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Lyft's New York Launch Halted By Restraining Order

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the restraining-competition-is-more-like-it dept.

Transportation 92

Forbes reports that Lyft's planned expansion into the New York market has been delayed by a restraining order. The article explains that State officials had asked Lyft to delay its launch. When Lyft refused, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office filed a temporary restraining order against the startup Friday morning to prevent its launch. Other statements said that the restraining order had been granted, though Simpson said that was untrue. Lyft and officials will reconvene in court Monday for a hearing. Lyft will not launch until it has reached an agreement with the city, Simpson said. Since Monday, when Lyft announced it was planning to launch in the two boroughs [of Queens and Brooklyn], the app has faced criticism from city officials. The taxi and limousine commission declared the app 'unauthorized' and said its riders were at risk and its drivers could be cited and fined if they were caught using it. Lyft seems to have left riders mostly unscathed in Boston, where it's been operating since early last year, and in numerous other cities. Also at Ars Technica.

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It's toad time! (-1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 3 months ago | (#47435397)

Gentlemen and lady! Check your hats! Examine closely all hats! Do not feead the toads! Do not stroke the toads! Do not bake the toads or take the toads home with you or leave them in between the paasages of a book or brgain over melons with the toads or get a haircut from an old Italian barber or a Chinaman with the toads! Beware toads and all other amphibians and some species of reptile! Beware the eyes of the toads and also his doctorate! And his fumigante! Communism! Radical freedom! Toad purposefully into the future!

Who cares? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47435461)

New York is a state full of shitballs, retards, junkies and faggots. That whole fucking state should fucking burn.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47435583)

Sounds like California

Re: Who cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47435641)

Sounds like you're a jealous faggot

Re: Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47436123)

Sounds like you're a maladjusted child.

Re: Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47437049)

Translation

Derp
Wacko
Nutcase
Headcase
Screwball
Carpet skater
Fucking Bananas
3rd degree snipe hunter.
Not playing with a full deck.
The lights are on but nobody is home.
Driving but nobody's behind the wheel.

Wait a second, you're a politician, aren't you?

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47437715)

Sounds like the United States.

New York has commissions for everything (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47435507)

They should have offered a free 40oz soda to the first 100 riders.

Re:New York has commissions for everything (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 3 months ago | (#47436465)

You're behind the times. In Texas we can get the mega 64oz drinks in about every gas station, 7-11 and liquor store. 40oz is so right coastal.

Re:New York has commissions for everything (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47436671)

You're behind the times. In Texas we can get the mega 64oz drinks in about every gas station, 7-11 and liquor store. 40oz is so right coastal.

ahhhh so *thats* why Texans are so fucking fat.

Re:New York has commissions for everything (0, Offtopic)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47437233)

ahhhh so *thats* why Texans are so fucking fat.

No. No it is not. It's because they have amazing food down there. In California, 9/10ths of all restaurants are total fucking shit food with total fucking shit service. I can outcook them any and every day of the week, and I do, and I have no formal training whatsoever. In Texas, 9/10ths of all restaurants are at least basically competent. I think it's because Texans will tell you just what they think of you, and all the incompetents have fled for California, or committed suicide.

It's also because it's stupid hot, and you can't go outside.

Put the two together and you have a lot of driving from restaurant to restaurant with precious little fat-burning in between. That's what happened to me, anyway. Gained 100 lbs in a year and a half. The weight's off now, but ugh.

If you couldn't step outside without tripping over a chicken fried steak, you'd be fat, too.

Re:New York has commissions for everything (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47437733)

The only "restaurants" they have in Texas are backyard BBQ and McDonalds. California has a much wider variety of foods from all around the world.

Texas is an uncultured shithole filled with uneducated, religious, racist and cowardly gun nuts. I've had the misfortune of going there before, so I know.

Re:New York has commissions for everything (1)

euroq (1818100) | about 3 months ago | (#47439779)

In California, 9/10ths of all restaurants are total fucking shit food with total fucking shit service.

I cannot speak for the entirety of California, but San Francisco has amazing restaurants.

Re:New York has commissions for everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47437611)

In Texas we can get the mega 64oz drinks in about every gas station

Including the 128-nozzle monstrosities that are Buc'ees.

UNAUTHORIZED! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47435527)

That app is unauthorized! LOL. Ideas are a bitch to stop, no? (Especially ideas that benefit the consumer!)

Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limited? (1, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | about 3 months ago | (#47435619)

If the USA is the bastion of freedom, capitalism and independence, why are cab licenses limited by city bureaucrats? Why not let everyone who qualifies swim in the taxicab business leaving those who cannot stand the waters perish? I just don't get it!

