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LETTER: More folly from the Taxicab Authority

Your Sept. 27 story about the flat cab fares included a quote from Taxicab Authority chair Stan Olsen that illustrates how ridiculous they are and why the industry is losing to Uber and Lyft. The quote said that surge pricing from ride-share companies amounts to “unregulated long-hauling.”

But customers of ride-share companies know the fee they are getting ahead of time and agree to it before the driver is dispatched. In contrast, the victims of fraud who get in a cab often don’t realize their fares are getting raised through deception. This kind of fraud is the biggest reason why people prefer ride-shares over cabs.

The second reason they prefer Uber and Lyft is also reflected in Mr. Olsen’s quote, as he complained that surge pricing from ride-share companies is “unregulated.” But that’s why they can provide a service at better prices (even including surge pricing).

What cab companies are really complaining about is that government hasn’t done enough to kneecap the competition and protect their monopoly. Charging flat rates is a good step for the cab companies, but they will continue to lose because Uber and Lyft aren’t regulated to death and can offer better products and prices.

I look forward to the day when the Taxicab Authority is about as relevant as a candlemaker union.

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