Did you hear what happened in Portsmouth?
Local cabbies complained that Uber is unfair because it doesn’t have to follow the same rules they do. This has been the response of entrenched taxi interests in every city where Uber and similar services have debuted. On the one hand, this is a fair gripe – the law shouldn’t have two sets of standards. So, the Portsmouth Taxi Commission voted to eliminate all regulations and disband itself. Check mate, special interests!
WHERE ELSE DOES THIS HAPPEN?!
Here’s the whole story so far:
December 16 – Portsmouth taxi companies complain about new ride-sharing services like Uber operating without complying with the same regulations they must follow.
December 19 – Prominent local citizen Dan Innis of Portsmouth warns that the city risks becoming “anti-business” unless it embraces new approaches like Uber.
January 21 – The Portsmouth Taxi Commission votes to eliminate the medallion system and disband itself. This decision is referred to the City Council.
January 22 – The Herald issues an editorial questioning whether the “free market” can be trusted to deliver good taxi service.
January 24 – Jason Walls & Mike Vine of Portsmouth write a Letter to the Editor praising the Taxi Commission’s brave decision to “bring Portsmouth into the 21st century.”
January 29 – The New York Post names Portsmouth “Uber City” over the Commission’s decision.
February 3 – The Portsmouth City Council unanimously votes to have the City Attorney draft up new taxi regulations that allow for open competition.