Hail, Boston: The Uber vs Taxi Livery War Is Changing the Industry

As Uber digs ever deeper into taxi territory, Boston’s simmering livery war comes to a boil.


The city’s taxi battle is about to go into overdrive. In May, taxi drivers protested outside Uber Technologies’ headquarters near South Station, claiming that because Uber’s drivers weren’t as heavily regulated, they had distinct economic advantages. A couple of weeks later, the Cambridge License Commission held a hearing to determine whether the city should impose stricter regulations on the Uber-kinds (a decision was delayed pending further review). Then in June, a Boston labor lawyer filed a suit against Uber, claiming that it classifies its drivers as contract workers to avoid offering health benefits, and is illegally withholding a portion of their gratuities.

“You have one industry that is highly regulated that has established rates,” says Boston Taxi Drivers Association spokesperson Donna Blythe-Shaw, “and another industry that has saturated the streets of Boston with unlicensed, unregulated vehicles—illegal vehicles—that determine whatever the rate is based on the day and time or whatever they feel like.”

Whatever the rhetoric, who’s really being affected by the rise of app-based liveries? “At the end of the day, it’s the big taxi industry that’s slinging the mud,” Uber spokesman Taylor Bennett says.

In truth, there’s no such thing as an indie taxi company in Boston. When City Hall limited the number of medallions, it effectively squeezed out the moms and pops. Now a handful of people, like Boston Cab’s Edward Tutunjian, have cornered the medallion market, driving the cost of individual livery licenses up to as much as $700,000. In fact, most of Boston’s taxi drivers have to shell out approximately $110 a day to rent their cars and medallions.

Uber reps maintain they’re simply offering drivers—and consumers—more options. According to Uber, there’s no cost to become a partner driver, aside from maintaining and owning your own vehicle. And they claim that drivers earn up to 80 percent of every ride.

From a consumer standpoint, app-based services are more convenient (sure beats getting soaked trying to hail a cab in a downpour) and generally offer a better customer experience than taxis do (thanks to instant ratings, newer cars, and mercifully fewer olfactory enhancements). “Uber is changing the industry,” Bennett says. “Anytime you go in and disrupt the landscape like that, it ruffles the feathers of the entrenched industry that has been unchanged and uninnovative for the past 30 to 40 years.”

So why doesn’t the taxi industry develop its own universal phone-based app and clean up its act a bit? “All we’re saying is either regulate the whole industry, or have a free-for-all out there and see what happens,” Blythe-Shaw says.

  • Michael Simon

    I’m a taxi medallion owner who has paid top dollar for the rights that Uber wants to have without costs, it’s a scandal for local governments to regulate a taxi service and then let an unregulated service do exacting what the regulated service is doing without costs while the traditional taxis pay for their rights.
    Taxis win in a city that has the old fashion hail, there is nothing like it, Uber technology might be new, but the old technology that signals a cab by the waving of one’s hand is far better and more efficient. I have seen many times on the streets a potential passenger looking at their phone trying to decide which is better ,to ehail or hail a cab the traditional way ,and each time I stood and watched , the potential passenger always ended hailing the traditional way because it was quicker and the price is a constant . Uber will lose, the traditional taxi hail is the winner here, Uber has not played by the rules and eventually the public and governments that don’t recognize an illegal intruder will at some point, and the company will fail

    • cymrojim

      I’m sorry, but this is nonsense. You think standing in the street in the rain/cold waving your hand to try and attract the attention of a taxi driver who can decide they don’t want to take you to your destination is better? Better than an app that tells me when my taxi will arrive so I can wait inside or finish my drink if I’m in a bar? The simple fact is if the traditional taxi industry wants to survive it really needs to clean up its act. Cleaner taxis. Better customer service. Dropping the attitude that the taxi driver is doing you a favor by driving you. Using technology to make it more convenient to arrange a taxi. If Uber is doing so well, it’s because they’re offering something that taxis aren’t.

