Bruce Murphy
Murphy’s Law

The Long Arms of Uber

The upstart ride service company could replace cab companies across the globe, some predict. How will it change our city?

By - Mar 4th, 2014 12:33 pm
Sign-up for the Urban Milwaukee daily email
Uber's Mobile App

Uber’s Mobile App

The visuals at the Uber website tell a story of elegant, beautiful people, the studly guy with a stylish stubble of beard and and a sport coat with no tie, the woman so splendidly long-legged, long-haired and long-eye-browed. “Arrive in Style,” the site coaxes and “Go Global…The Uber App Connects You With A Driver At The Tap Of A Button.”

You might think that sounds too high-brow for homey Milwaukee, but you’d be wrong. Last month Uber added this city to the 36 other North American places it serves, not to mention five cities in Central- and South American, 22 cities in Europe, Middle East and Africa and 17 in the Asia Pacific area.

Included on that list are the Hamptons, Palm Springs and Dubai, underlining the upscale appeal of Uber. Initially, Uber drivers drove Lincoln Town Cars, Cadillac Escalades or a Mercedes Benz, Wikipedia reports, but the company eventually added a wider selection of cars, targeting a broader cross-section of passengers through its UberX service.

Indeed, the privately-owned company based in San Francisco and founded in 2009 ultimately wants to deliver all of us to our destination, even the fat and dumpy and short-legged among us. As Kevin Roose of New York Magazine put it, Uber’s short-term objective is “to kill the taxi business, and become the cheapest, best way to get around major cities all over the world.”

The company’s website offers a more mild-mannered description: “By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps, we make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers.”

The Uber software is aimed at every urban earthling, allowing people who need a ride to connect with a driver via mobile app, text message or the web, and is available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices. No standing in the rain hailing a cab and no long waits: your ride is supposed to arrive faster than a taxi would. And payment is made by credit card, which is on file with the company.

Brandon Knight who was rider zero in Milwaukee.

Brandon Knight who was rider zero in Milwaukee.

“It’s a killer experience,” said Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape Communications, in a story by cnet.com. “You watch the car on the map on your phone as it makes its way to you…. Uber is software (that) eats taxis.”

But it’s a boon to limousine drivers, helping end the downtime waiting for the next rider and better employing often idle resources. “One San Francisco chauffeur estimates… Uber nets him more than $45 per hour, on average,” Wired.com reported. “Another says that his total earnings are now roughly $2,100 a week, with $920 of that coming from the service. Since the cars are already paid for and the drivers want to work, Uber is like found money for everyone: the drivers, the owners, and of course Uber itself, which takes 20 percent off the top of every ride.”

Another benefit for drivers: passengers can’t jump out of the car without paying the fare, as some cab riders do, because Uber has your credit-card number—and for the same reason, drivers are not at risk of being robbed.

Uber is expanding far beyond deals with limousine drivers. The company secured $2.5 billion in outside financing for low-interest car loans for its less elite UberX drivers. This will make it possible for up to 200,000 drivers to buy their own cars at very low interest rates, under the condition they use those cars on the Uber network for the duration of the loan.

By 2023, techcrunch.com jokes, Uber will be purchasing 2,500 driverless cars from Google. (The story was so convincing that an earlier version of my story took this as real; I got punked, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this comes true — and earlier than 2023.)

As Uber rides become more widespread and cheaper, there will be less need for people to own their own cars, Roose predicts. The company’s longer-term objective, he says, “has to do with what tech nerds call the ‘death of the ownership society.’”

Uber, Roose rhapsodizes, is “one of the fastest-growing companies on Earth…It’s making serious money…hiring like crazy…filled with experienced business operators and financiers…In San Francisco tech crowds,” he notes, “Uber is seen as the messiah… Plugged-in people in the Bay Area will tell you things that are hard to believe: Uber is the most exciting company in the Valley. Uber will be a $100 billion company in five years.”

Whew. Let’s dial down the heat and return to Miltown, where the announcement of Uber’s arrival was met with the Big Chill, an Old Milwaukee-styled mix of suspicion and hostility toward all things new.

“We’re fairly confident, at least on the face of it, they are a cab,” Milwaukee City Clerk Jim Owczarski told Fox 6, and “they made it crystal clear they have no intentions of complying with those rules and regulations.” Alderman Bob Bauman, chair of the Common Council’s transportation committee, said he’s asked the city attorney to file a lawsuit against Uber.

“Uber is a rogue application,” complained Red Christensen, spokesperson for United American Taxi, one of the city’s largest companies, part of the empire of Michael Sanfelippo. “Essentially, this company is not registered in the city of Milwaukee… and none of their drivers are licensed,” Christensen said.

Nope, taxicab companies and drivers and dispatchers do not like Uber. “A national taxi and limo association launched a campaign called “Who’s Driving You?” to pressure regulators to increase oversight of Uber and similar services such as Lyft and Sidecar,” the Boston Globe reported.

Taxi cab drivers in Paris, France took the more direct route, attacking an Uber driver’s car near Charles-de-Gaulle Airport, surely a gesture De Gaulle would have appreciated.

In Boston, as the Globe reported, police commissioner William Evans “likened Uber to ‘gypsy’ cab operations, which are unlicensed taxis that pick up fares on the street, and questioned whether the lack of oversight by his department meant ‘there could be Level 3 sex offenders driving.’” In Boston, Uber drivers with commercial livery licenses typically don’t undergo criminal background checks, as do taxi drivers.

But Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh declared that “we also cannot condemn a popular, effective service like Uber,” contending it took “responsible steps to ensure the safety of their users.”

In Milwaukee, it seems, the city runs with such German efficiency that Mayor Tom Barrett doesn’t even need to address the rise of Uber alles. The issue was quietly dealt with by Owczarski, Bauman, Assistant City Attorney Adam Stephens and Deputy City Clerk Rebecca Grill. They met with representatives of Uber (“they had no business cards, you know young people never have cards,” Bauman grumbles) and were told that Uber would simply offer its Uber Black service, contracting with already licensed limousine drivers.

There are currently 148 such drivers in Milwaukee, Grill notes, and unlike in loosey goosey Boston, all limousine drivers here must under go a criminal background checks, just like cab drivers. Who says we lack a law-and-order mayor?

“It’s basically a limousine operation,” says Bauman of Uber. ”I told them as long as you’re using a licensed vehicle and licensed drivers that’s good. Some of their other platforms are straight out taxi services.”

I suspect Uber would disagree with that assessment, as with Bauman’s take on their prices. “They’re very expensive. $60 for Downtown to the airport. $200 for O’Hare to downtown Milwaukee. I’d never pay that.”

Because the company may at times charge by the miles traveled, that would put them under taxicab regulations, Bauman notes, but that would simply require a technical fix in the regulations which he would support, Bauman adds.

Elsewhere Uber faces some growing pains, Business Week notes: “a wrongful death lawsuit in San Francisco after an Uber driver hit and killed a 6-year-old pedestrian; several of its drivers are suing it over a payment dispute; and once-loyal users have been complaining loudly about price gouging.

“At extremely busy times, especially holidays, rates can be as many as seven times the normal price,” the verge.com reported. The company was accused of keeping current drivers off the road (on Valentine’s Day) in order to limit the supply and jack up rates.

But in Milwaukee, all is well so far in Uberland. As noted by Nick Anderson, Uber’s Associate General Manager in Milwaukee, and the man who apparently needs a business card, “the Uber app delivers lead generation for independent owners to increase earnings during otherwise underutilized time. Since arriving in Milwaukee, Uber has been embraced with open arms – and we’ve connected hundreds of riders to stylish, efficient and reliable transportation options.”

I’d like to try it, but frankly, I feel under-dressed.

Short Takes

-Uber may also be a boon to African Americans, who have long faced the problem of some taxis passing them by. “Jabari Davis, a black stand-up comedian, told wired.com he uses Uber in part to avoid the racial discrimination that still plagues regular taxi services. ‘Uber makes me feel like I belong,’ Davis says. ‘That kind of service is old-school. It’s like I’m a senator for 15 minutes.’”

