The following comments were posted on http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/sorry-uber-los-angeles-has-been-banning-ride-shares-fo-574851806 and the author endorsed my comments for their smart responses to the idiots.
Transportation is regulated to provide equally accessible, safe and fairly priced transportation. Taxis are a service to the public good and regulating them insures that they remain that way. When you deregulate the transportation industry (especially taxis) it leads to worse, more expensive and more dangerous service. Without taxis grandma would be left at the dialysis clinic and cancer patients wouldn’t get free rides home after treatment. Business has been regulated for hundreds of years starting with Constantinople.
We live in a free country but part of maintaining the free we have rules to follow to insure that there is a level playing field for everyone that wants to participate.
Lyft Sidecar and UberX exploit their drivers worse than even the most corrupt cab company. They are running cab companies without paying for licensing, insurance, vehicle maintenance, workers comp, ADA accessible vehicles and all while relying on a non-professional, untrained driver.
These companies represent the arrogance and ignorance of their user base and will most assuredly be shut down or forced to comply with existing regulations.
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck does that make it anything other than a duck? I think not. 6/25/13 7:40pm
In most cities in the US the taxi system is a supplement to bus routes. It is deemed a public good by the cities issuing the taxi permits. I agree that taxi companies are for profit corporations, however in almost every city in the US the taxi company makes their money not on the customers getting in the cabs but from the drivers paying their gate fees. Taxi companies don’t care if you get picked up or not in big cities because they make the same money everyday as long as all the cabs are leased out. The taxi business as a whole is a vehicle/permit leasing business. The drivers on the other hand are the ones that make the money from your fare. If this model were to change to an employee rather than independent contractor model the business would improve vastly as the taxi companies would have profit incentive to make sure the drivers were providing good service. This is why Las Vegas has such excellent taxi service. There the drivers pay a percentage of the meter to the cab company rather than paying a lease fee. Some smaller cab companies actually pay minimum wage on top of the percentage the drivers get to keep.
In NYC all the cabs are required by law to be yellow and there are over 100 individual taxi companies, so if one were to go under the medallions (permits) would be sold or transferred to one of the other 99+ cab companies. So you are partially right that no one would step in. However if all the cabs were under one company and it failed the city would most assuredly step in to make sure that the taxis stayed on the road as they are an essential part of the public transportation network.
If these so called ride sharing companies actually required the driver to input a destination before matching them with a rider travelling on the same route then no one would have a problem with them. But acting as a defacto taxi and giving incentives to drivers to “work” high taxi demand hours and areas is not socially, environmentally or economically responsible no matter how you slice it.
The transportation business is a free market and like any free market you are required to follow rules when accepting payments from the public for goods or services. This has been the case since the time of Constantinople and nearly 2000 years of experience does not get trumped by some a-hole with an app who is calling it “sharing” because that’s the newest buzz word.
I have been in the taxi industry since 2007 and have been studying it since 1998. I definitely know what I am talking about and am a contributor to the policies guiding the taxi industry in San Francisco.
There is no two ways about it. Lyft, Sidecar, UberX and InstantCab all need to be shut down before someone gets killed. A real ridesharing app is available in almost every major city in the US and, especially in the case of Avego, the entire western world. Yesterday 5:30pm