As technology finds simpler and cheaper ways for getting around, we witness yet another clash between Uber and taxi drivers. Many protests have taken place this year in the U.S., as well as in other countries like France, some more violent than others.
Uber is a network company used for transportation, with its headquarters in San Francisco, CA. The company has come up with an online app used for the same purposes as a cab company. However, the part that enrages taxi companies and also provokes conflicts with governments is the fact that Uber drivers do not pay a license, since anyone with a car can become a cab driver.
In Austin for instance, there is a great probability of new rules in favor of checking the fingerprints for drivers by the Austin City Council. Therefore, the company has started to air commercials in order to gain support and keep Uber in Austin. The advertisement seems to focus on the safety of the passengers, and only after establishing this point it moves on to other benefits. On the other side, the Council considers that undergoing fingerprint checks is exactly the way to keep the passengers’ safety. Generally, the vehicles will have to be identified and the companies will have to provide additional information.
It also seems that Uber is not allowed where it is most needed. Car services like Uber are forbidden in NY suburbs, which makes it difficult for people to travel from the train stations to their workplaces. However, there are some who are trying to change this, like Shelley Mayer, representative of a district in Yonkers. Cab drivers continue to oppose online car services, arguing that most of these applications claim to go around the rules and in this way attract clients. Only yesterday morning, a dozen taxi drivers protested in Kingston against the launch of Uber. After making a blockade, they declared that Uber should be stopped before it even started, so Kingston would not suffer the fate of other municipalities.
It is difficult to say who is right and who is wrong, as the Uber company in the U.S. argues that it cannot be considered an operation for dispatching taxis and thus is not obliged to be controlled by local governance. As long as policies and regulations are not clarified, we can expect yet another clash between Uber and taxi drivers soon.
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