As state and local governments across the country debate the regulation of ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, we asked the public if these companies should be subject to the same rules as taxis.
In states such as Virginia, Uber and Lyft are required to pay $100,000 for a license to operate and drivers must pass a background check. The companies or the drivers also have to carry an insurance policy that covers up to $1 million for damage in the event of an accident.
Uber and Lyft are required to meet similar standards in D.C., but many cab drivers want them held to the same regulations as taxis.
A D.C. resident said some state and local governments are attempting to crack down on Uber and Lyft because they are more reliable than taxis.
“Uber is going to beat them there every time,” he said in a video interview at Union Station in Washington. “No, I think since they are freelance, they should stay freelance. They are not cabs, are they? They’re Uber. Let Uber do their thing.”
Another D.C. resident agreed that taxis and app-based car services should not be subject to the same requirements.
“I don’t think they should necessarily have to because I think the taxis are a little bit older, so they may not play by the same rules or adhere to the same guidelines as Uber,” she said.
A tourist from Russia said overregulation has hurt his home country’s economy. He argued that Uber should be free to compete with taxis.
“I firmly believe that any regulation of the economy is evil. It creates deficits. It creates corruption and it lowers the quality of services available to people so unless criminal damage to the passenger is done, no regulations,” he said. “Uber should work, city taxis should work, they should compete, they should be different.”
A taxi driver at Union Station said ridesharing services should be subject to the same regulations as cabs.
“Because we are regulated they need to be regulated like everybody else,” he said.
Two students from Philadelphia said they prefer Uber to taxis for safety reasons, adding that cities should not require the company to comply with the same rules as cabs.
“What I like the most about Uber is you can see who your driver is, you know their name, you know what kind of car it is. You don’t know who the driver of a public taxi is so you could be getting in the car with a stranger,” one student said. “Even though this is a stranger, you kind of know them because you have their name and their personal information so that’s the reason why I feel safer to take Uber. You don’t have to wait on the street. You can see when it arrives; it comes door to door.”