-With an eye toward expanding beyond providing car rides, and slaying the “ownership society,” Uber has experimented, with uneven results, with delivering ice cream, flowers, Texas BBQ, mariachi bands and selling boat rides and offering helicopter rides to New York’s Hamptons.

Categories: Murphy's Law

68 thoughts on “Murphy’s Law: The Long Arms of Uber”

  1. stewart resmer says:

    Wow, what an interesting perspective, that sorta, kinda didnt say anything about the fact that Uber is illegal almost every where?

    Uber Is Apparently Illegal Almost Everywhere – Yahoo News
    news.yahoo.com/uber-apparently-illegal-almost-everywhere-051218… – Similar to Uber Is Apparently Illegal Almost Everywhere – Yahoo News
    Dec 3, 2012 … From Yahoo News: Uber, the little on-demand car service app that could, isn’t catching any breaks from local regulators in cities where it’s trying …

    But hey lets not let the @truthaboutuber get in the way of the facts @whosdrivingyou when it comes to Uber’s dismal record of very flawed backgroundchecks that allowed sevral drivers in several cities to be picking up unsuspecting passengers. drivers that had arrest records and felony comnictions for all sorts of offenses. :yt hasnt done much better as the City of Austins report reveasl one driver while on parol had a court mandated alcohol device affixed to his car, some one who most likely would not have ever been permitted to be driving for hire livery to begin with?

    But so long as we are speaking about, for hire livery? Neither Ubber nor Lyft are reported to have been carrying real commercial livery insurance and neither company will allow city regulators to view their purported excess lines coverage which means indie drivers are using their personl covergae for commercial operations and that aint gonna work is it?

    Now as we see how not revealing such data handicaps city county and state regulators who are putting forward a goood faith effort to address the predatory intrusion of these rogue schemes, let us remind every one that neither are they ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) compliant as are the existing fully compliant ‘old’ operators, who by the way have no obligation to take farm outs from the TNC’s because of their lack of compliance when it comes to servicing the disabled or their hiring practices?

    Yes Mr Murphy Uber does have long arms as they reach around the globe in their grand conquest but, as they live by that reach so too shall they not be beoynd the reach of regulators world wide much less here at home who are tasked with enforcing the regs rules and laws already on the books that are there for very good reason, that these players all too often seem to exempt themselves from?

    But, wouldnt it be great if we didnt get run over today?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEJugkWG47g

  2. Bobby says:

    I think Uber is great. If the cabs want to compete, they should look into creating their own app to make it easy to get a cab and track it down. Their dispatchers do almost the exact same thing.

    Additionally, Lyft has been running ads looking for drivers in Milwaukee, so we can expect that coming soon, as well.

  3. stewat resmer says:

    Boobie? baybeeee? Cabs compete? yer kiddin right? Cabs, limousine services and para transit companies and their drivers, disaptachers and support staff are already in the street 24-7-365. Compete you say?

    What in the world are you talking about guy?

    Uber and lyft need to go out and get permits, do real background checks, drug screens and get commercail for hire livery insurance, and after doing that then the TNC’s need to compete.
    Until then each and every indie foolish enough to sign on to this scheme is an illegal operator liable under the existing laws.

  4. judith moriarty says:

    Bruce: in the small town of West Bend, Wisconsin, I can take a mini cab or a wheelchair van (primarily for the disabled), for $3.00 plus a little more, anywhere in the city limits. I think the city of WB subsidizes the service. It’s great. The city also has a bus route to Milwaukee for not much more than that, one way. I checked around seeking a ride to Milwaukee and also found a service that will haul me there for approximately $135! When I yelled about the cost, the person taking my call said they charge the same rates as cabs in Milwaukee…

  5. blurondo says:

    It’s quite curious how many of the quotes and comments referenced here refer to “checks, permits, arrest records, licensing” etc. merely to drive someone somewhere. Certainly, all of those individuals feel the same way about someone wanting to purchase a gun.

  6. Bruce murphy says:

    Stewart, can you name some cities that have barred Uber from operating?

  7. Eric Hunt says:

    Used Uber Black on Saturday for a quick ride across downtown. Worked great and would do it again. While to car was pretty old and nothing great I had a lot more room. Ride only cost $2-$4 more than a cab but it came fast and I knew exactly when it was approaching so I didn’t have to wait outside.

  8. stewart resmer says:

    As I undertsand it , the list includes Miamai Fla, Austin Tx, Milwaukee Wis, Minnepolis Mi, Houston TX, Dallas Tx, Columbus Oh, Seattle, atlanta Ga, with several of these cities having already issued cease and desist orders or in other cases contemplating doing so.

    In other cities like Boston and Pittsburgh there is a divide between what the mayors there approve of and the authorities tasked with enforcement think. As we know mayors come and go but the others stay.

    In Chicago the taxi association has sued the city for non enforcement in federal court as they argue that there is unequal application of the law that favors the TNC’s and devalues the investments compliant operators have invested becasue the city requires them to pay huge fees to operate. I am of the mind this was a brilliant stroke by the taxi association.

    In the interim Mayor Immanuel has proposed several directives that the TNC;s are opposed to

    Mayor wants to impose regulations on ride-sharing industry …
    http://www.suntimes.com/news/cityhall/25384473-418/story.html
    Feb 4, 2014 … Mayor Rahm Emanuel will move Wednesday to fill a “regulatory vacuum” … Early & Often … Cab companies sue city over rules for ride-sharing companies … certain that their ride-sharing vehicles pass an annual, 21-point inspection. … are checked by the companies themselves,” under the mayor’s plan.

    The controversy balances on this as I see it? The app itself is not illegal, how ever when an individual makes the decision to go out in to the streets and put themselves and thei vehicl up for hire, then they fall under regulatory controls.
    Or as the mayor of Houston has been qouted ‘we dont allow street walkers to to favors for money, why would we allow TNC’s to do it’?

    In breaking news the 1st TNC has been approved for operation in California. It is named ‘Summon’.
    http://blog.sfgate.com/techchron/2014/03/04/summon-gets-first-california-rideshare-permit/

    I am sure in the coming days there will be more information as to how that decision was reached within the California Public Utlitities Commission, but for now, neither Uber or lyft has been so classified. But I do think the point here is that while Uber and Lyft have decided to operate 1st and ignore any and all regs rules and laws they have made a huge miscalculation.

    In closing let me say this, in my view? The TNC’s are in a jam of their own making. They had an idea, they developed an app that they could have marketed and for what ever reason they did not. Then they went and solicited individuals to sign on with them. And when they did that they made fundamental errors when it came to the for hire lievry industry vis a vis local county and stae regulations, and when it came to surge (price gouging) pricing? They just may have triggered a federal criminal case under the interstae commerce clause as well as any FTC laws they may be liable for havomh broken with respect to wire fraud and banking law.

    I am not a lawyer you understand but? The RICO act is on the itner net to read, and it applies here acording to the language. And, if these laws have been brojken? I think that coukld mean that each and every indiviudal who signed on with the TNC’s is laible as a co defendant in cicil as well as criminla court because at every twist and trun, the tNC;s have been admonishied by regulators that they are operating illegaly and the TNC’s went out and with thie rdirvers went down in to the streets and stared doing business regardless.

    When they did that, the did econimc damage not just to the corporations as well as the mom and pop companies, they hit the every day rank and file driver as well. And thats the travesty here, the little gy took yet another hit by a $3.5 billion dollar corporations greed.

    You’re not fooling us, Uber! 8 reasons why the “sharing …
    computermagazine.com/…/youre-not-fooling-us-uber-8-reasons-why-the- shari…
    Feb 17, 2014 … You’re not fooling us, Uber! 8 reasons why the “sharing economy” is all about corporate greed (Salon.com > Technology). February 17, 2014.

    Are you reading this Travis?

  9. stewart resmer says:

    Uber, Lyft crackdown in Seattle may be followed in other cities

    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/2014/02/other-cities-may-follow-seattles.html

  10. Robert Bauman says:

    Couple of points.

