Uber Progresses in New York and Sarasota, Florida

Taxi medallion holders can't force city to crush Uber in New York, and Sarasota abandons existing taxi regs rather than hobble e-hailers.


Good news in Uber's constant legal fights against regulators and existing transportation cartels in the past week, first out of New York as reported in Crain's New York Business:

In a decision unveiled Wednesday, Queens Supreme Court Justice Allan Weiss ruled that for-hire vehicles could use electronic hails to compete with yellow cabs…

If that means yellow-cab medallions worth a collective $10 billion or so just two years ago become worthless, the judge suggested, so be it.

"Any expectation that the medallion would function as a shield against the rapid technological advances of the modern world would not have been reasonable," he wrote. "In this day and age, even with public utilities, investors must always be wary of new forms of competition arising from technological developments."

The plaintiffs, led by four Queens credit unions who lent heavily to medallion buyers, plan to appeal….

Uber was not itself a defendant in the suit, which instead pitted taxi interests against regulators, who were the unlikely consumer heroes in this particular case:

sought to compel the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission and the attorney general to stop livery cars from scooping up passengers who hail them from the street using smartphones. But the de Blasio administration defended Uber's interests by arguing that e-hails are pre-arranged travel, which does not require a taxi medallion. The judge said it was regulators' right to make that determination, and that e-hails are not the same as street hails made by lifting one's arm or whistling.

Taxi and Limousine Commission Chairwoman Meera Joshi said, "This decision is a victory for the riding public, and leaves no question as to the appropriateness of our regulatory approach to app-dispatched services. Passengers will remain free to continue to enjoy the many transportation options available to them."

The plaintiffs basically argued that the city's failure to crush Uber was harming them:

Melrose Credit Union, which has 78% of its loan portfolio tied to medallions, and three other lenders filed their suit in May and sought an injunction to stop Uber, arguing that they would suffer irreparable harm if nothing was done while the case proceeded. The case was combined with twoother lawsuits from medallion owners, taxi drivers, leasing agents and other yellow-cab interests. The ruling was far worse than they expected: not only no injunction, but outright dismissal of the case.

"We are pleased that the court found that the city has acted appropriately in its regulatory approach to this technological innovation—electronic apps for dispatch in the for hire vehicles—which are separate and distinct from traditional street hails," said Michelle Goldberg-Cahn, the city lawyer who handled the case, in a statement.

The full decision is embedded at the Crain's link.

From Sarasota, Florida, real good news of regulatory sense from the Herald Tribune, where Sarasota's City Commission decided that Uber and its competitors' existence shows that, rather than trying to freshly regulate companies like Uber, they can even the playing field and do better for consumers by deciding existing taxi regs can be abandoned as well. More details from TV station 8 on Your Side.

Reason TV from last month on Uber and the great taxi collapse:

NEXT: Two exciting new books

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  1. In a decision unveiled Wednesday, Queens Supreme Court Justice Allan Weiss ruled that for-hire vehicles could use electronic hails to compete with yellow cabs…

    I for one am relieved that a judge has decreed that’s it’s OK for people to arrange for rides using their smartphones.

    Isn’t it wonderful that we put this much power in the hands of complete strangers in black robes?

    1. The judge probably went to law school, so that means he knows better than you.

      What’s the difference between accountants and lawyers?

      Accountants know they are boring.

    2. One of the most frustrating aspect of Statists, to me, is how much they have retarded human progress, and yet they continue to act as if they are the only forces holding society together and keeping us from falling into chaos. Whether it’s the equivalent of 3M full time jobs for the public to deal with income taxes, or building codes, zoning, bullshit regulations of every kind, they just seem completely oblivious to how much compounded progress they have destroyed. Imagine how much more advanced every aspect of life would be if those turds hadn’t held us back over the last 150 years.

      There’s even some current headline talk of accepting the current miserly growth rate as the new normal, trying to rationalize it as beneficial because it slows down the rate of change and allows humans to adapt better. Bullshit like that just makes me madder and madder.

