There isn’t much a smartphone can’t do these days. Now, it can even hail you a cab, using the app Über. But regulators and the government bureaucrats are trying to stifle the service.
For those unfamiliar, Über is an app that basically lets you hire a taxi or limousine with an in-app reservation service. Users can see reviews of the drivers. Über uses independent contractors to provide the rides, and riders can pay on the app and follow the driver via GPS, as well.
Existing cab companies could all provide what Über does, but they don’t. They would rather use the government to eliminate competition through regulations.
According to Forbes, cabbies aren’t taking kindly to the competition:
“Instead of responding to a new kind of virtual competitor with better products and services, however, the highly-regulated taxi and limousine companies in every city Über has entered have instead gone the route of trying to ban Uber’s existence.”
In Miami, Über can’t operate due to existing laws that were clearly drafted to protect taxis from competition, even from a licensed competitor. Limos can’t provide service in less than an hour after receiving the reservation. The minimum fare for a limo by law is $80. Lastly, limo licenses are limited to 150.
According to CEO Travis Kalanick, the young company has spent a lot of time fighting off these regulations in court. Forbes reported that Uber has already fought charges, fines and bans in San Francisco, Chicago, Massachusetts, New York, Washington D.C, and recently in Toronto, where city officials have charged the company with dispatching rides without a license.
As America’s economy continues to struggle and people can’t find work, can we afford to stifle innovation with piles of regulation?
Jeffrey Tucker said, “markets will change the world, not politics.”
Innovation, creativity and markets have the ability to side step government regulations and control. No matter how hard the government tries, it cannot stop the internet, apps like Uber, or stop people from communicating through Twitter.