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47435649)

I suspect if you dig deep enough, you will find a union behind it.

Re: Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47435705)

Just the opposite. You'll find a lot of money flowing from entrenched cab companies to politicians over the past 5 decades in order to prevent any and all competition.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 3 months ago | (#47435651)

I just don't get it!

Follow the money. Selling taxi medallions is a huge source of revenue and graft.

Smbiotic relationship (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47435783)

I just don't get it!

Follow the money. Selling taxi medallions is a huge source of revenue and graft.

You are half right. Businesses LOVE government regulation and artificial limits because it restricts competition.

Incumbent businesses do NOT like free markets. They want the market free for THEM and only THEM.

Does anyone REALLY believe we live in a free market economy and a democracy?

We live in a crony capitalistic society with a monetaristic democracy - the more money you have, the more "votes" you have - thanks to Super PACS.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (3, Informative)

Swave An deBwoner (907414) | about 3 months ago | (#47435905)

Follow the money. Selling taxi medallions is a huge source of revenue and graft.

That is true but the summary refers to Brooklyn and Queens, a.k.a. "outer boroughs" (anything that isn't Manhattan). The outer boroughs now have "Green Taxis" which do not bear medallions, and there are about 15,000 of them so far:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/passenger/shl_passenger.shtml [nyc.gov]

NYC also has "livery" cabs which can be summoned via phone, in contrast to "taxis" which are hailed on the street. Livery cabs don't bear medallions either.

The concerns about Lyft and Uber probably is more about the proper training and licensing of drivers, liability insurance coverage, adherance to laws (like non-discrimination in picking up passengers, and like fair labor practices). Not medallions.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47437469)

The concerns about Lyft and Uber probably is more about the proper training and licensing of drivers, liability insurance coverage, adherance to laws (like non-discrimination in picking up passengers, and like fair labor practices). Not medallions.

Proper training: a bad Uber driver will get shit reviews and drop to the bottom of the lists.
licencing? what for?
insurance coverage: not a problem with Uber. Make a law demanding insurance for any kind of taxy - jail Uber drivers without insurance
fair labor: a joke? Self-employment is always fair
Non-discriminatory pickup: Report racist drivers to the police who fine them, or have a few inspectors testing them . . .

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (1)

euroq (1818100) | about 3 months ago | (#47439799)

proper training and licensing of drivers

In the two major cities that I've lived in (in the U.S.), cab drivers are hands down the worst drivers on the road. Usually they didn't grow up in the U.S. and therefore don't drive the same. America has its faults, but we drive comparatively well compared to the rest of the world.

An interesting anecdote from a friend of mine who moved here from South America told me how he was amazed how everyone here follows the rules. He observed a thug-looking fellow bellowing loud music and smoking a joint in his car, with the implication that he probably was a person who committed crimes, but he still stopped at the stop sign.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (1)

Endlisnis (208453) | about 3 months ago | (#47466277)

Obviously, you meant "compared to 3rd world countries", because when you compare the US to other 1st world countries, it does pretty poorly. Canada, most of Europe, even the Czech Republic has fewer road fatalities (per car) than the US.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47437457)

Follow the money. Selling taxi medallions is a huge source of revenue and graft.

That doesn't work out. Selling taxi medallions is a revenue only for those who have such medallions. So, why aren't the city doing the obvious then? They can make more medallions for the mere cost of material - and sell them. Too many vill devalue the medallions, but they could sell a limited amount each year. Extremely easy money.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47440083)

It also promotes vast inequality... who drives a cab? usually not the very well off... who owns medallions? usually the very well off... and often they own many---having people slave for you is comfortable living. There's very little reason not to *require" the medallion owners be the actual taxi drivers, and by that same logic, limiting ownership to just 1 per driver.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47435659)

What, someone on Slashdot who advocates free markets? Did I connect to BizzaroSlashdot?

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47435671)

low end job where if too many people go into it, a lot will lose money as supply outstrips demand

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47435715)

New York is the extreme fringe of the US. A bunch of neo-Marxist bitches who think they're better than the man on the street.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (2)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 3 months ago | (#47435789)

I just don't get it!

Citizens won't pay taxes to fund the things they want like roads, parks and sewer pipes, so city governments have to come up with alternate funding mechanisms such as hotel taxes and taxi medallions.

When alternate services like Airbnb and Lyft come along, that funding decreases - Rather than raise taxes or let potholes grow (and be turfed from office) they attack the services that are cutting into their revenue.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47436055)

Citizens won't pay taxes to fund the things they want like roads, parks and sewer pipes, so city governments have to come up with alternate funding mechanisms such as hotel taxes and taxi medallions.

