Uber Faces Heat from Threatened Taxicab Monopolies

The future of transportation is here in the form of private ride-sharing companies such as Uber. While many travelers have integrated seamless app-based services into their transportation repertoire, there are those who are resisting innovation in the industry.

“When you have a transition of infrastructure, the old guard is going to fight like hell to hang on to its place,” says Robert Young, an assistant professor of urban planning at the University of Texas at Austin.

Since Uber was created in 2009, the San Francisco-based company has been launchedin over 70 cities worldwide, according to its website

Although the innovative smartphone-basedservice has been embraced by consumers, from Washington D.C. all the way to Seattle, Washington Uber has faced regulatory obstruction. Seattle and other cities have capped the number of ride-sharing vehicles on the road to necessitate artificial demand for traditional taxis, while other cities like New Orleans and Portland have banned the companies entirely.

Critics of Uber claim that the ride-sharing companies work outside of existing parameters that regulate transportation services. The same critics claim that Uber and similar services severely hinder cabbies economic stability all over the country.

In reality, archaic regulatory regimes benefit the incumbents and today act as a barrier to entry to competition that would benefit consumers and communities.

Senator Marco Rubio(R-Fla.) summarizes the argument against over regulation of ride-sharing services; “regulation should never be a weapon used by connected and established industry to crowd out innovation and competition, and [Uber] is a real-world example.”  

TAGS: Regulation, Business, Transportation, Technology

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