A third of Denver’s taxi drivers have joined Green Taxi Cooperative to fight Uber

A taxi light, edited for effect. (GörlitzPhotography/Flickr)
A taxi light, edited for effect. (GörlitzPhotography/Flickr)
A taxi light, edited for effect. (GörlitzPhotography/Flickr)

Green Taxi Cooperative officially opened on July 1. The Denver company now has 800 members, who are also owners of the company, The Nation reports.

It’s one of a new crop of taxi co-ops around the world. Drivers pay $2,000 to become member-owners, which may give them a better share of their own profits than a typical taxi company or Uber would, according to writer Nathan Schneider:

They hope that without bosses skimming profits they’ll be able to take home enough to make driving a decent livelihood in the age of apps—with an app of their own. They’re wagering they can fight automation with democracy and shared ownership.

Schneider reports that about 150 of those 800 members are actually driving now, while the rest are waiting to see how it works out.

The company’s website claims it takes only a “fraction” of its drivers’ profits, compared to the big companies. (DBJ also has some details on the group.)

However, they may face a big challenge with the potential change to how Denver International Airport handles its taxi services. The co-op, and other companies, could lose out on lucrative business if the airport clamps down on who is allowed to pick up passengers. The Nation’s piece says that “rumors are flying about an insider deal.”

We’ll see. Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see if this new company and its app (which I can’t seem to find on the Apple app store yet) can survive Uber and Lyft.

Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email akenney@denverite.com.