      I wish they would go off into some walled-off society and leave the rest of us to run to the future while they stagnate. I won’t even mind if they copy everything we do — you could hive off half the population into a stagnant society and the other half would outpace current society without having to drag their dead weight around.

      1. Was it Harry Browne that said this?

        “Government is good at breaking your leg, handing you crutches, and then saying, ‘If it wasn’t for me, you couldn’t walk!’.”

  2. Next up, judges will be deciding how packets should flow over network trunks.

    1. That would be Net Neutrality.

  3. Sarasota has the second worst transit system acronym in the US.

    1. Way to other coprophiliacs, asshole!

      1. Now, what you did there…I see it.

    2. What’s the first worst? Because Seattle has the best, in the true sense of the acronym.

      1. The other side of the state has Space Coast Area Transit. Given the racial makeup of the ridership, some locals say that SCAT stands for “Scootin’ Coons Around Town.”

      2. Seattle used to have the SLUT.

        1. Uh, used to? The SLUT is still going strong. Incredibly low, well below-predicted ridership, but it’s still a thing.

          But that’s why I asked, the SLUT is the best-named system. Who doesn’t want to ride a SLUT?

          1. I thought the city changed the name, which is why I said “used to”.

            1. Oh, the city’s called it something else for a long time. No one gives a shit about what the city calls it.

              It’s the South Lake Union Trolley, forever and ever, amen.

              1. Nice. I like it.

              2. Fuck yeah. The slut is still going strong after all these years.

    3. Not bad if it whisks you out of town.

  4. The important question is whether Uber drivers are allowed to refuse to drive gay couples to gay weddings.

    1. While carrying baked goods?

      1. Such as Indiana pizza?

        1. Is that anything like Cincinnati Chili?

          1. Can I get trigger warning, P?

    2. The important question is whether Uber drivers are allowed to refuse to drive gay couples to gay weddings.

      I understand one of their drivers is refusing to give anyone a ride.

    3. What kind of man thinks about gay couples all the time?

  5. OT: Kony 2016!!!

    /some douchebag somewhere

    1. Is he actually running for President or is this just some elaborate pantomime?

      1. He appears to be as strong a candidate as Rand Paul.

        1. Yeah but Paul will still have a Senate seat.

    2. Well The Wire got good ratings, so what could go wrong?

      1. So did The Walking Dead.

        1. “My fellow, uh, undead Americans, I present to you my record on gun control…”

          1. And the undead would want gun control…

            *nods slowly, smiling while chewing on sunflower seeds*

  6. I hope this stops that leech who owns hundreds of medallions from getting the “bailout” that he’s been demanding.

    1. By “bailout” you mean stimulus? And by “leech” you mean ‘shovel ready project’?

      1. Nah – literal. There a guy who thinks NYC taxpayers should pay him the hundreds of millions of dollars he thinks his medallions are worth.

        1. I figured. I was just being a snarky dick… it’s what I’m good at.

        2. You know what just struck me like a lightning bolt? It might be worth it to pay off cab companies… buy them off if you will. That’d be an expenditure I’d be willing to make. Because of the government regulation of the cab industry, buy their medallions, but then they go away and compete like everyone else.

          1. Fuck no. Those medallions are only worth anything due to artificially controlling the supply. There was no promise to prop them up forever.

            1. I can see both sides. But it’s all the government’s fault, obviously.

            2. Right, I agree, the value of the medallions is sort of what MBSs were worth after 2007. They’re worth something but not what the holders say they’re worth. Give ’em… 25c on the dollar. Boom, go forth and compete.

        3. Here, dick, meet the King of the Buggy Whip makers.

          1. That’s a porno, right? Right?

            1. Copyright Playa Manhattan 2015

              1. Consider it pirated.

            2. For porn, I suggest Angela White’s official tumblr.

  7. OT: Free market championing presidential contender speaks at liberal arts university; progressive student body reacts with polite applause, questions:


  8. OT:

    This appears to be video of Syrian refugees refusing food in Hungary because it has a red cross on it.