      • Michael Simon

        I have seen this behavior before entities or people who think that anyone can be a taxi cab driver without a license or a city permit , they were called gypsies in the past I’m telling you uber are gypsy cabs under a tech disguise , they won’t succeed , the yellow cab is Licensed and regulated , has no surge pricing and for all the people with or without credit cards

        • Astral Writer

          People choose to use their credit cards. They know ahead of time that cash is not accepted. Taxi drivers actually deny their riders the use of a credit card, usually making up an excuse that their machine or swiper doesn’t work. They would rather accept cash. Uber will continue growing, which will open doors for new ride startups. Nothing this large on grand scale can control an entire market. As time drives us by, we will see new ride apps providing the same service in a different way. Taxis are cool to use in large cities. They are good to hail because ride app drivers are prevented from making such pickups. If anything, the only way we ride app companies failing if their drivers can’t afford to perform these services due to lack of resources (gas). WIth giving rides on Monday-Wed, the driver won’t see this money until the following Thurs. Taxi drivers have access to money daily and don’t have a problem getting on the road. Ride app drivers are limited when resources are lacking. That is possibly your only argument.

          • Michael Simon

            read this first

            Are taxis really bitter at Uber? You bet!!! Anyonein the taxis business knows that Uber has taken away from their livelihood.
            NYC gave avery large increase to the taxi driver after the last fare hike and the drivers
            were making enough to support their families and even invest in their own house
            or even houses. Then came along Uber and the likes, and that disappeared, no
            longer is the money good enough for a nice living by taxi drivers.
            Deregulatingthe taxis business is a no no, They learned that in the 1930’s when there was
            an oversupply of taxis and no one could make a living , it is better for at
            least a few to make a living than for no one to.

            Obviously the writer is not a New Yorker ,New Yorkers do not keep there hand raised the whole
            time they are looking for taxis , when they see the light on, on top of a cab , they go for it.

            You can get a cab most times in few a few seconds!!! Are we that impatient to think
            that for fairness to the driver and the owner, that to wait at some busy times
            a bit longer, to make sure that we all make a decent living, is too hard, and
            were talking about a few minutes in NYC. I’m not from SF so I can’t say about taxis
            there, but in NY I’m a pro.
            And yesthere are good things about the ehail app, that’s not the questionable point,
            the question is whether they should be in the position to destroy the current
            structure of taxis that bought their licenses lawfully from the government,
            under the government’s policies and regulations.Taxis are the way they are
            because of regulations, that are necessary to service the people properly and
            as fairly as possible. Taxis are not to be condemned but improved.
            Rideshares should not be eliminated but given its place as a service for the luxury market
            because the vehicles are of a premium class, taxis should be in the first
            position with an ehail app for taxis work, and let the black cars have an ehail
            luxury app at higher prices, so that the two are differentiated.

          • mike

            Well I as a BLACK MAN IN NY WHO CAN NEVER GET A CAB STANDING ON A CORNER DRESSED IN A SUIT.. I LOVE UBER…NO DISCRIMINATION… I would rather support a company that only sees my money and not my skin color!

          • Michael Simon

            Well first and last and in-between there should be not discrimination at any time anywhere.
            Lets settle the point of the legality of the uberx app that is essentially
            a taxi and which is taking away the rights of taxi owners and taxi drivers, , if Ubers’ ehail app is of such necessity then it should be given to the people who have the legal right to it implementation , as it serves as a
            taxi purposeful devise. The app use in a taxi would be of the same value to you
            as in is in a ride share , Is not the public being conned by Mr. Kalanick because he has a new trick in town which he is
            using to take away someone’s financial right, which was legally bought and legally regulated.

          • Michael Simon

            another point , if you a NY guy then your must be aware of the green cabs that are now on the streets of out city, these taxis are usually driven by minorities and drive out side of the CBD, these drivers and owners are being hurt by the illegal use of the Uber app, does that matter?