    Mayor Barrett has not been involved because under city ordinances, the licensing of taxis, taverns, etc. is solely within the jurisdiction of the common council. Second, while the Murphy piece mentioned it, it bears repeating that Uber claims they are only working with licensed limos and licensed limo drivers who have proper livery insurance. In other words, they are largely complying with city ordinances. This allays many of the concerns council members had relating to consumer protection.

    Personally, I believe these ride share programs offer another transportation option that may reduce reliance on private autos. This is positive. I welcome their entry into the market provided basic consumer protections are in place.

    Robert Bauman

  11. Dave Reid says:

    @Ald. Bauman Thanks for the update. I thought that was the arrangement that Uber was currently operating in Milwaukee under. That said I do hope it is the first step towards finding a regulatory system in Milwaukee that will allow for the full on Uber service to be rolled out in Miwaukee.

  12. stewart resmer says:

    Thank you Robert for the well reasoned discourse, lets thresh out a few more isses here shall we?

    If you would be so kind as to review the Houston council meetinmgs of late on the sublject you will note that a man from Caruey Limousines in his remarks says something to the effect that he has all the required permits and insurances required to operate in the state of Texas as well as the city of Houston. As he states without a doubt that he will not trade with Uber.

    So, if one of his drivers unbeknowst to him goes out and uses his personal vehicle to moonlight with Uber or Lyft and there is an insident whose commercial insurance applies?

    But for the purposes of this discussion, suppose a company takes the Uber far Lyft farm out? Do they now avail themselves of the price (price gouging) surge feature that is clearly illegal under the current standing regs? Or do they say, hey? Uber said?

    Now lets try this one that sorat kinda debunks yer assertion that the TnC’s are only hiring limo and taxi drivers shall we?

    Uber, Lyft, Sidecar put driver recruiting in high gear – SFGate
    http://www.sfgate.com/…/Uber-Lyft-Sidecar-put-driver-recruiting-in-high- 5190676…
    Jan 31, 2014 … In a race to keep up with ballooning demand from riders in San Francisco, who now expect on-call cars within minutes at all times of day, …
    Uber, Lyft, Sidecar put driver recruiting in high gear News …
    http://www.news.nom.co/uber-lyft-sidecar-put-driver-recruiting-7900655-news/
    Jan 30, 2014 … In a race to keep up with ballooning demand from riders in San Francisco, who now expect on-call cars within minutes at all times of day, co, …
    Uber, Lyft, Sidecar put driver recruiting in high gear – …
    article.wn.com/…/Uber_Lyft_Sidecar_put_driver_recruiting_in_high_gear/
    Jan 31, 2014 … Uber, Lyft, Sidecar Put Driver Recruiting In High Gear … companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar are putting their recruiting tactics in high gear

    Now unless I missed it there is no mention of having to be a registered commercial limousine/taxi/para driver at all?

    Now in that vein if you would be so kind as to re visit the Uber site and direct me to the reference that states one must be a registered taxi driver or limo para driver to work Uber Milwaukee? Well that would be interesting considering they often refer to themselves as ride sahre and peer top peer when it suits them?

    http://yourpfpro.com/thought-becoming-driver-lyftuber/

    ‘The thing that makes Uber and Lyft unique though is that most of the drivers are every day people like you and me. Anyone can apply to be a driver as long as they have a car that’s four doors and 2005 or newer(2000 or newer for Lyft). Most of the people who drive for them are courteous, respectful and friendly. The two services have actually gotten so popular it’s becoming hard to find a ride – especially during peak times. And every time I take a ride, the drivers are always telling me that they need new drivers and if I know anyone that’s interested, I should tell them to apply.’

    (nothing here about being a proffesional driver what so ever Robert)

    And besides Robert? If Uber or Lyft had simply started off by building an affilation network exisitng companies, they would not be in the fix they are in now where they are on the endangered species list? Now would they?

    Which really does bring in to question whether or not Tarvis should keep his position as the CEO there huh?

  13. Bruce Murphy says:

    Stewart, your list of cities that have barred Uber includes MIlwaukee, which is not true. You assert there are others but offer no proof. As you note, there has certainly been controversy and issues raised in cities like Boston, but in the meantime Uber’s revenues have been ratcheting up rapidly, and the company may issue an IPO this year. I’m neither for or against the company but I think it’s important to be as factual as possible in discussing this.

  14. Bob H says:

    “So, if one of his drivers unbeknowst to him goes out and uses his personal vehicle to moonlight with Uber or Lyft and there is an insident whose commercial insurance applies?”

    Just like any commercial business that uses vehicles, if an employee got in an accident moonlighting in off-hours using a company vehicle, the employer’s insurance would likely be responsible. Then that employee would be fired.

    This is nothing new, nor particularly complicated.

  15. stewart resmer says:

    Bruce?

    Dont parse words with me please? It makes you sound like a schill.

    Like I said the app is one facet of this discussion, the individuals who put themselves out for hire and use their private vehicles and have no permits, submit to no drug screens, or real background checks, nor carry the required commercial for hire liability insurance and do not serve the disabled are by definition illegal operators and ergo are’ barred’under the exisitng applicable Milwaukee ordnances and you know it, so please, stop trying to duck the truth here like so many ubertarians?

    “Uber” app hits Milwaukee, but city officials say it’s illegal …
    http://www.newscastic.com/…/uber-app-hits-milwaukee-but-city-officials-say-its-
    Feb 13, 2014 … “Uber” app hits Milwaukee, but city officials say it’s illegal. MILWAUKEE (WITI) – The city of Milwaukee may sue a company funded by actor …
    Uber in Milwaukee faces challenges from city government …
    marquettewire.org/…/uber-in-milwaukee-faces-challenges-from-city- governm…
    6 days ago … Uber, a popular ride-sharing service that uses a mobile application to … Milwaukee Alderman Robert Bauman said he thinks Uber is illegal, …

    “Uber” app hits Milwaukee, but city officials say it’s illegal …
    http://www.veooz.com/news/GsODXY.html
    MILWAUKEE (WITI) – The city of Milwaukee may sue a company funded by actor Ashton Kutcher. With the click of a button, a driver in your area is notified and …

    But its not just the US where the TNC’s have run afoul of regulating authorities heres more:
    Uber Faces its Toughest Challenge Yet in China – The Next Web
    thenextweb.com/asia/2013/08/07/uber-china/ – Similar to Uber Faces its Toughest Challenge Yet in China – The Next Web
    Aug 7, 2013 … Uber has fought off cartels and corruption in the US, but China could be … Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said the company is fighting various legal …
    Uber Faces Uphill Battle To Control Taxis In China …
    http://www.chinatechnews.com/…/19422-uber-faces-uphill-battle-to-con... – Similar to Uber Faces Uphill Battle To Control Taxis In China …
    Jun 19, 2013 … Finally, “black” unmetered taxis are largely illegal in China, so Uber would need to work via taxi companies who already control large fleets of …

    And lets get something straight between us and the alderman shall we? You folks assert things that you have no emperical data to support. I can say that because as is the case in Seattle, Houston, Dallas, Austin, Uber and Lyft have released no data to support any of their assertions and claims as to who and how many individuals they are conducting their scheme with, and I can say with certitude the alderman cannot provide you with aby either. They have steadfastly refused to release any material and not the least of which is their insurance acrriers identity and the terms of the policy except to say it is excess lines coverage and that means after an incident? When some schoonk lays out his persoanal policy coverage? He gets cancelled for running a for hire livery operation and if you done think so?

