It’s a rare day when you can’t read about a city in the U.S.
threatening to shut down an innovative new ride-sharing service
such as Uber or Lyft. Bureaucrats and elected officials
usually cast their opposition in terms of public safety, but the
motivation is crystal-clear. Every burg with a taxi industry also
has regulations and barriers to entry that exist mostly to protect
folks who are already in business. Customer satisfaction and safety
has little or nothing to do with it. Indeed, the new services that
take advantage of smart-phone technology are all about
customer satisfaction, allowing users to post reviews online
immediately. When’s the last time you felt you empowered to do the
same with a conventional taxi service?
On October 22, Reason TV released the video above, which details
the lengths to which the Washngton, D.C. government went to kill
Uber, one of the best known and most-popular new car service. The
effort failed and it’s well worth watching to see what it took to
beat back a blatantly anti-competitive attack in the nation’s
Go here for more links, resources, and downloadable versions.
Here’s the original writeup:
The on-demand car service Uber is one of the most inventive
transportation technologies of the new century. In over 20
countries – and two dozen U.S. cities – Uber uses a smartphone app
to connect people who need rides with drivers of a range of
vehicles from luxury towncars to regular taxis.
Like most powerful innovations, Uber disrupts the status quo by
competing with established business interests. In Washington, D.C.,
the service was an instant hit with city residents – and almost as
quickly found itself at odds with D.C.’s powerful taxi lobby and
its allies on the city council.
The result was the Uber Wars, which ended in a striking victory
for the company and its customers.
About 10 minutes.
Written and directed by Rob Montz (follow him on
and executive produced by William Beutler at Beutler Ink (@BeutlerInk). For more
information and inquiries, email TheUberWars@gmail.com
from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/03/cities-screw-residents-by-squelching-ube