby shark doo doo doo doo – everybody now.

Kimberly Adams: Doo doo doo doo doo.

Kai Ryssdal: Bridget if you had any guts you would make that the theme going out I’m just telling you to fix it in post. Alright, anyway, we got we got to go back tomorrow Economics on Tap live streaming on YouTube as well. Of course we’ll do Siscord. And we do hope you can join us 3:30 In the afternoon out here on the West Coast 6:30 back East. And it’s good. It’s gonna be a little different. A little different. There’s gonna be a broad theme, if you will.

Kimberly Adams: Yes, yes, we’re gonna have a cherry blossom party. So and as Kai informed me via a very unfortunate weather related tweet. The cherry blossoms are about to be gone in DC because of incoming weather. So celebrate them while they’re here. If you join us for the live stream, you will see all of our themed stuff. And if you listen to the podcast later we will be talking about it and hope you might consider having a themed beverage alcoholic or no. And in the meantime, if you have anything you want to share with us like things that remind you of spring, you can send us an email or a voice memo to makemesmart@marketplace.org. Or leave us a message at 508-UB-SMART.

Kai Ryssdal: Just wait. Make Me Smart is produced by Marissa Cabrera with help from Marque Greene. Today’s episode engineered by Charlton Thorpe.

Kimberly Adams: Bridget Bodnar is the Senior Producer and hopefully a fan of Baby Shark and the director of On Demand is Donna Tam. And by the way, I’m sorry everyone for getting that song stuck in your head. Like sorry, but also not sorry. I’m still very entertained by it.

Kai Ryssdal: There you go, yep.


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The team

Marissa Cabrera Senior Producer
Bridget Bodnar Senior Producer
Tony Wagner Digital Producer
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