These days, many people want to know where their food, clothing, even building materials are sourced. Perhaps you’d like to know where your allegedly cheap cab rides are sourced.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick aggressively intervenes in municipalities, states and even countries with lobbying firms trying to override or ignore existing laws. Most recently, Uber launched a $10 million attack on New York City when Mayor DeBlasio attempted tp cap the number of new Uber vehicles to combat congestion. They endlessly recruit drivers (and will recruit in Miami for Key West). I was unable to determine how much it cost to buy off Tallahassee.
Uber continues to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to settle lawsuits, including $20 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission suit over driver pay. More cases are pending than can be counted, including those for denying service to the disabled. Many involve arbitrary surge pricing during weather emergencies, holidays, festivals, even during an active-shooter situation when people were trying to flee the area. With its surge pricing feature, Uber raises rates during high demand and, if successful at replacing taxis, will no longer be bound to any pricing guidelines.
Uber has been banned or suspended operations in entire countries, most recently in Italy, as well as myriad U.S. cities and states when faced with the horrifying prospect of complying with local laws. No other business is permitted to operate within a city without being subject to is rules and regulations.
Kalanick operates from a who’s-gonna-stop-me bully pulpit and reaps all the benefits. So, how do you combat a megalomaniacal corporate behemoth with a flagrant contempt for the law, its drivers and its riders? Don’t use ’em.
Beth Bevenour, Key West