    If they’d rather go hungry than eat food in boxes with a red cross on it, then by all means, Mr. Obama, let’s bring 10,000 of these intolerant…um…people here to the United States.

    P.S. Obama: “Let me be clear, I’d like to bring all 10,000 to live in Washington DC, but the Secret Service won’t let me”

    1. If true, it’s a self-correcting problem.

    2. This is like the funniest refugee crisis evar

    3. okay. Fuck off home, then.

      1. Completely off topic: Do any of you have a workable link to the Kennedy show Matt wrote about earlier (“Watch Matt Welch Talk Campaign 2016 on Tonight’s Kennedy at 8 p.m. ET”)?

        I have not been able to use the links which Matt included nor effectively navigate Fox’s web site.


        1. Preempted by some sort of circus. Trump, if I’m hearing correctly.

          1. Thanks, Playa, I just read Matt’s update before checking back here and you are correct.

    4. Also, what is with police officers and camouflage? I hope they are soldiers masquerading as police officers, but still.

      1. The funny part is that leaf green and loam green blotches are designed to blend well with vegetation. Rectangular patterns of concrete and steel, notsomuch.

    5. YouTube’s auto-advance pulled up this gem afterward:


      The logo on the back of their van is cracking me the fuck up right now.

    6. Seems like they have already pre-adapted to enroll in our new intolerance-free snowflake universities.

      1. It’s a lovely idea except the whole point is snowflakes don’t like markets – they would prefer to force their will on everyone.

        1. Not so sure about that. True snowflakes don’t want to do anything except live in a bubble and not be offended. They surrender all control to the Statists. All you’d have to do is set aside an area for Statists only, and the snowflakes would follow them pronto.

          Really, imagine any offended snowflake crying and whinging over some trivial perceived microaggression. You hand them a brochure for snowflakeland where they will never be offended again, and oh the one-way ticket is free. They’d be off in a heartbeat once they believed it. Get the first few there and word would spread, and we’d be snowflake-free within a week.

          Or do the reverse. Set aside half the country, even the most barren western dry states, for libertopia — how fast would libertarians and anarchihsts move there?

    7. BFD. The more the better. America needs all the immigration it can get.

      1. No? Immigrants aren’t commodities, they’re people. Some people are a boon to their community, some are a problem. Any sensible immigration system should try to determine which is which and keep out the bad ones, because it’s an opportunity we don’t get with natives. So long as there is a politically motivated push toward amnesty and naturalization, we’ll have the same problem as companies under harsh pro-employee regulations. Hard to fire (ie, expel) means hard to hire (ie, let in).

        1. Countries are not companies and America is not a club. You don’t get to declare uncool people aren’t welcome.

    8. This appears to be video of Syrian refugees refusing food in Hungary because it has a red cross on it.


      1. Not unqualified, but the positives will outweigh the negatives by orders of magnitude.

        1. How can you say that when you don’t understand the security risks yet?

          I’m an open borders guy myself–provided we have a way to verify people’s identities and can ascertain whether they’re convicted felons, whether they have a communicable disease, whether they’re a security threat, etc.

          We can’t answer any of those questions with Syrian refugees. You can’t say doing something is worth the risk when you don’t understand the depth or the breadth of the risk.

      2. ‘toxic gets no pass from me, but these are *ambitious* people; there’d be corner markets in Compton before you could say “nigga!”

    9. Nothing could possibly go wrong with Germany bossing its neighbors around to accept an occupation.

      1. There is no occupation.

        1. You should get one, as your mom has told you many times over.

    10. Something something more effort to respect different cultures.

  9. The system is a cliff. Freedom is an eagle. The eagle soars above and below the dick cliff. The eagle can be erased like the lion was by the fucking horrid shitheels in the middle east called the UAE. HOW THE FUCK we consider those people allies is EXACTLY why AMERICA is fast becoming a shit hole. A PIT FILLED WITH TURDS: AMERICA…

    Because the fucking imbeciles like that shit-eater bathtub retard called George Bush liked the UAE? WHAT a fucking basement puppy that should’ve been kicked into a slow death but he still paints like the lisping retarded BUSH fuck in the backyard next to the frog pond.

