Friday, 28 September 2012

My Neighborhood

Here in the DC area....some guy got this idea and developed this private luxury taxi service.....called Uber.  The thing about this....there's a application you download and it kinda tracks on a GPS like application on the cellphone.  You hit the Uber button and it brings up some kind of request screen, and then they come for you.  You don't call anyone or stand out on the street....the cellphone just notes your position and brings a private luxury car to you.

So for around seven or eight months....they've done business in DC.  This week....they got dragged into the city council area and the DC cab commission got all over them.

The Uber guy sat there.....not really understanding what was wrong.  The commission and the council got hinted this way and that.....something needed to be fixed.

Uber, then got around to looking for all the complaints that had been turned in with the city cab commission of DC.  Typically....every cab company gets dozens per year, and this is what drags you into a city council meeting. make a long story short....the request turned into a federal type information request, and finally the cab commission said that for this seven to eight months....NOT one complaint had been filed against Uber.  NOT one.  I think the Uber guy was shocked.  He probably figured at least one complaint per month would have come in....but nothing.

What you can figure from this mess is that the various cab companies are upset about competition and losing some business to the upper class level, which is what Uber goes after.  They figured that enough pressure from the right people....would have triggered Uber to bribe someone or maybe pull back off some of their business.  They guessed wrong.

It's an odd thing to watch business operations try to start out in DC....and face up to old-time operations which hate competition.

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