Your government at work
We used Uber quite a bit in Miami last week, and found them to be useful, efficient and convenient. What they aren’t is accepted by the establishment.
The police will watch the Uber app to see when a Uber car is going to the airport, then cite the driver because the company is not certified to drop off or pick up passengers. The local taxi companies, who wield tremendous political power, are understandably opposed to the upstart encroaching on their territory.
When we go to Orlando, I saw yet another example of the way this game is being played. Here is a sign posted on the baggage carousel:
See how it begins? “For your Safety”. This is an economic argument, but they want to frame it as a safety issue to frighten potential passengers away. Big notice that the new guys DO NOT meet permitting rules (which don’t have much to do with safety, and everything to do with bureaucracy) and a final threat to YOUR SAFETY.
Uber (and competitor Lyft) are trying to get legal in Orlando, but the current taxi operator, working through the city government, is pushing for a rule requiring them to charge a minimum of 125% of the standard taxi fare. If you can’t beat ’em, legislate ’em to death.
The new mode of transportation has a ton of advantages over the old, and probably some disadvantages. I’d like to see the issue settled fairly in the court of public opinion, not in the smoky backrooms of old school politics. It’s interesting that the supposedly pro-business right wing is the one trying to put an end to business innovation while the theoretically anti-business left is in favor of the new ways. Looks like once again, money trumps philosophy.