    1776 – Rideshare Startups Struggle Amid Insurance Concerns
    1776dc.com/…/rideshare-startups-struggle-amid-insurance-concerns/
    Jan 7, 2014 … Will insurance concerns for ridesharing startups such as Lyft off the road? … Lyft has lost drivers over the questions surrounding insurance coverage, … facing rideshare startups, the question of insurance is an industry-wide …

    ‘Gigaom writes of rideshare startup Ridejoy shuttering operations in response to sluggish growth, in part due to both regulation and pushback from internet mainstay Craigslist. Much ink has been spilled on the sometimes intense political debates surrounding the newcomers vs. the established taxi commissions. Rideshare startups have decried municipal efforts to curb their momentum, but as Venturebeat writes, there have been legitimate concerns expressed over the “unregulated (and uninsured)” business model of ridesharing startups.

    In San Francisco, a deadly car crash involving a driver with UberX—Uber’s rideshare division—has brought into stark reality the complex issue surrounding personal and corporate insurance for rideshare drivers. As , the California Public Utilities Commission has attempted to regulate rideshare services under the umbrella term Transportation Network Companies (TNCs).

    As a result, TNC rideshare services, like UberX, carry $1 million “per incident excess liability coverage” as a company. These excess liability policies do not cover a driver’s car, however, and neither will personal insurance usually cover a vehicle engaged in commercial use. The gray area created by the not-quite-overlapping insurance policies has created a significant problem.

    NPR’s KQED affiliate writes that the concerns with insurance go deeper. The terms of agreement offered by many rideshare companies “require the user to waive liability claims,” creating a murky legal situation if and when incidents do occur. The situation has become contentious enough that NPR found rideshare startup Lyft has lost drivers over the questions surrounding insurance coverage, requiring the Lyft CEO to do damage control with contracted drivers.’

    Get off the uber crack pipe Bruce.

  16. stewart resmer says:

    Just called Mr Baumans office and left my numer 201 396 9715 and suggested Mr Bauman present the data from Uber he cites and the office hung up. Mr Bauman will NOT be able to produce the data to support his above contentions because he does not have it from Uber or lyft. Furthermore if he can? that will set precedence ascross the nation and that would be news worthy to every council person and reporter as well!

    And as for you Bruce? pick up the phone?

    stew

  17. stewart resmer says:

    But hey dont take my word for it? Hers an unsolicited opinion:

    UBER TRASHING REPORT 03/05/2014

    Here are some of the latest anti-UBER articles and egg-on-the-face
    situations involving the surf bums, scumbags, crooks and anal retentive
    California computer nerds who run UBER, Lyft and Sidecar.

    In San Diego, an UBER driver had his Ford electronics set to convert
    text to voice. The passenger “Heard” that UBER had deliberately
    witheld 300 new drivers from operation on Valentine’s Day so they
    could initiate “Surge Pricing” (Ripping off Californians. New Yorkers had already been fleeced).

    WE ARE WINNING. UBER has been totally excluded from Miami, Orlando,
    Tampa, Las Vegas, Portland, Austin, Milwaukee and so far, Houston.
    UBER got their wings clipped in Seattle; they can only have 150 drivers on duty at any given time. UBER has been declared illegal in all of mainland China.

    We will not rest until UBER has been declared totally illegal in all 50 States.
    Their weakest spot is their insurance. They are encouraging all their drivers
    to use Personal Auto Insurance and saying that UBER will cover them with their surplus line from the James River Co. This is total BS. A surplus line cannot activate over a personal line.
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/01/dont-risk-car-insurance-as-part-time-taxi/index.htm

    More stories guaranteed to bring a smile to your face:

    http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2013/11/14/who-pays-when-ride-share-driver-crashes
    ————————————-
    Now this is where an UBER ride would make sense!
    http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/24806466/drunk-couple-had-sex-in-cab-had-to-use-moms-credit-card-to-pay-fare
    —————————————————————–
    Colorado legalizes Pot. Lyft drivers celebrate by driving stoned every day for a week. Heaven forbid Denver require drug testing; that’s only for those old fogies, legitimate Taxi and Limo operators.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/COents/comments/1z1ebf/what_companies_are_ok_with_their_employees_using/cfpmisd

    Basiclly this guy is bragging about being a pot head and driving for Lyft “I was never drug tested for Lyft the transport company. You get to make your own hours and meet cool people, sounds like the perfect job for a fellow ent.”

    ent=marijuana user
    ——————————————————–
    Insurance? No problem, pal, sign on the dotted line and become an Ubertarian. (We’re from UBER and we’re here to help you)
    Uber, Lyft, Sidecar – Distracted Drivers and Auto Accidents, Who’s to Blame?
    ———————————————————-
    UBER, miffed at being given the bum’s rush by Houston City Council retaliated by spamming council’s email boxes with thousands of phoney e mails from people who don’t exist. All the liberal media pukes went on to try to trash Council as not listening to constituents. I wonder if the family of the six year old girl who was run over and killed by UBER is encouraging Houston Council to approve UBER?
    Be sure to read the comments (Like mine) at the end of the article.

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/houston-issues-cease-desist-to-stop-citizens-communicating-with-their-government.html
    —————————————————-

    UBER spits on their drivers. Many are leaving like rats leaving a sinking ship. The turnover rate is enormous. UBER is so desperate they are hiring ex-cons, felons, drug dealers and rapists. In their marathon all of one hour onboarding training session for drivers, UBER proclaims this rule louder than all other rules, “If you ever accept a tip, you will be permanently fired. We use ghost riders to check up on you”. Lyft and Sidecar have no such rules. UBER also floods a market with too many drivers. Some are only getting two jobs a day while they cruise aimlessly around burning up gas. UBER drivers in Boston are suing UBER. I cannot imagine a worse company to drive for.

    Dropcam’s Greg Duffy on WolframAlpha, Lyft, and the Best App for Pilots | Vanity Fair

    Last download: Lyft. “When I’ve been in a rush, I’ve traditionally used Uber. However, it seems like the quality of service has gone down. I talked with some of the Uber drivers and it seems like the good ones might be leaving the system for what—in many cases—seem like good reasons. Given that, I’m trying to see if I can work Lyft in the next time. Hopefully, they will try to be excellent to their drivers!”
    ——————————————————-

    Please forward any and all dirt you see on the UBER pukes, the San Francisco boobers and ballers. Trashing UBER is becoming a national pastime. Since UBER is fond of their Nazi name, let’s add another German word to the fray, “Schadenfreude”. Loosely translated, it means taking great delight at somebody else’s misfortune, pain or misery.

    I revel in the schadenfreude of UBER CEO Travis Kalanick and all his little geek butt-kissing, fawning obsequious toadies who follow Travis around all day and tell him how smart he is. It is all for naught, however. When Travis watches the sun set over the Golden Gate Bridge at the end of the day, he knows better than to believe his own BS and that his fragile house of cards will soon blow over as more and more regulators catch on to his fraudulent scam of running large fleets of taxis and Limos on personal car insurance.

    UBER SUCKS

  18. Andy says:

    Stu, I find it amusing you call Bruce a “schill” when you are clearly part of the transportation industry and are very biased in your opinion.

    While I personally appreciate anyone from the New York area taking an interest in local Milwaukee politics, can you please stop repeating false information for your own personal gains?

    I’d like you to please acknowledge you know the difference between UberBlack and UberX.

    Next, please tell me at what point we would stop regulating ridesharing? If I post on craigslist that I’m looking for anyone to share a ride into work so we can experience the benefits of carpooling, and instead of sharing the drive days they decide to give me money for gas and the time, is that much different then these apps?

    The taxi service in Milwaukee has long been a corrupt Oligopoly in this city and they’ve opened this door on themselves. If people don’t like the prices they do not need to use the service. If they are concerned about who is driving them, by all means stick to traditional limo and taxi services.

    However, I do not see much difference between this, dating websites, and even personal ad sites like craigslist. A certain amount of personal responsibility comes into play… but at least with Uber and Lyft there is some recourse for screening and reporting drivers.

    I hate to say this, but most people do not care if Uber hurts your industry’s profit margins… the market will hash things out in time.

  19. stewart resmer says:

    Andy? I can understand why you might think that way becasuse of my position. My position is that taxi limo and para companies are big boys, they can fend for themselves. My biggest issue is that rank and file everyday working class individuals who get up everyday and work hard by playing by the rules and paying their fair share of taxes are being hit by what I view as a predatory business practice.

