My question - which states (or cities) are these apps legal in the US ?
To be clear, Uber et al. aren’t illegal in CA. I use Uber all the time.
They are not allowed to pick up at the airport where there are separate licensing requirements if they are ruled to be like a taxi service (and not like a friend just picking you up at the airport).
Don’t know if there are any areas where Uber would be outright illegal.
Here in San Antonio, Texas it is local laws that Lyft and Uber are running up against. Taxi companies are regulated by the city, their drivers are put through criminal background checks, they have to carry a certain level of insurance, etc., etc., etc., but all local level laws. Lyft says “We’re not a taxi company.” City says, “Yes, you are.” Local police threaten to impound Lyft cars. Rinse. Repeat.
I think fiddlesticks is correct: Taxis are regulated at the local level, not the state level–so there are probably no states where there is a statewide ban on these services.
St. Louis is having the same fight regarding Lyft. They are currently under a temporary restraining order against operating, I believe.
They’re all over the place in San Francisco. Note that the airport is in an unincorporated area near South San Francisco, a completely different city, in a different county and it’s not even adjacent to or shares a border with SF. The SFMTA/Muni fought Uber initially, and now are allowing them to operate. It looks like in most places, authorities or unions are resisting these services, but there aren’t a whole lot of laws explicitly banning them. Thus it comes to deciding whether they are unlicensed taxis.
I just learned about UberX (haven’t used it much). It’s their lower-priced tier if you don’t mind being seen in a non-BMW.
I would ban Lyft though. Damn those moustaches!
I’d think at the very least the driver would be required to have a livery driver’s license or whatever it is called in the relevant state. There could also be state laws requiring certain levels of insurance on a car for hire.
I just recently heard about Uber and Lyft, and I used to drive a cab years ago. There have always been something like those; called Jitneys. No idea how that term came to be used.
Does this fall under the category of “free enterprise” here in the bastion of free enterprise? You think that’s bad, try setting a chair out on your front lawn with a sign that says “Haircuts – $5”.
They’re illegal in Pennsylvania. The state Public Utility Commission issues Certificates of Public Convenience, and their drivers don’t have them.
They’ve applied for permission to offer their service on an experimental basis, since they’re both already on the streets in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh’s main incumbent taxi company Yellow Cab also applied to offer such service, with drivers using their own vehicles, not taxis, and now has permission to do so, while Lyft and Uber still do not.
Our city and county governments are in favor of these new players, but can’t do anything about the state’s prohibition.
Here in Winnipeg, Taxis are regulated by the City, there are a limited number of taxi licences, a Taxi licence is now being sold on the open market for around $500,000 as you can imagine someone spending $500,000 to buy a licence is none to happy for anyone to come along with a phone app and start acting as a taxi.
You also need to have a commercial (class 3) licence to operate a taxi, plus the correct insurance, not cheap at all.
So allowing anybody who has a phone app to operate as a taxi is illegal here.
Popular companies Lyft and Uber on Thursday received cease and desist letters from Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles.
Don’t try this in Miami, kiddies.
The Miami police are stinging Lyft drivers, issuing them citations with $2000 fines and impounding their cars.
You think that’s bad, look at all those stories of cops shutting down kids selling lemonade from their front lawns.
(Link goes to Lemonade Freedom site, a whole compendium of such stories.)
Uber’s model is technically illegal under Florida law and those of most major cities here. Their legislation seems to have hit a dead end so for now they are operating in a grey area (they went live in Orlando this week and the city and local counties haven’t decided what to do yet.)
FYI: Uber is not a taxi. A taxi can pick up fares off the street. The taxi can be flagged down by a wave, whistle, yell, jumping in front of the taxi, etc. UberX drivers can only pick up people that have signed up for an Uber account, downloaded the app, and then ran the app asking to be picked up.
That is the Koolaid Kalanick is selling.
Uber worth $17 billion.
That’s a lot of rides.
I’ve been trying to figure out exactly how Uber works, and although there are numerous references on websites to " ride sharing" , it seems that it’s not really different from calling a car service or cab company to arrange a ride. Sure, you use the app to order the car rather than a phone call but that doesn’t change the nature of the service ( just like I’m getting pizza when I order a pizza whether I order through an app or by phone) and in most places there are going to be requirements to provide that service ( a different type of license, commercial insurance,background checks on drivers, etc. ) which it seems at least Uber X does not require.
Cab and limousine companies generally own their vehicles (this is less true for cabs), or at least portions of their fleets. Uber doesn’t own any vehicles. All its drivers are independent contractors, who may or may not have adequate insurance or even road-legal cars.
It’s basically a way for independent car services to track down fares. I have an Uber account, and I’ve used it a handful of times. I found it more reliable and faster than trying to get a cab where I live. It is pricier, but it isn’t that much more.