Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Technology Threatens Austin Taxi Cartel

"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight."
Proverbs 11:1

Great news in the fight for affordable alternatives to driving while intoxicated:
The San Francisco based transportation network company Lyft recently announced plans to bring its ridesharing platform to Austin, despite city regulations. Lyft has been widely hailed as the free market’s response to government sanctioned taxi companies.

Using their smartphone, a user can coordinate a ride through the downloadable Lyft app with one of the company's drivers. Drivers do not charge fares, but instead ask for donations from their passengers, which according to reports can be anywhere from 20 to 30 percent cheaper than a normal taxi ride.

While many are celebrating Lyft’s advent in Austin, city officials have warned the company that car sharing programs like Lyft could be “outside the law.” Currently, the Austin City Council is trying to decide whether services like Lyft violate city codes.


In Austin, Lyft drivers must have a chauffeur’s permit according to the existing city laws. Drivers who are caught transporting people without one will be charge with a Class C misdemeanor and could have their car impounded.

Despite the legal ambiguity, Lyft has decided to start operations in the city anyway and hope for the best. Lyft officials told Breitbart Texas reporters that they are willing to work with the city. They claimed that as it stands, city code does not account for their innovative and unique business model.
 But, of course, you can't better yourself economically if it threatens the fascists:
Ridesharing service Lyft launched its Austin service at 7 p.m. Thursday.

By Monday, three Lyft drivers were issued tickets and two of their vehicles were impounded, according to city transportation department spokeswoman Samantha Alexander.


Under city law, it is illegal to operate a ridesharing service if you pay drivers over the federal gas mileage reimbursement of 56 cents per mile. The Lyft service in Austin is free for passengers in its first few weeks. Drivers are being paid by Lyft itself through “ride credits” determined by passengers.
But who cares about people dying from intoxicated drivers when there's big business/big government collusion to protect, right Lee Leffingwell?!?

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