    I that makes me a schill thats ok, I wear it as a badge of honor.

    And yes, I consider indivdualswho might be tempted to work for the TNC’s to make ends meet as victims of the same scam and I advocate for them to think twice before they potentialy are putting every thing they ever worked for or hoped to gain at needless risk to satisfy the greed of a multi billion dollar corparte personhood that is out to destroy the liveliehoods of tens of thousands of working families.

    Brucs is a schill.

  20. stewart resmer says:

    Andy

    ‘Rideshare’ is where you and me pay the costs of gas and other expenses to afford the ride to work, etc. Lyft is NOT ride share any longer it is for hire now.

    So far as the nuance between Uber/uber x/Black? Just show us all who is or is not working for Uber under what regulating authorities, sho us that feel good new age trensparency stuff?

    Just have Uber release the data to EVERY city across the nation that has already asked for it. And they will not because they would be found to be operating illegally in multiples of the hundreds.

    Better yet let the companies that are in league with Uber $17.00 rides come forward and identify themselves with their data and explain how this is profitable for them to do that with out being yet another predatory practice cohort?

    And besides it is common knowledge the TNC model historically is for individuals to hire themselves out with their private vehicles for pay, if the TNC’s have figured out that model isnt going to fly so they farm out the order and there are companies desperate enough to join the race to the bottom so long as they are in fact fully compliant? What can I tell ya.

    My challenge here is get the data Bruce and councilman (if in fact the comments here are actually the aldermans which I have to wonder asbout given as in the past he has expressed his opinion TNC;s are illeagl) , and you will not be able to, as we say in the streets?

    NO PROOF NO TRUTH.

    As they say in the corporate board rooms: IN GOD WE TRUST AL OTHER BRING DATA.

    In closing? In the age of the internet, we are all closer than you think and milwaukee is not so specially detached from the rest of the country as you might wish it were to be, and if you think that thousands of taxi limo and para transit companies arent watching and listening, and taking note at all of this, well woe be unto you for thinking that way.This is a nationwide scheme and in due course its my bet they will be brought before the bar before all is said and done.

  21. STACY MOSS says:

    It’s about time ….

    Uber has the potential to be much safer for the driver and passenger.

    First, having been a Cab driver back in the day, I like the idea of not getting robbed. No cash is involved and no one is anonymous. So both the driver and passenger are protected.

    Also having the route and times digitalized makes for a better service all the way around. There are checks and balances and if you leave your iphone in the car it is easier to get back.

  22. stewart resmer says:

    Andy

    I keep reading people remark as you have how taxi companies are painted with the same brush as because they are operating under the rules they are compelled to operate under the law that they are some how corrupt? That is such a load of hooweee!

    Transportation laws are in effect on land sea and air for good reason and the ground livery industry is no different.

    It is the TNC’s who are corrupt corporate raiders who exempt themselves #playbytherules.

    The corporate ubertarians on the other hand recognize no such rules and demand reprsentation as the indie driver pay no local taxes but avail themselves of tax payer funded infrastructure in the form of roads etc?

  23. stewart resmer says:

    Stacey you make a good point, but there is an app called taximagic already and several others as well, when I have called for a taxi, I discuss payment in advance and many is the time the driver has what he needs to process a credit card taxis are eager to do business it is not as if only Uber cab process a credit card, and besides, they hire drivers, they process the money, thats a pretty good argument they are not an app but an employer..

    And on a sorry sad note in Columbus Ohio and Uber/owner operator was shot to death and robbed his suv stolen, and like the cab driver in Houston last week who met the same fate? Neither of those indivudals should have been murdered. But to make the point, if th cab driver had the chance to get on a radio to call for help, what who would the Ubder driver had been able to call? A Deep Blue computer?

  24. Hereiam says:

    Stewart,

    Two questions:

    (1) Why do you have a phone number with a New Jersey area code?

    (2) What is your interest, financial or otherwise, for posting her?

  25. stewart resmer says:

    I have that number cause thats my # and I am posting here because i can.

    .

  26. stewart resmer says:

    the inter net affords every one every where the opportunity to particpate in pure democracy with out borders, dont get too hung up on the concept that what happens in Milwaukee is no one elses concern, I have called sevral counci persons who see the issue as local when in fact it is not, this is a nationwaide concern and it is already being addressed on that level as well as locally.

    ‘we are legion, we are every where, expect us’ as was oft repeated during the occupy movement..

    We Are Livery, We Are Already Here, We Are Compliant, We Demand Representation.

    #playbytherules @whosdrivingyou @truthaboutuber @momsagainstuber

  27. stewart resmer says:

    FLASH!

    BREAKING-THIS JUST IN!

    Because screw innovation: Uber already deemed illegal in Brussels, two (private) vehicles seized so far

    The Brussels government really wants to make it impossible for Uber to operate in the city, even with a P2P ride-sharing service. Two private cars driven by UberPOP drivers were seized this morning.

    http://tech.eu/news/screw-innovation-uber-already-deemed-illegal-brussels-two-private-vehicles-seized-far/

  28. michael says:

    Stewert, you seem to show up defending the cab industry on all kinds of sites. Why won’t you answer, what is your financial interest in this issue?

  29. Hereiam says:

    Stewart,

    Thank you for responding, now readers can asses your comments with a better understanding of their source.

  30. Andy says:

    Ha! I can’t believe a representative of taxi services is pushing the idea of “playing by the rules!!!” This is the best thing I have seen in a long time.

    Stu, you and other taxi services never NEVER play by the rules. In Milwaukee, if you try to pay by credit card, the BEST outcome a rider can get is a sneer and a couple of snide remarks… worst case is they lie to riders and either refuse to give them a ride, take them to an ATM, or other illegal actions.

    You are perfectly free to comment here because the internet is free for use by all… but do a little research to learn about the area so you can make educated comments. The corruption in Milwaukee revolves around a lot of issues you may not be familiar with. For example, we are greatly under served by taxi services compared to any peer city because the current owners of permits use the permitting policy to block new entries into the industry. Further, they jack up prices beyond the means of ordinary citizens.

    To top it off, the taxi companies in Milwaukee show up late, won’t go to some neighborhoods, give you attitude if your fare is not convenient, and more!

    Play by the rules?? Please, the rules were discarded long ago by the taxi companies in Milwaukee. That is probably the worst argument you’ve made in all your word vomit on this site.

    It’s time for the free market to speak and put these cartels in their place.

    I welcome any of these ride sharing companies to Milwaukee with open arms!

  31. stewart resmer says:

    sorry to disappoint you michael I have no financial interest in this issue, does one need to have a financial loss or gain to participate in the discourse one feels passionate about?

  32. stewart resmer says:

    OH ANDY! there you go again every one is corrupt, every one is late, nobody goes in to ‘those’ areas? Did it ever dawn on you that ‘those people’ actually live in those areas you allege they will not service?
    Think about what you are saying Andy when you speak in such broad terms, of course you dont use your full name nor add a contact # right?

    And so far as whether or not you could pay by a credit card? You have Mr Bauman heree to report that to if in fact it ever did happen again? Right? But one thing is for certain? You will NOT be paying cash with Uber or Lyft right which eliminates half the population who do not use credit vcards, ubertarian enough for ya’ll is it? There is that quaint ol language on our currency ‘legal temder for all debts public and private’ after all right?

    And open arms? You mean open wallte right when it comes to surge (price gouging) pricing that the taxi limo para companies are forbidden by regulation to asses during times of high demand and emergency?

    Your position stumbles fella/

  33. Andy says:

    If anyone is interested in Stu’s interest in this topic, just google his name. It’s pretty safe to say that with his involvement in the transportation industry he’s probably a member of a trade group or association.

    His bias is clear and he has no credibility here considering all the misinformation he’s given. Right off the bat he listed Milwaukee as one of the cities that has banned Uber, yet an alderman himself said otherwise on this very board!

