Back in January what brought you this story about Washington DC’s response to Über moving into town. Über is a mobile app hailing service for affordable limos and town cars.
Although Über is a Silicon Valley based startup, each new market is treated as its own separate company even though they are ultimately all head quartered in San Francisco. The Washington DC unit is by far the one that’s run into the most difficulty.
Über works just about effortlessly in all the markets they are in. You download the app to your smartphone and tell the app where you are. From there an indecent network driver is dispatched to you. You pay via the app so no cash needs to change hands. In DC, New York and San Francisco I’ve never waited more than 15 minutes for an uber ride.
Well as we reported back in January the taxicab drivers in Washington DC have had a major a problem since Über put up roots in Washington DC’s DuPont Circle neighborhood.
DC cabbies (which have even had a movie made about them starring Mr. T) were furious over the business they would possibly lose to Uber who according to the DC Taxicab Association, operates under a loop hole and should have to be licensed the same way limos are.
Now it appears the cabbies have enlisted the help of Washington DC City Councilwoman Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3). Cheh has proposed legislation that would make the minimum fare for an Über ride $15 which is a five times higher than the minimum fare for a normal sanctioned district cab.
NBC’s Luke Russert took to Twitter to express his dismay:
“I’m willing to bet #DC cabbies after 12am will say, ‘cash only, no credit’ or claim that their credit machine ‘is broken.’” Russert tweeted earlier in the day.
He wasn’t alone, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) tweeted about the issue from his official Twitter handle @Jasoninthehouse, “Uber fans unite! D.C. Council wants to keep fares high. This is wrong! #UberDClove political website rollcall.com reported.
After the outcry on Twitter Cheh removed the Über portion of a proposed taxi bill from the legislation.
Rollcall also reported that lifetime DC political figure, former Mayor who was busted smoking crack while in office in January of 1990, wasn’t a fan of Über either. The Washington Post’s Tim Craig tweeted: “Marion Barry said he’s opposed to Uber because its a ‘San Francisco-based company’ and cab drivers ‘don’t need limousines coming in here.’”
Find out more about Über here
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