Atlanta and New Orleans Mayors Pick Uber to Win in Fight with Traditional Taxis

a screenshot of UberCredit: davemutton / photo on flickrDMVs and taxi unions nationwide have been attacking Uber over the past several months, accusing the peer-to-peer ridesharing service of being unsafe and unfair to the taxi business. The D.C. Taxi Operators Association held a protest in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, blocking the traffic downtown for a few hours. Virginia's DMV issued a cease-and-desist letter to Uber and Lyft earlier this month, and has ticketed five Uber drivers since then. Protests against Uber have swept European countries in recent weeks. Despite this widespread opposition, some notable public officials have voiced their support for Uber and think that the innovative business will eventually win the battle against taxis.

Kasim Reed, the mayor of Atlanta, recently told Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic that though Uber might be in for a "15 round right" with the taxi industry, he thinks the company will eventually win. He also suggested that this doesn't necessarily mean traditional taxis will be completely phased out by the modernized ridesharing services, but they may just be forced to innovate to continue to compete. He said: 

"But in the interim, they're going to flat out fight it out, and mayors are going to be in the middle of it, because the taxicab industry is so old and staid and never had real competition, and now it's being forced to innovate."

The mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu, also thinks Uber will eventually win out in the battle against the antiquated taxi business: 

"I think at the end of the day Uber is going to win. I think that their technology model is superior. I think their political skills need some work, if I might."

The Washington Post reported that Chicago's department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection receives 12,000 complaints about taxis every year, which comes out to 33 a day. Uber has a built-in system to overcome these shortcomings and ensure accountability of its drivers—both the driver and the passenger are given a rating of 1 through 5 after every ride. If an Uber driver or a passenger gets out of line on too many occasions and gets low ratings, they are booted from the service. 

New York, like many other states, has had a long battle with Uber and the sharing economy. Despite this, the former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, Janette Sadik-Khan, also told Friedersdorf that she was partial to innovative peer-to-peer services:

"I do think that the shared economy is here to stay. That train has left the station. It is happening."

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  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    My love for Uber forces me to switch to a more expressive language:

    Ich liebe Dich ueber alles in der Welt.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    "I think at the end of the day Uber is going to win. I think that their technology model is superior. I think their political skills need some work, if I might."

    Translation: Uber is a better service for citizens, they just haven't paid off the right people yet.

  • Brett L||

    "My aunt Mary could probably help them."

  • BigMike||

    More like: Dances-with-Tolls is a troll on the pay. He will support
    whatever corporate agenda he is paid
    to support.

    Uber never was a better service.
    Never will be.
    Unless used as a dating site or something.

    It's an unfair illegitimate taxi
    operation that pays no taxes,
    has no business permits, and aggressively refuses all and any
    regulations enforced on others
    operating in the same exact market.

    In short - it's a fraud.

  • ||

    If Uber is not a better service, what are you worried about? They'll go out of business and your cartel will back in the green. Or...or were you just saying that because you're a mendacious weasel?

  • kbolino||

    that pays no taxes,
    has no business permits, and aggressively refuses all and any
    regulations enforced on others
    operating in the same exact market.

    All of the tax collectors, permit enforcers, and regulators took a holiday?

  • Invisible Finger||

    If an Uber driver or a passenger gets out of line on too many occasions and gets low ratings, they are booted from the service.

    So what are the taxis worried about then?

  • BigMike||

    This. Young woman kidnapped by a well-rated uber driver just days ago:
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/.....a/9956755/

  • kbolino||

    a well-rated uber driver

    So the police will find him quickly?

  • Brandon||

    I think their political skills need some work, if I might."

    They haven't "contributed" to the right "campaign funds" yet.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Yep.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    Despite this widespread opposition,

    I wasn't aware there was any "widespread" opposition.

    Just opposition by entrenched cronies.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    The first sentence of the linked article:

    In capital cities across Europe, taxi drivers took to the streets without passengers Wednesday afternoon.

    I see no mention of anyone who isn't an entrenched crony actually protesting Uber.

  • BigMike||

    You want to operate? No problem. Pay your local taxes, have your business
    permits, follows sane laws and regulations - and compete.

    It's that simple.
    You want to compete - then compete fairly.

  • Rhywun||

    "Or we'll break your arms."

  • BigMike||

    Your hyperbole is so fitting for
    mindless ride-sharing pumps.

  • ||

    What you need to do, BigMike, is expand into new ares of cronyism. What about all those parasites who selfishly ride the trolley, or walk to their destinations? Those assholes are depriving you of the money in their wallets which is rightfully yours! Get your union bosses to have a sit down with the mayor so you can have this injustice eliminated at once.