          • kathryn

            Hi – I’m an unber driver in Houston. I not only went through all the background checks Uber put me through I was also finger printed, had to have a warrants check run, a drug test, a physical and had to take my car down to the city office to be inspected and pay for a license and a sticker for my car plus the Uber trade symbol/sticker goes right underneath my city permit sticker. There is no mistaking it.
            When a client requests an Uber, they get my picture and name and phone contact (provided by Uber only during the ride, not my real number) immediately on their app so they know who is coming to pick them up and as for loaning my car to someone else, they would have to use my phone too to be able to sign in Uber. Uber does provide insurance and if I let them use my car and phone, that would be fraud and not only no…. Hell no that isn’t gonna happen.
            Sounds like you cabbies need to come to work for us. You sound bitter!

          • Michael Simon

            I think your a little dreaming on the tech side, in NY all the taxi drivers gladly tale credit cards, the tips are better , because the passenger selects the tip percent button, which usually translate into a larger amount $, watch the taxi medallion skyrocket when their own apps come into use, and uber has lost its appeal,

      • Michael Simon

        uber doing well ,have you ever driven a cab? and know what its like?, uber advocates are elitist ,


    • Astral Writer

      Hail for a ride is better? Try this on a busy night at a large event. Try this at Outside Lands. Good luck on finding a taxi. You will wait for hours. If you like working out your arms, you can switch hailing between the two. It’s good exercise hailing. It may work in a slow area, but try hailing on the wrong side of the street. We actually enjoy taking Yellow Cab taxis in NYC. It is a great experience. But simply put, people enjoy using ride apps. What happens when BART is down after the last run, will a rider rather pay $32 or $50+ for a ride across the bridge? Will a taxi be patient with a rider who needs to make 5 stops to run errands. It’s all about convenience and customizing trips. We see taxis still thriving. One taxi driver claimed his earnings reduced, but he still has plenty of business. Many people still have no clue what Uber is. Innovative tech startups based out of California have no idea what ridesharing is. Are taxis really that bitter about Uber? Every person knows what a taxi is.

  • Cabbies Win

    Uber is just horrible. They blame the taxi industry but let me personally tell you that those fancy cars that people are taking have the most rudest and douchebag drivers. The cars are not clean and they basically rip you off by taking you around the city and not take the shortest route. Uber should be shut down.. and FYI, before you slamming the taxi cab industry, maybe you should learn more about the taxi cab culture. I can’t believe that Boston magazine would even publish on behalf of Uber. Uber sucks!!

  • just trying to get home

    Actually, Uber drivers have been far more polite than several of the cab drivers I’ve had recently, and I haven’t gotten in a dirty car yet. Uber occasionally does take you for a ride, but I repeat: so has practically every cab driver I’ve ever had. Not to mention, when an Uber driver started getting creepy on my friend, she reported him–we’ve tried doing the same with cab drivers, and it was made clear that no one on the other end of the phone cared. Uber’s definitely not perfect, but I don’t think cab drivers are exactly paragons of mobile virtue, either.

  • Rob

    And another uber driver stands accussed of sexually assaulting a woman:


  • Rob

    Of course, ride-sharing is a fraudulent business model. Not only does it not pay for any municipal business permits while operating their supposedly “business taxi dispatch”, they also cut corners on local taxes, on commercial insurance (and no, that gap policy that they offer doesn’t cover all that needs to be covered), etc. It is a criminal enterprise that creates unfair, unethical and unlawful business environment. If they want to compete – they need to play by the rules and laws, same ones that thousands of small transportation businesses abide by daily.

