If you haven’t heard of Uber, the on-demand private driver service, then I have no doubt you will soon. Uber is a mobile-based private sedan service that was originally launched in San Francisco. It is a direct competitor to taxi-cabs, and a much more efficient and smoothly-run company with nice sedan cars awating your service. You book all the trips via their smartphone app, and you pay via the app thus not having to worry about the hassle of paying the driver with cash and/or fighting over getting him/her to accept your credit card ( I have done this many times). Uber has been very well-received in the markets they have launched, and they definitely appeal to the Gen-Y/Digital Native generation who are fed up with crappy taxi cabs who may or may not be on time and may or may not try to haggle with you over payment once the ride is completed.
That all being said, the city of Washington DC this week tried to impose legislation to essentially shut Uber out of servicing their market in the DC market. The council people were trying to impose a “minimum fare” on Uber rides that was 5 times as high as the minimum fair for their taxi-cabs. I am no math genius, but I know that those numbers make it basically impossible for anyone to compete with the taxi-cabs.
The council was set to vote, but an overwhelming number of people contacted the council people expressing rage and frustration at this almost socialist type action in our nation’s capital. The council has decided to postpone the vote until the Fall, but this whole scenario raises a very scary situation about the state of our country which was founded and keeps dominating the world market by our entrepreneurial spirit.
The whole situation is obviously very political, but I just wanted to draw your attention to this situation. If this legislation were to pass, it could be very detrimental for other similar start-ups around the country. If someone figures out a way to do something (anything-not just car services) better than another person/company, then they should be rewarded by the marketplace and drive the inferior competitor to step their game UP or go out of business.
Cheers to Uber and everyone who rattled the cages of the council people in DC. This should never stand nor be tolerated on any level in our country.