Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

How Airports Became Ground Zero In the Battle For Peer-to-Peer Car Rentals

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the nor-the-battle-to-the-strong dept.

Transportation 66

curtwoodward writes: "Even in libertarian-infused Silicon Valley, playing nice with the government can be a smart move. That's the attitude at RelayRides, a peer-to-peer car rental service that plans to expand at airports by getting permission first. On the other side is FlightCar, a competitor that would rather fight the power in court. The next couple of years should tell us which approach is smarter. Similar battles are becoming almost routine as startups born of the digital economy confront the real world’s established power systems, particularly in the emerging 'sharing economy,' where online tools help networks of consumers rent things to each other. And as these young companies try to manage rapid growth and fend off threats to their survival, the decision about whether to fight regulators or accommodate them can become another way to gain a competitive edge."

cancel ×

66 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

another great example... (4, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 6 months ago | (#46635015)

...of how the constant whining about the "free market" is total bullshit.

The free market created innovation, so the established players want to shut it down. They go whining to legislators, who will put in a reglation because their donors tell them to.

Concerns about "saftey" and the like are irrelevant... this is the usual crap we see in the "pro free market" USA.

Re:another great example... (4, Interesting)

Jack Griffin (3459907) | about 6 months ago | (#46635091)

Don't get too carried away, this is all part of the free market process. As you say, Incumbents try to protect and conserve, new players try to innovate and liberalise. The fact that this condition exists means we live in a healthy free market. Sure innovator may not win every battle, but if yo mapped long or even medium term change then innovation, and the free market is winning.

Re:another great example... (0)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#46635235)

...this is all part of the free market process.

Exactly. People who try to separate government from it can't see this though. They see the state and the corporation as opposing forces. Nothing could be farther from the truth. All systems are "free market". Some are more open to the general public than others.

Re:another great example... (1)

lawnboy5-O (772026) | about 6 months ago | (#46635525)

"They see the state and the corporation as opposing forces." Benito would be proud.

Re:another great example... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 6 months ago | (#46635861)

Corporations owe their very existence to a government charter. They are, in fact, an extension of government.

Which is why it is so corrosive when they are allowed to lobby. It is like the IRS being allowed to lobby, except that would be an improvement since the IRS is directly overseen by a democratically elected body.

Re:another great example... (1)

lawnboy5-O (772026) | about 6 months ago | (#46635921)

Yes! the government's economic arm... but this is different than the corrosive state of affairs we have today, wouldn't you agree? And by extension of government, you are to say they are governing powers? No. emphatically not. But that is indeed what is starting to happen in today's society. A parent / child relationship is not what we have... and in my mind there is no such thing as a "free market" present in the USA. Adam Smith's invisible hand is a myth here... its stroking the ego of the fascists right now fact. Its either regulated, policed, and maintained to operate with our corruption, or its corrupt to the bone. There is no in between save for one scenario: the morality of man gets with it, so as to not needing the policing and regulation. I am not suggest theocracy here - I am suggesting morality as a cultural underpinning. My point being it needs to be a one way relationship - which it is - but in the wrong direction at the moment.

Re:another great example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46652743)

Alexis de Tocqueville agrees with this message

Re:another great example... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#46636013)

Kind of wag the dog there. Government does grant the corporate charter, but since they share the same directors, it's the corporation writing its own charter. That's why you will never see the revocation of one, no matter how heinous the crime. You only see minor divestitures, which later re-merge, like a T-1000.

Re:another great example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46637757)

Benito would be proud.

At least he had the trains running on time.

Re:another great example... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46637425)

I'll quote a bit of fiction (setting is cold war gone hot, the heroine has both won the war and the peace and is now talking to some USSR economic eggheads):

"Over 100 years ago in my country we were opening the American West.
Mostly it was dry country but there were rivers the
wagon trains had to cross. An interesting thing happened. Wherever there was a
river crossing, there would be someone with a tent and a barrel selling
whiskey."