  • Nichole M. Buck

    As a now regular Uber user it’s important to note that Uber is almost always less expensive then taking a Boston Taxi. Also I have never had an Uber driver tell me no I won’t go there and lock me out of the cab. There as in Brighton. Maybe this will help Boston Taxi drivers understand customer service and how important it is in any industry. #Justsaying

    • Cabbies Win

      Maybe you need to look up all of the uber drivers who have “raped & assaulted women” before you talk about customer service. I think Uber drivers need to have some customer service education where assault is not allowed. Uber does not follow the law and I am honestly surprised that they haven’t been shut down. I have not heard of any cabbies trying to assault their customers. And when a cabbie denies a ride, think about why they are denying the ride, the cabbies have been robbed and shot at, so I highly doubt that an Uber driver hasn’t rejected driving to Dorchester or Mattapan, please. Uber is not good at all. They ripped off so many people that I know. I would never use them and honestly would be happy to see them shut down Uber. Don’t hate the cabbies, at least they don’t need an app to find people.

      • Gordon

        This comment is completely ridiculous. First off, cab customer service is way, way worse than Uber, and guess what? Taxi drivers rape, assault and discriminate against their customers all the time, but you never hear about it because you can’t look past your outdated business model.

        You say you’ve “not heard of any cabbies trying to assault their customers.” Well my friend, here you go: Seattle taxi driver sexually assaulted woman (http://bit.ly/1obXFKz)

        Stop throwing stones at Uber. (http://onforb.es/1k5NoEG)

        It’s not Uber drivers who need a customer service education, because 99% of them are polite, friendly and will take you where you need to go in a car that doesn’t smell like human feces. And, if drivers do happen to break the rules they’ll be cut from the system…unlike taxi drivers.

        Cabbies aren’t punished for bad behavior, so stories like this (http://bit.ly/1u0Q4UG) and this (http://bit.ly/1pqGZ6iend) end up being incredibly common. I dare you to find half as many stories about Uber drivers, chances are, you can’t.

        Stop trying to protect an entrenched, bureaucratic corporation that puts profits before customers. (http://washex.am/1o3x1FI) The taxi system is ready to fall and, whether you like it or not, fall it will.

        Also if you’re going to make claims like Uber has “ripped off so many people,” you may want to find some support to back them up. Uber doesn’t rip people off, their prices may increase during peak hours, but many people would prefer to pay more to get on the road quicker than wait 45 minutes for a taxi that may or may not end up arriving.

        Quite simply, Uber is better. So much better in fact that even taxi drivers are starting to join (http://hrld.us/1yRdLlb).

        It’s time to leave the past behind and allow the inconvenient, wasteful and selfish taxi industry to die. And though Uber drivers may need an app to find their riders…at least they find their riders. (http://bit.ly/1roCLg7)

        • Cabbies Win

          Uber will shut down, it’s only a matter of time.

          • Carlos Saqiid

            Looks like you just got shut down 10 to nothing by Gordon.

      • Astral Writer

        The last time we checked, a taxi driver in Florida murdered several women. There is no assault because this driver decided that killing was better. An app is better than getting ignored by a cabbie. Ride app drivers are held accountable for denying rides if their acceptance rates drops. Cabs deny many riders a trip out to distant parts of San Francisco. They won’t even take long trips that put them in bad areas where rides are unavailable. Would women who need a ride to their doorstep find a taxi at 3am in the morning to take a 1/2 mile ride? No. Uber drivers will make this trip and will gladly make sure this female client enters their home safely. All we’re seeing is your one-sided argument; using assaults as an excuse as you why passengers should continue taking taxis. An app is an extremely reliable tool to connect drivers and riders. In using an app, drivers are not finding people. They are connected to these clients on this ride platform. There is no worrying whether a cab is on their way to pick up this rider because this can be monitored on the app. ETA is on there. The name of the driver, their license plate and their car are all shown on the app. The taxi industry will soon become stagnant if cab drivers don’t accept that customer service is necessary to retain business. Ridesharing will continue to surge ahead. People want accountability. How can a rider complain about a taxi driver they paid cash to and forget to get their ID number?

