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Fighting The Current

New York City recently instituted tough regulations on the number of Uber and Lyft vehicles allowed in the streets of Manhattan. There’s also a new minimum wage being set for drivers, which translates to costlier rides for consumers.

In political speak, these regulations promote healthier competition between taxicabs and ridesharing vehicles and helps control traffic congestion in the city.

What it actually does, though, is throw a lifeline to the slowly deteriorating taxicab industry, an industry that can’t keep pace with Uber and Lyft. The regulation, enacted via taxi companies’ relationships with politicians and lobbyists, is the only way taxicab drivers can keep up with the ridesharing industry. The strongest lever for the taxi side is the fact that multiple taxi drivers have committed suicide in the past year amidst mounting debt and shrinking income opportunity.

In a city like New York (and many others), this is just stage one of what will be a bloody battle.

Now I hear that Miami Beach wants to do the same thing.

They’re singing the same song as NYC: Traffic congestion, much-needed regulations, impoverished taxi drivers.

This is what happens when change occurs too fast for some people’s comfort

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