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Uber Alles
Taxi Protests Hit DC
Photo by Twitter user @jhschein

Photo by Twitter user @jhschein

If you live in Washington DC, you have probably heard commuters cursing the Metro’s red line, which is frequently either out of service or severely delayed. Yesterday, however, it was taxi drivers who were getting the invective from DC’s denizens. Taxi protests against startups like Uber and Lyft held up traffic all over the city, as cabbies upset over the exemptions from rules and fees imposed on normal taxis parked their cars in the middle of major thoroughfares and refused to budge.

More, via WaPo:

Authorities said Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest opened in both directions around 1 p.m. The roadway had been closed from 15th to 9th streets Northwest because of the protest. The street closure caused other delays in the downtown area. Ironically, because of the protest, some people reported difficulty hailing cabs.

We aren’t sure why cabbies think holding up traffic and honking loudly will help them get more customers. This kind of behavior is only likely to backfire on them, as it did in Europe, where Uber saw sign-ups surge 850 percent after protests.

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  • ljgude

    I’m seeing a photo of a well dressed man in 1929 in Wall street offering his luxury coupe for sale for $300. I’m sad to see that Taxi drivers – ordinary folks working hard for a living – be disintermediated by technology through no fault of their own. I think the people who should be kicked to the curb are the people who live off the back of the cabbies like the radio dispatch services and others rent seekers who keep the taxi price artificially high. If I were a cabbie I think I would work out what is the best car to own in an UBER dispatched world, buy one, and start working double shifts.

  • B-Sabre

    We aren’t sure why cabbies think holding up traffic and honking loudly will help them get more customers.

    Because the people they wanted to harass are not their customers, it’s the regulators aka City Hall. They’re hoping if they cause enough of a ruckus, the would-be passengers would complain to the Powers-That-Be and then they would put more onerous regulation of Uber so the phones would stop ringing.

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