The places I looked into taxi medallions, they make $0 for the government. There are a fixed number, and they are traded on a used market, and no new ones are going out, and old ones aren't being returned, so there's no income for the city at all. How does it work in NYC?

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47437745)

Citizens won't pay taxes to fund the things they want like roads, parks and sewer pipes

You're damned right. Why the hell would I pay for those when I don't use them? I don't drive, I don't go to the park and my house has a septic tank.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47435825)

Because if everyone decided to drive a cab, the streets would be clogged with taxis. The roads are a shared resource and the island of Manhattan below 96th St can only fit so many taxis before driving becomes untenable. There are 1.5 million people living in Manhattan, and another 1.5 million commute into Manhattan for work. In order to have that many people living and working close together, we all have to make comprises. These compromises make up a civilized society.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47435887)

This is possibly the stupidest thing I've ever read. That's like saying, "If everyone decided to drive a car, the streets would be clogged with cars."

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 3 months ago | (#47436569)

It's rather the opposite. When people take a cab, they don't take a car, and won't spend time driving around looking for a parking space.
Having enough taxicabs also reduces the amount of drink driving, which is a serious problem here in the US.
And you free up parking lots and parking garages, which can be used for other infrastructure, which reduces the need to travel even more.

I've lived in cities with plenty of taxis, and I've lived in cities with next to none. The cities that had a surplus of taxis also had the least amount of traffic problems.
London has around twice as many taxicabs as New York City, for a comparable population size. Other European cities have an even higher ratio of taxis per citizens, with a 1:100 ratio not being uncommon. And those cities have the least amount of problems with automobile traffic too.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47437597)

The Free Market would solve it, if only government would get out of the way and let us have flying cars!

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (5, Insightful)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | about 3 months ago | (#47435979)

If the USA is the bastion of freedom, capitalism and independence, why are cab licenses limited by city bureaucrats? Why not let everyone who qualifies swim in the taxicab business leaving those who cannot stand the waters perish? I just don't get it!

Because historically taxis have engaged in a number of fraudulent and unsavory practices, outright racism in some cases and have generally made cities look bad. So there was a legitimate reason to regulate them in order to ensure that they didn't bilk (or take the long route) for gullible tourists, refuse rides to people of the wrong color, install fake meters, organize into a racket to overcharge customer or skip on carrying decent insurance.

Then, lo-and-behold, the well-meaning regulators were captured [wikipedia.org] by the taxicabs (because they were smart) and turned around and instituted any number of illegitimate regulations designed to stifle competition. This is generally pretty easy in a democracy because when there's a small number of cabbies with a very large interest in certain policies, they can often get their way when there are a large number of citizens with contrary interests. It's the law of diffused costs versus concentrated benefits.

So now, instead of being predictably idiotic with our left/right pro/anti regulation, maybe we should think about stupid regulation versus smart regulation. Then we could distinguish a rule require cabbies to carry insurance for their passengers with one that limits the number of medallions to some artifical number. Or one that requires accurate metering of any form with one that requires a specific brand or type of metering. Or a law that requires cabbies to serve any part of the city with one that requires them to drive home from the airport empty instead of picking up a fare immediately after dropping one off (this one really I don't understand -- there is a line for cabs at the terminal!).

On the other hand, nah, let's just hurf about it....

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 months ago | (#47436353)

maybe we should think about stupid regulation versus smart regulation

YES thankyou for saying this, you are amazing. Everytime I hear someone engaging in an argument saying, "regulation is bad!" "no, regulation is good!" I hang my head in wonder at the stupidity involved. Couldn't it possibly be that there are some good regulations, and some bad regulations, and that the wise choice is to both oppose and favor regulations at the same time?

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 3 months ago | (#47438065)

I'm pretty sure the "regulation is good" crowd are only talking about good regulations. They are not an equal and opposite side to the libertarians who are not simply against bad regulations but all regulations. (Except for the ones that they feel protect them personally.)

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 months ago | (#47438399)

I'm pretty sure the "regulation is good" crowd are only talking about good regulations.

Maybe you are that way, in which case I applaud you. I've spent too much time trying to get people to admit that there are some regulations that we should get rid of. It's rather annoying.

The worst is when two of those people get in an argument and say, "we need more regulation!" "no, we need less regulation!" and you're sitting there watching, thinking, "hey, how about considering each piece of regulation individually? Because chances are we need more good regulation, and to get rid of bad regulations."

