How about letting us drive?
Who’s us? Passengers—taxi-ride buyers. Plus anyone else who participates in the market transactions that take us places.
Many Orlando, Florida cabbies are eager to work with the ride-sharing company that makes the smartphone app Uber. They’re tired of leasing cabs for $129 a day while scrambling for enough price-controlled fares to earn a decent living after paying that steep cost. Uber drivers provide their own car and let the firm’s technology connect them to customers. Uber gets 20 percent of fare revenue.
The politics are mostly hostile to the innovation in places like New York City where markets are mangled by super-high license fees and other regulations. The politics are also tough in Orlando, which has been cracking down on Uber drivers. But the mayor and Uber executives have been talking about a deal under which Uber could operate if it submits to . . . regulation. (Sigh.)
Cab companies in the City Beautiful expect to rapidly lose revenue if innovators like Uber and Lyft get to operate freely. But Orlando taxi drivers expect to gain.
“If you talk to 1,000 drivers,” says one, “950 will tell you they are going to Uber.” Says another: “Let Uber come here. It’s going to be good for the customer and the driver.”
Let them come. Also kill all regulations, including fare caps, that make it harder for cab companies to adapt. Let terms of trade be driven—regulated—by traders. Not by governments.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.