    He’s beyond a joke… and has definitely inspired me to call my city representatives to let them know my (you know, one of their actual constituents) opinions on the matter.

  34. stewart resmer says:

    Gordon Gekko: The richest one percent of this country owns half our country’s wealth, five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons and what I do, stock and real estate speculation. It’s bullshit. You got ninety percent of the American public out there with little or no net worth. I create nothing. I own. We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now you’re not naive enough to think we’re living in a democracy, are you buddy? —It’s the free market.— And you’re a part of it. You’ve got that killer instinct. Stick around pal, I’ve still got a lot to teach you.

  35. stewart resmer says:

    Andy all you need to is back up your ad hominem and assertions with some truth. You have my number, you have my true an correct legal name you can troll the inter net looking for my affilations. Get on with it.

    I offer up quotes from the news sources including : marquettewire.org/…/uber-in-milwaukee-faces-challenges-from-city- governm…
    6 days ago … Uber, a popular ride-sharing service that uses a mobile application to … Milwaukee Alderman Robert Bauman said he thinks Uber is illegal, …

    versus some ‘commentor’ who used the aldermans name here? I called his office, he has my name and numer, I await his clarification.Suppose you and Bruce excecise due dilligence as well by calling in too?

    jez sayin?

  36. stewart resmer says:

    the call in lines remain open!

  37. Andy says:

    Stu, I don’t use my last name because I don’t need some random stranger with an agenda looking to my personal information. I already know way more then I care to about you from only 5 minutes of looking up your affiliations. I’d like to actually keep my private life, private. As a vocal public mouthpiece for your industry, you choose to do put your information out there… and that’s your prerogative. Just not one I’d like to partake in.

    Meanwhile, related to this discussion… you talk about free market, but in Milwaukee at least, the taxi service is not a free market. They have set up barriers to entry that keeps anyone except existing players in the game from joining the industry. Feel free to ready any recent news on the attempts to expand the number of permits for cab’s in our city and you’ll see what I’m talking about. There are articles written about that topic on this very site.

    Because of this lack of free market, the fake value of a permit has gone through the roof. Your wife’s jewelry would barely be a down payment on such an item. (Which was an unfortunate situation, my sympathies)

    Lets face it… you don’t care about a free market, you don’t care about Milwaukee cab companies, you don’t care about Milwaukee cab riders… the only thing you care about is the precedent it would set if too many cities accept these “TMC’s” as legit businesses.

    Maybe your industry should have thought about these sorts of things long ago before there was technology to replace them.

  38. stewart resmer says:

    Flash!

    Fresh Anti Uber from anon

    UBER BULLYING OF REGULATORS AND FRAUDULENT AND ILLEGAL METHODS OF DOING BUSINESS

    1) UBER CEO Travis Kalanick is a career criminal who has never owned or managed a legitimate business. His previous companies Scour and Red Swoosh involved pirating of music, TV and video and ended in massive (2.5 Trillion Dollar) lawsuits and bankruptcies.

    2) The article below lists UBER’s history of law breaking, flaunting of regulations and ignoring of TRO’s and Cease and Desist Letters in cities all across America.

    3) UBER’s use of mass e-mails, most of which are phoney, not real people, seems to frighten regulators and politicians.

    4) UBER’s callous disregard for Public Safety is exemplified by cases of convicted felons, drug dealers and rapists being allowed to drive for UBER.

    5) UBER’s Insurance is totally worthless and fraudulent as exemplified by the refusal to pay in the death of a six year old girl because there was no paying passenger in the back seat. Most of the UBER fleet is running on personal auto insurance which is illegal in all 50 states.

    In UBER CEO Travis Kalanick’s own words, read the article below to see how the mind of this master internet criminal works as he sets out to destroy the Taxicab and Limousine Industries in America by breaking every law he can find.

    The following is a condensed version of a very long blog on UBER by Jonathan Low on LOWDOWN.
    . Along the way, it ramps up in each city with a city manager — “mini city CEOs,” Uber’s east coast manager Rachel Holt calls them — a distributed approach that allows the company to read each city’s nuances, figure out the major players, and launch a charm offensive in the local patois. Kalanick calls it being “in the trenches.”

    There’s logic in the fact that Uber faces a big fight in the District. The nation’s capital, after all, was the site of the technology policy fights that make up Uber’s intellectual history. Against a backdrop of a Congress that had, for decades, largely left writing laws over innovation in general and the Internet in particular to entrenched and practiced lobbying groups like the music industry and movie industry, came the rise of two controversial bills: The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate. The bills would have given some in government more control over the Internet. In the winter of 2011, technologists and a wide swath of the Internet-loving public rose up against them. This debate set the tone for the debate over Uber.
    SOPA-PIPA, says Nick Grossman, an “activist in residence” at the New York City venture capital firm Union Square Ventures, “was one of the first issues that the Internet community felt threatened by and could do something about.” Opponents rose up under the rallying cry of “Internet freedom!” They blacked out websites, slammed Congress with petitions and emails and phone calls, and generally harnessed grassroots objections to a fairly esoteric and technical piece of legislation. Both SOPA and PIPA died.
    These are nearly the same tactics Uber used to stop Cheh’s amendment, in a campaign branded “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Uberness.” At the height of the debate, Kalanick himself sent out an email to the company’s mailing list, calling for customers to stand up for Uber. “The nuclear option,” he has called it. Uber raised a hue and cry on social media, too. “By 11am the next day,” Kalanick said at a high-profile2013 State of the Net conference in Washington, “that bill was rescinded.” It’s now the model for “flare-ups” in other cities.
    The lesson for technologists? Distributed power, harnessed with tech savvy, can insert itself into deals once cut in backrooms. Reformers have tried for years to deregulate a taxi industry they see as protecting entrenched interests. But those fights have been local, and draining. Kalanick has the power to take them national. To some, what that says about how rules are written — rather than the outcome of the fights themselves — is what’s important.

    The company’s “math department,” as Kalanick calls it, features two nuclear physicists, a computational neuroscientist and a machine-learning expert.

    Surprisingly, some of the strongest critics of Uber’s approach have come from within the tech world. Kalanick is a self-professed libertarian, and tech writer Paul Carr of PandoDaily has dismissed Uber’s philosophy as “all government intervention is bad, that the free market is the only protection the public needs, and that if weaker people get trampled underfoot in the process then, well, fuck ‘em.”

    The lesson for technologists? Distributed power, harnessed with tech savvy, can insert itself into deals once cut in backrooms.
    Along the way, Uber has picked up a reputation for bullying. At the 2013 State of the Net conference in Washington, Kalanick dismissed laws in Miami — a city it wants to enter but can’t because of existing regulations — as a “protectionist scheme.” Uber riders have to “stare at that town car” if it arrives before the hour minimum required for black car service. Why? Kalanick sneered. Regulators “want to make sure that only rich people can take town cars.”
    Uber employees deferentially repeat that the company doesn’t go into any city where it isn’t “white glove legal.” But the three-dozen city-specific blogs that the company maintains are sometimes used to mock local politicians and their silly rules. “Houston: We Have a Problem,” read one post this summer: “In order to meet your overwhelming demand for Uber in Houston, we need to brush the cobwebs off some old regulations.” Kalanick paints his life as “hardcore,” a near constant battle with “taxi guys” who “play dirty.”
    Townsend likes what Uber is up to. Still, even he calls it a “very immature and unrealistic point of view of how this should be integrated into very complex transportation systems.” Cities are trying, he says, and the way Uber has interacted with local governments has been “incredibly unsophisticated.” Still, it works. Says Waters, some “spineless, weak-willed politicians get two thousand emails that say, ‘Ah! Ah! Ah!’ And they’re going to respond to that.” Rather than sit down in meetings, Uber sends emails. They’ve built themselves a reputation, Waters says, as “almost this Don Quixote-like company.”
    That’s not just disruptive, Waters argues, it’s destabilizing. And a threat to cab drivers. In June, Dona Burney, a 30-year taxi driver, delivered written testimony before a public safety roundtable in which she mocked the notion that Uber is somehow the “little guy” in its fights with the taxi industry. “When Kalanick comes to town with $58 million of Wall Street money in his back pocket,” she wrote, “he can command a lot of attention.” Burney said Cheh, with the Uber Amendment, was the victim of “a cyber bully attack from out-of-town techies.”
    Indeed, Uber has called itself the “populist limo movement,” though it has worn that mantle awkwardly. The company has made a habit of stepping in when public transportation breaks down, as it did in June 2011, when San Francisco taxi drivers prepared to go on strike. The company offered 50 percent discounts on rides. It was all a part, according to the company blog, of “stand[ing] in solidarity” with the people of the city while cabbies fought for a fair deal. It’s the language of the labor movement. No matter. Commenters called them scabs anyway.
    To Waters, Uber is a glossy short-term fix to a gnarly long-term problem. The Commission mandated that all taxis take credit cards by September 30 and use signal roof lights by November 1. Waters says the Commission is pushing “vehicle modernization” standards to ensure newer models are on the streets, but, “it’s going to take a little while, perhaps three to four years, to convert the entire fleet.” Says Holt, Uber’s east coast manager, “the idea that we should go on pause for four years because they’re behind is absurd to me. I appreciate that there’s a four-year plan to get there. But we’re doing it today.” The change is happening fast and furiously, and the open question is how cities keep up.

