Uber negotiated with Cheh over fare floor


Kalanick, or at least his deputies, were more willing to strike legislative deals than they have admitted. (Bloomberg)

Kalanick repeated his earlier statements on the matter, saying that Uber “always made clear that we were not okay with a floor on our price.”

Cheh’s office continues to take issue with that characterization.

After I posted my item today, a staffer shared an e-mail sent to Cheh by Uber lobbyist Claude Bailey. Five days before the July 10 taxi bill vote, he indicated a willingness to compromise on a minimum fare provision.

Bailey said Uber’s top D.C. manager ran the fare-floor idea up the corporate chain. “Ideally, Uber management would prefer a $10 minimum fare,” he wrote. “Is there room for a possible compromise of a minimum fare somewhere between the two?”

He also floated including a “reconsideration provision” allowing the minimum fare to be re-evaluated after a year.

Whatever that posture is, it would appear to be something other than “not okay with a floor on our price.”

Kalanick responds via e-mail thusly: “It amazes me that in response to calls that Cheh is protecting the taxi industry and price gouging her own constituents, that Mary Cheh responds saying she somehow had a backroom deal that makes it okay.”

Fair enough. But if you’re going to be dismissive of backroom deals, it behooves you to stay out of backrooms.

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.

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