Uber, a tech start-up and on-demand transportation service, is under attack by anti-innovation regulation in Washington DC. In December 2012, the DC City Council passed legislation that would allow Uber to operate in the capital city without intervention from unelected regulators, but they are now facing opposition from the DC Taxi Commission that will force them to discontinue their taxi services starting June 1st.
If the DCTC has its way, Uber will no longer be able to collect digital payments from DC residents, and they will have to hand over customer ride data to the DCTC, compromising privacy. Perhaps most ridiculously, the Toyota Prius will be banned from the Uber fleet. I’m not a fan of the Prius either, but these obstacles could prevent Uber from operating altogether in the District, costing jobs, eliminating consumer options, and making taxi drivers miss out on the extra business they gain from the app.
Mayor Gray’s appointee is doing a lot of damage to transportation options and ease in DC with these regulations. I enjoy the Uber app because it allows me to pay seamlessly by credit card, and brings reliable transportation to wherever I am. Uber TAXI is Uber’s low cost option, and it is a popular service because of this. It benefits consumers and also independent taxi drivers, who can earn a little extra money by picking up Uber ride requests.
Fans of Uber are taking to Twitter to voice their dissatisfaction. Check out #UberDCLove.