New Proposal Would Free Uber From D.C. Taxi Restrictions

By WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
|  Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012  |  Updated 10:22 PM EDT
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Proposal to Free Uber From D.C. Taxi Restrictions

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The battle over the Internet-based sedan service Uber in the District of Columbia has taken another twist.

Uber — which allows you to order a ride with a smart phone app — would be able to operate legally in the District without restrictions on what it may charge you, under a proposal by Council member Jack Evans. His proposal follows months of debate over whether the Internet-based service should be regulated by the D.C. Taxicab Commission.

"I want Uber to operate as Uber has always operated, without falling within the rubric of the taxicab regulations, particulary those that regulate the fees and things of that nature," Evans said.

Uber currently charges its customers "surge pricing" — when demand is high, sedan rates significantly increase. Evans said Uber should be free to charge its customers whatever customers agree to pay.

"That's the free marketplace in operation," Evans said. "Uber is not something you have to do.  You can take a taxi if you'd like to do that, tut there are also times you want to take Uber, and if you are willing to pay a higher amount during peak hours, you should be allowed to do that."

D.C. Taxicab Commissioner Ron Linton denies his agency is proposing regulating fares for a new sedan class of vehicles-for-hire.

Uber's D.C. general manager supports Evans's proposal and says it will "be very important to protecting the status quo and explicitly limiting interference from people who do not have the best interest of the public at heart," a slap at District regulators.

Complete story at wamu.org

Copyright WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio. All Rights Reserved.

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