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Uber Gives Up On New York Taxi Service

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the impeding-progress dept.

Businesses 180

An anonymous reader writes "Uber, the startup behind a mobile app for connecting transportation services with people who need rides, has halted its efforts to partner with New York cab drivers. They've been fighting an uphill battle against regulators, who have warned drivers that they could face fines or loss of license if they worked with Uber. The company's CEO wrote, 'Demand far out-stripped supply, making you feel pretty lucky when you got a yellow from your iPhone. We did the best we could to get more yellows on the road but New York's TLC (Taxi and Limousine Commission) put up obstacles and roadblocks in order to squash the effort around e-hail, which they privately have said is legal under the rules. We'll bite our tongues and keep our frustration here to ourselves.'" Update: 10/17 00:48 GMT by S : Here's TLC's perspective, in the words of Commissioner David Yassky: "In recent months, as e-hail apps have emerged, TLC has undertaken serious diligence and is moving toward rule changes that will open the market to app developers and other innovators. Those changes cannot legally take place until our existing exclusive contracts expire in February. We are committed to making it as easy as possible to get a safe, legal ride in a New York City taxi, and are excited to see how emerging technology can improve that process. Our taxis have always been on the cutting edge of technological innovation, from GPS systems to credit card readers."

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While I like the idea (1)

desertfool (21262) | about 2 years ago | (#41675741)

NYC is the one place where I think that this isn't needed. All you can in NYC is hail a taxi or ride the subway.

Re:While I like the idea (1)

desertfool (21262) | about 2 years ago | (#41675761)

all you *can* do....

Dang, must read before submit.

Re:While I like the idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675775)

Try doing that at 4 in the morning.

Re:While I like the idea (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41675855)

As long as you don't go out of manhattan

Re:While I like the idea (4, Informative)

StandardDeviant (122674) | about 2 years ago | (#41675917)

Hahahaha. Have you ever visited NYC, let alone lived there? Getting a cab can be a pain in the ass even in mid-town. "Oh, look the 500th fuckin cab that's full or off duty! Might as well stand here with my arm in the air for another twenty minutes like a fucking tourist!"

The MTA may get you where you want to go, but might take two hours to do it. JFK to BX w/out MNR, anyone?

Seriously tell me hailing a cab is easy after you've tried to do it while standing in the snow an hour after bars close and you don't want to take three more God-forsaken hours to get home to an outer borough shithole apartment that costs $waytoofuckinmuch... Not that I'm bitter. :)

Re:While I like the idea (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#41676005)

Yeah right NYC should back out of their existing contracts and pay damages to allow these "special" people to sidestep the whole process THAT ALL THE OTHER SERVICES MUST ENDURE.

Re:While I like the idea (5, Informative)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#41676249)

Nope. What we are asking for is to get rid of these stupid medallions (not right now, when the contracts or whatever expire). Create a real free market of taxi companies competing with each other. Atleast of them would ready embrace Uber.

Re:While I like the idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676629)

Get rid of medallions? Yeah, because Manhattan doesn't have enough traffic! Perhaps next you'd like to get rid of the onerous requirement of having a hack license?

dom

medallions look like a "bubble" waiting to burst.. (4, Interesting)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 2 years ago | (#41677053)

First off, people need to know that being a legit cab in NYC costs a million bucks [reuters.com] .

The referenced article argues that "hey it is a decent 5% return on your investment"... sounds like a typical wall street tout pumping a stock. A "5% return" on an investment wouldn't require you to work 8 hours a day to get it.

Based on complaints of availability, the denial to use modern apps, the spike in that graph of medallion licenses... something is going to "pop".

I have no idea what I am talking about. I live in California and get pissed off if the driveways to the acres-large parking lots I use are not conveniently aligned for my use...

Re:While I like the idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41677629)

If there were more taxis and they were cheaper, would there really be more cars on the road? Think about it.

Re:While I like the idea (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 2 years ago | (#41676293)

That's what happened to Horses!
Damned cars came along and put a lot of people out of work.
There were loads of saddle and buggy makers put out of business.
I bet they and their families starved since no one ever does more than one thing in their lifetime.
If we hadn't let cars take over we would have clean air and enough manure to fertilize EVERYTHING.
Think of the ponies!
Now the cabs. Well that's what they get for putting faith in cars!
Now if they could just come up with an app to fix stupid.

Re:While I like the idea (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#41676397)

They're not going to fix stupid while they can make a profit from it.

Re:While I like the idea (4, Insightful)

gewalker (57809) | about 2 years ago | (#41676037)

Thank the government / crony capitalism duo . Taxi medallions are now worth 1 million $ in NYC these days. Slate had a good article [slate.com] on the situation. If taxi prices were set by the market, you would save a bunch, and they would be likely to support Uber as they might see a competitive advantage in doing so.

