Brat Uber Doesn't Even Want To Follow Easier Rules

Posted on February 26, 2015 by - Also by this author

The perfect mascot for Uber. Just get in your black car and go home.
The perfect mascot for Uber. Just get in your black car and go home.

Sometimes the biggest victories in a wider war come in the smaller or unexpected places.

Uber's decision to pull out of Boise for what it called onerous rules, or rules that limo and taxicab operators must obey, illustrates Uber's contempt for safety and a fundamental American sense of fairness.

The rules that made Uber throw down like a brat and then scurry away weren't even as stringnet as rules for taxicabs. Imagine that: A city government is willing to hand Uber a lower standard of regulations and Uber would rather shut down than comply.

According to a KTVB-TV (Boise) report: "Uber management wasn't pleased with the city's proposal, which included background checks for drivers, annual inspections by the city, requiring driver's carry insurance, making drivers adhere to airport shuttle regulations, requiring drivers get a physical and commercial licenses, and requiring Uber to get a business license. Those regulations are less stringent than those imposed on local cab companies."

The Uber reaction says three things:

  • Even when a local government is willing to put Uber into a favored regulatory category, Uber doesn't care about minimal passenger safety.
  • Uber cannot AFFORD to comply with the same insurance, maintenance, safety and licensing rules of legitimate, law abiding limousine and taxi companies. Throw in the possibility that Uber drivers are misclassified as independent contractors, Uber and TNCs could see their Goldilocks business models implode.
  • Uber once again bungles its public relations approach. Complaining about rules that every sane and reasonable paying customer would want shows a blase attitude toward passenger safety. Did the Uber manager check with publicity whiz David Plouffe, first, or does Plouffe practice the same tactics as the cultic President he once submitted to? Common rules don't apply to us.

The Boise debacle also illustrates once again the general idiocy of so many local and state governments on this issue. You don't create a separate regulatory category for Transportation (not technology) Network Companies (TNCs) that can be singled out for exemptions and favors. You regulate TNCs like taxis or limos. Make up your minds. Or cut the limo and taxi regs down to TNC size.


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