Ride-sharing services are giving traditional cab drivers competition, and that has the D.C. cabbies seeking to use the power of government to block out the competition. If they succeed, that means consumers would lose. But the cabbies don’t care. Rather than trying to keep others out, they should be fighting against the regulations and fees that burden their own businesses.
The drivers are members of the Teamster-affiliated D.C. Taxi Operators Association and the target of their protest is digital dispatched ride-sharing services such as Lyft, UberX and Sidecar, where regular people give rides to others using their private vehicles. The cab drivers have been at odds with the new services saying they have an unfair advantage over regular cabs since they don’t have to follow the same rules and pay the same fees.
Organizers said they planned to deliver a letter and petition to city officials asking them to impose a “cease and desist” order on the services.
The same type of anti-competition mindset grounds those who support North Carolina’s web of occupational licensing requirements, as the John Locke Foundation’s Jon Sanders explains here.