  • Christian Campbell

    Sorry Uber is better than regular taxis and cheaper. I have not experienced a bad ride yet. Also I have not had to fear for my life in a Uber ride, while the cab driver is doing 60 down Boylston st. Also at 2am when trying to get a cab I have locked out of the cab and told to get out of the cab for simply trying to go to Allston….Uber has not once complained about my destination. Sorry the Taxi industry needs to get with the times or die a slow death.

    Also in regards to not paying taxes or fees. I hear what you are saying but, we keep putting more money in the cities coffers for what? Public school education is sub par, roads are not being maintained, and so many other services are being under funded. However, politicians and their friends keep getting a slice of the pie. Technology brings change, the city will either have to deal with that or figure a way to tax them equally as well. Sorry to say Boston is behind the times and needs to step into the 21st century.

  • SomeTingWicked

    Rideshare companies help senior citizens get around affordably, poor people get to their jobs when city transportation fails, and help college kids and people in between jobs earn a liveable wage. Why should the city deny them that? Taxi companies are terrible. I saw an excellent article earlier today at http://www.cigarsandsocks.com that highlights the pros and cons of these companies but I pretty much only saw pros.

    People hate people on welfare, hate people who don’t work, hate people who need help. Let people help themselves by utilizing and working for these rideshare companies. Rant done!

  • rufedup2

    EZpass replaced toll collectors. Scanners replaced retail clerks. ATMs eliminated bank tellers. Why was there no whining? Because government didn’t have any skin in the game. Taxis are a government regulated monopoly and a big money maker for local legislators. Now that their golden goose is being threatened, the mud will fly. Give it up Taxis. Progress can’t be stopped.

    • YourIgnorance is NOT an Excuse

      Some progress. Just because hitchhiking is now digital and monetizable doesn’t mean it’s safe or even saves you money compared to taxis.

      • rufedup2

        Spoken like a disgruntled cabbie.

        • YourIgnorance is NOT an Excuse

          Spoken like someone who can’t address my points and defend their position so they name call.

          • rufedup2

            So make YOUR point. Digital hitchhiking is hardly a defense for taxis.

          • YourIgnorance is NOT an Excuse

            Yes it is when you compare cabs to hitch hiking, one might be cheaper and friendlier but it is risky compared to cabs. You literally don’t know who is picking you up in Uber et al compared to cabs that have photo id by law of the cab driver. You are covered by insurance again by law in a cab vs Uber et al. It is not innovation when you don’t play by the same rules as cabs it is cheating. Let’s see how cheap and customer friendly ride sharing services are if they have to compete on a level playing field or let’s deregulate every livery service and just have free for all on our streets and not know who us driving

          • rufedup2

            I didn’t call Uber digital hitchhiking – you did. Taxis have operated as a government protected monopoly since medallions were created. Now cabbies are whining about regulation because they have competition. People now have a choice and based on Uber’s 18 billion dollar success, the taxi pie is shrinking.
            What makes you think a cabbie photo ID actually protects a passenger? Uber knows who your driver is when you are picked up.

          • YourIgnorance is NOT an Excuse

            I didn’t say you called Uber digital Hitchhiking- I call Uber digital hitchhiking because that’s what you’re doing when you use Uber. Instead of sticking out your thumb at the side of the road you stick out your app and when the car comes you have no idea who the driver is just like when a car stops for you with your thump out on the side of the highway. Uber knows who created the account for a driver but they have no idea who is actually driving the car at any given moment. Someone could have a valid license and create an account with Uber and then let anyone else drive the car and pick up passengers and do whatever. Cabs on the other hand have an official ID issued by the police department that you can look at when you get in the cab and match it to the driver. Claiming taxis are a government protected monopoly is like saying medicine is a government protected monopoly. Would it be “innovative” if you could call up through an app unregulated doctors to perform surgery on you? It would be disruptive but I don’t think innovative in the good sense of the word. Also you did not address the insurance issue. If you get in an accident in a cab, you are covered by insurance that they have to have in order to get the medallion. With Uber, you are not covered in the case of an accident. Short cuts like that are why Uber is sometimes cheaper than cabs which again is not innovative it’s cheating. Would you be in favor of an airline that didn’t have to have the same safety regulations that the government “monopoly” mandates? That new airline might be cheaper and the employees nicer to you because it’s their hobby rather than their full time job but I argue that that airline is not worth the small savings and extra customer service. I would be happy for taxis to have legitimate competition- I used a taxi app last night that was great and I think taxi companies probably would never have developed apps without Uber but I think we can foster more competition on a level safe playing field than letting some firms cheat. Lastly, Uber has not made $18 billion. They are valued at $18 billion because a bunch of people want to get in the action at the expense of the cab companies who have to play by the rules which I think is emblematic of our current economy. We don’t innovate in America any more we exploit and cheat. There’s no more money to be made by building a better mouse trap. The real money is in buying mouse trap companies, load them up with debt, raid the pension funds, and outsource the catching of mice to China leaving taxpayers to clean up the mess. See Mitt Romney for more details.

