Where to begin? Uber and Lyft are making a splash but getting muddied in the process. This is one business sector saga worth following. . .
Here are the LCT headline toppers for the past week:
UBER KIDNAPPING & HIGH SPEED CHASE: An executive visiting Washington, D.C. says he was taken on a terrifying high-speed race down a busy freeway Monday by an Uber car service driver who held him against his will. UK DailyMail.com article here / MSN News.com article here
NO CATCHING A LYFT IN NY: The state has hit car hailing app Lyft, which plans to start operating in the city on Friday, with a “cease and desist” letter ordering them to shut down statewide. NY Daily News blog post here
5 CLEVER UBER TRICKS: Apart from the company's hailing app, Uber essentially operates as a traditional black car business in New York. The same is true for the company's low-cost UberX service. SFgate.com article here
UBER DRIVER BLASTS BACKGROUND CHECKS: "I've been a taxi driver in MA, FL and CA. Uber's claim that their screening process is " often more rigorous" than what it takes to become a taxi driver is an outright lie." ValleyWag.Gawker.com article here
UBER-X DROPS FARES IN NYC: An UberX rate will average 20% less than a taxicab fare, making the e-hail cars cheaper than cabs. Crain's New York Business article here
UBER, LYFT TRY , TRY AGAIN IN VIRGINIA: After receiving fines and a cease-and-desist order, Uber and Lyft have applied for passenger transportation broker's licenses in Virginia and have requested temporary operating authority. DailyPress.com article here
UBER PENETRATES DEEP SOUTH: The ride-sharing service Uber has started in four South Carolina cities: Charleston, Columbia, Greenville and Myrtle Beach. SCNow.com article here
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, DON'T GOUGE: Uber has agreed to limit prices during emergencies, natural disasters or other unusual market disruptions consistent with New York's law against price gouging. Crain's New York Business article here
SCARY? A TNC FOR THE KIDDIES: Have you heard of Shuddle? Just hit an app and a car will come to transport your children. Welcome to the newest mobile option for "today's modern family." Shuddle.us
Dueling Op/Ed Commentaries:
HOW UBER CAN CONTROL CITY POLITICS: Despite the Democrats’ urban dominance, cities may soon be up for grabs. For the party’s refusal to embrace the innovative technology and disruptive businesses that have improved city life presents a challenge to Democrats — and an opportunity for Republicans. Reuters commentary here
WHY UBER IS UN-AMERICAN: Uber, a company that has wrapped itself in this flag of economic liberty, but don't be fooled by the sparklers or wave the American flag just yet. The reality is just the opposite. Huffington Post commentary here.
-- Compiled by LCT editor Martin Romjue