Or another one that is kind of funny, when someone says, "we need to regulate that industry." ok, but what specific regulations are going to make a difference? It's especially funny when they say it about an industry like banking or telecom, that is already highly regulated. Changing the raw number of regulations isn't going to do much there, because there are tons of them. Specifics matter.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (1)

spitzak (4019) | about 3 months ago | (#47436369)

Thank you for some insight!

But no, we can't post anything that might hurt the feelings of both the left and right. Much better to make one happy and one miserable. Who cares if the truth is in the middle?

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47448311)

What's the point in arguing smart/stupid regulation when our regulators are captured anyways? Regulatory capture being easy in a democracy seems like a great reason to oppose all regulation until our voting system is significantly upgraded, because even good regulation will eventually become perverted. The problem here is corruption.

Personally I'm a fan of replacing semi-annual plurality elections with delegated instant-runoff voting. So you would just show up at city hall when you're ready to select a new representative, and that representative doesn't have to play politics with large parties. I'm a libertarian who votes Green just because they care more about the voting problems which lead to corruption. I guess you could say I'm still voting for "lesser evil" but consider Republicans/Democrats to be effectively the same "For Sale" party. :-/

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47436319)

Why does my state require liquor licenses (which are well over 100k range) for restaurants to sell alchohol. Nevermind that it's been limited for some time, and the biggest beneficiaries are early holders of said licenses who sell them on.

Why does my township only allow permit holders to tow vehicles, and it just so happens the only permit holder is somebody's brother-in-law that sits on the city council?

America, land of the free ^h^h^h^h fleeced.

Re: Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47436509)

Wait, liquor licenses are $100k somewhere? In m Ohio they're only $4k.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47436917)

So the problem is not the license requirements (that is a case-by-case issue, not all regulation is bad, nor is all regulation good), but that those who enforce them (for own gain) should be sacked. But I guess you would be against regulations that required them to be fair...

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (1)

PPH (736903) | about 3 months ago | (#47436393)

Because historically, the response to unfettered competition in New York City involved bodies floating in the East River. Either the city 'manages' the market using regulation or Vinnie and Guido do it with steel pipes.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47436697)

If the USA is the bastion of freedom, capitalism and independence

Stop dreaming.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 3 months ago | (#47437195)

Why not let everyone who qualifies swim in the taxicab business leaving those who cannot stand the waters perish?

1) Do you really want two-ton land missiles driven by desperate people who are driven to cut corners to stay competitive?

2) More generally, as you noted, a competitive market is a swim-or-sink situation. That means profit margins will get razor-thin. That sounds awesome until you realize that wages are also a form of profits. In other words, a competitive market is good for customers and horrible for everyone else in it. This is the reason why people have so much debt: the entire economy has become a "competitive market" where those participating in it - employees - barely survive, no matter how much it produces. So of course anyone who can tries to use whatever leverage they can to make any markets they're competing in less efficient. It's the only way to avoid starving.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47437221)

1) Do you really want two-ton land missiles driven by desperate people who are driven to cut corners to stay competitive?

You mean like taxicab drivers? No. We should do away with them immediately.

More generally, as you noted, a competitive market is a swim-or-sink situation. That means profit margins will get razor-thin. That sounds awesome until you realize that wages are also a form of profits.

So your argument against permitting people to hire their services is that it will threaten others' wages? Congratulations, you just cast your vote for no progress ever. Please move back into a cave, and give up your PC.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 3 months ago | (#47438073)

So your argument against permitting people to hire their services is that it will threaten others' wages? Congratulations, you just cast your vote for no progress ever. Please move back into a cave, and give up your PC.

There was no logic in that statement whatsoever.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 3 months ago | (#47438423)

So your argument against permitting people to hire their services is that it will threaten others' wages? Congratulations, you just cast your vote for no progress ever. Please move back into a cave, and give up your PC.

Strictly speaking, I don't need a PC to stay alive and capable of working. That means the PC is a luxury; I have one because at some point of my life, I had spare income. That, in turn, is an inefficiency - I could had undercut other workers by asking for less. So, if you advocate a perfectly efficient job market yet have anything you could give up without dying, you either are a hypocrite or don't know what "economic efficiency" means.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47440129)

Strictly speaking, I don't need a PC to stay alive and capable of working. That means the PC is a luxury; I have one because at some point of my life, I had spare income. That, in turn, is an inefficiency - I could had undercut other workers by asking for less.

Sure, if your only goal is efficiency. But if it is, you're boring.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 3 months ago | (#47440261)

Sure, if your only goal is efficiency. But if it is, you're boring.