          • rufedup2

            From your original reply: “hitchhiking is now digital” — are you confused about who said what?

            Why would an Uber driver let someone else drive for them? The guest driver would be adding money to the registered Uber driver’s account. Unlikely.

            When you call a taxi, you also don’t know who the driver will be. A photo ID doesn’t certify that the cab driver is “safe”.

            Taxis are in fact, a monopoly with government controlling how many medallions are issued, who gets them and the cost. Equating taxis to medicine or airlines is beyond a stretch. By your logic, we should also be regulating pizza delivery drivers and paper boys.

            With insurance, I agree with you. The gray area in coverage is still being examined. Uber & other ride sharing companies provide additional coverage when personal coverage isn’t enough. The question of who is an employee and who is a contractor still hasn’t been determined.

            Government regulation will not make ride sharing go away. They tried to “regulate” automobiles at the turn of the 20th century because they scared horses (See Pennsylvania laws for a laugh). I’m afraid Uber and the other companies are here to stay. Taxis just need to learn how to compete.

            My original comment cites the changes that progress brings. If you want to argue against Uber, by all means go ahead — start your own blog, form a cabbie traffic jam or hire a PR firm . But I’m afraid you’re beating a dead horse. Ride sharing won’t go away.

          • YourIgnorance is NOT an Excuse

            I think you have a reading comprehension issue as well as being ignorant about economics. 1st, You do not understand the definition of a monopoly. A monopoly is when 1 firm owns and controls the supply of a good or service and there are more than 1 cab company currently no? Government regulation does make something a monopoly. Also medallions are not taxes they are fees. What you are whining about is that through the sale of medallions, the supply of cabs is constricted. Here in Boston the city also regulates liquor licenses constricting the supply of restaurants and bars in the city. Does the government have a monopoly on bars and restaurants? You also did not answer the question of does the government have a monopoly on medicine and airlines and instead switched to a anti-regulation straw man regarding pizza delivery. You are unable to rebut my points so you switch the subject. I never said ride sharing will go away. What I did say about ride sharing is that it is not progress. They are cheating. A fact you danced around by claiming ride sharing is here to stay. You have not cited how ride sharing services are innovative or progress. I stated that they are not progress in that they are better and cheaper, they are progress in unfair competition which in your ignorance of economics you are not able to recognize or refute. Why are you afraid of competing on a level playing field? If the ride sharing companies are so “innovative” than why can’t they compete effectively? Why do think ride sharing services should be favored and supported by the government? You sound like you are anti-government involvement in business yet you say the government should in effect give the ride sharing services a leg up against cab companies. Who should decide which companies are supported by the government and which aren’t and why do you want the government picking winners and losers in the economy? That’s not a monopoly that’s a planned economy seen in socialist and fascist economies.

          • rufedup2

            OK Sport… try this. Type “taxis are a monopoly” into Google and do some reading. My reading comprehension and understanding of economics are just fine. Clearly, your inability to digest the facts illustrates your moronic position.

