Message to Government: Hands Off Uber!

By Danny Lewis

Popular ride sharing services, such as Uber, are under attack from legislatures across the nation. Local and state governments are already taking action that could affect Uber and thousands of its customers.

The New York Post claims:

“The bill, proposed by council member Stephen Levin (D-Brooklyn), would rein in the app-based car service’s rate of growth to 1 percent over the next year — it would only be allowed to add about 200 vehicles to its current fleet of more than 19,000 across its seven bases.

Uber execs say the language in the bill also prevents roughly 10,000 potential drivers from coming on board, according to spokeswoman Alix Anfang, who added that the proposal “would take good jobs out of the hands of hundreds of New Yorkers who spent months getting a TLC license to drive with Uber.””

If the bill passes, it will cost hundreds of jobs around New York and make the wait times longer for customers. It will also lead to higher prices.

Uber is fighting against New York’s action plan according to Quartz:

“New Yorkers using Uber today (July 16) found a new option among the car service’s offerings—named after New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio…What happens if you try to choose the service? You get a political message criticizing a De Blasio-endorsed plan to limit the number of cars on Uber’s platform for the next year while the city studies its traffic problem…”

New Hampshire is looking for ways to regulate ride sharing according to New Hampshire Public Radio:

“New Hampshire lawmakers are considering how to regulate ridesharing services such as Uber.

Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed a bill to create a 5-member committee to study how Uber and taxi services are regulated statewide and nationally and to compare the safety of the services, among other things. The committee must report its finding by the beginning of November.”

The situation in New Hampshire is another example of unnecessary government overreach in the free market.

Perhaps the biggest story comes from California, which is the home of Uber. Business Insider reports that California took strong action against Uber:

“The California Public Utilities Commission wants Uber to fork over $7.3 million because the company refused to comply with reporting requirements.

The company's license to operate will also be suspended in 30 days unless it files an appeal, which it has told Business Insider that it plans to do

As a registered Transportation Network Company with the state, Uber was supposed to hand over buckets of data on September 1, 2014. Nearly a year later, the information is still missing.

Among the required data Uber failed to report:

The number of customers who wanted accessible vehicles: The company failed to tell the CPUC how many and what percentage of customers requested accessible vehicles and how often it was able to comply with the request.

The number of rides in each zip code: Uber was supposed to report the number of rides requested and accepted by each driver — per zip code — and the amount paid for each ride. It also failed to report the number of rides that were requested but not accepted.

The number of incidents involving Uber drivers: Uber failed to hand over the cause of each driving incident.”

Government has no business being involved in ride sharing. Government regulation is what leads to higher prices, longer wait periods, and unemployment. People use services like Uber because it’s more affordable and there is less of a wait time than for a taxi. Government knows the best way to kill innovation and ride sharing will be its next victim.

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