Why I Support Uber

The DC council is set to impose new regulations on private on-demand car service Uber that would limit Uber's ability to offer a new, lower cost service in the District. The proposed rules are a pretty shameless attempt to protect incumbent taxi drivers in the District from additional competition. They are also an offensive and crude response to a situation that should instead be used to motivate greater innovation and reform from DC taxis, not 19th century style protectionism.

Here's why I support Uber, including its proposed new "Uberx" service.

  • As a free and sentient being, I choose to pay extra for what I consider to be a higher-quality service (Uber cars vs. the ordinary dump of a taxi in the District). Why does the DC council think it has a mandate to decide what's more or less valuable in my eyes? Why can't we let the market decide?
  • I can ride around cashless and credit cardless with Uber. While dozens of cities around the world (I travel frequently) are moving towards credit card payments in taxis, in DC it's a rarity to find the brave taxi driver slinging a Square payment system. DC taxis are simply behind the times and need to modernize, like, now.
  • Visiting New York City for the day and riding in the NYC taxis is a stark reminder of just how pathetic the service is in DC. The more Uber can help push DC taxis to innovate, the better for taxpayers, tourists, local businesses....everyone.
  • My last Uber driver had an autograph from Sarah Palin in his passport. How cool is that?!
Look, the bottom line is that the taxi moguls fear competition as any monopolistic incumbent would. I get that; they will lose revenue here. But the public wins, and so does DC's reputation. Why would the council oppose that?