You're the one who claimed any inefficiency means "no progress". So I guess I'm arguing with a boring troll. Bye.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47440411)

You're the one who claimed any inefficiency means "no progress".

I did not use the words efficiency or efficiency. You might want to work on your reading ability. It's not able, and you're not reading.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 3 months ago | (#47437571)

This is the reason why people have so much debt: the entire economy has become a "competitive market" where those participating in it - employees - barely survive, no matter how much it produces.

No, people have so much debt because they insist on buying things they can't afford. No, you really don't NEED a Tesla. Or even a new car. A five-year-old used car will do fine. Nor do you NEED the latest tech toy. Etc, etc, etc.

Now, admittedly, Fed policy with regard to the Housing Bubble (basically, pump money into the economy until the height of the bubble is the new normal) has driven housing prices to nearly unsustainable levels, at least till the inflation in housing prices spreads more generally through the economy over the next five years or so.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 3 months ago | (#47438397)

This is the reason why people have so much debt: the entire economy has become a "competitive market" where those participating in it - employees - barely survive, no matter how much it produces.

No, people have so much debt because they insist on buying things they can't afford. No, you really don't NEED a Tesla. Or even a new car. A five-year-old used car will do fine. Nor do you NEED the latest tech toy. Etc, etc, etc.

So do you agree with me? Because you seem to be saying the same thing I did: employees, in an efficient market, can't afford anything beyond they NEED - in other words, they're just barely surviving. Which is only natural, seeing how "sellers barely survive" is the very definition of economic efficiency in a marketplace, even in the job market.

Which is an awesome thing for anyone who is buying the labour but horrible for those selling it. In fact it's so bad it historically led to the birth of Communism due to unbearable conditions. Sane countries avoided revolution by deliberately introducing inefficiencies - such as labour unions - which forced employee profits up to the point where they could live. The US, on the other hand, uses easy access to credit to hide the truth. But the problem is, debt can't grow forever. As it reaches its limits, both economy and social stability in general deteriorate. The vast majority of people simply can't afford anything.

The US is trying to compensate that problem, in turn, by blaming indebted people for being "irresponsible", when in truth they've done nothing wrong. They simply had the bad luck of being born in a "market liberal" country and believing the lies they were told. Perhaps they could had faced the ugly truth earlier, but in any case the sheer mass of debt build up is forcing the issue now. It'll be interesting to see if US can introduce the necessary inefficiencies to its job market before the smoldering anger passes the tipping point and the country goes up in flames. Judging by comments like yours repeating the frankly stupid propaganda, and the continued arming of the police with military gear, which is odd if the nation doesn't expect to use them in military-style missions against its own population, I'd wager "no".

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (1)

euroq (1818100) | about 3 months ago | (#47440001)

1) Do you really want two-ton land missiles driven by desperate people who are driven to cut corners to stay competitive?

We already have those. They're called taxi drivers.

Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47437705)

Simple. This is known as a "price floor." Prior to the limits, anyone could create a cab, and try undercutting everyone else on price. The cheaper prices meant less safety, as the cabs didnt have insurance for passengers, working seatbelts, good maintenance, etc. Limiting the number of taxicabs meant they could establish a price floor, meaning its illegal for cabs to charge below a certain rate in the city. It also allowed them to issue certain safety regulations.

riders "at risk" with Lyft (4, Insightful)

waynecollc (3743151) | about 3 months ago | (#47435625)

"The taxi and limousine commission declared the app 'unauthorized' and said its riders were at risk" I lived in NYC on and off for most of a decade and I can assure you that as a pedestrian the act of stepping into the street was a game of roulette and that yellow cabs were the greatest cause of un-safe living. I can hardly think of anything more hazardous for your health than for NYC to prop up a crony monopoly of yellow cars and all that comes with it. Continue to disrupt, fellow entrepreneurs!

Re:riders "at risk" with Lyft (1)

ComputersKai (3499237) | about 3 months ago | (#47436057)

There is the issue of properly trained drivers for these services, but of course, surely these companies will come up with a legitimate way to fix this. These private companies can also be thought of as a way to encourage the public taxi systems to improve to remain competitive.

Re:riders "at risk" with Lyft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47436923)

So your argument for more taxis on the roads is that the current amount of taxis is already dangerous... what makes you think these new taxis will be any less dangerous, and now with more of them?

Re:riders "at risk" with Lyft (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47437215)

So your argument for more taxis on the roads is that the current amount of taxis is already dangerous...

No, and only a someone who does not understand English at all could possibly come to that conclusion without being a prevaricating prickwad. They complained about the nature, not the number.

