The upstart company Uber, which allows one to call for a ride wherever one is with the click of a button on an application, is running afoul of the DC taxi companies. Long insulated by a city council which basically worked in partnership with the companies, the DC taxis have run headlong into a disruptive business model. Instead of adapting they have chosen instead to double down on “government partnership.”
First Uber was declared illegal. That didn’t work. Then the city government tried to regulate Uber to death by forcing it to charge 5 times the going rate for taxis. But that didn’t work either. DC residents flooded city council offices with calls and emails in support of Uber.
Now the Taxi Cab Commission has proposed yet more regs to insulate the established taxi companies.
As technology continues to evolve more and more industries will seek to hide under the skirts of government rather than compete when presented with a disruptive development to a current business model. This is not surprising, but this type of industry behavior should be curtailed wherever and whenever such behavior is exhibited. If it isn’t it is the average consumer who will pay.