Re:While I like the idea (2)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#41676109)

"If taxi prices were set by the market"

The entire island of manhattan would be covered in taxi cabs. There would be total gridlock 24 hours a day.

Re:While I like the idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676235)

Yep, and ALL taxi operators would continue to work in such conditions rather then serve another market where they can actually get around.

Re:While I like the idea (2)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#41676265)

Apply congestion surcharges, the traffic will move better than ever and it is not just the taxis that would be affected.

Re:While I like the idea (2)

englishknnigits (1568303) | about 2 years ago | (#41676351)

And then no one would use taxi's because they never move and the taxi drivers would go out of business...and there would be less taxis and things would start moving again. It's called a system with incentives and feedback mechanisms. Taxi drivers don't like sitting in gridlock just for fun just as people don't like sitting in taxi's that don't move and charge the money for the experience.

Re:While I like the idea (2)

jcr (53032) | about 2 years ago | (#41676631)

The entire island of manhattan would be covered in taxi cabs.

Nope. There would be a substantial increase, which would continue until the supply met the demand.

-jcr

Re:While I like the idea (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | about 2 years ago | (#41676673)

Seriously, can you believe the shit progressives come up with? I bet he really believes what he said about taxi cabs over Manhattan.

Re:While I like the idea (1)

jcr (53032) | about 2 years ago | (#41677107)

"Progressives" all suffer from the fatal conceit.

-jcr

Re:While I like the idea (1)

chill (34294) | about 2 years ago | (#41676661)

Then I suggest you invest in a rickshaw service. Maybe rent Segways. You'll make a killing.

Re:While I like the idea (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 2 years ago | (#41677647)

What's the percentage of cabs in Manhattan traffic now?

Would the cabs being cheaper and more plentiful cause actual traffic to go down since fewer people would use private cars?

Re:While I like the idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676243)

Carjacking works except between the hours of 7-9 a.m.,11 a.m.- 1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. when no ones going anywhere faster than a pedestrian, doorhandle to doorhandle. I recommend the piggyback for hire in Manhattan during rush. A burly Italian 20-something will carry you at lightning speed through and sometimes over the crowd for $4 a block , 2.50 flag. I saw one punch out a cab once, no not a cabbie,sweetie, a cab.After hours there is a great tankie cab, an actual Abrams tank, fully armed will get you from nightclub to doorstep ANYWHERE IN TOWN! Fare? Forget about it! Those fruits from the Village always have them tied up.

Re:While I like the idea (2)

thammoud (193905) | about 2 years ago | (#41676305)

I wish I had mod points but alas. NYC, especially during rush hour , is almost impossible to get a cab. They apparently change shifts during that time. I feel blessed living in Chicago. Getting a cab at anytime is a breeze.

Re:While I like the idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676461)

You remind me of people that say stuff like "I'm glad that the firemen were able to cut my legs off with a chainsaw and free me from under that leaking sewage truck..." Really? Wouldn't you be happier if, oh I don't know, none of that happened in the first place?

Re:While I like the idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41677357)

Except New Year's. Holy fuck - wear a warm coat!

Re:While I like the idea (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 2 years ago | (#41676367)

And if you allow these kinds of e-hail apps to continue to operate, it just increases the number of cabs that are unavailable to pick up street hails (since they are all heading to an e-hail)
I can see where the TLC is coming from here...

Re:While I like the idea (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676543)

Hahahaha. Have you ever visited NYC, let alone lived there? Getting a cab can be a pain in the ass even in mid-town. "Oh, look the 500th fuckin cab that's full or off duty! Might as well stand here with my arm in the air for another twenty minutes like a fucking tourist!"

You with your hand in the air are better than a tourist with their hand in the air? You, madame, are one of the many reasons New York is a shithole.

Re:While I like the idea (1)

PrimaryConsult (1546585) | about 2 years ago | (#41676887)

Seriously tell me hailing a cab is easy after you've tried to do it while standing in the snow an hour after bars close and you don't want to take three more God-forsaken hours to get home to an outer borough shithole apartment that costs $waytoofuckinmuch... Not that I'm bitter. :)

Most intelligent city residents bother to keep the number of a good car service... I can remember "four ones" from growing up there, I'm sure similar companies exist nowadays.

And in pretty much any other city, the *only* way you're getting a cab when you need one is by calling the cab company, or walking to a bus terminal/train station/airport.

Re:While I like the idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41677453)

Since it's flat and much less spread out as other US cities, why doesn't the NYC authorities replace more car lanes with bike lanes?

Less traffic, less noise, less pollution, better productivity, and healthier people.

Re:While I like the idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41677513)

Amen. I live here and vouch for that. Plus, "car services" can't pick you and you can't call in advance to "taxi cabs". They have legislation that blocks them from doing so. Also, it costs about $40 for me just to get home... $60 to get to the airport. That's minus the tip.

Sloshdat is far fogs. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675743)

This post brought to you by the taxi that won't pick you up because Goatse is the driver.

Just goes to show (5, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | about 2 years ago | (#41675823)

There's no efficiency improvement or human betterment that can't be completely destroyed by bureaucracy and greed.

Re:Just goes to show (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675963)

Just goes to show you that people forget their history.

Here's a clue about the history bureaucracy: Once upon a time it was considered to be the efficient way to better human society, the way that would remove obstructions yet prevent abuses.

Perception changes, huh?

Re:Just goes to show (5, Insightful)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 2 years ago | (#41676201)

Just goes to show you that people forget their history.

Here's a clue about the history bureaucracy: Once upon a time it was considered to be the efficient way to better human society, the way that would remove obstructions yet prevent abuses.

Perception changes, huh?

You'd better check history again. Bureaucracy has always been a necessary evil that needs to be kept heavily restricted and overseen in it's power and budget, as like with governments as a whole, they always grow and expand over time, eventually causing collapse/chaos/tyranny if left unchecked.

The problem in the US is that we keep choosing to cede more and more power over ever more things and give larger and larger budgets to the bureaucracy to "fix it".

This is typically followed up, after it's evident that things didn't get fixed but got worse, with cries to cede even more power and give even larger budgets, because the reason for the failure to fix things was that the previous increases were not quite enough, we'll fix it this time, promise! Rinse and repeat.

Strat

Sorry, but your history is wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676411)

You really need to look up a person named Max Weber.

His perspective was not at all like yours.

Here's what really happens, people try to utilize bureaucracy, in order to protect their special interests, defeating the purpose of it. Of course, since destroying bureaucracy is also a tool for special interests, that's not exactly a guaranteed improvement.

This is true of everything though, there is no work of man so pure that somebody won't corrupt it, or exploit its existence as a scapegoat.

Sorry, but there's no path to take that doesn't have perils.

Re:Sorry, but your history is wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676679)

You really need to look up a person named Max Weber.

You cite Weber!?!?

Really?

Really?

There may not be any hope left for you.

Re:Just goes to show (2, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41675989)

There's no efficiency improvement or human betterment that can't be completely destroyed by bureaucracy and greed.

Of course, you forget that the reverse is true: Destroying bureaucracy and greed results in efficiency improvement and human betterment. So if the NY Taxi Commission is no longer serving the public interest the general public should tell them to take a long walk off a short pier. There is no law or police force that can contend with half a million angry New Yorkers surrounding the commissioners and telling them it's time for them to leave town. And of all the things that piss of New Yorkers, things that obstruct the free flow of traffic ranks right up there with the coffee machine breaking. So... where are the angry New Yorkers?

Ah well, these are the same people that let a bunch of crooked cops and bureaucrats chase the Occupiers out, and happily let the government encase their entire downtown in giant walls with mounted machine guns... so I suppose thinking they'd actually organize to defend their own interests from a few dudes in suits is probably too much to ask. Unless those dudes are in an airplane and carrying boxcutters, New Yorkers just don't have the balls to say or do anything anymore.

[Reverse psychology, bitches]

Re:Just goes to show (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#41676051)

New Yorkers just don't have the balls to say or do anything anymore.

JESUS FUCKING CHRIST

You sit in your heated house with your computer and your internet and you think that IT ALL APPEARED OUT OF NOWHERE

These things were FINANCED and PAID FOR by those VERY PEOPLE that you accuse of "not having any balls"

Shit the reason you even WANT THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE is because of MADISON AVENUE MARKETERS

They don't have any balls and yet THEY CONTROL YOUR LIFE

Re:Just goes to show (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41676101)

You see? That's more like it! This is the kind of hate I wanna see around here! :D

Re:Just goes to show (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#41676127)

Welcome to Slashdot where truth and hate are indistinguishable

Re:Just goes to show (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676399)

Welcome to Slashdot where truth and hate are indistinguishable

There's truth here? I thought that wasn't going into Slashcode until Unicode support.

Re:Just goes to show (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41676331)

New Yorkers just don't have the balls to say or do anything anymore.

JESUS FUCKING CHRIST

You sit in your heated house with your computer and your internet and you think that IT ALL APPEARED OUT OF NOWHERE

My heat doesn't come from NYC, I'm not aware of any natural gas wells in NYC. Much of the development of computers internet sites that people use daily occurred on the West Coast of the USA, with most of the physical components coming from Asia.

These things were FINANCED and PAID FOR by those VERY PEOPLE that you accuse of "not having any balls"

Oh, you mean the banking executives in San Francisco? (not to mention the Asian banks that funded much of the industry that creates our computers and powers our internet.

Shit the reason you even WANT THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE is because of MADISON AVENUE MARKETERS

They don't have any balls and yet THEY CONTROL YOUR LIFE

I won't deny that much of the best (meaning worst) marketing comes from NYC.

Re:Just goes to show (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676113)

And of all the things that piss of New Yorkers, things that obstruct the free flow of traffic ranks right up there

Because the one thing that would improve the free flow of traffic would be letting thousands of unregulated cabbies loose on the streets with no fucking clue where they're going but the voice says turn right so lanes be damned.

Re:Just goes to show (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676187)

Ahem, I live in Brooklyn. The real New Yorkers are far out-numbered now by the out-of-staters (myself included) who have moved here for the "New York Experience" but don't want any of the crime or danger. Don't expect anything from them unless there's free booze involved.

Re:Just goes to show (4, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#41676209)

The reason Uber isn't being allowed in NYC is because there are some pre-existing contracts that prohibit them. Those contracts will expire in a few months (February of next year), at which point we can negotiate new contracts that allow Uber in.

Is your position that we should just tear up contracts whenever we no longer feel like they're benefiting us? Because that would spell the end of the civilization that you love to take for granted.

According to a statement from TLC Commissioner David Yassky, existing "exclusive contracts" are the reason that Uber can’t use cabs in the city.

Those contracts are part of the Taxicab Passengers Enhancement Project (TPEP), which provides various hardware including GPS data collection, credit card processing and two-way messaging with drivers. Under the TPEP system, Creative Mobile Technologies and VeriFone have an exclusive contract to provide such infrastructure and services to the TLC.

But Yassky added that these contracts are set to expire in February 2013 and will help the agency move "towards rule changes that will open the market to app developers and other innovators."

Re:Just goes to show (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41676683)

Is your position that we should just tear up contracts whenever we no longer feel like they're benefiting us? Because that would spell the end of the civilization that you love to take for granted.

They are the only people responsible for being in this mess themselves. They screwed up, and now the public is suffering because of their incompetence. They should be removed from office, to ensure the next batch of contracts doesn't contain some similarly stupid language that will probably be in there for the same reason the current contracts have idiotic clauses in it: Kickbacks. Corrupt public officials? Remove them. It's simple. I'm not advocating "the end of civilization", I'm advocating the end of a select few people's careers as public officials because they were fucking stupid.

Try not to confuse the two.

Re:Just goes to show (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41677415)

Point is, if a text a cab to pick me up, how is that different from a hail - F*ck the existing contracts.

Re:Just goes to show (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#41677555)

And of all the things that piss of New Yorkers, things that obstruct the free flow of traffic ranks right up there with the coffee machine breaking. So... where are the angry New Yorkers?

Presumably not reading the hype about new startups. This is not something I would expect people to riot about. Was the city for some reason excited, convinced that this was going to solve all their traffic problems forever? Or are you personally just angry at this example of bad government and assuming other people aren't apathetic about it?

Re:Just goes to show (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676019)

So NYC should tell the company that already has an exclusive contract with the city to provide those services to go fuck themselves and hope that they don't sued? Or maybe it's actually fiscally prudent to maintain the contract until Feb 2013 when it expires and then rework the rules to open the market up. You know, like it said in TFA.

Re:Just goes to show (2, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 2 years ago | (#41676147)

Before calling it greed, it would be useful to get the story from the other side.

Taxi officials say that Uber's service may not be legal since city rules do not allow for prearranged rides in yellow taxis. They also forbid cabbies from using electronic devices while driving and prohibit any unjustified refusal of fares. (Under Uber's policy, once a driver accepts a ride through the app, no other passenger can be picked up.)

Councilman James Vacca, the chairman of the City Council's transportation committee, said that the spread of taxi apps had the potential to create a "two-tiered taxi system" in the city: one for people "with fancy smartphones" who are asked to pay a premium, and one for everybody else. "As a councilman from the Bronx," he said, "a disparity like that does concern me."

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/05/nyregion/as-ubers-taxi-hailing-app-comes-to-new-york-its-legality-is-questioned.html?_r=0 [nytimes.com]

The NYC TLC and the city councilors have significant concerns about this effectively siphoning off high paying customers, leaving few cabs for the lower classes. I'm not sure that's rational, but I also wouldn't call it greed.

Re:Just goes to show (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41676529)

The NYC TLC and the city councilors have significant concerns about this effectively siphoning off high paying customers, leaving few cabs for the lower classes. I'm not sure that's rational, but I also wouldn't call it greed.

The greed would be charging over a hundred grand for "medallions" that are required to operate a taxi. If there's a shortage of taxicabs at affordable rates, it's not because of a lack of vehicles, manpower, or capital -- it's because the City Council controls the number of cabs on the road by making the cost of entry exceptionally high. If they're so worried about the poor having adequate access to taxi services, perhaps Ye Old Taxicab OPEC ought to think about increasing production.

Please explain (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#41676159)

How adding more vehicles to overcrowded streets is an "efficiency improvement"

Re:Please explain (2)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 2 years ago | (#41676371)

How adding more vehicles to overcrowded streets is an "efficiency improvement"

Why do you assume there would be significantly more cabs, to the point of becoming a problem, than there are currently?

See, there are these things involved with operating a taxi called costs and expenses. If there are too many taxis competing for riders, some of those taxis won't generate enough income to cover these costs and expenses and will stop operating.

Other large cities that don't restrict taxi licensing like NYC are not flooded with cabs. Service is generally much cheaper and better as well for the passengers compared to NYC taxis.

Strat

Re:Please explain (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41676585)

How adding more vehicles to overcrowded streets is an "efficiency improvement"

With the slightest amount of mental effort, I was able to discern that many people in New York don't own cars due to having access to an extensive public transportation network, of which taxi cabs are a part of. For every taxi cab on the road, perhaps a dozen personal vehicles aren't. So... restricting the number of taxis on the road would mean there'd be some multiple of that in personal vehicles clogging the streets instead.

It seems to be that adding more taxis to overcrowded streets would reduce the overload. Not all vehicles are created equal. But, I can understand how, if you had really bad luck with thinking, you might make that assertion... :\

New York New York (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675839)

Land of the free, until you want an app that hails a cab, a 20 oz Coke, or to smoke a cigarette.

Ever notice its liberal havens that restrict your freedoms while telling you if you vote a non-liberal they will restrict your freedom?

Re:New York New York (3, Informative)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#41675875)

What bullshit. It's two sides of the same coin. It's just a different group of items to ban or a different group to oppress.

Re:New York New York (0)

s.petry (762400) | about 2 years ago | (#41675921)

Bah, you beat me to the bigot bashing. It's really a shame that so many people are too ignorant to realize that it's not "democrat" vs. "republican" and has not been for over thirty years.

Re:New York New York (0)

s.petry (762400) | about 2 years ago | (#41675929)

Oh, and just in case there is confusion the "ignorant" comment was not directed at you, but the AC you replied to. Apologies for not being very clear in my first post.

Re:New York New York (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#41676357)

Bah, you beat me to the bigot bashing. It's really a shame that so many people are too ignorant to realize that it's not "democrat" vs. "republican" and has not been for over thirty years.

The AC OP didn't say "democrat" or "republican". And denigrating a political stance isn't bigotry in any case.

Re:New York New York (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676521)

As the original AC poster, here I sit in my own house with a gun collection that would be illegal in DC, NY, Chicago, and the ENTIRE state of California (the gun collection isn't that big even). Able to put on an ad supporting my favourite candidate for president ONLY because the Supreme Court decided as it did on Citizens United, until then it would have been ILLEGAL for me to do so as a private individual. Also looking forward to fines and threatened jail sentences if I fail to comply with Obamacare and provide the federal government proof of medical insurance.

At the same time I'm pondering what the "other side of the coin" as you say has banned for me. Nothing is coming to mind, but I have listed at least TWO clearly stated freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution that have been banned by liberals to some degree or other.

If all you can point to is gay marriage, I think I have won this argument to the point that you are an imbecile.

Thank you, I'll be here all week.

Re:New York New York (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41677273)

At the same time I'm pondering what the "other side of the coin" as you say has banned for me.

Well, drugs for one. Thanks to your wonderful Supreme Court, my back yard is now in another state. Go ahead, rant about regulations making medicine expensive, the Republicans won't touch the FDA because Schedule I is the only thing standing between you and an army of stoned zombies.

Pornography for another. Romney's made his position pretty clear [forbes.com] . Oh that's right, the First Amendment "doesn't include obscenity"... wait, which amendment gave the federal government the power to decide something is obscene and not worthy of the 1st's protection?

Best part: banning drugs and porn because they are bad for you is exactly the same as banning large sodas because they are bad for you and banning smoggy trucks because they are bad for you. The exact same unconstitutional process in every case, except that when New York bans Big Gulps, they're not beholden to the US Constitution in the same way when the federal government does it.

If all you can point to is gay marriage

Read: "Banning things I don't like is ok. Banning things I like is wrong!" See also sodas and CAFE standards.

Also, you forgot to mention abortion, sodomy in general (both hetero- and homosexual, my theory is that Republicans can't get a blow job so they don't want anyone else to either, my guess is that Anthony Kennedy was getting some good lovin' in the privacy of his own home), protests, and so on.

Did I mention that Texas Republicans want to do away with your first amendment right to petition the government for redress of grievances by appealing violations of your rights to the Supreme Court? It's right there on Page 4-5 [tfn.org] :

Further, we urge Congress to withhold Supreme Court jurisdiction in cases involving abortion, religious freedom, and the Bill of Rights

It's a fully Constitutional power, that hasn't been used since the president every Republican loves to hate, Abraham Lincoln, had Congress use it in order to prevent people he was detaining from being able to appeal to the courts for habeas corpus. But hey, you weren't planning on to trying to appeal any gun laws on 2nd amendment grounds anyway, amirite?

Re:New York New York (4, Insightful)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#41675983)

Ever noticed that these "liberal outposts" are where the vast majority of our commerce and business are done?

Re:New York New York (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#41676455)

I could provide a number of theories as to why this is.

For instance, people cede more power to those they feel will provide better for them. (Like it or not, this is exactly what voting is.)

A skilled confidence man (aka, a "con artist") can supply services, and silently obstruct competition so as to artificially inflate the apparent need for his services, while simultaneously degrading the quality of his service rendered.

He can do this, and people will adore him for it. (Just look at the fearless leadership of N. Korea.)

Flagrant liberalism is just a form of reverse lobbying. The government provides subsidized services and products to the public, who then becomes dependent upon them. The government does this through exclusivitiy deals with private enterprises and contractors, creating graft.

Ask yourself this: why is the stock exchange ONLY in new york? Given the global nature of stock trading, wouldn't a more decentralized ntwork, with trade centers clustered around other population centers make more logistical sense?

You know, like how Akamai manages to handle so much data, by having servers fucking everywhere.

It couldn't be because of exclusivity deals, and long lsting "partnerships" (graft) between wallstreet and NewYork, and the fed could it? No. Certainly not. The stock exchange people had absolutely no part in the rapid removal of Occupy. None whatsoever.

Here it is in a nut shell for you:

1) government wants people to stop detracting from their policies, and to blindly vote for them year after year.
2) they reverse-lobby through public programs, to offer vital services waaaaaaaay below market price.
3) they get industry on board, with twisted backroom deals that exclude the competition that would prevent the plan from working.
4) the government subsidizes their chosen partners, and legally bars competition from the market. They spend taxpayer money on maintaining this relationship, while their partners still charge for services. The suppliers still get paid as if they were charging fair market price, and often, way better through the other perks of the subsidy, like tax exemption.
5) people think they get a good deal, as since the government is supplying (financing) the services, they will surely be highly reliable. (Cough.)
6) in reality, removed from competative pressures, infrastructue deteriorates or languishes compared to real competition based systems.
7) big industries collect lots of money from these liberal spending policies in government, and aggregate there.

The NYC taxi system is a very clearcut example of graft in action, as is the subway system.

Want to see NYC shine again? Remove exclusivity from contracts. Watch unions shit gold bricks, and watch industries quake with fear as the gravy train derails for them, and they have to earn their money.

Even though the taxi contract is due for renewal/renegotiation, this guy's business plan goes against the symbiotic relationship between city and enterprise. It will *never* work.

Re:New York New York (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676633)

Ask yourself this: why is the stock exchange ONLY in new york? Given the global nature of stock trading, wouldn't a more decentralized ntwork, with trade centers clustered around other population centers make more logistical sense?

Apparently you don't know there's more than one Stock Exchange, even in New York.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_stock_exchanges

There's a lot you can find to complain about with the world's financial systems, but your criticism is based on an entirely false premise.

Re:New York New York (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | about 2 years ago | (#41676689)

It's clear he was speaking in general terms and you actually bolster his argument by pointing out that not one, but several, appear there.

Re:New York New York (1)

alexmin (938677) | about 2 years ago | (#41677539)

Technically you both are incorrect since there are no exchanges in NYC left. All US stock exchanges have primary locations in New Jersey (NYSE, Arca, NYSE MKT(ex AMEX) in Mahwah, BATS in Wheehawken, DirectEdge in Secaucus, Nasdaq in Carteret.) There are few not worth mentioning in Chicago. Option exchanges also all moved to New Jersey, last being CBOE this month. The only big player outside of NJ is CME in Aurora, IL.
As a side note, NYC and NY state sucks for exchange business because of state tax laws, expensive real estate leases, unionised workforce, and also by virtue of being fsking prime target for assorted nutjobs.

Morale: do not come with your guns blazing if you do not know the facts.

Re:New York New York (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 2 years ago | (#41676129)

Hi. The opposite side of the coin is that you get crooked cabbies, people who blow smoke in your face or well, I can't really defend the soda ban in a way that isnt fat shaming but...

Still. You make it seem like there are no group net negatives to any of these activities.

Re:New York New York (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#41676231)

Uber isn't being allowed in because there are some pre-existing exclusive contracts that will last for a few more months. Are you proposing we just tear up any contract we don't like? Do you have the slightest goddamned inkling what that sort of precedent would do to business in this country?

Fucking anarchists. Like everyone else, they've got the world "figured out" by the time they're a teenager. Unlike everyone else, they don't grow out of it.

Re:New York New York (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#41676329)

You wanna bet Uber will be part of the next round of contracts? If so I hear a New York bridge is for sale, I think you would be very interested in it.

Message from the free market (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675863)

Missing me yet?

Re:Message from the free market (1)

fche (36607) | about 2 years ago | (#41675925)

Yes.

Re:Message from the free market (2)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#41675951)

According to a statement from TLC Commissioner David Yassky, existing "exclusive contracts" are the reason that Uber can’t use cabs in the city. Those contracts are part of the Taxicab Passengers Enhancement Project (TPEP), which provides various hardware including GPS data collection, credit card processing and two-way messaging with drivers. Under the TPEP system, Creative Mobile Technologies and VeriFone have an exclusive contract to provide such infrastructure and services to the TLC.

So, your position is that the free market would support tearing those contracts up now rather than waiting untin Feb. 2013 to negotiate something that would include Uber?

Re:Message from the free market (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675993)

No the free market solution will be to not having to license Taxi cab operators. This way there would several Tax Cab companies competing against each other, and at least one of them will welcome the additional traffic you send them.

Re:Message from the free market (1, Insightful)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#41676091)

The "free market" neglects to take account of the SHEER NUMBER OF VEHICLES in NYC

More taxis will SLOW THINGS DOWN FOR EVERYONE

Have you DRIVEN in NYC? Do you REALLY assert that things would go smoother with MORE CARS?

Re:Message from the free market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676157)

acutally I HAVE DRIVEN IN NYC you fucking idiot. and yes more cabs would make things go smoother. instead of having to wait 6 FUCKING HOURS to get a cab early in the morning i would have to wait 6 FUCKING MINUTES and spend 2 HOURS in traffic instead of 1 HOUR.
That means SAVINGS of FOUR HOURS on the entire fucking trip.

Re:Message from the free market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676183)

Those are some wonderful numbers you pulled out of your ass. Did your colon perform the study?

Re:Message from the free market (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#41676275)

Based on those numbers, I now know for certain that you have never tried to hail a cab in NYC.

Re:Message from the free market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676177)

Same AC. There are many reasons why I would support Taxi company regulations, but controlling the number of taxis/vehicles isnt one of them. There are so many better way to directly control traffic, like congestion surcharges, one way roads, limited access roads.

Re:Message from the free market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676379)

If you increase the number of taxis further, you are likely to make traveling more convenient by taxi than by private vehicle, reducing the number of private vehicles.

Re:Message from the free market (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#41676263)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons [wikipedia.org]

Read that page. Then read it again. Repeat until it sinks in.

The free market is not some kind and loving god. It doesn't have the answers to all our problems. It doesn't work. It never has, it never will. Markets need regulation.

Re:Message from the free market (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#41676301)

It is all relative. Compared to the present medallions, I would rather take the free market anyday. Regulations that foster competition in stagnated market is good, many forms of regulations are good, but compared to what currently exists, free market is heaven.

Lets hear it for the "free" market (2)

GPierce (123599) | about 2 years ago | (#41676879)

The free market doesn't work that way. What would happen is that some private equity firm would start a deal to sell new taxicabs to any schmuck who thinks he can make a living driving a cab. Once the contract is signed, the new owner/entrepreneur is locked in. If the market shows less demand for cabs, he can't quit. Well actually he can, but the payments continue. Then they foreclose on his cab, drive him nuts for the next few years with a deficiency judgment, and sell the cab to the next schmuck who didn't hear what happened to the first guy.

The free market is a great system as long as you keep your gonads out of the hands of the kleptcrats.

Re:Message from the free market (2)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#41677113)

They tried that, but there was too much fraud, various rip-offs, and drivers who had no idea how to get to anywhere in the city. No matter how hard they ignored the problem, the free market just wouldn't seem to step up.

They finally went to a licensing system and things are a lot better, especially now that the fare meter is connected directly to the credit card terminal in the back.

It may not be the best approach, but it is better than the others they trried, including the 'free market'.

Re:Message from the free market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41677437)

Existing contracts don't cover Uber model, wait until Feb is saying, we have to re-write our contracts to exclude you - give us time and f*** off.

Re:Message from the free market (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#41677573)

Existing contracts DO grant an exclusive on non-cash payment. Uber's model would bypass that.

mo+5d up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675873)

shout the l0udest ass of them all, FreeBSD is already

In (app)Stores Soon... (1)

bjwest (14070) | about 2 years ago | (#41675973)

An officially sanctioned cab hailing app. For only $19.99/month you get unlimited cab hailing plus a 3% discount on all fares.

Small print: 5% surcharge for cabs hailed with our app.

Mother fuck you if you think we'll allow you to do something that may be perfectly legal if we can do the same and stuff our pockets.

Re:In (app)Stores Soon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676431)

Man, Slashdot's a great place. I mean, where else are you encouraged to get mad at a company/organization for something that you and only extrapolated/made up just to get yourself mad?

New York TLC - Official Statement (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676033)

You wanna do business in my territory, buddy? You gotta give me a piece of da action, see?

At least it's working elsewhere... (2)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 2 years ago | (#41676061)

I saw this on TV a few days ago:
http://tag-taxi.com/ [tag-taxi.com]

The app seems rather cool. It's the same basic principle of using an app to get a taxi, except you also get integration with the taxi's own GPS so you know precisely where the taxi is while it's on its way. The entire process looks rather streamlined and I'll be curious to see whether this one will work. Response from Taxi Diamond (one of the largest taxi companies in Montreal) certainly sounds a lot more positive than NYC's taxi companies.

SF is fighting it too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676089)

Another city with vested interests in the status quo.

Love Uber (a lot)...pity, it would have been... (1)

rootrot (103518) | about 2 years ago | (#41676247)

Nice in NYC. I have used Uber the last 3-4 times I've been in NYC to call a driver when I couldn't get a cab in short order (and/or it was raining). I was curious to see if this 'taxi' service worked...not surprised about the pushback. It is *far and away* the best thing out there if you travel a good deal. You get a nice car, a pleasant (typically charming) driver, and no money changes hands. Absolutely essential in SanFran.

Uh, they have a reason to protect the status quo (3, Insightful)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 years ago | (#41676473)

Taxi Commissions everywhere don't like Uber. In DC recently, Uber has had to defend its practices because the DC Taxi Commission who is out to get rid of them. [thedailybeast.com] Why? You have to get a license to operate in DC and that means revenue for them.

So that's just in DC, where most of the "regulated" cabs are broken down piles of crap that usually don't have A/C in the summer and have tons of other issues.

Now, New York? well New York allows a monopoly on hired car services whether it be hired cars (limos) or Taxis. New York says it's to "regulate" theses business so they don't overcharge and so that the streets are not overrun by cabs, of course that would mean competition and drive down prices. What the city really wants to do is keep getting all those fees and regulations to keep coming at you. Let's see you apply, have to take a test then 80 hours of training then a medical test, then pee in a cup. All of that generates jobs and it's considered necessary to be allowed to drive in a New York Taxi with a hack license. Now if you want to own your own cab, that's more fun. If you want a medallion be prepared to pony up big time [slate.com] and all it does is make cab fares higher and squeeze the guy who's trying to make a living. Try a million dollars for a medallion. What that does is create a monopoly on service and New York likes that...

Oh and you have to have a medallion if you want to be able to pick up passengers in response to a street hail. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxicabs_of_New_York_City [wikipedia.org]

So, Uber comes along and wants to shake things up and make it easier for suppliers and consumers to link up? Do you think New York is going to allow this when it's so lucrative and bureaucratic all at the same time? Not in this life pal.

Am I mising something? (2)

Zakabog (603757) | about 2 years ago | (#41676561)

Can't you just as easily call a car service? I live in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan. I never take a yellow cab anywhere in Manhattan, I always ride the subway (or drive if I need a car for work.) If I'm in Brooklyn and I'm feeling lazy or just tired I call a car service. The other option would be to allow this app to contact a car service for you. Why does it need to hail a yellow cab?

One company? (2)

sunfly (1248694) | about 2 years ago | (#41676853)

The bigger question is, how the hell did one company get to create a monopoly on taxi service in a major city?

NY has way too many regulations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41677249)

I'm waiting until the follow Michigan and California, it's going to happen if they keep screwing the corporations around.

Seems to me the real problem is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41677279)

...there's too many people living in NYC? Who the hell decides that packing people like sardines would be a good idea?

Free vasectomies and tubal ligations. Population reduction is key.

Obviously the problem isn't "hail-apps" (1)

Guru80 (1579277) | about 2 years ago | (#41677467)

The problem is that the companies themselves didn't develop them. The update might as well as read as such:

Update: 10/17 00:48 GMT by S : Here's TLC's perspective, in the words of Commissioner David Yassky: "In recent months, as e-hail apps have emerged, TLC has undertaken serious diligence and is moving toward rule changes that will open the market to app developers and other innovators. Those changes cannot legally take place until our developers get a system in place and we control all the profits, in February.

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