            Let me boil this down for you…
            Technology will always win. Protectionists will always lose. Consumers will always dictate market share.

            Stop whining…
            Throughout history, progress has impacted existing businesses. Government can’t regulate progress. They can only slow it down.

            Uber is thriving…
            Investors didn’t drop 18.1 billion on a losing bet.

            Learn to punctuate…
            Reading your replies is like a 7th grade punctuation exercise. Paragraphs were created for a reason.

            Don’t bother replying Sport. With the exception of the insurance issue (which is still being litigated), your argument doesn’t hold water. I’m done.

          • YourIgnorance is NOT an Excuse

            Name call much because you can’t support what you’re saying otherwise? Very mature.

            With your hissy fit reply, add anger management to your list of deficiencies along with poor reading comprehension. The definitions of words are not popularity contests. People with normal reading comprehension understand that words have precise definitions whether people on google agree with your misunderstanding of the word or not. You need to look up the definition of “monopoly” and then with your limited reading comprehension try to figure out why taxis are not a monopoly.

            Like a child you stamp your feet, name call and insist your right but you cannot support your assertions. Besides not understanding Econ 101 terms you also don’t understand investing. Yes investors did not invest $18 billion in the Uber to lose money but the fact that they invested does not make Uber innovative or sure to pay off. Are you saying investments are guaranteed to be successful due to the fact that people invested in them? Also, again with the popularity contests to try to prove your point. You’re right because people invested money in the idea?

            You are simply not able explain why Uber is more innovative than taxis. It’s not technology that makes Uber better than cabs, cabs now have apps so what’s the technical reason? There isn’t one. Riding sharing services are able to offer a cheaper service because they are cheating. By evading safety regulations and insurance they are able to offer a cheaper service not because they’re more innovative but because by cheating they have less expenses and can therefor offer it at a price lower than cabs. The lack of insurance isn’t a “gray area” as you call it’s but part of the reason they’re able to undercut the prices charged by taxis.

            I asked you the difference between hitchhiking and Uber and your response was to call me names like someone in 5th grade. I asked you why Uber is afraid to compete on a level playing field and your response was to whine that people agree with you online. Insisting that your right might make you feel better but it doesn’t make you right.

            BTW In terms of the government slowing down innovation, you do know the government developed the internet, the microchip, the atomic bomb, GPS, etc? I would call that speeding up innovation. Mark down another thing you’re wrong about.

          • rufedup2

            “government developed the internet, the microchip, the atomic bomb, GPS, etc.” Hmmm… all without any regulation. That’s called progress Sport.

            I see you’ve learned the value of paragraphs.

            Now please go away. Your incessant rambling is akin to cabbies honking their horns to protest Uber. Noisy – but ineffective.

          • YourIgnorance is NOT an Excuse

            I see you have not learned the value of reading comprehension. You said “Government only slows down innovation”. I present evidence where government sped up innovation and your response is to misstate what I said. Because you are not able to understand or refute my arguments you name call and wish away the evidence. “Go away information I don’t want to hear”. Your mouth writes checks your brain can’t cash. You’re unable to back up what you shoot your mouth off about so you plead for me to go away.

          • Guest

            Wow, you made me laugh out loud with “technology will always win.” If you think uber’s technology is what gives them a competitive edge or is even remarkable as an invention

          • Michael Lang

            You got a laugh out of me with “technology will always win.” Uber is thriving because they’ve fooled people into trusting a black market for transit _and_ its convenient, and built a network of “partners” (partners, lol! Uber sets your prices for you!) foolish enough to operate illegal businesses at high risk to themselves for low pay. It’s exploitation 2.0 that uber has innovated us into, not automated dispatch. And that’s why they’re eating cabbies for lunch. Not because they have an “app”!

          • Elizabeth Brown


    • JImf

      Why was there no whining? Because no laws were being broken. EZpass was a cost reduction method adopted by the people that are authorized to take tolls. No Uber setting up an alternative toll taking app. ATMs were bought and paid for by the very banks that employed the tellers. Note, I have yet to walk into a bank and not see tellers. ATMs are just a convenience and provide additional service.

