Taxi Dispatchers Still Unhappy Everyone Likes Uber

A new lawsuit rehashes a familiar battle.

uber1Boston Cab Dispatch Inc. said Tuesday that it’s suing Uber, the company that allows users to hail limos and taxis from their smartphones. The dispatch service is alleging, as they often do, that Uber has ignored long-standing regulations while taking the cabs’ business. Folks who remember when state regulators attempted to shut down the company last year, or who have followed similar lawsuits from cab dispatches in other cities where Uber operates, won’t find much of note in this latest instance. The cab companies allege that Uber has an advantage because it ignores rules that require expensive medallions and ban drivers from using cell phones. Uber alleges that the lawsuits are a frivolous attempt to quash an innovative new competitor

There’ll be a legal battle, but in the court of public opinion, there seems to be very little debate. People like the convenience offered by Uber, and they hate Boston cabs. Suing the company that people think provides them a better service generally doesn’t do you any favors. That’s why Gov. Deval Patrick reacted so swiftly to reverse the state regulators’s attempt to shut the company down following public outcry. Uber may or may not be in violation of some regulations that hamper the rest of the taxi industry. (Regulations are intended to protect the consumer, but let’s agree that some of them are just obstructing.) But the answer shouldn’t be bringing a popular service into line with those regulations, at least until there’s a proven reason that each of them protects consumers and doesn’t keep them from using a service they seem to like. Let’s not follow in New York’s footsteps.

  • Robert M Byrne

    Like Ray Davies said:
    “Give the people what they want
    You gotta give the people what they want
    The more they get, the more they need
    And every time they get harder and harder to please”

  • Michael Carter

    Way to write a story and completely ignore the merits of the lawsuit. Uber is running an unlicensed taxi company. However innovative they may be they are unfairly competing with a licensed and regulated industry.

    • msantos1116

      Why is this unfair? Yes, they are creating competition for what is a complete monopoly. But I don’t see why that’s unfair. The regulatory process seems irrelevant. Maybe it shouldn’t be as regulated as it is?

      It sounds like your issue is with the bureaucracy of the taxi cab industry.

      • Michael Carter

        Because something should not be as regulated as it is does not mean regulations can be ignored. I can deliver beer door to door for a deep discount. Does that make it ok?

  • Zaphod Beeblebroks

    this lawsuit has no merit whatsoever. taxi company or medallion managers and dispatch are separate entities! taxi drivers are independent contractors. uber simply filled the need for cab drivers and their customers. let’s don’t forget that taxi industry is about providers of service (drivers) and their customers and drivers should be able to operate independently (some of them do).
    the real issue here is that taxi and dispatch companies are not used to having competition! they have been ruling the industry for too long due to limitations in technology which required dispatch systems to be hard wired to each cab and now that’s all about to change.
    and all this bs about using cell phones is splitting hairs. when drivers use old fashioned dispatch computer (gandalf) they are being as distracted as they would while using uber dispatch on the phone. besides, uber “phone” is not really a phone because it doesn’t have voice capability, it is only data enabled iphone that is locked down so drivers can only run uber app.