We are clearly at a point of great disruption within the taxi cab industry. And the tip of this spear is none other than the device that many of us already have, and soon all of us will have, the smart phone. Even if you don’t plan on picking one up anytime soon, or you don’t like using apps or browsing the web on your smart phone, there are disintermediate solutions, which allow users to send simple text message to initiate an e-hail. By now, for most of us this isn’t breaking news, however, what might not be as obvious is that the old model of cab dispatching, which relies on a home base intermediary to relay information from potential riders to drivers in cars, is gravely threatened by the presence and use of e-hailing apps, where a driver can communicate directly with a potential rider using the application. And what’s more, as it currently exists, most drivers rely on the dispatch center not just for instructions as to where to pick up passengers, but also for the cab they are driving, given that most dispatch operations are also the owners of the cab fleet to which they dispatch information. Most drivers lease cars from the dispatch center, sometimes on a daily rate, sometimes on a weekly rate, and thus, no matter how little or great the demand for private taxis are on a given day, the dispatch owner is guaranteed a steady and predictable cash flow. By combining the leverage of lead generation (centralized dispatch driven business) with the means of production (the cab), the phrase “in complete control” comes to mind when describing the relationship between the dispatch owners and their drivers. However, if you threaten or remove the fact that drivers are wholly dependent on the dispatch center for ride leads, the next domino to fall is the driver’s need to lease a car from that very same dispatcher. The great democratization of the cab industry, though a bit of hyperbole when phrased that way, will be lead by the actions and success of applications that are focused on providing e-hailing solutions. And although it is fair to recognize that many cab drivers for various other mitigating reasons may still see more value in leasing a cab from a “dispatcher’, the truth is that barriers to entry and overhead costs are greatly reduced when apps are introduced into the cab reservation process. There certainly will be more competition in the space and fragmentation of fleets will certainly occur, but this is not to say that the industry as a whole will become more fragmented or decentralized, in fact on the contrary, the new lord of the fiefdom may ultimately turn out to be the owners of the most widely leveraged e-hail application. And that may lead to its own set of anti-competitive practices, but there is no doubt that drivers under this new system would still take home more cash for their efforts and would operate in a more entrepreneurial fashion, which presumably would reward those who work hard and hustle, more equitably than how the system currently operates.