  • BigMike||

    A few ride-sharing corporations.
    Most of which are offshore-based.

    That's the new face of cronyism.

  • ||

    Do you even understand what the word cronyism means?

  • Cytotoxic||

    He doesn't understand anything. Tony 2: Vitriolic Tony

  • Cytotoxic||

    This is bait, right?

  • Sevo||

    "This is bait, right?"

    Mike's figuring out he can't make people wait for half an hour and still collect tips.
    Pisses him off.

  • Los Doyers||

    Troll within range: let loose the 18 pounders!

  • Rhywun||

    Protests against Uber have swept European countries in recent weeks. Despite this widespread opposition

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only opposition seems to be coming from the existing cartels and their enablers.

  • Rhywun||

    Or, what the guy above me just said.

  • Hyperion||

    The D.C. Taxi Operators Association held a protest in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, blocking the traffic downtown for a few hours.

    Now right there's a sure fire way to make people love you and get them on your side.

  • See Double You||

    Nobody should be forced to compete when providing a service.

    And we need to enforce our antitrust laws.

    /cognitive dissonance prog

  • Hyperion||

    our antitrust laws

    The government is killing competition and creating huge monopolies in industries where no one except favored cronies can even enter the market.

    There are no antitrust laws.

  • BigMike||

    And single multi-billion dollar offshore private corporation is better than thousands of small local transportation companies ?

    You guys must be asleep at the wheel...

  • Hyperion||

    How about if we just let customers make up their mind what is the best?

  • Rhywun||

    There must be some way to see what's better... hm, something about letting people make choices... nah, that's not right.

  • Rhywun||

    Man I'm slow today. Too much work.

  • Sevo||

    BigMike|6.30.14 @ 4:24PM|#
    "And single multi-billion dollar offshore private corporation is better than thousands of small local transportation companies ?"

    Mike, you really think that sort of misdirection and jingoism is gonna fly here?
    Get lost.

  • BigMike||

    These are facts that will stand in court.

    Yours are corporate sponsored self-advertisements.

  • Cytotoxic||

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Sevo||

    BigMike|6.30.14 @ 4:36PM|#
    "These are facts that will stand in court.
    Yours are corporate sponsored self-advertisements."

    Uh, Mike, I think you missed the instructions about what to copy and paste fist.
    Or, your union PR department is a screwed as the cabbies.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Needz more prog-talk buzzwords.

    Also, nice work on pretending Lyft isn't real.

  • See Double You||

    Despite this widespread opposition, some notable public officials have voiced their support for Uber and think that the innovative business will eventually win the battle against taxis.

    After paying the government tithe, of course.

  • BigMike||

    Superior model? Uber is an offshore tax-evading private corporation.
    Its model is not superior, it's fraudulent.

    The fact that mayors of these cities do not realize that ride-sharing
    private corporations profit from on blatant refusal to comply with regulations, on non-payment of municipal business permits,
    on evasion of local taxes and regulatory fees. This failed model has been tried before. Self-regulation of public transportation services by private, and in this case - a private offshore(!)-based corporation, is dangerous, irresponsible and just doesn't work.

    Just a few days ago - a young woman was kidnapped by a "well"-rated Uber driver:
    http://www.reviewjournal.com/t.....runk-woman

    This shameless pumping for private corporate ride-sharing agenda
    reveals who the mayors on the take are.

    Technology has nothing to do with ride-sharing. Thousands of
    small transportation companies now offer their own apps, their
    own websites. Yet - mayors on the take promote what they are paid
    for - private offshore-based corporate interests that break laws,
    dodges court orders and destroy thousands of law-abiding small
    businesses that offer same and better technology.

  • Hyperion||

    When did San Fran get offshore? I must have missed that.

  • Rhywun||

    Gotta be satire. Poorly done, though.

  • BigMike||

    You missed that because you believe
    corporate propaganda, and miss their
    legal filing. Here it is:

    According to the legal terms section of its website, Uber B.V. is a private limited liability company established in the Netherlands.

    "Uber under no circumstance accepts liability in conection with and/or arising from the transportation services provided by the Transportation Provider or any acts, action, behavior, conduct, and/or negligence on the part of the Transportation Provider," a section on liability says.

    CompanyUber B.V. AddressBarbara Strozzilaan 101 CityAmsterdam - 1083 HN CountryNETHERLANDS Location TypeSingle address

  • Cytotoxic||

    Watch us not give a shit.