    Yea, all you dumb fucks lining up at Ars Technica to question why AMERICAN THINKERS think you depraved fucks don’t deserve respect….

    fuck my penis hole with a lightning bolt of midgets….

    1. Ars Technica was never a lightning rod of logic or insight. I mean, more varied opinions than the /. Comment threads, but so is the North Korean parliament.

      1. Brett L has started the grand tour of beautiful logic… hey, MR BRETT we have a mile of old ladies who paid like tons of fucking dollars to visit your logic… FUCK, MR BRETT L is on the goddamn brochures and shit on the hills and the restraraints and shit.. FUCK MR BRETT L gotta give tours in your FUCKING caves of logic to the lost fucking old ass dummies who forgot to read the goddamn constitutionals and they’ve all been let go from googles, and apples, and big car companies…

        Brett L so this is a twat or watnot, brodammmit.

        1. Hold on. Taking a heroic dose of psilocybin to try to catch up. I think twat, but maybe not.

    2. +1 White Dwarf reference

      1. If I was walking down some goddamn alley next to a fucking river and my ass was lifted up by NASA fart technoibles and I decided not to assassinate the fucking nasa engineers with my gangster prowess I would be instantly a Charles Easternly a boy trapped in some spacial opportunities…. so Charles E your shit might get some mojo happenin but I was kidnapped and the only avatar I could remember that I KNEW held secrets of the universe was CHARLES EASTERLY… I wrote that on the NSA?NASA?DEA?FBI?CIA?ALL Tthat othe fucking shit acronum circus crap… but I understand these things are at it again and they have locked your arms and legs down and are about to zap Charles limbs into the future but Charles I’m super happy to be drinking beer under the oaks and you are on the fucking rape table of a ufo… shit,,,
        I am weak when it comes to super powers and galactic mystical shit…. I just want to eat cocaine, read Russell, love pussy, and drink tons of strong beer …. Sir, I will save you in a couple of years… that fucking ufo swings around every fucking years and I found a weak spot… not telling….

        1. With you on the case Agile, I am unworried. I have it on good authority that your ability to overcome the space-time continuum is such that even if a UFO captured someone and intended to hold them against their will for years or even decades, you’d be there before a millionth of a second had passed in their own reality and thus pluck them from an inglorious end.

          Once, many years ago when I was part of an advanced discovery team delving in a now-forgotten desert, we stumbled upon an arcane device recently revealed by a particularly violent sandstorm and I, being very brave and naive at the time, looked into its multi-faceted lenses and thence beyond an event horizon and deep into a far singularity. Just before I mercifully lost consciousness I glimpsed a wonder of indescribable grandeur.

          It was you.

  10. “Any expectation that the medallion would function as a shield against the rapid technological advances of the modern world would not have been reasonable,” he wrote. “In this day and age, even with public utilities, investors must always be wary of new forms of competition arising from technological developments.”

    A JDGE said that?!

    1. A judge in NYC no less.

      1. Never happen in SF…..

    2. Judges are mostly retarded fucks in this massive entity of supra-entitled bullshit so that comes as only a measured surprise.

      Judges are the fucks in your classrooms who were supra dicks and cunts and never used their brains ever except to solve shit that teachers placed in front of them and then these simple minded fucks ended up in legal colleges and their brains were trained to remember a million sentences of shitty laws mostly created under the most horrid fucks ever that Limbaugh ever night jacks his cock off to and that dumb FUCK black man ( I refuse to malign such a sweet black man even fucked up on drugs and booze Herman Caine- a sweet black i DISAGREE WITH ON EVERything… but what a sweet and lovely man i can’t love politically but HOW do you hate a sweet fucking retired man that replace BUT I so loved NEAL BOORTZ and his lilting savage voice was the best fucking radio ever….

