Taxis Drivers Sue Uber

You knew it was coming:

Hundreds of local cab drivers have filed suit against the car service Uber.

Tony Logan takes pride in being a taxi driver. He’s been driving for 23 years, but business has been down and he blames it on Uber, the company that connects passengers with cars through a smart phone app. Logan and other Atlanta Taxi drivers have filed a class action lawsuit against Uber and Uber drivers.

Logan goes on to say he’s for fair competition but wants Uber subjected to the same regulations he is. With all due respect, Logan and his follow taxi cab drivers are going after the wrong people. The problem is Atlanta caps how many taxis can operate in the city by requiring the ownership of a medallion. This drives up prices and stifles innovation.

I maintain policies like the medallion system in Atlanta and other places harm low and moderate income people by preventing them from entering a business that could lift them out of poverty and raise their standard of living. Toss out the medallion system and let taxi drivers, Uber drivers, Lyft drivers and whatever other ride share companies’ drivers who want to, compete for business.

Below is a video I produced that makes this point. If we really want to help low and moderate income folks, do away with regulations that unnecessarily block access to jobs. Georgia requires licenses and training for a host of jobs. Some of these requirements are necessary but often times they are not – to the detriment of honest hard working people.

23 comments

  1. Joash Thomas says:

    Here’s an alternate solution for Tony Logan: Ditch the Company you currently work for and join Uber. I hear they’re hiring. Plus, I’m sure it will be a lot cheaper that way.

  2. benevolus says:

    If you are worried about poor people, this is a strange hill to take: defending a company that doesn’t take cash and you must have a smartphone to use.

      • benevolus says:

        I haven’t taken a taxi here in a long time, and I don’t know when this medallion thing started, but I do remember taxis from when I got here in the 70’s. They were a mess. I assume the medallions are intended to provide consumers with a reassurance that they are getting some basic minimum regulated standard of safety and performance, since we are ENTRUSTING THEM WITH OUR LIVES!

        Is this another case of “the problem is over here ————>
        <——— so we're going to propose a solution over here"?

        If the problem is the cost of medallions, work towards reducing the cost of medallions.
        If the problem is not enough medallions, work towards getting more medallions.

        I agree that (from what I know) those medallions are ridiculously expensive. If there is corruption there then we need to address THAT. If the city has become dependent on that revenue (unlikely) then we might have to also suggest a way to replace it or define what gets cut without it.

        But just unleashing a tidal wave of essentially unregulated 70's and 80's American sedans in God only knows what state of repair on the visitors to this city seems pretty… reckless.

        • Bobloblaw says:

          Medallions are intended to limit competition

          “”If the problem is the cost of medallions, work towards reducing the cost of medallions.
          If the problem is not enough medallions, work towards getting more medallions.””

          LOL……

          “”But just unleashing a tidal wave of essentially unregulated 70’s and 80’s American sedans in God only knows what state of repair on the visitors to this city seems pretty… reckless.””

          There is an age limit on how old cars can be.

        • “But just unleashing a tidal wave of essentially unregulated 70’s and 80’s American sedans in God only knows what state of repair on the visitors to this city seems pretty… reckless.”

          That’s not what’s happening. Uber requires cars newer that 2006, that they be well maintained and clean (they inspect them from time to time), that drivers go through a background and driving record check and so forth. Another key feature of Uber is that they ask everyone who takes a ride to rate on a scale of 1 star to 5 stars, their Uber driver. Drivers with low average ratings will be asked to leave. If you’re not providing good customer service or don’t know your way around town, riders will punish you and you lose your job. In other words, the “crowd” determines who ultimately gets to give them a ride.

          • CountPetofi says:

            In other words, the cream rises to the top….and if you build a better mousetrap, something about the world beating a path to your door….

            • benevolus says:

              Right. Because McDonalds is good for you, Walmart sells great quality stuff, and GM has your best interests at the forefront!

          • benevolus says:

            Are you saying these company policies should become regulations? Because if not, my scenario is valid if all you are advocating is deregulation.

  3. Of course their must be some regulation, but my point is it could stand to be a lot less than it currently is. Uber, Lyft and others have come up with a way to meet a need not satisfied by the current marketplace. That’s why customers are using them. The taxi industry needs to join guys like me who want the regulations reformed and not simply try to outlaw their competition or file lawsuits.

    • benevolus says:

      I can “get on board” with that.

      But I will say that sometimes a lawsuit like this is what it takes to get people to pay attention.

  4. saltycracker says:

    I like it – from my “farside” view – seems like if a hot chick wants to drive a congressman around in a limo at night the licensing, inspection, qualification process ought to be about $250, no limits.
    Best 🙂

  5. objective says:

    i live in a community where there’s plenty of cabbies and riders.
    i’ve had to utilize them myself from time to time, to fill in gaps in a one-car household.
    lemme say, cabs are way too expensive; just the first mile could cost you ten plus bucks.
    being originally from NY, this is a crazy price.
    since NY is otherwise more expensive in seemingly every other way, it may be interesting to compare the markets. more competition between taxis sure. but there is also some price controls, i believe. i’m sure folks wouldn’t be none too pleased about price controls. but they exist, likely, to prevent unfair market-busting collusion among the medallion grantees. and unfair gouging of tourists.
    i’d think there could be a nice regulatory balance between public safety and competition. are there any bills ready for pre-filing?

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