  • BigMike||

    Paid pumpers don't.
    Passengers - do.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Yes, which is why they're overwhelmingly choosing Lyft and Uber over their shitty cartel competition. You lose.

  • BigMike||

    In pumper's mind. Sure. And those few
    that do use your law-breaking services end up with more problems than "quality of service":

    Kidnapping case by a well-rated uber driver:
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/.....a/9956755/

  • Cytotoxic||

    If they're so few you have nothing to worry about. If not, you can eat shit because it's game over for your kind.

  • Sevo||

    BigMike|6.30.14 @ 4:37PM|#
    "Paid pumpers don't."

    Ooops! Missed this the first time!
    Mike's been looking in my mail box and he's found all those checks from Uber to post here!
    Now I'm busted!

  • 110 Lean||

    BUT THEY'RE FUCKING DUTCH!

    DUTCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!11!11111

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    needs to be a little more concern trollish to even be partially believable.

    I'm guessing this is your first try.

  • ||

    BigMike defines fraud as his cronies not getting to wet their beaks.

  • BigMike||

    Your tax-evading offshore employer
    must be so much "better".

    You want to complete - then compete
    fairly.

  • ||

    And by "fair" you mean a protectionist racket where only people who pay off political gatekeepers get to have a job?

  • BigMike||

    What racket? I paid for my business permit to operate. I operate legally
    and pay all my dues and taxes.

    I paid to the city. It's city revenue.

    Why don't you pay the same?

  • ||

    OK, you've convinced me. It's totally unfair that those Uber drivers didn't have to pay you a portion of their income to get your permission to drive their cars.

  • Sevo||

    BigMike|6.30.14 @ 4:26PM|#
    "What racket? I paid for my business permit to operate. I operate legally
    and pay all my dues and taxes."

    Yep, and no one wants to pay you for your buggy whips.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Because we shouldn't have to and, if we can avoid it, won't. Go suck local government cock on your own dime.

  • ||

    Wow, this guy is one of the biggest, rent-seekiest pieces of shit to ever troll here.

    What racket? I paid for my business permit to operate. I operate legally
    and pay all my dues and taxes.

    I like how he says "What racket?" and then proceeds to perfectly describe a racket.

  • Hyperion||

    You want to complete - then compete
    fairly
    see if you can get your cronies to out lobby my cronies.

    FIFY, no thanks needed. I'm here all day.

  • BigMike||

    Good for you. Now pay same expenses
    and follow same laws and regulations
    as we do.

    You are unfairly destroying thousands of
    small transportation businesses.

  • Sevo||

    BigMike|6.30.14 @ 4:28PM|#
    "Good for you. Now pay same expenses
    and follow same laws and regulations
    as we do."

    No thanks.

  • BigMike||

    That's right. You're committing a fraud that results in an illegitimate unfair
    competition with thousands of law-abiding small businesses.

  • Sevo||

    "That's right. You're committing a fraud that results in an illegitimate unfair
    competition with thousands of law-abiding small businesses."

    UNFAIR COMPETITION?!
    Oh, NOOOO!
    You mean like Walmart selling stuff for cheap? That sort "unfair"?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Now pay same expenses
    and follow same laws and regulations
    as we do.

    No.

    You are unfairly destroying thousands of small transportation businesses.

    1) CITATION NEED 2) Cry some more

  • BigMike||

    Berlin court already ruled Uber out
    due to exact same reasons - "unfair
    competition".

    Your app is not unique.
    There are hundreds of similar apps.

  • ||

    Hundreds!? I guess you've got your work cut out for you if you're going to stop them all. I'd suggest you get to work building a unicorn to power all the effort you'll need to put in, but some asshole would probably just ride it somewhere without paying you first.

  • Hyperion||

    Pay some expenses

    WTF?

    You are unfairly destroying thousands of
    small transportation businesses.

    Wow, I'm sitting here working on a website upgrade and I've destroyed thousands of small transportation businesses? I must be one omnipotent and omniscient dude. I'm like a God!

    I want some of what you're smoking today.

  • Invisible Finger||

    BigMike sounds like a lunatic, yet I'm supposed to be worried that Uber drivers don't go through background checks?

  • ||

    You are unfairly destroying thousands of
    small transportation businesses.

    Don't worry, BigMike. Guys like you can always find jobs in the lucrative tow truck business! Just think how good you'll feel stealing an Uber driver's car!

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    You are unfairly destroying thousands of
    small transportation businesses.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I prefer to do business with companies that pay as little in taxes and government fees as possible.

