Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×
The Courts Transportation

Taxi Owners Sue NYC Over Uber, While Court Overrules Class-Action Appeal (thestack.com) 210

An anonymous reader writes: Taxi owners in New York have filed a lawsuit against cab-hailing app giant Uber, citing damaged revenues and a hefty fall in value of NYC's 'medallion' business. The case against the city and its Taxi and Limousine Commission claims that the regulators have unfairly permitted Uber to steal away business from the regulated cab industry. Getting away without regulation has enabled Uber drivers to compete directly, and drown out official taxi companies. A further lawsuit case hovering over Uber this week, is its request to immediately appeal an order approving class certification filed by its own drivers. The appeal was denied by a U.S. court yesterday.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Taxi Owners Sue NYC Over Uber, While Court Overrules Class-Action Appeal

Comments Filter:
  • by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @08:04PM (#50959193) Homepage

    The taxi system already has good infrastructure in place and could destroy Uber if they wanted to, simply by competing fairly and adopting the "choose where you want to go before the cab gets to you" model.

    But instead of doing this, they try to take the easy way out and sue.

    Think of how optimized the cab system could be if they used Uber's model? But no, it's still based on the old "hail a cab and tell them where you're going" system.

    • by Krishnoid ( 984597 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @08:19PM (#50959293) Journal

      You know things have degenerated when suing is the *easy* option.

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        The "hard" option is to compete, and taxis can't do that. That'd be hard.
        • by tompaulco ( 629533 ) on Thursday November 19, 2015 @12:12AM (#50960241) Homepage Journal

          The "hard" option is to compete, and taxis can't do that. That'd be hard.

          It would be easy to compete if they didn't have to obey the law. If the city would reimburse all of their sunk costs on Taxi medallions, remove the regulations which regulate the prices that taxis can charge and remove the insurance and inspection requirements, then taxis could easily compete with uber and due to their economies of scale, they could crush Uber. But unfortunately, Uber chooses to continue to operate without paying any attention to the rules which other companies in the same sector have to obey.

    • I don't use taxis nor Uber (I've been in a taxi once in my life).

      It does seem somewhat unfair to me that the existing taxis have a government mandated "monopoly", but then anybody else can come in and undercut them. That is, taxis are being held to more strict (and thus expensive) regulations than Uber and the other companies are.

      Either get rid of some of the regulations for the taxis or make these other taxi-like services ("if it quacks like a duck") meet the same requirements.

      I do think the line can get

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )

        It does seem somewhat unfair to me that the existing taxis have a government mandated "monopoly",

        Yes. It's *impossible* for a new entrant to become a taxi, without buying government permission from a private party (at a profit to that private party). That's quite unfair, and a horrible monopoly model. That's why people applaud Uber. It's not that they like Uber, but that it's breaking the broken regulations.

        Either get rid of some of the regulations for the taxis or make these other taxi-like services ("if it quacks like a duck") meet the same requirements.

        In NYC, "private car" service is explicitly not a taxi. They don't have medallions, and don't follow the same rules. Uber, being a dispatch-only service, is explicitly not a taxi in NYC. Uber

        • In NYC, "private car" service is explicitly not a taxi. They don't have medallions, and don't follow the same rules. Uber, being a dispatch-only service, is explicitly not a taxi in NYC. Uber is banned by law from responding to on-street hails. So they aren't quacking like a duck.

          Well, that's what I mean though. I understand that the laws obviously are not written from a layman's perspective. From a regular person's perspective, a taxi, Uber, and a "private car" service are all some way to get them from p

          • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
            They are in some places, but in NYC, they already separated out Taxi as the only service that could respond to a hail, and a private car service that can't respond by hail, but can respond to a call, email, letter, or anything else that's not a wave-down in the street. I've been told that taxis are the only ones that can have taxi ranks, but the hotel I stayed at in NYC had two separate ranks for taxis and private cars. But to book the private car, you walked inside the lobby and requested one from the con
      • I don't use taxis nor Uber (I've been in a taxi once in my life).

        So, obviously, that qualifies you to comment knowledgeably about a taxi/Uber issue. SMH.... The level of discourse here has seriously eroded.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      Are they allowed to take the easy way out or are they tightly regulated while Uber is not?
      • It's less about the regulation and more about the cost of the medallion that allows them to have a car on the street.

        The main idea of the medallion is to keep the number of cars on the street to a reasonable number so it will have to be applied to uber sooner or later.

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )
          That's what I was attempting to point out. The taxi companies are stuck with extra costs while Uber is not. They can't take the easy way out without being shut down while Uber can.
          Uber - bringing all the joys of third-world piecework home. If they were not blatant liars pushing the "ride-sharing" fiction I'd give them a bit more of the benefit of the doubt.
  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr@m[ ]com ['ac.' in gap]> on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @08:37PM (#50959395) Journal

    Uber is eating their lunch because cabs SUCK. I have no sympathy at all for those rent-seeking bastards.

    -jcr

    • Actually that was my immediate reaction but while I know we are not expected to read the article I did at least think that the submitter should. The taxi owners have NOT filed a law suit against Uber as the first line of the summary says, they have filed a law suit against NYC (as the title says) over them allowing Uber to operate. This seems to have some merit.