Cabbies drive like fuckheads because they have no competition, because of bullshit protectionist restraint of trade.

Re:riders "at risk" with Lyft (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47437147)

I lived in NYC on and off for most of a decade and I can assure you that as a pedestrian the act of stepping into the street was a game of roulette and that yellow cabs were the greatest cause of un-safe living.

Having visited NYC, I was always impressed at the intelligence of the average New Yorker. For example, nobody crossed streets except in ungodly, massive herds - solid walls of human flesh - that would surely do significant damage to a cab, even if it led to a few dozen casualties.

Re:riders "at risk" with Lyft (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 3 months ago | (#47437531)

I lived in NYC on and off for most of a decade and I can assure you that as a pedestrian the act of stepping into the street was a game of roulette and that yellow cabs were the greatest cause of un-safe living.

This is a common sentiment, but it has been proven to be a myth. People just think cabs are disproportionately responsible for pedestrian injuries because it's easy to lump them into a group, but you're actually roughly 6 times more likely to be seriously injured or killed in New York City by private cars. (Note that NYC has well over 100 pedestrian fatalities per year.) For more details, see here [nytimes.com] :

Throughout the city, 79 percent of the serious crashes involved private passenger cars; 13 percent involved taxis or livery cabs; 4 percent involved trucks; and 3 percent involved buses.

The story notes that at certain times of day, taxis can make up almost 50% of traffic on the streets downtown, so these numbers may imply that cabs are much safer overall than passenger cars.

Startup? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47435663)

When is a 'startup' no longer a 'startup'?

Re:Startup? (1)

Gr33nJ3ll0 (1367543) | about 3 months ago | (#47436305)

When it's left the cute and precious stage?

Corporate welfare by another name (2, Insightful)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 3 months ago | (#47435693)

Otherwise known as, "regulation to keep the competition out".

It seems to me that the tendency to over-regulate in order to give advantage to existing market movers simply isn't justified. Yes, you need to deal with liability, but there's nothing that says that over-regulation is the only (or the best) way to do it.

New York City (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about 3 months ago | (#47435695)

Garbage bag filled streets, the smell of garbage, stupid bridge tolls just to get to Manhattan from the airport and rude people. Visiting NYC once was enough for me for a long time. Attention New Yorkers and New York bureaucrats, you are destroying your local economy with your idiotic short sightedness. Nobody wants to visit your city if you are going to make it a horrible experience.

Re:New York City (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47436405)

Perhaps you live in an alternate universe. In my universe foreign tourism to NYC has never been greater.
More seriously, dispatching cabs through the internet via cell phones clearly improves the efficiency of the taxi business. So we will just have to see how the economics shakes out. While I'm a Socialist I can respect the market forces of Capitalism. So while government interference can support obsolete monopolies for a while, Capitalistic market forces will ultimately prevail. Crudely put, Uber and its ilk will eventually generate enough bribe money (lobbying is the euphemism) to get approvals.
A obvious example of the inevitability of technological efficiencies driving out older providers is that despite ludicrous lawsuits by record companies against individuals downloading music, Apple was able to destroy the recording industry CD market.

The death of the American dream (2, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | about 3 months ago | (#47435713)

The American dream (before it was hijacked by the realtors in the USA) has died a horrific death as the government completely overtook over every function of the market and declared itself to be the legal dictator state completely dominating over the individual human being. The American dream was the idea that equal under the law individuals could pursue their own happiness on their own terms, where apart from regulating criminal conduct, government wouldn't have any authority to stop the individuals from attempting to build their own lives and businesses the way they saw fit. That dream suffered its first heart attack during Teddy Roosevelt, second heart attack during the Hoover and FDR, it was kicked in the balls in the fifties and then had a minor stroke when Nixon took the world off the gold standard. Now the dream is a dying, rotting, gangrenous corpse, that is being systematically shat on by every self proclaimed 'saviour' of the society and its values, by all the Marxists, socialists, fascists and basically brainless, dickless, heartless pigs that are happy simply to take another shit on the Constitution and smear their faeces all around them - a form of societal self degradation that periodically descends one or another population of humans into the dark ages throughout history.

Re: The death of the American dream (1)

legojenn (462946) | about 3 months ago | (#47437325)

But besides that, it's okay.

Re:The death of the American dream (1)

rhodium_mir (2876919) | about 3 months ago | (#47438067)

The American dream was the idea that equal under the law individuals could pursue their own happiness on their own terms, where apart from regulating criminal conduct, government wouldn't have any authority to stop the individuals from attempting to build their own lives and businesses the way they saw fit.

