In what can best be described as a rare moment of clarity for a government, the state of Nevada has ditched a plan to require ridesharing apps to delay pickup times by 15 minutes.
This effort was pushed by the taxi lobby in an effort to compete with companies like Uber and Lyft and their growing market share:
In numerous states and cities, taxi interests — notably unions representing taxi drivers — have come up with creative legislation to hobble the rise of ridesharing apps like Lyft and Uber. In Nevada, the taxi union recently proposed a package of measures to slam the apps good and hard, of which perhaps the most startling was this: drivers getting a rideshare booking would be required by law to wait to ensure that their fare was not picked up in less than ten minutes.
What a great idea — all must be brought down to the level of the least able! Echoing Vonnegut’s funny-dystopian short story Harrison Bergeron, the speediest would have to sit out in artificial penalty time to ensure that they did not arrive before the poky. “In a brief interview, [union president T. Ruthie] Jones said the union only wanted a level playing field,” reports the Nevada Independent.
And it gets even better. When legislators got a look at the union’s wish list of requests, whoever was in charge of drafting apparently decided that a 10 minute wait time didn’t go far enough. So Senate Bill 485, introduced on Monday, instead upped the handicap delay to 15 minutes. Per the Nevada Independent, “Taxi companies — long an influential Nevada industry — gave to 50 legislators throughout the 2016 campaign cycle for a total of $476,200.”
Remember when cab companies were all upset because Uber and Lyft didn’t join in their protests in New York?
This was just the latest attempt by a dying industry to pay off government power in exchange for bludgeoning its competition with ridiculous regulations that might allow that industry to remain relevant. The cab companies can’t adapt to the new world. They haven’t figured out how to change their business models in such a way to remain relevant. And rather than develop technologies that could help them maintain market share, they’re more interested in getting legislators to cripple their advanced competitors.
Frankly, it’s enough of a reason to switch to Lyft or Uber.