      If you are going to create an artificial monopoly and charge people a lot of money to take part in it then they do have a grievance if you sudden
      • The correct way would be to enforce that Uber follows the law and challenge NYC (and other cities) to hand out more "medallions" / licenses to run a cab business.

        The your called monopoly is only the (questionable) scarcity of "medallions", not the other legislations.

        • NYC has a lot of people in it and the streets are not wide enough to cary a level of traffic that a commuting pattern like another city work work. If you are going to have cars you are going to have to regulate the number. parking costs does that (to an extent) for personal vehicles, but not so for taxis. Medallions are a good thing, they prevent the tragedy of the commons.

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
          In NYC, Uber does follow the law. That's why the Taxis are pissed. They essentially want to sue NYC to change the law to outlaw the currently legal Uber.
          • by Holi ( 250190 )
            No they don't NYC has many regulations regarding cars for hire, Uber does not follow any of them. Commercial licenses for the drivers. Medallions for the cars.
      • They've made an artificial monopoly, yes, but part of the 'problem' is that Uber is arguably NOT acting as a taxi service per the rules of NYC. They're operating under their 'black car/livery car' rules, which are more relaxed, and do not have medallions.

        Another problem is that they're not actually 'charging people a lot of money'. Sure, there's fees to operate a taxi, but they're not that much higher than for a black car. The medallions are permanent in nature and were mostly issued ages ago, and are th

        • by Holi ( 250190 )
          There are three classes of FHV (For Hire Vehicles) service in New York City: Community Cars (aka Liveries), Black Cars, and Luxury Limousines. For-hire service must be arranged through a TLC-licensed base and performed by TLC-licensed drivers in TLC-licensed vehicles.

          Uber drivers and their cars are not TLC-Licensed so no Uber does not follow the rules.
      • by Holi ( 250190 )
        Except the cab companies did not create the monopoly, that was the medallion system created by the legislature.
    • by Holi ( 250190 )
      Uber is eating their lunch due to the fact that Uber does not follow the regulations imposed on cab companies.
  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @08:38PM (#50959401)
    you know...watching an old movie with my sister (she LOVES movies) and her daughter asks about the tech in the movie. "why would anyone...?" take your pick: landline, taxi, whatever. well, she does LOVE horses, so there. bottom line: her generation doesn't care about medallions/taxis/etc.
    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Horses are older than landlines, taxis, etc. Tell her "why would anyone ... horses?" [grin]

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        ladies ride horses to get off

    • Because she doesn't understand them and how bad the taxi market was before regulation.
  • It's not like the Taxi industry could adapt to the changing market place; Instead let's insure that we save a dying business model and hamper progress by using legislation as an excuse for for necessity.

    • Ensure - to make sure that something happens.
      Insure - paying premiums, just in case it doesn't.

  • In NYC the Taxi and Limousine Commision regulates... taxis and limos. Taxis are hailed and can't be called, and limos are called and can't be hailed. You can't carry passengers for hire without being one or the other.

    For years and years this has been the case. You'd "dial 7" or "dial 6" or whatever and the "black car" (technically a limo, but to distinguish from the yellow taxis) would come pick you up.

    So Uber shows up and the T&LC goes "Great! Another black car company! Fill out this paperwork and you'

    • The complaints and lawsuits aren't about the Uber Black and above service tiers which you rightly identify as legally licensed livery services.

      The complaints are about the low-cost tiers which are essentially the same thing as Lyft. Unlicensed individuals selling rides for hire through Uber as a booking agent. The drivers and vehicles aren't licensed as limos or taxis, and the cars don't have the special plates or stickers. Uber is taking a cut and claiming it's OK because there's no licenses required for d

      • liability and insurance are the big ones also labor laws.

        The taxi company's may abuse the labor laws. But they have full liability for accidents lift and uber look for loops holes even when a 6-year-old girl is killed by a uber driver that is on duty but uber has there system setup so they are not in there book.

      • The complaints are about the low-cost tiers which are essentially the same thing as Lyft. Unlicensed individuals selling rides for hire through Uber as a booking agent. The drivers and vehicles aren't licensed as limos or taxis, and the cars don't have the special plates or stickers.

        Except, in NYC, the low-cost tier (Uber X) IS licensed as limos, with drivers with Taxi and Limo Commission licenses, and vehicles with the special TLC plates. The only difference between Uber X and Uber Black in NYC is that Uber Black has nicer cars (think Escalades vs. Camrys). This is a big difference between NYC and the rest of the country. NYC doesn't have the "Bob and his Chevy working for a couple hours driving people around" aspect.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm not sure how a bitcoin-only system like Uber can win over the traditional taxis.

  • I don't know about NYC cabs specifically, but everywhere I go, traditional cabs don't use GPS. So instead of sitting back and relaxing, I have to play navigator to the guy driving the cab. This is interesting in locations I've never been. I give the address, and the drivers asks me which highway to take. How am I suppose to know? I end up using my phone's GPS just so the driver can go where I need.

    Now you can run into problems with Uber when they are relying on GPS to get places somewhere like Boston, and t

The star of riches is shining upon you.

Working...