    NEW BOSSES FOR A NETWORKED FUTURE
    Today’s fights over not only Uber, but also Lyft, Sidecar, Airbnb and other disruptive businesses are, observers say, only the beginning as the online, networked world encroaches into the physical space. The issues at hand will only get more complex as entrepreneurs turn their gazes to more and more industries. For Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution, now is exactly the time to start rethinking. “Okay, we have new models of how we live together,” she says. “What does that mean for the old rules?”
    In fact, Uber’s disruption of the taxicab industry may look like nothing compared to what’s to come as the tech world expands its offline reach. After all, the taxi industry has, in truth, long been an unsettled one. “The history of taxis is cyclical,” says Hodges, the Colgate historian. “There was a time that brokers,” who manage the buying and selling of medallions, “were an innovation. Now you’ve got these guys.” What’s more, “there’s continual tugging over whether there needs to be more regulation or less regulation.” For all of Uber’s charm, Hodges warns that it is amassing near-unheard-of power. “There’s a new boss,” he says, “and they’ll exert that power eventually.”
    It seems likely that soon enough the rules will shake out to allow Uber, and even UberX, into local taxi markets, with some places restricting it more than others but nearly all with more regulation that takes into account the new model. But that will be the beginning, not the end, of the tough questions that come as networked technology upends the physical, offline world.
    Which means it’s also likely that we’ll be studying the Uber fight years from now. Kalanick, for one, has said that Uber is “building a playbook for how to do this” – that is, organizing the masses and engaging full throttle in public policy debates that affect innovation. “Other companies are going to follow suit in all kinds of industries that tech is affecting,” Kalanick told Congressman Goodlatte at the State of the Net Conference, “and folks in D.C., as well as cities across the country, are going to be in the middle of it.”
    SAVE AND SHARE : DIGG

    Which means it’s also likely that we’ll be studying the Uber fight years from now. Kalanick, for one, has said that Uber is “building a playbook for how to do this” – that is, organizing the masses and engaging full throttle in public policy debates that affect innovation. “Other companies are going to follow suit in all kinds of industries that tech is affecting,” Kalanick told Congressman Goodlatte at the State of the Net Conference, “and folks in D.C., as well as cities across the country, are going to be in the middle of it.”

  39. stewart resmer says:

    At Red Swoosh and its predecessor Scour.net, Kalanick was sued by his own potential investor, Michael Ovitz; was sued by media companies for $250 billion and then sold at auction; “started a revenge business” to turn those litigants into customers; kicked out his co-founder; ran out of money; ran into trouble with the IRS; ran through crappy funding deals and crappier acquisition offers from Microsoft and others; and saw his only remaining engineer recruited to Google. And when that news got on FuckedCompany.com, he lost an AOL deal; got Mark Cuban to invest, but had to go back to coding himself; and talked his way into a VC firm, buying out Cuban’s share so he could sign an EchoStar deal.

    AllThingsD.com
    Liz Gannes

  40. stewart resmer says:

    All nine Seattle City Council members say they are worried that most Lyft, uberX and Sidecar drivers are chauffeuring passengers across Seattle with gaps in insurance coverage the council wants to address as soon as possible.

    Each of the app-dispatched ride services says it has insurance of at least $1 million in coverage for rides that drivers offer in their personal cars. But because the companies have never shared their master insurance policies publicly, city officials don’t have a clear idea of what is covered and what isn’t

    By Alexa Vaughn

    Seattle Times staff reporter

  41. Bob H says:

    Stu, Andy is exactly right. You will find very, very little sympathy for the cab industry in this city and on this board. We are one of the most undeserved populations in the country in terms of cab drivers, a situation directly caused by interference with the number of cab permits issued by the city.

    Since you are so fond of digging up news articles, read up on the recent associated court case (lost by the cab operators) and the cab operators continued attempts to subvert the court ruling. Then let’s talk about “following the rules”.

  42. stewart resmer says:

    Hello Bob

    This article is entitled… ‘The Long Arms Of Uber’ penned by Mr Murphy and not… ‘The Shortcomings Of The City v Taxi Regs’.

    I am quite sure if Mr Murphy was inclined to cite chapter and verse as he sees it to write about those he would have.

    If you would care to stay on topic I will be very happy to debate you point for point, but bait and switch isnt going to work here. Sorry.

    Wouldnt it be great if we didnt get run over today?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEJugkWG47g

  43. stewart resmer says:

    The suit accuses the city of not enforcing its own laws on taxi services and says rivals like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar are undercutting the conventional cab industry as they are not compelled to operate under the same rules.

    Taxi Lawsuit Targets Uber, Lyft for Unfair Practices

    Brad Saul, founder of Chicago Disability Transit, also joined as a plaintiff in the suit, and said the upstart services are discriminatory, both to competitors and to riders, in that they are not compelled to meet the same demands to serve those with disabilities.

    Yet the main point of the suit, Shakman said Thursday in a news conference at the Hotel Monaco Downtown, is that the city is “discriminating against taxi owners” by sanctioning “unregulated companies providing identical services.” He accused the city of “really shooting yourself in the foot” by allowing unregulated taxis alongside heavily regulated and revenue-generating taxis.

    http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20140206/downtown/taxi-lawsuit-targets-uber-lyft-for-unfair-practices

  44. Bob H says:

    Stu,
    It is directly related. I’m all for fair competition, but its not like Uber is entering a fair market and spoiling it; the deck is already strongly-stacked (illegally, it turns out) in favor of the cab operators. As a result, most people around here are more than willing to cut Uber a bit of slack in terms of enforcement.

    Once the city complies with the mandate set out by the most recent court ruling, I will buy their argument against Uber and get behind full-enforcement of City regs. Until then, forget it.

  45. stewart resmer says:

    Aha, yes well, we call that selective enforcement and its illegal.

    Selective enforcement – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_enforcement – Similar to Selective enforcement – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Selective enforcement is the ability that executors of the law (such as police officers or administrative agencies, in some cases) have to arbitrarily select choice …

  46. Tom D says:

    Andy (post 30), I’m certainly not defending Mr. Resmer here, but the taxi industry is not bad everywhere. In NY City, the taxis are actually quite good.

    When I’m in Manhattan, I can usually get a cab in under 60 seconds (and sometimes in 5-10 seconds) simply by standing at the curb and extending my arm into the street; this is far faster than Über. Cabs in NYC always take credit cards and the vehicles are in good shape (they must start as new vehicles and must be replaced every 3-5 years).

    I understand Milwaukee’s taxis are bad, but in some places they aren’t.

  47. Scott says:

    Whenever I see someone from an industry as entrenched as taxis SO VIGOROUSLY defend the incumbent as our friend Stewart has, I know FOR SURE that industry is absolutely ripe for free market competition. Same thing applies to the ISP/cable industry.

