The e-hail giant took note of a Crain’s story Monday (see below) about yellow-cab interests joining forces to mount an anti-Uber advocacy effort targeting lawmakers, regulators and New Yorkers in general.
“A campaign by taxi medallion owners demanding government intervention to protect the value of their medallions is just like the big banks’ campaign to get a government bailout,” an Uber spokesman said. “Instead of trying to get government to stifle transportation options, all players in this industry should focus on competing to give riders and drivers the best service they can.”
The taxi interests say they just want a level playing field because their lone advantage in the competition for passengers—the exclusive right to pick up street hails—has been significantly reduced by the advent of smartphone apps, primarily Uber’s, that can hail black cars. As the number of Uber users in New York City began to surge in 2014, drivers flocked to the company, occasionally leaving some yellow-cab medallion owners with no one to operate their vehicles. The drop in revenue led some owners to default on their medallion loans, prompting a spike in foreclosures. Read more:
• Uber to the taxi industry: “Try to compete.”