      1. And they are appealing it….
        ‘Spose you noticed that professional victim Pao finally got some decent advice and decided to admit to sunk costs.
        But she’s still claiming ‘victory’, since, ah, something *wymens* something something.

        1. My wife is an employment lawyer.
          She says:
          “Pao got fucked good and hard”

          Well, I cleaned it up a little bit.

          1. She’ll get a book deal out of it, and Oprah appearances.
            Hope the book tanks…

  11. I just realized something funny: that econometrically, the zeroing out of the value of taxi medallions probably counts as capital destruction!

    1. They had value only as tokens of government protection, so if you paid, you were buying into a protection racket.

    2. I have some Chuck E Cheese tokens left over from a kids’ birthday, and now I’m worried about my investment.

  12. It is my understanding that Uber’s business model is not to compete with taxis. Uber is capitalized to $50B. Even a big city taxi service probably runs hand to mouth. Taxis are a bump in the business road for Uber. (Did I turn a phrase there for once in my life?)

    There must be a very strong anticipation among investors that the driverless car and van will be practical within the next 10 years. I don’t have much technical knowledge to add to this, but I doubt heavy-hitting investors would be so ignorant.

    I tested this in Philadelphia last year. It was still a bit less expensive to ride a taxi. Uber must see a market way beyond competing with taxis. Driverless vans for work commuters would be the low hanging fruit. There aren’t enough employees within one company for the company van to work other than as a perk. But route optimization will shine through with many more participants and lower employee costs.

    My investment advise is to have purchase Uber stock last year or about the same time I didn’t.

    1. “There must be a very strong anticipation among investors that the driverless car and van will be practical within the next 10 years. “

      Driverless cars have already logged 2.5 million miles on public roads in the U.S., and they’ve had 16 accidents–all of them other drivers’ fault.

      Bailey reported on that within the last couple of weeks. I’d dig it up, but I’m too lazy.

      1. Late to the party, but be careful when you quote that “already logged X bazillion miles” figure. Once you start digging into the real data, you discover that the majority of those miles were under manual control. And the entirety of the time, a human was sitting there, alert and ready to take over control any time the car signaled it was confused. Seriously, Google has published a lot of data on its testing, so if you’re interested in this kind of thing, go check it out.

    2. Mostly within 15 mile radius of Palo Alto where every pothole was mapped. Don’t get too exuberant, this will take some time.

      1. Yeah. Wake me when they can navigate the laid-out-by-a-blind-donkey streets of San Antonio, most of which are one way.

        Or make it from SA 500 miles to El Paso. Can they self-refuel?

  13. I think this is just a glimpse of the future. This is just the beginning. The information and decentralization revolution will leave statists fighting insurgencies they just can’t beat. Saratoga surrendered and there will be many more Saratogas.

    1. Did you apply for the job yet?

          1. I’ll never tell.

            1. One pic from me and she’ll tell me everything.

              She’s hot and smart, so she’ll know it when she sees it.

              1. Wait what? One pic of what? Am I being threatened? Or just humorless?

          2. How to speak Canadian

            Trigger warning.

        1. Either an ‘s’ or a ‘5’ – they look more like dots than dashes to me, so I’m going with ‘s’.

  14. OT: The Progressive Left has always viewed the Constitution as a hinderance to the implementation of their policies. What’s so crazy is now they are openly advocating getting rid of it or at least making some changes suitable for their agenda.


    “The Framers do not seem to have understood this particular flaw of mixed monarchy. But then, neither did they express absolute faith in their own wisdom. “They were incredibly conscious of the fragility of what they were creating,” Nelson says, “that it depends on forbearance.” The Constitution was an experiment, and its signers believed that its success was contingent on the willingness of varied constituencies to work together.

    When politicians today praise America’s system of checks and balances, they seem to understand it as a self-correcting mechanism: When one branch pushes too hard, the other branches must push back, preserving equilibrium. That understanding actually encourages politicians to overreact, in the belief that they are playing a vital constitutional role. It also encourages complacency, because a system that rights itself requires no painful compromises to preserve.”