    So thanks Stewart for making this decision to definitely do anything I can to be pro-Uber so easy for me!

  48. stewart resmer says:

    Scott, so illegal operators with no permits, or commercial for hire livery insurance, that dont pass real back ground checks, nor take random drug screens, that cannot/will not service the disabled community or hire the disabled, and red line communities, cannot service the airport, and eliminate half the population who use cash is your idea of a public conveyance you approve of?

    You sound like an ubertarian, are you an ubertarian? You must be an ubertarian that must be evry frustrationg to be an ubertarian, reviled and illeagal almost every where.

    Uber Is Apparently Illegal Almost Everywhere – Yahoo News
    news.yahoo.com/uber-apparently-illegal-almost-everywhere-051218… – Similar to Uber Is Apparently Illegal Almost Everywhere – Yahoo News
    Dec 3, 2012 … From Yahoo News: Uber, the little on-demand car service app that could, isn’t catching any breaks from local regulators in cities where it’s trying …

  49. stewart resmer says:

    Breaking!

    UBER RIVAL CEO: Uber Is For The Rich, We’re For Everyone Else
    Seattle Post Intelligencer

  50. stewart resmer says:

    More Breaking!

    So Now We Need an App to Prevent Uber Price Surges?
    thebolditalic

  51. michael says:

    zzzzz. stewert resmer is like the gasbag uncle at the family party who keeps interrupting everyone to tell them – endlessly, tediously, with overbearing self-importance and a bizarre mix of inflated factoids and irrelevant asides — what to think. thanks, stu

  52. stewart resmer says:

    spoken like a true ubertarian, think as you will, do as you choose, but please dont expect every one else to drink the uber kool aid?

    Uber is doomed!

  53. stewart resmer says:

    The future of local transportation startups: Is Uber doomed to follow in Napster’s footsteps?
    http://kfarr.com/2013/03/25/the-future-of-local-transportation-startups-is-uber-doomed-to-follow-in-napsters-footsteps/

  54. Andy says:

    Tom, I agree that taxi service is better some places than others… especially compared to Milwaukee. It seems the places most accepting of these new serviced is most likely to be those served poorly by the legacy services.

    Scott, the irony of Stu’s posts is that they actually push people to supporting these new companies. Maybe we have been duped by a reverse psycology wielding agent of uber?? Very clever Stu… very clever….

  55. stewart resmer says:

    Oh dear Andy you doth protest too much…

  56. stewart resmer says:

    Lyft dodges city sanctions
    After a week, the car service is still offering free rides to avoid city regs.But in Minneapolis, city code and leadership aren’t yet allowing Lyft to operate for pay.

    Minneapolis leaders haven’t seen evidence that Lyft drivers have the commercial liability insurance to cover a driver who’s serving a customer for pay, according to a city statement. Part of Minneapolis’ licensing process ensures that taxis have proper insurance, the statement said.

    While taxis are regulated fairly strictly throughout the country, Sutton said, ridesharing companies can lack some of taxis’ safeguards, like commercial insurance and background checks conducted by law enforcement.

    http://www.mndaily.com/news/campus/2014/03/06/lyft-dodges-city-sanctions

    SOUNDS KINDA FAMILIAR HUH BRUCE?

  57. ca53395 says:

    You can sign up right now with promo code “ubermeplease” and get $20 off your first UBER ride!
    http://uber.com/invite/ubermeplease

  58. Andy says:

    So this irony is intentional then? I cant imagine any other reason you would use that line…

    I would say of the services out there, I find I am most excites for lyft. Anyone know if they are indeed coming to Milwaukee and if so, when?

  59. chi1cabby says:

    I’m an Uber(taxi) driver in Chicago. Uber is recruiting Chicago cab drivers to join their UberX service in their personal cars. I attended one of their info/signup sessions. UberX was unable to name even a SINGLE insurance company that would cover me and my personal car if joined UberX! When I asked if I should get commercial insurance, I was told that UberX didn’t ALLOW that! In my opinion UberX is inducing and perpetuating insurance fraud by signing up unwitting drivers! Every SINGLE UberX, Lyft, SideCar driver is hiding their ride-sharing status from their insurance providers…these individuals will be on the hook for untold humongous damages and liability when a serious accident eventually happens. And UberX will simply deactivate the driver, deny liability and walk away, as it did in the case of death of Sofia Liu on 12/31/13 in San Francisco! The insurance policy that UberX tauts is the secondary, and only a excess liability policy…the drivers own insurance is the primary insurance. But every personal car insurance has an exclusion that prohibits vehicle-for-hire activity. So not only any claim would be denied, but the policy would be cancelled too!
    Lyft along with UberX had to form an peer-peer ride-sharing insurance coalition in California, the state where they have been operating the longest. Lyft and UberX wouldn’t be wasting their energies on this venture if they didn’t know that there were definite Insurance problems with their ride-sharing business model! Uberx, Lyft and SideCar need to STOP inducing and perpetuating this insurance fraud by having unwitting drivers sign-on in one municipality after another! After they have resolved the insurance issue, then perhaps they can try to take on the local regs. regarding taxicabs! I think the Feds need to step in and have a look at these deliberately misnamed “ride-sharing” outfits for violating RICO statutes for engaging in this fraud in one municipality after another!

  60. stewart resmer says:

    MOVEMENT…

    UberX, Sidecar and Lyft reveal how many drivers they have in Seattle – GeekWire

  61. stewart resmer says:

    LYFT LOUNGE: We don’t need no stinkin’ insurance !

    (Lyft Lounge is a Facebook page for Lyft drivers, many of whom were stunned when their personal car insurance was canceled once it was discovered they were driving commercially for LYFT.)

    Very revealing. Open now: http://phantomcabdriverphites.blogspot.com/2013/07/news-from-lyft-lounge-insurance-we-dont.html

  62. stewart resmer says:

    . “Uber and Lyft decided to up the pressure by entering the market and operating legally because they’re not accepting fares. But they’re trying to bully us into acting,” Houston mayor Annise Parker told the Guardian.

    Parker, a former gay rights activist, said she would not be browbeaten. “Uber cannot threaten me in any way. I had people threatening to shoot me in the seventies, there’s not anything that Uber as an entity can do that will intimidate me,” she said.

    “It just slows down the process because what happens – I know there are politicians who will cave under pressure – but often what happens for the majority of us when someone starts applying that kind of pressure, you don’t want to look like you cave in to pressure so you slow down and get dug in. And it’s not I that have to make this decision alone, there are 16 [council members]. It has not made it easier.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/07/uber-houston-city-officials-taxi-market-lyft

  63. stewart resmer says:

    California regulators warned four app-based ride companies on Thursday that they haven’t provided some information required to receive state operating permits. The companies in turn said they are working to comply. The move came a day after several San Francisco supervisors blasted the regulators for not cracking down more on the transportation networking companies, or TNCs.

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/techchron/2014/03/07/california-to-lyft-uber-sidecar-wingz-get-your-act-together/

  64. stewart resmer says:

    Uber didn’t have the decency to offer personal condolences to Sofia Liu’s family
    03.07.14 – 4:12 pm | Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez | (7)
    Print

    Sofia Liu image courtesy of fundraiser website for her funeral
    In the wake of a young girl’s death in a traffic collision New Year’s Eve, allegations of improper insurance coverage and safety practices swirled Uber into the center of controversy — but the company has yet to take a step back to offer personal condolences to the family of the girl who died that night.

    Christopher Dolan, the attorney for the family of Sofia Liu, told the Guardian at a City Hall hearing on rideshare companies that Uber has yet to offer condolences directly to the Liu family.

  65. Andy says:

    This alderman from Madison seems to have the right idea. He recognizes the challenges of these rideshare companies but also realizes that they arn’t traditional taxi companies either. Looks like he’s open to changing the face of getting a ride in Madison. I wish we had innovative thinking like that here in Milwaukee regarding this topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *