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Mayor Bloomberg Battles Fleet Owners Over NYC 'Taxi of Tomorrow'

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the both-soon-to-be-replaced-by-autonomous-vehicles dept.

Transportation 278

An anonymous reader writes "In April, Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced that the Nissan NV200 minivan had won a citywide competition to replace the current cab model, the Ford Crown Victoria, in a phased-in period of five years. Cab owners sued, pointing out that New York City law requires that hybrid electric models be available for immediate use for cab medallion owners; that excludes the current Nissan NV200, with its 2.0 liter, 4-cylinder engine rated at a combined 24 mpg. The NV200 also has poor accessibility for wheelchair users. After a state judge blocked the mayor's plan, Bloomberg allegedly told the CEO of Taxi Club Management at a private club, 'Come January 1st, when I am out of office, I am going to destroy your f--king industry.' Tim Fernholz of Quartz speculates that Bloomberg (a billionaire) may be planning to launch a cab-hailing service like Uber, which was just allowed back onto the streets of New York, with significant limitations."

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Sure. OK... (1, Troll)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824223)

After a state judge blocked the mayor's plan, Bloomberg allegedly told the CEO of Taxi Club Management at a private club, 'Come January 1st, when I am out of office, I am going to destroy your f--king industry.'

And once again, Slashdot lowers itself to the level of the Nationa Enquirer with titalating rumor and inuendo. And this is "News for Nerds"? Oh yes, Slashdot shit-canned that moniker. Probably because it is no longer factually true.

OH! Wait! There's a reference to an electric car! OK, I'm sorry, I'm totally wrong. Great "scoop", Mr. "Editor" Soulskill...

Re:Sure. OK... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824307)

Whispers in the night. Whispers in your ass. I'm whispering sweet nothings into your rancid anus, and after I'm done, it will be time to introduce my fetid cock to your rancid underhole. What say you?

Re:Sure. OK... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824599)

lolwut

Re:Sure. OK... (4, Interesting)

Etherwalk (681268) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824329)

And once again, Slashdot lowers itself to the level of the Nationa Enquirer with titalating rumor and inuendo. And this is "News for Nerds"? Oh yes, Slashdot shit-canned that moniker. Probably because it is no longer factually true.

OH! Wait! There's a reference to an electric car! OK, I'm sorry, I'm totally wrong. Great "scoop", Mr. "Editor" Soulskill...

There is a big difference between an allegation and a rumor. A rumor generally arises without an attributed source. An allegation just means whoever is reporting it doesn't want to put their name in the ring as saying it is true (i.e. they don't want to get sued for defamation).

When the rumor is about a billionaire, many people ESPECIALLY don't want to get sued for defamation, because the billionaire can easily sue.

Re:Sure. OK... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824529)

Apparently you are a rube. How's the new iPad? I didn't see your Twitter Twaddle or Facebook post.

Re:Sure. OK... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43825099)

Man, you're so cool with your retro chic ways. I wish we could all sit in a bubble and never participate in society.

Re:Sure. OK... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824365)

There's actually two stories here. One is Bloomberg vs. taxi owners and others unhappy over the choice of the Nissan as the new standard vehicle. The other is what Bloomberg might do after he leaves office - something tells me he's not planning to get a single digit handicap on the golf course. A digital technology-driven taxi service would fit directly into a lot of his strengths, so I think this story will have legs (er, or wheels).

Re:Sure. OK... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824507)

Does it burn your ass that not everyone sucks Democrat dick? At least there is no overt sign that Bloombitch is going to use government influence to attack his "enemies."
 
And don't get me wrong, I know both parties do it. But both of them need called out like bitches. Democrats are still evoking the ghost of Nixon damn near 40 years later. I hope these recent stories haunt there party of fucktards for at least as long.

Re:Sure. OK... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824533)

The new slogan? Pissing off Frosty.

Re:Sure. OK... (4, Interesting)

Kreigaffe (765218) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824667)

Maybe it's a rumor, but the thing is -- I'm pretty sure it's not. That's Bloomberg. Right there. That's how he is.

Do you forget this was the guy who headed up an illegal gun running operation under the guise of an undercover sting, despite having no jurisdiction or legal authority to run a sting, let alone a sting taking place across STATE lines? His little operation actually ruined the investigative work of REAL law enforcement.

He's King Asshat, that's why NYC seems to keep re-electing him.

Bloomberg and Democrats are enemies of the workers (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824263)

We need a workers party! Expropriate Wall Street with international socialist revolution!

Bloomberg to Bermuda permanently (if they will accept him.)

Uber is not going to destroy NYC taxi (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824267)

You can still get a cab in manhattan for a profitable trip. What is uber going to change?

Not like drivers are going to take on an unprofitable trip just because of the Internet

Re:Uber is not going to destroy NYC taxi (3, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824311)

When I see the huge lines of cabs at taxi stands and the airports, I find myself wondering if a routing algorithm could better utilize these idle cabs. Any operator who can better utilize the cabs will beat out the others.

Re:Uber is not going to destroy NYC taxi (4, Interesting)

rossz (67331) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824481)

It was attempted. A system that automates the routing of taxicabs via voice calls and cell phone apps is available and works extremely well. The companies that control the taxi business in NYC made sure it couldn't get a foothold. One of the reasons it is disliked by the entrenched powers is it eliminates the dispatcher. Now you'd think that is a good thing since it reduces overhead while increasing efficiency. Except it also eliminates the bribes the taxi drivers need to pay to the dispatchers if they ever want to get work.

As much as I dislike Bloomberg, I hope he is successful in destroying the current taxi business status quo.

Re:Uber is not going to destroy NYC taxi (5, Informative)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824781)

In my town they went with a GPS and electronically dispatched system. I asked a driver what changes it made and he said that it nearly instantly doubled his income and then it nearly doubled again over the next couple of months. First he said that the old drivers had some sort of kickback system with the dispatchers. So he could be pretty well parked across the street from a call yet the dispatcher would send a taxi that was presently across town and presently had a fare. So he said that with the modern system the old dispatchers and drivers all quit overnight. Another set of drivers that quit were the illiterate drivers who couldn't work the system. He also said that the silence was bliss. If his computer bleeped he had a fare but otherwise it was reading time.

The slower increase in his income was when everybody discovered that the computer based cab company was much much faster.

Now it was too early at that point but one problem for him would be that the training time to become a fairly good cabbie would be nearly zero. You didn't have to learn to work the radio and with the computer both telling you how to get to your fair and the route to dropping them off you could be pretty well fresh off the boat and still be able to be a halfway decent cabbie in this city.

So when all is said and done the technological solution will benefit the customer and the cab company but not the worker.

Personally I am a huge fan of technological improvements but society is not well structured to prevent people from really getting hurt by all this. As robotics take this all to the next logical step there will be a point where very few owners are able to have huge businesses with almost zero workers. While individually this will be great for the producers and providers, the real base of any economy is consumption not production. So without employed people there will be little consumption and much rioting and crime. Society needs to be restructured so as to make sure that inequality doesn't get out of control. This would even hurt those who would like to be unequal.

Re:Uber is not going to destroy NYC taxi (-1, Flamebait)

ScentCone (795499) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824987)

Society needs to be restructured so as to make sure that inequality doesn't get out of control.

Meaning, all those people replaced by robots still won't have a job or be spending money, but you want to be sure that the people running the companies that actually produce stuff are also kept poor so nobody resents them. Yes! That will definitely be an incentive for them to keep bothering.

Re:Uber is not going to destroy NYC taxi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824999)

I'm sorry but those cabbies who couldn't work the system and used kickbacks deserve to not have a job. They can stay on welfare.

Those leeches are just like the ones on Wall Street.

Re:Uber is not going to destroy NYC taxi (1)

Nimey (114278) | about a year and a half ago | (#43825065)

The next logical step is a driverless taxi.

Robots all the way down. (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about a year and a half ago | (#43825067)

with the computer both telling you how to get to your fair and the route to dropping them off

I'm imagining Google getting into the Taxi business. With no drivers at all, just per-passenger screens showing ads.

Re:Uber is not going to destroy NYC taxi (2)

mysidia (191772) | about a year and a half ago | (#43825199)

So when all is said and done the technological solution will benefit the customer and the cab company but not the worker.

It seems like it will benefit the workers as a whole -- more fares, at the expense of the above-average workers; they will have a lot of skill and experience developed that is no longer provides any value. In other words... it will achieve "fairness" among all workers, regardless of how many years they have been working, and "unfairness" in the sense, that having worked for so many years and learned to work the system by providing dispatchers kickbacks will no longer result in greater profit for the worker.

As robotics take this all to the next logical step there will be a point where very few owners are able to have huge businesses with almost zero workers.

I don't see that happening at this point.

Society needs to be restructured so as to make sure that inequality doesn't get out of control.

It seems that technology causes equality, not inequality.

It eventually results in skill and experience being devalued.

Managers, including accountants, CFOs, and CEOs are not immune to this either.

You're confusing Livery & Taxi, and... wrong (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824991)

What he's talking about isnt a routing problem, it's drivers taking a break. The yellow cabs will sit at JFK for a bit (for example) then grab a $50-100 fare. Not a bad wage, considering. Routing is more of an issue with Livery. Livery (per-arranged, dispatched car service), is not allowed to pick up a street hail. And are often not "in line" at the airports. Yellow cabs can be hailed on the street and Uber offers little value over raising one's arm in the air.

Really though, Uber's problem was that they didn't want to play by the rules. There is special insurance and licenses for both Livery and yellow cab drivers in NYC, and it works pretty damn well. This is mandated by the TLC. Uber didn't want to have to bother with all that. That's why they got the boot. They also wanted to turn yellow cabs into Livery which would pretty much fuck the system and cause all prices to skyrocket as a lot of yellow cabs would sit on their asses for an hour then grab that $100 fair from midtown, rather than putting someone in the seat as soon as it becomes vacant (and actually spending that hour working).

Also Uber's contempt for regulation and public safety laws and even their own employees has been well documented:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/05/nyregion/as-ubers-taxi-hailing-app-comes-to-new-york-its-legality-is-questioned.html?_r=1& [nytimes.com]
http://pandodaily.com/2012/10/17/whos-the-real-bully-uber-or-new-york/ [pandodaily.com]
http://pandodaily.com/2012/10/24/travis-shrugged/ [pandodaily.com]

Funny there are still Slashdotters (like you) making the same idiotic "screw those entrenched powers!" comments that are made fun of in one of the above links.

Incidentally I took 3 yellow cabs today, 2 subways, and a commuter rail. I have used them all countless times before (also Livery/car services). The NYC transportation systems work amazingly well. I have always paid a fair price and 98% of the time had nice drivers.

So what the fuck value does Uber bring to the table? Very little. For Livery and off-hours there is a use for them, and maybe for scheduling a ride, sure. But they need to play by the rules.

Finally, is the TLC a bunch of saints? Of course not -- they most certainly have some corrupt fat-cat bureaucratic interests, as do some of the Livery companies. But that's not *all* they are, they also have some good regulations.

People (especially on Slashdot) need to stop thinking in one-dimensional black and white. Government is neither good nor bad, but has elements of both. Uber wanted to cry "look at the entrenched bully!" while being just as big assholes themselves, with the added benefit of ignoring laws and charging a premium for it all.

I just hope they have improved over the last year as they are persistent assholes, that's for sure.

Re:Uber is not going to destroy NYC taxi (5, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824753)

Not sure how taxi's operate in NYC but the ones I drove here in Oz have a meter that ticks over after a fixed time or distance, whichever comes first, the fees are mandated by state law so all taxis charge the same amount for the same trip. There's also a flagfall fee just for getting in the cab, so really there's no such thing as an unprofitable trip.

Having said that the only way to make a reasonable income from a cab is to make sure a customers arse is in the seat at all times, getting a 5min job that puts you at the back of a 2hr queue is just the luck of the draw. Although I have heard that airport staff here in Melbourne are issuing "short trip" coupons to drivers who get stuck with a local job, it entitles them to come back to the front of the queue, but again that can happen at any rank and most ranks are not staffed/policed like they are at the airport. Also 5min jobs themselves are not the problem, on Friday and Saturday nights you want the 5min jobs because you know you can get another one straight away, doing that all night on your home turf is about as profitable as taxi driving gets.

Re:Uber is not going to destroy NYC taxi (2)

quarterbuck (1268694) | about a year and a half ago | (#43825057)

It is not much different in US. The difference ,at least in NY , is that
1) You need a medallion to drive a Yellow Cab - this fixes the number of Cabs that are allowed in the city. The medallion often costs hundreds of thousands of dollars or recently close to a million dollars.
2) Automated taxi hailing systems were banned until recently (or atleast they were being sued even if Mayor Bloomberg was pro-Cab-Hailing-Apps)
3) Taxi despatch was a completely different operation (I think it was semi-public or completely run by the city). They also control what kind of taxis were allowed (Crown victorias now, Nissan Vans in future). In most other non manhattan US cities, Taxi despatch is privately run by cab companies. The rules for what cabs are allowed is also easier in most other cities (usually cars 4) Depending on the city, Livery cabs are also allowed. These cabs cannot pick up traffic on the streets, but can operate a call center to allow customers to call for service.
5) Uber is an app that tries to create an automated livery service for major US cities.

But an IGT service could (1)

Burz (138833) | about a year and a half ago | (#43825161)

Intelligent Grouping Transportation, AKA Taxibus...

http://www.taxibus.org.uk/index.html [taxibus.org.uk]

People summon taxibus service with their cellphones, then a computer directs a nearby driver to a curb within a block of passengers' location... while figuring out how to accomodate more than one passenger at any given time.

Unqualified for office (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824271)

Anyone in office that wants to put people out of work as some sort of personal score to settle should be immediately removed from their position, and barred from office for life.. "we can do this a better way, and lets work together to get there" would be acceptable". " i will destroy your industry" is not. Jerk.

Also, how in the world does an 'elected public servant' get into the billionaire club?

Re:Unqualified for office (0)

SerpentMage (13390) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824289)

Wait one minute here. I agree that personal feelings should not be the reason for creating a business. HOWEVER, New York is notorious with people who have an axe to grind. For example, I know people that pay next to nothing for an apartment because it is part of the old controlled rent program. This apartment is handed down from family member or so on. This is not a free market, but communism!

About Bloomberg getting into the billion club. He created Bloomberg! I guess that says nothing, but it is a service for the wall street types. Pretty good actually have used it in the past.

Re:Unqualified for office (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824323)

I wouldn't say it's communism. It's more cronyism or nepotism.

Re:Unqualified for office (4, Insightful)

deblau (68023) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824587)

The phrase is "crony capitalism". To be vociferously distinguished from "free-market capitalism", which it subverts.

Re:Unqualified for office (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824705)

This apartment is handed down from family member or so on. This is not a free market, but communism!

As opposed to free markets where resources are handed down through family members? Is there a third option?

Re:Unqualified for office (1)

Dr Damage I (692789) | about a year and a half ago | (#43825045)

One where peoples possessions are not theirs to dispose of as they see fit? Probably, but why would you want to?

Re:Unqualified for office (3, Informative)

jcr (53032) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824319)

He was rich before he ran for office. The "nanny state" thing is a hobby for him.

-jcr

Re:Unqualified for office (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824339)

Thanks for that answer. I was suspecting *massive* fraud, but if he came in rich then at least it explains the 'how'.

Re:Unqualified for office (1)

mozumder (178398) | about a year and a half ago | (#43825183)

You know the Bloomberg business news channel? That's his, along with several other media properties.

Re:Unqualified for office (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824333)

He was a billionaire before he was mayor.

Re:Unqualified for office (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824737)

He was a billionaire before he was mayor.

And here I thought it was the job that made him an arrogant prick.

Thanks for clearing that up.

Re:Unqualified for office (0)

reboot246 (623534) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824467)

Bloomberg is an asshole. Being rich or not and being in office or not has nothing to do with it. He's an asshole, born and bred 100%, a little man who thinks of himself as God Almighty.

Just keep him and his dangerous politics in New York. The rest of the country doesn't want him.

Unqualified as a human being (4, Funny)

fnj (64210) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824565)

Yes, Bloomberg is an asshole, and no, he's not the only one. But your garden variety asshole is not necessarily in a position of having more power than god. Assholes with billions of dollars and assholes who are politicians are making their assholism a problem for other people. And assholes with billions of dollars AND political power are making their assholism a problem for EVERYBODY.

The asshole police should have beaten this scum black and blue silly and locked him away forever a LOOONG time ago. Oh wait ... there are no asshole police ...

Re:Unqualified as a human being (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824885)

there are no asshole police

Reason being, everybody is somebody else's asshole.

Re:Unqualified for office (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824801)

Also, how in the world does an 'elected public servant' get into the billionaire club?

As others have noted, that reverses the timeline; he became a billionaire before he became a mayor [bloomberg.com] .

Re:Unqualified for office (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824835)

Also, how in the world does an 'elected public servant' get into the billionaire club?

I find this AC's post psychologically fascinating. Bloomberg is one of the most famous billionaires on the planet and has been for decades. The AC's question implies he knows nothing about that but he's happy to accept the rumor and come to the firm conclusion Bloomberg is being a jerk rather than (say) reacting to one.

And please, this not a defense of Bloomberg or an attack on the AC, it's a fascination at how susceptible people are to potential propaganda (including myself).

Note to self... (5, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824293)

Don't piss off the rich guy.

Re:Note to self... (2)

tmosley (996283) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824331)

Actually, it should be "don't piss off the powerful fascist".

But really, those are exactly the kind of people we should be pissing off, if not hanging them in the streets. Bloomberg is the very epitome of the corrupt merger of government and corporate power. He wants to dictate what everyone does, and will stop at NOTHING to do it.

Re:Note to self... (3, Insightful)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824411)

Hear hear. I live in the Chicago area, and the amount of money he's pouring into ads and orginazations (particularly gun-outlawing) promoting his Nazi/nanny state agenda is breathtaking. Last election cycle his PAC was all over the airwaves, telling massive lies both pro and con to promote their selected candidates. Bloomberg won't rest until he controls every aspect of our lives, including the size of our soft-drink cups.

Re:Note to self... (1, Troll)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824501)

Honestly, I don't think Bloomberg himself really believes in the BS he's pushing. But, he is a HUGE attention whore and he desperately wants to be President. He's found his PR niche where he knows exactly how to get his name in the papers. So, he just keeps dropping these nanny state jewels every few months. I'd feel that he was sincere if he came at it with a sound comprehensive plan rather than a drip-drip-drip of "he's what our strong, dear determined Leader is going to do for us today" edicts.

Re:Note to self... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824513)

Actually, it should be "don't piss off the powerful fascist".

And what, pray tell, makes him powerful? Money -- lots and lots of money.

Look, I am not disagreeing with you, but I think GP was more on the money with "don't piss off a rich guy"

Re:Note to self... (2, Insightful)

mozumder (178398) | about a year and a half ago | (#43825193)

He wants to dictate what everyone does, and will stop at NOTHING to do it.

You're implying that's a bad thing.

The people need to be dictated. They are not capable of governing themselves.

If you give people power, they do mentally defective things like owning guns.

The rights of the public should be severely limited. They should NOT be allowed to do what they want, since the public isn't capable of determining what is good for themselves. Strong government needs to dictate to people what is good for them instead.

Bloomberg is a true hero because he helps to limit the power of the public and individual rights. We liberals encourage his power, which helps fight the freedom-loving libertarianism threat to this country.

Most Americans support strong-government socialism anyways, and think libertarianism is a silly, low-IQ idea anyways that children think is smart.

Eventually people get over the idea of libertarianism and individual freedom, in exchange for a stronger government authority and power.

Bloomberg is a spoiled brat (4, Insightful)

pongo000 (97357) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824325)

Here's a man with so much obscene money than he has a right to, and thinks he can buy what he wants if he can't get it any other way. First it's gun control, then it's a police state, and now it's his own taxi monopoly (along with whatever kickback he and his cronies are getting from this backroom deal). Bloomberg is a plague on society, a grown man who is prone to throwing tantrums when he doesn't get his way, and enough money in his pocket to crush anyone that stands in his way.

I can't wait until the feds get enough hair on their balls to take him down. Anyone with that much money is bound to have broken some law, somewhere, sometime.

Re:Bloomberg is a spoiled brat (1)

pongo000 (97357) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824361)

That first sentence should have read "such an obscene amount of money." Just to be clear that I'm not ranting about people with money, or money in general, but those like Bloomberg with an obscene amounts of money who think because of it they are entitled to what they want when they want it.

Re:Bloomberg is a spoiled brat (4, Insightful)

Required Snark (1702878) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824485)

So people with "an obscene amount of money" and a political agenda who think "they are entitled to what they want when they want it" are "a plague on society".

Does that apply equally to the Koch brothers and their NRA connected group ALEC?

The Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, which brings together corporate lobbyists and Republican state legislators to write “model” legislation to introduce in Republican-controlled states on behalf of the corporations, has been doing everything they can to help out the gun industry.

As reported by Alex Kane on AlterNet, they include:

Guns on campus

Doing away with waiting periods to buy guns

More “Stand Your Ground” laws like the one ALEC got passed in Florida

No borders to firearm movement between states

Annulling local gun-control regulations

Putting in jail government officials who take away people’s guns in emergencies

Promoting more semi-automatic weapons like those used by the Newtown killer

Yes, the Feds should go after the Kochs because "Anyone with that much money is bound to have broken some law, somewhere, sometime."

How does that shoe feel now that it's on your foot? Uncomfortable?

Just to make thing crystal clear, you are as dumb as you sound.

Re:Bloomberg is a spoiled brat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824535)

Wait, do you think that anyone who doesn't like Bloomberg is a right-winger?

Just to make things crystal clear, you are as dumb as you sound.

Re:Bloomberg is a spoiled brat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824577)

Uh.... NRA? You know, 5 million card carrying members and a few million more who aren't NRA but who follow groups like GOA and NAFGR? Between these organizations alone the gun owners in the US are represented at roughly 10 million people if not more. I'm not even a member of these organizations and I've written dozens of pro-gun letters to my legislators.
 
So it's not all about the money. The number of politically active gun owners through either a lobby organization or on their own accord doubtlessly count for double digits of the voting population. But I guess in your eyes that shouldn't matter compared to a single 1%'er.
 
We're not going to disarm and that scares the fuck out of anyone intelligent enough to know what that means and with all the new scandals? It's pretty much over for any chance of a meaningful Obama gun ban. I know they'll keep working at it but Obama will be more worried about his job than guns if it gets any hotter in the Oval Office.
 
Fuck your bullshit about trying to make this seem like it's a couple of guys and some off hand organization. You're invoking the name of the second largest lobbying group in the US, not some girls basketball team. Bloomberg may have the cash but the last time Democrats tried screwing around like this there was a clearing of the legislature, an election of a guy who would have never have been president under any other circumstances and tons of political capital burned by a president with really high approval numbers under a good economy. Just imagine how much this would damage the Obama administration. He's already having problems with what would have been shoe-in legislation in the past. He's not exactly a lame duck yet but he's so awfully close.
 
Just to make it crystal clear, you are as dumb as you sound.

Re:Bloomberg is a spoiled brat (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824581)

Does that apply equally to the Koch brothers and their NRA connected group ALEC?

Yes?

How does that shoe feel now that it's on your foot?

How did you fit so many shoes into your rectum?

Only a man with an entire Payless of shoes shoved up his ass could be demented enough to think that dislike of gross corruption is party driven.

Re:Bloomberg is a spoiled brat (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824713)

Only a man with an entire Payless of shoes shoved up his ass could be demented enough to think that dislike of gross corruption is party driven.

Thats who you are talking to, though, He is party-driven rather than ethics-driven.

Re:Bloomberg is a spoiled brat (3, Insightful)

Kreigaffe (765218) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824691)

Except Bloomberg actually HAS broken the law, he headed up an illegal gun-running operation (he called it an undercover sting, but as far as I am aware you really can't form up a private law enforcement club and wantonly break laws just because you say it's OK to do). Never been charged or arrested, never will.

What laws have the Kochs demonstrably violated?

Re:Bloomberg is a spoiled brat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824427)

From what I've read about Bloomberg, his success is anything but accidental. He's a force of nature.

If that's the type of person you choose to pick a fight with, you better bring some well-armed buddies to the fight, or you'll get your ass handed to you.

I like how you are waiting for somebody else to do something about him- see above.

Re:Bloomberg is a spoiled brat (1)

PhamNguyen (2695929) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824611)

Yes, you are so much braver cheering Bloomberg on from the sidelines.

Re:Bloomberg is a spoiled brat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824493)

..thinks he can buy what he wants if he can't get it any other way.

Well, for the most part that has been the case.

Re:Bloomberg is a spoiled brat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824521)

just wait til he runs for _president_

yikes.

Re:Bloomberg is a spoiled brat (2, Funny)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824573)

just wait til he runs for _president_

Maybe I should just start selling the armbands to his supporters now, to get an early start in the market.

Re:Bloomberg is a spoiled brat (4, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824567)

I can't wait until the feds get enough hair on their balls to take him down. Anyone with that much money is bound to have broken some law, somewhere, sometime.

The entire problem with Bloomberg isn't just that he's really bad at solving problems, it's because there's too much government power and he just happens to be the one wielding it at the moment.

Wishing for revenge from more government power is just the kind of thinking that perpetuates the system that makes Bloomberg a problem.

There's an easier way to bypass the issue. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824391)

Perhaps the City government shouldn't concern itself with mandating an exact model of vehicle to be used by all taxi companies.

Ambivalent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824393)

On one hand, any improvement should be welcomed, but on the other is 24mpg really the best they can do? I've driven ten year old piles of rust that could top that.

Re:Ambivalent (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824615)

A 2 litre engined vehicle that only manages 24mpg? It's shocking how inefficient US cars are compared to those in Europe. Even Cosworth engined RS Ford Escorts did better over 20 years ago. The fact that it is a Nissan makes it even more surprising.

Re:Ambivalent (0)

Kreigaffe (765218) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824703)

That's actually shockingly bad for an American car, but it's a Nissan, which isn't an American car company. They're just putting a really shitty engine in the American version (the Europeans get a diesel that gets 54mpg, but thanks to California's fucked up emissions laws, diesels aren't something that can be called eco-friendly here).

Re:Ambivalent (2)

Guy Harris (3803) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824813)

but thanks to California's fucked up emissions laws, diesels aren't something that can be called eco-friendly here).

They sell diesels here in California now, with the availability of low-sulfur diesel fuel.

Re:Ambivalent (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824739)

A 2 litre engined vehicle that only manages 24mpg? It's shocking how inefficient US cars are compared to those in Europe. Even Cosworth engined RS Ford Escorts did better over 20 years ago. The fact that it is a Nissan makes it even more surprising.

That was 24 mpg combined. I didn't read the article. But if they tested in actual NYC cab conditions, then I'm not surprised. Actually, it's better than I would have guessed. Manufacturers mpg numbers are pretty dicey to begin with. NYC roads are jokingly refereed to as "driving on the moon". These cabs are also typically loaded with at least two people. mpg ratings are taken with just a driver. Driving in Manhattan is much more stop and go than normal city mpg tests. Cab drivers also tend to be a lot less careful about using the gas pedal.

That being said, if the 24 mpg rating was not calculated from actual NYC driving, it is pretty bad. I currently have one 10 and one 12 year old car, both with V8 engines that get close to that(combined). One is a sports car and I don't beat it, but I also don't baby it.

Re:Ambivalent (3, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824743)

On thing to keep in mind when comparing miles per "gallon" - the UK when it used gallons used the Imperial gallon, which is larger than the US gallon (4.55L vs 3.78L, respectively). A car that gets 24 miles per US gallon would get nearly 29 miles per Imperial gallon.

Re:Ambivalent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824963)

A 2 litre engined vehicle that only manages 24mpg? It's shocking how inefficient US cars are compared to those in Europe. Even Cosworth engined RS Ford Escorts did better over 20 years ago. The fact that it is a Nissan makes it even more surprising.

I have a 3.5L Lexus V6 that gets better mileage than that, the hell is up with that Nissan engine?

Re:Ambivalent (3, Insightful)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year and a half ago | (#43825077)

A 2 litre engined vehicle that only manages 24mpg?
Well, it weighs 3200 pounds, so that 4 cylinder probably has to suck down all the gas it can get just to get the thing moving. Plus it will probably die early carrying around that much weight. Not something you would want for a taxi. Also, for being all that heavy, they don't have a lot of interior room. I sure wouldn't want to give up a Crown Vic for one of these things, even though the Crown Vic obviously sucks down much more gas. Oh, wait, not it doesn't. It sucks down only 4 more tablespoons of gas per mile than the anemic four cylinder in the Nissan in the city and gets the same mileage as the NV200 on the highway.

Popcorn (0)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824453)

Government picking winners and losers, on top of discredited rationing programs. You guys built that; fester in it.

(insert popcorn animated gif here, if bbs is of an advanced design)

No no, not a cab hailing service... (4, Insightful)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824477)

Obviously Bloomberg is going to fund the installation of a Personal Rapid Transit [wikipedia.org] system with 100% coverage of the metro area, plus extensions to commuter parking lots upstate and in New Jersey. PRT proponents rejoice! Bloomberg will prove once and for all that PRT works!

Or...

Bloomberg is an entitled asshole rich kid who can vent whenever he wants because he's too rich for anybody around him to tell him to STFU [kym-cdn.com] .

Gee. I wonder which is more likely...

Re:No no, not a cab hailing service... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43825101)

Bloomberg is not a "rich kid". Whatever you think of him or his politics, he's a self-made man and judging by the places he lived growing up, had a middle-class upbringing.

Re:No no, not a cab hailing service... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43825177)

Bloomberg is not a "rich kid". Whatever you think of him or his politics, he's a self-made man and judging by the places he lived growing up, had a middle-class upbringing.

So, what you're saying is he wasn't always an arrogant egotistical cocksucker. He made himself that way.

Well, unlike the Kardashians, at least I know now I can absolve his parents or upbringing. Thanks. I feel so much better now. I'm sure everyone else does now too.

Oh if only there were a free market in taxis (3, Informative)

Laxori666 (748529) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824499)

It would be so much better. More taxis, cheaper rates, being able to order taxis from your iPhones... but given that the going rate to buy a medallion is over a million dollars nowadays (based on my convo w/ a taxi driver who had done just that recently), there's a ton of interest against that. If only, if only.

Re:Oh if only there were a free market in taxis (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824551)

I doubt any taxi drivers have owned their own medallion in nyc in quite a long time. Why would you drive your own taxi when you can rent it out to other drivers and make a mint.

Re:Oh if only there were a free market in taxis (2)

EmperorArthur (1113223) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824763)

What is this free market that you speak of? Who would give the bribes, I mean campaign donations, in a free market. That's what regulation is for after all. A company first pays to not be regulated, then they pay to be regulated in a way that only hurts startups or their competitors. Don't you know how the system works?

Re:Oh if only there were a free market in taxis (2)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824855)

I thought that the taxi regulations and the anti-"gypsy"-taxi laws were so that out-of-town tourists don't get ripped off so frequently that they decide to stop visiting thereby dropping your tourist tax dollars: transportation, hotel taxes, restaurant visits, shamu - and - seaworld - and - the old village district (mission area) [that probably only applies to san diego and such). But the tourist market is large in NY, just as in chicago, SF, orlando, atlanta, etc. So the taxis do need to be regulated.

Do a quick search for "why are taxis regulated?" on your favorite engine and come up with a grab-bag of hooror stories about taxi drivers taking advantage of customers. You can also watch the movie The Freshman [wikipedia.org] with Marlon Brando and SJP's husband [wikipedia.org] , Ferris Bueller.

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


Seattle re-regulated in 1984, reinstating a restriction on taxicab licenses and fare controls.

Re:Oh if only there were a free market in taxis (2)

Dereck1701 (1922824) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824995)

What does any of that have to do with designating an "official" (see required) taxi cab vehicle? Regulation, where required, can definitely help to keep a profession reputable. But in this case it seems to be far more about either pointless control or kickbacks from a government enforced monopoly.

Re:Oh if only there were a free market in taxis (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824905)

Not really sure why the mayor wanted such a lousy automobile to be the replacement. Even if he has stock in Nissan he could find a better vehicle.

The mistake was to pander to environmentalists. (1, Interesting)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824545)

Nothing wrong from taking a page from the LEO sales and having Chrysler make a taxi (given they're the only manufacturer left that's willing to make American form factor cars these days).

Then again, had Ford decided to not listen to Al Gore by killing all their American lineup (including the Crown Vic) we wouldnt have this problem.

Mayor Bloomberg's latest FAIL... (5, Interesting)

Rick Chandler (2932423) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824643)

Being from Tennessee, I don't see much difference between Bloomberg and out set of politicos. All immediately circumspect out of the gate. The only way to rid the landscape of losers and abusers of the public trust (like Bloomberg) is through organizations like Change.org and social awareness. Bloomberg is just one more petty tyrant. If you want him out, get it done. I used to piss and moan and bitch about everything that is wrong in our country. That's fine as far as it goes. If I complain and watch from the sidelines, nothing gets done. Personally, I'm done with that method of survival. :)

I HATE jewish "people" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824695)

bloomberg is another reason why I want to see all jewish "people" die agonizing deaths. The only appropriate jewish homeland is an ash box. I FULLY support the "holocaust" and am glad it had occurred. DEATH to israhell and all progressives/communists/internationalists/etc who do the bidding of the kikes.

Height wars (1)

Mandrel (765308) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824721)

Minivan taxis? More cars that sedans can't see past. Expect more rear-enders.

Bloomberg (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824727)

Actually he is doing what needs to be done. That is upgrading the Taxi system equipment and taking the corrupt owners to task. Even better, introduce other methods of moving people about in that overcrowded city. How much fuel is wasted by slow moving, congested, low efficiency transportation?
Mankind has made it abundantly clear it must have guidance lest it fall on it's ass repeatedly.

Re:Bloomberg (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year and a half ago | (#43825119)

How much fuel is wasted by slow moving, congested, low efficiency transportation?
I guess we will find out if they put these into place. The NV200 gets the same gas mileage on the highway as a Crown Vic, and only outperforms it in city driving, according to EPA. However, the EPA does not consider passengers. A Crown Vic with two passengers will barely see a dent it's mileage, while the undersized 4 cylinder in the NV200 is likely to see a 10% or more drop in it's mileage. As far as the slow moving comment, which is more likely to be slow? A 131 HP 4 cylinder weighing 3800 pounds with passengers, or a 239 HP V8 weighing 4700 with passengers?

Why does this problem exist in the first place (5, Insightful)

Dereck1701 (1922824) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824729)

What I don't understand is why there appears to be some monolithic entity designating the specific model of taxi cab for the entire city. Shouldn't each taxi company/cab owner be able to choose what car(s)/van(s) they want to use? Besides designating a paint scheme and setting some requirements (display of medallion, cleanliness of cab, etc) the city should butt out. It sounds to me like there is a lot of shady dealings & backdoor hand shaking going on.

Re:Why does this problem exist in the first place (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824815)

Think of the kickbacks you can get by setting one model of cab. Think of how much that would be worth to the manufacturer and thus how much it would be worth paying you for. You can't put a price on a goberment granted Monopoly can you??? I guess you can... Don't mess this up for the people who have everything to gain and almost nothing to loose from this agreement.

Bloomberg needs some new shoes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824731)

Concrete ones.

Why a VAN instead of a sedan? (0)

citizenr (871508) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824751)

Are New Yorkers(Americans in general?) so fat that they need a truck to fit in?
In Europe car like that is considered a minibus and we use them to commute between cities.
This is as weird as US Honda Civic being bigger than EU Accord.

Re:Why a VAN instead of a sedan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43824901)

It is suppose to accessible to wheelchair passengers. The summery says "poor accessibility for wheelchair users" but I don't see a source for that information anywhere. If you look at pictures of the new taxi it actually looks like it would be accessible, certainly more so than the current fleet of cars.

Re:Why a VAN instead of a sedan? (2)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year and a half ago | (#43825137)

It is suppose to accessible to wheelchair passengers. The summery says "poor accessibility for wheelchair users" but I don't see a source for that information anywhere. If you look at pictures of the new taxi it actually looks like it would be accessible, certainly more so than the current fleet of cars.

I don't understand why we need every single car to be wheelchair accessible, when there is such a small percentage of wheelchair bound people that would need access to one. These minivans, if they are wheelchair accessible at all, are going to be an extremely tight fit and uncomfortable. Why can they not just have a small percentage of full sized vans available for wheelchair customers, and let the rest of the public ride in a comfortable, full size sedan?

Re:Why a VAN instead of a sedan? (1)

Balthisar (649688) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824941)

Airports. Those are people commuting between cities.

And in general, comfort. Sure, we mostly fit into small cars. I love having fun in a tricked out Fiesta. But when I spend more than 1/2 hour in a car not having fun, I want it to be spacious, like my house.

Even before all Americans were obese, we loved our space.

Re:Why a VAN instead of a sedan? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43825063)

At the slow speed you will be going stuck in traffic in NYC, aerodynamics aren't going to save you much in fuel economy. That being the case, from a traffic optimization standpoint, you want to minimize the wheelbase/footprint of the vehicle. A van is actually more compact in terms of road space occupied for the same amount of internal volume.

Re:Why a VAN instead of a sedan? (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year and a half ago | (#43825125)

Are New Yorkers(Americans in general?) so fat that they need a truck to fit in?
That is not the reason they went with a minivan. Looking at the minivan, it is quite clear that it is not going to be more roomy or comfortable than a Crown Vic. It is less capable of hauling a fat American than the Crown Vic. It is purely a political decision.

Re:Why a VAN instead of a sedan? (1)

Shompol (1690084) | about a year and a half ago | (#43825201)

Large cars is a part of American culture. When I came to US in the 90's it was the end of an era these abominations [seriouswheels.com] . Since then an average car has gotten smaller, but not by much. It is a culture where everybody tries to conform, because when everybody drives a semi-truck getting accidentally squished between two of them in a small tin can can be painful. The gas price hike in recent years made small cars more appealing, and completely killed the Hummers [wikimedia.org]

Police interceptors driving tourists (1)

taj (32429) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824785)

I've not got a strong opinion about Bloomberg but there is something wrong with the taxi business and its close relationship to retiring police cars. Other than some hardened suspension components, there is nothing about a police car that makes a good cab vehicle.

Is it just me... (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year and a half ago | (#43824895)

or is there something seriously wrong with our entire economy when one guy can threaten to destroy an entire (very profitable) industry, and the threat is credible? Seriously, why do we tolerate individuals having this much power/wealth? Hell, what the *bleep* is wrong with the world when the mayor of a city can amass 27 Billion (with a 'B') dollars?

ok... done venting.

A Joke On Humanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43825037)

"Mayor Mike Bloomberg" is a shit head with a million strong zombi crack-coke head Bureaucracy whose major employment job is to wipe his ass.

trOll (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43825157)

take 4 7ook at the
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