  • See Double You||

    I'm curious as to how it's evading taxes if it legally organized to avoid certain taxes.

  • Hyperion||

    I like this the best:

    You want to operate? No problem. Pay your local taxes, have your business
    permits, follows sane laws and regulations - and compete.

    I'll translate it now: The company I work for has our cronies in congress, and there isn't any way in hell you're entering this market, but I'm gonna go on like this is all free market and shit, blah, blah, blah.

  • Rhywun||

    I like the bit about "small, local companies". Sure there's only ONE allowed to "compete" in any given region, but what the hey.

  • BigMike||

    One? As in offshore tax-evading
    milti-billion dollars ride-sharing fraud ?

  • Cytotoxic||

    MORE BUZZWORDS

  • BigMike||

    How much is the going rate to pump Uber these days ?

  • Whahappan?||

    Uh, I think only one poster on this thread has a direct financial interest in this issue. Guess who that is.

  • Sevo||

    "As in offshore tax-evading
    milti-billion dollars ride-sharing fraud"

    You left out THE CHILLUNZ!

  • See Double You||

    OFFFOOFFSHHORRRZZZZESSS!!!w11

    You know libertarians aren't jingoists, right?

  • BigMike||

    Your offshore cronies spend millions to
    post nonsense like yours all over the web.

    It's easy for them. They pay no taxes,
    and take their profits offshore
    undisturbed.

    Crime pays. Ride-sharing is just another
    example of that.

  • Cytotoxic||

    SLAVERY IS FREEDOM

  • Sevo||

    BigMike|6.30.14 @ 4:31PM|#
    'derpy left-wing bullshit!'

    Dipshit, it's obvious you are not a regular here.
    That pile of bullshit has been laughed at for years.
    You want sympathy? Talk to you mom. I don't give a shit.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Well, he paid into a protection racket so he wants the protection he paid for.

    Sounds logical. But I prefer to hate him for enabling protection rackets in the first place.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Attention all this spammer has been spreading his talking points and butthurt all over Forbes before he came here to blather in progtalk about Uber. He is a desperate butthurt statist and his fear smells great.

  • BigMike||

    These are facts. Ride-sharing insurance issues.

    http://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=32579

  • Cytotoxic||

    I don't care FOAD.

  • Sevo||

    Oh, boy! Ambulance chaser agit-prop!

  • retiredfire||

    Give it up, BigMike.
    These are the libertarian loons, who want anarchy, except when it hurts them.
    What it's going to take is the traffic accident, that severely injures a rider and the rider finds out that the driver didn't bother to tell his insurance company that he was operating as a commercial interest.
    And Uber will say "You're on your own!"

  • 110 Lean||

  • ||

    It's just a few bad apples!

  • See Double You||

    Makes me laugh how he tries to use "private" and "corporation" as scare words.

  • Wasteland Wanderer||

    I like how this guy is so fucking stupid he doesn't realize that he does not need to manually hit "enter" at the end of each fucking line. It's like he learned to type on a typewriter and doesn't have the brains to understand newer technology.

    Which actually explains his opposition to Uber and Lyft quite well.

  • RishJoMo||

    Slam dunk is in the house dude.

    www.WentAnon.tk

  • Sevo||

    Mike, even RJM's got your number.

  • 110 Lean||

    I knew Slam Dunk, I worked with Slam Dunk. Slam Dunk was a friend of mine. You, RishJoMo, are no Slam Dunk.

  • BigMike||

    "Lyft and Uber are part of the Walmartization of America, part-time workers earning fast-food wages".

  • Sevo||

    BigMike|6.30.14 @ 4:46PM|#
    "Lyft and Uber are part of the Walmartization of America, part-time workers earning fast-food wages"."

    And I'm sure you always search out the highest prices for whatever you buy so the workers are well-paid, right?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Please more! MORE TEARS! This day has been a cornucopia of prog tears and you're just making it better!

  • See Double You||

    We know. If we all just paid a little more, and were a little less efficient, we'd all be rich!

  • kbolino||

    "Lyft and Uber are part of the Walmartization of America, part-time workers earning fast-food wages".

    After practically a century of progressives getting everything on their political wishlist, and creating an economic morass of regulations, taxes, and welfare, they decry the entirely foreseeable and inevitable consequences of their own actions.

    But no, I think the solution is definitely to double down on laying waste to the American economy and following the Venezuelan model. Let the government set prices and wages, and mandate full employment. No more Walmart! Or toilet paper.

  • Sevo||

    "Or toilet paper."
    Or water!

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