(2012-04-13) Uber Routing Around Taxi Regulations

Uber is doing a Route Around Taxi regulations, with some success.

*Uber makes its money at least in part by alleviating these inefficiencies. In most places, “black car” or livery services are regulated differently, and more lightly, than taxis are. Though Uber has good reason not to say so, it’s basically turning livery services into cabs. The company is one step further removed from regulation, because it doesn’t run cars itself; it funnels passengers to existing services....

“I want to get a license to drive a limo,” I told him.

“There’s a moratorium,” he said, and pointed to a memo posted on the wall.

I’d like to tell you exactly what the memo said, but the commission wasn’t giving out copies—“We had some, but we ran out,” said the security guard, and no wonder, given that the “temporary” moratorium has been going on for years. The gist was that there would be no new limo licenses until the commission decided to hand them out.*

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