DC Taxi Legislation Calls For Mandatory Minimum For Car Services

10:20 PM, Jul 9, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- Uber is a San-Francisco based company that entered the Washington market a few months ago. 

The high-tech firm makes a smart-phone application that matches high-end car services with customers.

Uber says the technology is a win, win, win. The car services get the rides, Uber gets a cut every ride, and customers get easy access to the car services.  

The company's DC general manager says everything here was going great until the City Council proposed a bill that establishes a minimum price, $15 , for every ride.

Even though Uber already has a $15 minimum, the company says a mandated minimum would affect their ability to charge lower prices in the future and to offer the service to less affluent customers.

"With having artificial minimums, that doesn't create open competition," said Rachel Holt, Uber's general manager.

But DC councilwoman Mary Cheh, who introduced the legislation calling for a $15 minimum, says Uber is trying to have it both ways.  First, they want to be a part of the high-end sedan industry, which is subject to less regulation than the taxi industry, but they also want to reserve the right to compete with taxis.  And Cheh says that's simply not fair.

"You can't both have less regulation and a preferred position and claim that you're a premium service, and then want to undercut the taxis that are out there," Cheh said.

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