Another entry in the Uber file: New York is the latest city to be giving the smartphone-based car dispatch service regulatory headaches.
You know about their issues in D.C. I told you about their (now-resolved) problems in Massachusetts. Now Gotham’s Taxi and Limousine Commission is questioning Uber’s cab dispatch application, according to a New York Times article today.
Note that this squabble does not pertain to Uber’s core product, matching riders with otherwise idle limousines. Rather, the New York regulators are questioning a new service that offers plain yellow cabs. This is important because in New York yellow cabs are not dispatched — that’s the exclusive province of livery cabs, aka “black cars,” which generally cannot be street-hailed
The upshot is that Uber is now bickering with regulators over the nature of “prearrangement.” That’s not exactly the same as the issue here in D.C., but it is one aspect of it.
Regulators and politicians here are still figuring out what exactly to do with Uber. The company has a free pass for the rest of the year, and would prefer that situation continue indefinitely, but it is not likely to last.
D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) has set a Sept. 24 hearing on the matter, and the D.C. Taxicab Commission is holding a pair of meetings this month to discuss implementing new “sedan-class” regulations squarely aimed at Uber and its imitators. First up is an “informational” public hearing on Monday, Sept. 10, followed by a special commission meeting on Sept. 19. Both are scheduled for 10 a.m. in the Old Council Chambers at One Judiciary Square, 441 4th St. NW.