Boston Bans Uber

Posted on August 15, 2012 by

[Updated 8/20/2012, 10:05 a.m.: Massachusetts Governor says Uber is “free to continue operating” in the state. Click here to go to update.]

It seems like the world just can’t get enough of Uber, the startup smartphone livery service app that allows users to get a chauffeured car or SUV on demand with a couple of taps on their phone screens. It’s good for users who want a chauffeured vehicle ASAP and it’s good for operators who want to fill downtime by putting some of their metal to work around the city. (Click here to watch a video of Uber’s CEO explaining the service).

But the problem is that Uber has been declared to operate illegally in several of the cities it serves, most recently Boston, where it has been hit with a cease and desist order (scroll down to view the letter).

Related: Uber Breaks Toronto Bylaws

The main issue is that Uber doesn’t play by the same rules that registered livery operators and taxi cab services do. The payment structure of Uber vehicles is a time+mileage-based fare model, unlike the full-disclosure-of-price-before-pickup set fare model of the livery industry, but it doesn’t use a regulated in-vehicle meter that is required of the taxi cab industry.

Instead, the fare is calculated by GPS tracking on the smartphone, which is considered an “unlicensed device to measure mileage,” in Boston.

Uber responded to the cease and desist on its blog: “We strongly believe that the consumer has every right to new, innovative technology that makes their lives better and easier, and that the consumer’s needs should always come first. Uber will continue full speed ahead with the mission of making Boston and the surrounding areas a great place to live and travel…”

The Boston Business Journal reports that the Division of Standards of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which issued the cease and desist order, gave no comment but may issue a statement Wednesday, Aug. 15. 

The city administration has plans to meet with Uber reps “in the near future.”

What really matters?
How do you feel about Uber and what do you think it means for the future of this industry?

What is your biggest concern? Is it the app’s ability to provide instant service? The unregulated, illegal fee structure? The lack of proper licensing and registration?

Please share your thoughts. I’m interested to know what you think are the biggest issues with Uber. Despite the friction it’s faced with regulators, Uber is a tech-tool that may just end up sticking around, especially since it’s popular with consumers. I want to discover not only what this means for our industry, but also how to help operators stay competitive and thriving in the face of this disruptive1 technology.

Pro-Uber Point of View: Why Shutting Down Uber is a Bad Idea for Cambridge, the Commonwealth, and Consumers

— Michael Campos, LCT associate editor

 

City of Cambridge MA Hearing Decision


1. Disruption is not necessarily a bad thing, nor is it necessarily a good thing; it just is. It is bad or good depending on if you ask someone benefitting from it or someone hurting from it. Most operators might say Uber is hurting them, so by all means, protect what is yours! But keep an open mind, because there may be an opportunity for operators to learn from and improve upon this entire experience.

 

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More LCT Blog Blog Posts

October 1, 2012

Event Management

Don't let your guests down. Here are some things to think about before the event starts.

September 26, 2012

October LCT Mag Focuses On Customer Service

ISSUE PREVIEW: What does he think? What did she really say? Are you channeling your customers? In the October 2012 issue of LCT Magazine, you’ll get a complete primer on how to read and please your
September 26, 2012

Driverless Cars Legalized In California

With no need for people to operate vehicles, how can limo companies adapt to the new world of transportation?
September 26, 2012

Manners Still Matter On Social Media

It has never before been easier for businesses to share information, insight and intimacy with consumers; it has also never been easier to offend them. Read more to learn how to avoid a social media faux pas.
September 20, 2012

My First Encounter With The 2013 Lincoln MKT Town Car

On my trip to Chicago last week for the 2012 BusCon Expo, I had the pleasure of experiencing a new ride — the 2013 MKT Town Car.
See More

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blogs

See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - December 2016 $12.95 GLOBAL/INTERNATIONAL ISSUE COVER STORY: * The Coolest Operators on the Planet * *



Connect

Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close