Granted, things weren't so great if you were non-white*, didn't own land, or lacked a penis... But aside from that huge majority of the population everyone was treated equally.

*including those dirty Irish.

Re:The death of the American dream (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 3 months ago | (#47438107)

The American dream was the idea

Yes, it was a dream or an idea. It was never a reality, never. It was simply a tale told by rich people to poor people to make them believe that their position as their own fault, rather than the exploitation it really was. A tale to get them to work hard for promise of rewards in the future which rarely transpire, rather than rewards now. A myth that the people with the money got it by working hard.

Re:The death of the American dream (1)

udachny (2454394) | about 3 months ago | (#47438415)

Yes you do, you become rich by working hard. You become rich by building your own business, you need capital savings to start a business, which is why you will have to get that money somehow. I did it by working on contracts for 10 years before starting my own business. I am not 'rich' as in millionaire rich, I am rich by doing what I like, building products I choose to build with a team I hire and maybe over years it will make me enough money to put me in a category that you define as 'rich' or maybe it won't work out. One thing is for sure, if I do make it, some total asshole will be posting comments somewhere how I must have stolen something from somebody rather than building my own business over years of actual hard work. My employees have weekends and holidays and a steady paycheck, something I do not have, that's my risk and that's my choice.

Ford, Carnegie, Rockefeller, Jobs, etc. Millions of people got rich (or at least rich enough for them) by building and running their own businesses.

Re:The death of the American dream (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47447741)

Ford

A well known socialist who hired investigators to spy and meddle on his worker's personal lives. Artificially raised the the wages (can you say minimum wage?) of workers, forcing others to follow suit, resulting in a higher barrier of entry, leading to the oligopoly that is the auto industry today. Said industry pays off government to "build infrastructure", stealing money from the rest of the population to build highways and roads which could have been done by private entities. Furthermore, the extra pay his workers got allowed them to form the destructive auto unions, which of course works with government to continue to make America uncompetitive.

Carnegie

Steel and rail tycoon who worked closely with the government during and after the Civil War. Part of the rail industry which was heavily propped up by government. Those rails of course heavily relied on cheap Chinese immigrant labor, and the Chinese were cheap because they were discriminated against by both state and federal government.

Rockefeller

Rode on the coat tails of the rail oligopoly of Carnegie to cheaply transport his oil to others (cheap because govenrment made it cheap to use rails. Utilized the Federal governments military might to secure international trade (read: US joining its European Imperial cousins in war against Asians who refused to give in to unequal treaties). Became RICHER when government broke up Standard Oil.

Jobs

Part of the tech industry that relies on government enforced monopolies called copyright and patent laws, an abomination that shouldn't exist at all [slashdot.org] , according to a certain someone.

Millions of people got rich (or at least rich enough for them) by building and running their own businesses.

Not one of them is an American. They're living on land they STOLE from the native Indians. They relied on SLAVERY of the blacks and Chinese and other second class immigrants to prop up their economy. The American Dream of working hard never was. The American Reality is using the violence, including collective violence of government, to get your way.

Re:The death of the American dream (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 3 months ago | (#47448267)

You're just confirming what I wrote. You've done everything you're supposed to, working hard to raise capital, running your own business. And the result is that you aren't even a millionaire, let alone a billionaire, and you're still working harder than your employees, not relaxing on your yacht like the actual rich people are.

Your post confirms only that you still have the dream: If only you keep on working hard, eventually you'll become rich. But you won't. The best you can hope for is a comfortable retirement with the hope that you'll still be healthy enough to enjoy it. Rather less than the American Dream promises.

Ford, Carnegie, Rockefeller, Jobs, etc. Millions of people got rich

That's a handful of people, not millions. And they achieved because they were born with unusual talents. And the American Dream doesn't warn that you need to have unusual talents. It's lie is that the average person can be rich just by working hard.

Furthermore quoting those few big names and implying that that means the American Dream is a valid approach is no more valid that quoting some lottery winners and saying that means buying lottery tickets is a good idea. It's cherry picking the winners. The change of being one of the winners is incredibly small in either case.

Running a business is a lifestyle decision, not a way to become rich. Unless you are already rich or have an unusual talent.

Re:The death of the American dream (1)

udachny (2454394) | about 3 months ago | (#47450955)

I take it you believe that everything should fall right on your lap the moment you START a business? This is the game - you start a business and ONE of many businesses will succeed and it takes YEARS to succeed. I know that majority of you here don't understand such concepts as long term vision and you believe that you have to be rich already to make it in the world, but damn, when did this change occur, WHO told you that you should become a millionaire 4.5 years after starting a business exactly? Majority of business owners only make it into the black by around that mark.

