Can't Win 'Em All: Uber Gives Up Attempt To Do UberTaxi In NYC (For Now...)

from the more-regulatory-fighting dept

We've talked about how innovative ride hailing company, Uber, was pushing regulatory boundaries across the country, often showing how restrictive local regulators could be towards innovation. In many cases, Uber has been able to generate enough public support that local taxi and limo regulators ended up backing down. But you can't win 'em all. Uber has admitted that it's pulled the plug on UberTaxi in New York City.

While Uber is most well known for its "black car" service, it's also been moving aggressively into the taxi world (which is why it's getting sued in Chicago). NYC's Taxi and Limo Commission (TLC) has fought against this move, since the law technically requires cabs to be hailed directly from the street -- and the TLC claimed that hailing from a phone violated that. Uber, however, claims that the TLC has admitted privately that the service is legal. Either way, the TLC threatened cabbies who used Uber, and that limited the number willing to take part, which probably made the service a lot less interesting for users. And, for now, the service has shut down.

The TLC, for its part, seems to suggest that this is only temporary, and it would like to bring such services back -- but it needs to conclude existing contracts:
"In recent months, as e-hail apps have emerged, TLC has undertaken serious diligence and is moving toward rule changes that will open the market to app developers and other innovators. Those changes cannot legally take place until our existing exclusive contracts expire in February. We are committed to making it as easy as possible to get a safe, legal ride in a New York City taxi, and are excited to see how emerging technology can improve that process. Our taxis have always been on the cutting edge of technological innovation, from GPS systems to credit card readers."
Hopefully that's true, but the devil is in the details... we'll see what happens early next year.

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  1. identicon
    abc gum, 17 Oct 2012 @ 4:31am

    I thought Luddites were a part of history gone by, but apparently some of them have survived and are thriving in the taxi business.

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