    1. Great link, Ed, these so called “political scientists” should be mocked and humiliated for the statist shills they are. I mean they don’t derive their income from a state entity….oh, wait.

      Fuck these pricks in the ass with a rusty chainsaw.

    2. What does the Constitution have to do with how our government operates? Leaving aside the issue as to whether or not this guy is going to think a stronger executive is a good idea in about 16 months when President Trump assumes office, looking at Congress and the President and determining that “gridlock” is some huge problem overlooks the fact that our government is about 90% run by executive-branch agencies and I don’t see any gridlock there. I suspect the agencies prefer to have gridlock because it keeps both the President and Congress from interfering with how they run things. Mr. Appelbaum decries gridlock on the assumption that “getting things done” is the prime directive of the government when I would argue that gridlock is a wonderful thing because it keeps government from doing stuff they’re not supposed to be doing and doesn’t need to be done and is better left undone.

  15. My fucking face has jingle bells smashing into it. I have sledgebells cracking my spine and I’m pretty sure Santa is NOT THE FUCKING SHIT i am supposedly to listen to these things and Jesus Christ have I missed a couple of FUCKING months and shit… WHY the fuck is Santa all over my FUCKING ears? I just did a strong line of cocaine and I am prancing a mouth horse of high gravity judas beer and maybe i pulled on a fat cigar but where is all this christmas shit coming from?

    i don’t think santa likes his little boys eating more than 12 pussies per year and smoking more than 25 pounds of pot per year? I also did 45 pills of various things and I did smack from 50 bags. I did also do heroine like 12 times. I also eat tons of spinache and I actively hunt and kill demons and jack the killers.. and am only overweight like 13 pounds?

    1. I can’t speak for retailers, but my 5 year old was breaking out the Christmas CDs once the weather hit 70 degrees.

  16. I don’t understand Spotify. Pandora would never ever FUCKING DO THIS TO ME, you FUCKING digital sellout hells…. I am trapped in xmas. I have no fucking power to escape the violent assault of christmas happening to my fucking ufo. FUCK SPOTIFY. My fingers hate agile cyborg. agile CYBORG”S fingers are NOT AGILE CYBORG. agile cyborg is fingers and then a human boy and then lightning and atomic reactions bubbling on a plate in a microwave. I am trapped in christmas….
    fuck this shit… my fingers love tammy singing about nick gillespie naked a just shit from mary’s vagina and fucking thrown in a pile of reeds under a cow and a giraffe…. self, can you figure a way out of this rainbow mental duress, agile, listen to me… what is me? fuck, more beer…. I have to escape this trip

    1. Christmas shit is popping up already?

    2. Hobby Lobby always has Christmas … stuff.

  17. Never get caught doing drugs in christmas land. ever…

    1. AC, I’m sure there’s a story behind that statement and equally sure I really don’t want to hear it.

    2. Why not? It seems the sane way to persist through the Birth and family insistently being family.

    3. Serious question:
      Do they urine test at Husky?
      If so, you have a really good pee guy.

    4. Not even Cheech & Chong’s “magic dust”?

      1. Nice, Brett.

        I probably haven’t thought about that in years.

  18. FU Melrose Credit Union!!!! Buch of sheisser pants statist douchebags.

    1. I wondered about this as well, all my prog pals laud credit unions because they are non profit and lend money to members for cars and other good stuff. That they are immune to cronyism.

      This shoots a big hole in that bullshit assertion. I doubt the leaders make the coin Jamie Diamond makes but this could hurt members far more and I bet the people running that outfit are making good coin while running a “non profit”.

    2. Seriously, what legitimate organization would tie up three quarters of their money in a government monopoly?

  19. Amazingly enough, the 49ers are looking like an ept football team, and I’m somewhat gruntled as a result.

    1. My Vikes shit the bed, their questions on both lines appear to be real. There is always next year (said every football fan ever).

  20. And judging from the ads, what was formerly presumed to be ‘betting’ and therefore illegal seems now to be legal; is it now a game of skill rather than chance?

  21. Add NAPLES, Florida to this list!

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