Regulations Prompt New Fight Between D.C. Taxicab Commission And Uber | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Regulations Prompt New Fight Between D.C. Taxicab Commission And Uber

Play associated audio
Uber offers high-end sedans that can be hailed using a smartphone, and has now introduced a lower-price service that more closely competes with traditional taxicabs.
WAMU/Chris Chester
Uber offers high-end sedans that can be hailed using a smartphone, and has now introduced a lower-price service that more closely competes with traditional taxicabs.

Two weeks after launching a new taxi service in Washington, the popular tech start-up Uber says regulators are shutting it down already.

UberX was designed to compete with D.C.'s regulated taxicab industry. Its drivers pick up passengers in midsize hybrid vehicles and charge fares comparable to a metered taxi. But the D.C. Taxicab Commission has passed regulations governing what kinds of vehicles-for-hire may be used this way—and the cars UberX drivers are using are not allowed.

"There is no reason Uber can't comply with present regulations as others are doing, other than Uber's desire to use unregulated vehicles to compete against the same vehicles operating as regulated taxis," says Ron Linton, the chairman of the D.C. Taxicab Commission.

Linton insists the commission is not picking another fight with Uber, which fought for close to a year to ensure that its popular sedan service could operate freely in the city. "The D.C. Taxicab Commission does not fight with the people it regulates," he says.

Uber does not see it that way. "We really don't think this serves the best interest of consumers," says Rachel Holt, Uber's D.C. general manager. Will UberX pull its cars off the streets? "We will have to make a determination about what makes sense at that time," she says.

Linton says Uber is trying to revise regulations to suit its own purposes. Still, Linton may have to make his point to the D.C. Council, as yesterday Council member Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) tweeted her displeasure with the commission's regulations. "It isn't the job of DC Government to stifle innovation & limit consumer choice by passing unfair regulations," she wrote.

NPR

Scott Simon: 'We Don't Fully Grow Up' Until We Lose Our Parents

"There are some lessons that only grief and responsibility can teach us," says Weekend Edition host Scott Simon. His new memoir, Unforgettable, is about the life and death of his mother.
NPR

The Revival Of Lamb Ham: A Colonial Tradition Renewed

British colonialists brought lamb ham to America, where a sugar-cured, smoked variety became popular. Easier-to-cure pork ham eventually took its place, but now two Virginians are bringing it back.
WAMU 88.5

Legal Cloud Lifts For Controversial Alexandria Waterfront Plan

Thanks to a recent ruling of the Virginia Supreme Court in Richmond, developers now have a green light to start demolishing a series of old abandoned warehouses and building structures in Alexandria that are much larger than what's there now.
NPR

If Drones Make You Nervous, Think Of Them As Flying Donkeys

In Africa, where there aren't always roads from Point A to Point B, drones could take critical medicines to remote spots. But the airborne vehicles make people uneasy for lots of reasons.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.