      Yes, taxis are regulated, just as your electricity and water are regulated. They are regulated for a reason.

      Uber is not progress. Sure, the taxi industry could use some reforms and expanded supply. However, there is a legal and proper mechanism to make this happen.

  • JImf

    If Uber wants to be a taxi company, then they must be required to obey and operate within the boundaries of the laws that exist. There is absolutely nothing against competition but it has to be fair.

    Cities that are letting this happen are broken. Uber drivers need to be arrested and Uber management must be brought to justice.

    Now, if Uber wants to apply for Livelry liscences, obtain permits, hire employees, screen the employees, provide a fleet of vehicles that are insured and meet the current regulations – so bet it. But, at least their offering will be in-line with other offerings and on a same level of play.

    There is a reason why we have rules and laws = fair competition!!!!

    • Craig S. Shoemake

      I think you don’t get it. Uber is offering the same service as taxis but using 21st century technology. Their business model, and use of that technology, are disruptive to established norms. This is how business has always progressed: practices get established and codified–until someone comes along with a better way to do things. Uber is a better way to operate taxis. I will never again use a regular taxi because Uber gets me where i want to go 1) in less time, 2) with more convenience, 3) with a better experience, and 4) less money. Taxis should either figure out a way to compete or they should do what the dinosaurs did–die.

      • JImf

        No, I get it perfectly. You and others don’t get it. There are things called LIVERLY laws in this country. If Uber wants to be a taxi service, they need to comply with the laws of the land, just as any other business.

        Taxis must be clearly marked as such. They must display rates and rates are (generally) governed by the city. They must display the drivers information and picture, be licensed, insured and taxed.

        The laws work both ways to protect the drivers and the passengers. Taxi drivers lobbied for and were awarded bullet proof glass inside the car to protect them from the occupants.

        Just because you create some App (better mousetrap) doesn’t provide you an opportunity to enter the market by ignorning the laws in place. It may insure your success once you enter the market but the market entrance has to comply. Laws exist to protect and serve and come about because someone got hurt, generally.

        ” I will never again use a regular taxi because Uber gets me where i want to go 1) in less time, 2) with more convenience, 3) with a better experience, and 4) less money. Taxis should either figure out a way to compete or they should do what the dinosaurs did–die.”
        Competition is a good thing but it has to be “fare.” Uber must compete by complying with all the laws of the land. Once that requirement is fulfilled, then let the best service prevail.
        If you disagree, think of it this way. I can get to work if I ignore all traffic lights and drive 100mph. But aren’t there laws and solid reasons not to do it?

        • Quake052

          Hi, I am an Uber drive on Cape Cod. My customers are estatic! The cabs on Cape Cod have been ripping off the customers for years! Uber will also save lives in keeping the responsible drunks off the road.(if there is such a thing!) Example: I would drive someone from Wellfleet to the Hyannis Airports for $60 in 45 minutes. The cabbies want $130. This is capitalism at its best. And if Hillary speaks against it, it must be good! Sorry all you union libtards, enter capitalism!!!! Love to All! 🙂

  • Amber Amneisia

    People should watch out. Here in SF Uber seemed like a great deal but as soon as they put alot of other businesses under they raised their prices and their services get worse to the point I cant rely on them like I used to. Once they create a monopoly you will have to pay whatever they ask because you wont have any other options besides walking or riding the bus. I used to get insanely cheap prides arriving within minutes now it is almost always 2x or even 2.5x rate making a quick ride $26. Remember the capitalist mantra “we have a responsibility to our shareholders to generate maximum profit” . Its all about cornering a market. I think most taxi service sucks and is overpriced but dont be fooled into thinking UBER has any purpose other than generating as much profit for shareholders as possible. It would be ignorant to think their prices will remain low once the competition has been eliminated.