The PJ Tatler

Cambridge Cabbies Strike to Protest Uber, Uber Business Spikes

File this one under “obviously.”

Cabbies in Cambridge, MA, went on strike yesterday for nine hours to protest the business of ride-sharing and the result was a spike in business for Uber while the cabbies refused to drive people around.

“While specific data isn’t available, we’ve seen a meaningful spike in trips beginning in Cambridge,” an Uber spokesman said after the cabbies’ strike ended at 1 p.m.

“That’s OK,” said cab driver Marc Raymond, one of the taxi strike organizers. “You have to lose some to win some.”

I don’t think so — you’ve just introduced a bunch of people who need transportation to a service that is faster, cheaper and cleaner. Not so smart.

Uber Protest

The cabbies took to Cambridge City Hall, jamming up traffic (which I am certain will make them even more sympathetic figures to the public), because they say there is a double standard threatening their livelihood.

Raymond, who has been a taxi driver for 31 years, said he has lost half his business to ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft, which are able to operate in the city without having to comply with the same regulations cabbies do or pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a medallion.

“You call that technology?” Raymond said. “Technology is not above the law. They’re a little bit cheaper, but they don’t have to play by the rules.”

People will always look to be efficient in order to maximize their self interest and their bottom line. If someone figured out a way to operate outside the burdensome, costly laws and regulations of a city to their advantage, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Regardless of the roadblocks regulation presents the entrepreneurial folks, someone is going to find a way to get around them and make money. Fact.

The cabs had some support from honking cars but not so much from the Twitter folk.

“Cambridge taxi mindset: ‘To show how much we hate Uber and Lyft, we’ll strike so people will be forced to use Uber and Lyft!’ Genius,” one person tweeted.

Image from Lee McGuire