By the way even without talent hard work beats talent that does not do hard work. I am not confirming anything that you wrote, I am telling you straight out: your claim (and this subsequent comment) doesn't make any sense. Nobody becomes a millionaire or a billionaire right away in business, it takes years, possibly decades if your business is even viable and profitable in the first place.

Re:The death of the American dream (1)

udachny (2454394) | about 3 months ago | (#47438725)

any sufficiently truthful statement is indistinguishable from flamebait.

Re:The death of the American dream (1)

rhodium_mir (2876919) | about 3 months ago | (#47452603)

So is flamebait.

Corrective action for people like the AG (1)

Richard Meadows (3389537) | about 3 months ago | (#47435749)

The best corrective action is to find a candidate who understands the Technology Economy for each office, especially, executive offices like AG. Get them elected. Get the Governor to appoint young smart technology knowledgable people to commissions and move forward. The old white guys can either get on board or get out of the way.

Mao Tse Blasio; man of the people~! (0)

gelfling (6534) | about 3 months ago | (#47435771)

All Hail

Lyft drivers dangerous? (4, Interesting)

theNAM666 (179776) | about 3 months ago | (#47435803)

Are you kidding? The last guy who picked me up at LGA barely managed to communicate with me in Farsi -- neither my nor his native language, took the long way on the BQE to Williamsburg, then got lost-- fortunately, in the Hasidic sections (at least *I* would have been safe on the streets). Managed to rack up an extra $20 on the meter compared to a cab service while doing it, and drove in a manner that suggested he couldn't maintain a license in Mexico City.

Give me a Lyft driver anyday compared to the typical NYC borough cabbie.

Re:Lyft drivers dangerous? (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 3 months ago | (#47436469)

Gotta love those LGA taxi rides, full of bumps, extras and routes to nowhere. Just like EWR. It's all a racket and Lyft along with Uber are going to erode the Taxi Commission revenues as well as those of the yellow cab consortia.

Re:Lyft drivers dangerous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47440115)

Eh! I had an LGA taxi cab driver get noticeably pissed that he ``was stuck with a $15 dollar fair'' (I live in queens).

Re:Lyft drivers dangerous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47436493)

Just take the M60!

Re:Lyft drivers dangerous? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 months ago | (#47436675)

Last time I took a taxi, I asked the driver, "take me to a crepe restaurant!" The driver had no clue. I'll bet a Lyft driver would do much better

Disrupted! (1, Troll)

Aineko (3743161) | about 3 months ago | (#47435811)

It's all fun disrupting until dad loses his job. But seriously, I really don't understand why ppl like the new monopolies soo much. Uber, Lynch, ... whatever,all the same. They take the business of companies that do the work while they just play the new middleman and take a ridiculously big cut. For now, they use the suckers that want to work for them, until they can replace them with google cars or something like that. I don't have any problem with the future or anything but don't act like they are the best thing since sliced bread! They don't bring anything to the table. Only a bigger monopoly. And they even f*ck their workers. Look at Uber. Did they refund the ppl that got their car impounded in Brussels or their car beaten in Paris?

Bad launch strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47436157)

The only thing keeping Lyft and Uber going is that they're faster than the city governments, but at some point the city governments will catch up. Taxi permits are a big source of revenue, and the taxis are heavily regulated for passenger safety, none of which applies to people operating Lyft and Uber. They've survived this long because the cities haven't figured out what to do with them, but once it puts a serious strain on the revenue stream of municipalities, you'll find them banned fast and their business dries up.

Disrupting existing models is the Silicon Valley way, but it doesn't work when you try to disrupt the guys who can make your business illegal and arrest you.

Re: Bad launch strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47436485)

Can you name two cities where the government benefits from the sale of the medallions ?

Every city I know of has a limited number of medallions. They are traded on the free market for what ever price they can command.

Medallions, in cities I know of, do not get returned to the government to be resold.

Lost of people here spouting off about the government profiting off the medallions. I just can not think of any.

Who can name two cities where the medallions are returned and sold by the city ?

Follow the Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47436331)

How fortunate for the Taxi & Limousine Commission to have Eric Schneiderman in its back pocket.

this b.s. has to stop (1)

silfen (3720385) | about 3 months ago | (#47437687)

Whether a driver and a passenger decide to hook up and drive around together via an app should be nobody's business. Attempting to regulate this is just an attempt by entrenched special interests and their cronies in city government to block competition. Kick these jerks out next election.

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