I have mixed feelings about this. First, I've been driving for Uber and Lyft for several months to help pay my bills. As far as I'm concerned, they are the absolute BEST "home-based business opportunity" in America today! It costs nothing to get started with them as long as you have a car that meets their criteria and is in good repair. (Well, it'll cost you $20 for a vehicle inspection.) They take 20% off the top and pay you weekly via direct deposit. You can work whenever you want, for as long as you want, wherever you want (ie., they don't typically limit you beyond the state, except in the NE).
I also drove with the local taxi company for 2 days before I realized it was a great way to lose my shirt (among other things). It's hard to have pity on the cab companies when most of their drivers aren't even pulling down minimum wage driving 70+ hours a week. The biggie here is a privately-held company and they don't report their profits publicly, but I can assure you they're every bit as profitable as Uber AND every bit as ruthless when it comes to screwing their drivers.
The biggest difference between a cab company and Uber is that the cab company has to invest millions of dollars to double the number of cars they have on the road, while Uber simply needs to recruit more drivers -- which is minimal cost outlay on their part. They have been creating trouble for themselves lately by cutting fares needlessly in markets where they could have easily raised them (like sun-belt cities in the winter that benefit from huge surges of snow-birds). This has angered drivers and many have just refused to drive until the fares go back up (if they ever do).
Also, while cab companies have had decades to work on improving their customer service, create efficiencies in their business model, and generally evolve beyond the same rut they've been in for 50 years, they haven't done much more than the minimum needed to keep things running. Barely.
They love to complain that ridesharing companies are stealing their business, but 9 out of 10 of my riders say you couldn't pay them to take a regular taxi. Women especially hate taking them because there are so many foreign men from Islamic countries who have horrible attitudes towards women and they don't realize how condescending and threatening they come across to typical American women (at least in my neck of the woods).
Before Uber, people's choices when going out drinking were: (1) stay home and invite their friends over instead; (2) get a friend to drive them; (3) drive themselves and risk a DUI.
After Uber/Lyft, they have a fourth choice: (4) take Uber/Lyft!
Where is "call a cab" in that mix? Most of my riders say, "forgetaboutit!" It was never an option except in "emergencies" when they had no other choices. Cabbies and cab companies are slitting their own throats with their horrible customer service and attitudes. They have no one to blame but themselves, IMHO.
That said, I agree with a couple of earlier comments. By 2030, private vehicle ownership will be waning, as the majority of trips will be provided by driverless vehicles owned by others (my favorite target for this ownership is municipalities, but that remains to be seen).
In the mean time, ridesharing services are disrupting the personal transportation arena in the same way that automation has been and continues to replace factory workers. Yes, this is a "social impact", but it's part of a larger trend to replace unskilled jobs with automation.
In the short term, ridesharing companies are providing a refuge for unemployed and under-employed people who are having a challenging time finding work in their own fields.