When competition drags down your product, the smart thing to do is to fix your product and make it better than your competition. Right!?
Instead of doing that with the taxi services in New York City, the city council placed a cap on ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft and froze “new licenses for one year while it studies the fallout from the booming industry.”
Good Lord. You know why so many people love Uber and Lyft? We can hail a car on our phone, pay on our phone and not have to worry about cash, control the music, etc. Drivers usually keep refreshments in their cars for passengers and I’ve only had maybe one rude Uber driver.
So dumb to limit the one thing that actually works.
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) August 9, 2018
From The Wall Street Journal:
The vote Wednesday by the New York City Council could cripple the growth of Uber and Lyft in their biggest U.S. market as both companies are heading toward eventual initial public offerings. The Silicon Valley companies’ businesses depend on recruiting as many drivers as they can to drive down fares and cut pickup times.
Council members approved a package of bills after months of campaigning from taxi drivers and others in favor of the legislation and a challenge by the ride-hailing companies urging customers to oppose the bills.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has championed the measures and unsuccessfully tried to rein in the services in 2015, said he would sign the legislation. “Our city is directly confronting a crisis that is driving working New Yorkers into poverty and our streets into gridlock,” he said.
The ride-hailing firms warned that the cap, which the council approved in a 39-6 vote, would lead to reduced service in the outer boroughs and to higher fares at a time when the city’s subway and bus systems are frequently delayed and overcrowded.
During the one-year ban on new licenses, “the Taxi and Limousine Commission will study whether to regulate the number of licenses in the city and where those vehicles can operate.”
Here’s a wild and crazy idea! Why not evolve with the times and make your product better and more competitive? Why not sit down, look at why people prefer Uber and Lyft, and apply it to your product?
Nope. Government must help. De Blasio also said that “[T]he unchecked growth of app-based for-hire vehicle companies has demanded action – and now we have it.”
Wow. That’s a little scary. Government knows best, I guess! Us regular people aren’t smart enough to know the best way to get a ride around a city or place.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission monitors app-based ride-share companies since New York issues licenses for those Uber drivers. The council vote included allowing “the city to set a minimum hourly wage for ride-hail drivers” and those “companies would be required to fill in the gap if drivers don’t meet the threshold.”
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