Grinning at Mike, she said, "My fiancé is Irish. Many Irishmen came over in
the 1840's and 1850's. They fought in our Civil War, and many of them helped to
build the transcontinental railroad. They just kept pushing the railroad track
across the country. As they went, their camps moved forward with them. In every
camp there were saloons, dance halls, and gambling parlors. They were not
provided by the railroad. How did they get there? Why was there always a man
selling liquor at the river crossings? Because money could be made, and no
permissions were necessary
. All it took was someone with an idea and a little
money to get started.

we don't have a free market, we don't have anything anywhere near it,
heck a 12-year old running a lemonade stand now needs a permit

when any group (2 or more) of people can at any time come to a voluntary exchange of goods or services, then that's a free market.
When you constantly need to ask permission for any such exchange to a 3th party, it's not a free market
Whether that 3th party is the government or a local robber barron is irrelevant.

Note also that the capitalist economic ideal is a 'perfectly competitive free market'
The adjectives are important, not something to be ignored, and yes you can't quite get to the 'perfectly' but you sure could get a hell of a lot closer then where we currently are

Re:another great example... (1)

pepty (1976012) | about 6 months ago | (#46636213)

this is all part of the regulated market process.

FTFY.

Re:another great example... (1)

Jack Griffin (3459907) | about 6 months ago | (#46637729)

Wrong. A free market doesn't mean anarchy. Even the most zealous proponent of the free market still knows the difference between a free market and law of the jungle. We have a free market because ideas and innovation are free to occur. Just because some regulations exist to protect the greater good doesn't change this fact.

Re:another great example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46639253)

you have a free market when economic interactions between any 2 players are free to occur.
when you first need to ask permission, it's not a free market
yes, even if the answer is usually 'yes' (after paying $$$ for a license)

Re:another great example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46637229)

wehen the 'try to protect and conserver' is not economical action but legal and political it's clear it's not a free market but a captive one

Re:another great example... (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 6 months ago | (#46638893)

Don't get too carried away, this is all part of the free market process. As you say, Incumbents try to protect and conserve, new players try to innovate and liberalise. The fact that this condition exists means we live in a healthy free market. Sure innovator may not win every battle, but if yo mapped long or even medium term change then innovation, and the free market is winning.

Bullshit.

Telling me that politicians accepting bribes is just "part of the free market system" is absolute bullshit. The entire idea that innovators must outbribe the established corporations is not only untenable, but morally corrupt. Fuck you, and fuck your idea of a free market too.

Re:another great example... (1)

Jack Griffin (3459907) | about 6 months ago | (#46647073)

Oh don't be such a dick. No system is perfect, ours certainly isn't, but it's still better than any other I know about. If you disagree you can always move to whichever place it is you think is so great and live a happy life...

Re:another great example... (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 6 months ago | (#46650883)

Nice, trotting out the "if you don't like my country, you can get out" argument when someone calls you on your bullshit.

Re:another great example... (1)

Jack Griffin (3459907) | about 6 months ago | (#46659171)

Yet here we are. I accept the nature of the system and happily exist in it with all its flaws, yet you bitch and moan yet still submit to its will. Let me know how that works out for you.

Re:another great example... (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#46635161)

Taxi's service have a very long history of ripping people off, threatening other taxi companies, dropping people off in the wrong place, and extortion.
There is no reason to think that won't happen to other service where people pay to be driven door to door.

Re:another great example... (4, Insightful)

aurizon (122550) | about 6 months ago | (#46635283)

AFter WW2, when tens of thousand of men were demobbed, they had ARmy skills,- Shoot - explode -shell, and almost all were taught to drive.
So they would get a car and offer rides for a fee, from these our cab companies evolved.
There were more cars and drivers than there were passengers to support them, as a result little walled gardens of taxi rights appeared. As time wen by radio dispatch came along, and that was another little walled garden.

Now we have an iphone ap = radio dispatch is now dead, but still walking around and tryint to create barriers to alternate dispatch methods, such as the web and iphones.
Now along comes these cars, web booked via iphone ap.
The very turf beneath the feet of the taxi business and radio dispatch business is sinking.

Radio dispatchers, the greedy little fucks, want $400-$600 per month, the plate ownjers want $3000 per month to rent a plated cab.
They will fight and bribe all the politicians in city hall to keep their little, very very very high profit turfs.

These turfs need to die, these turfs live of the back of the cab driver and the public. Get rid if these little turfs and drivers will make more and riders pay less.

We need to free this market, griffin is wrong, this is not a free marker, it is little absolute monopolies(turfs or fiefs) that screw us all.

Re:another great example... (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 6 months ago | (#46635631)

For what it's worth, there are, essentially, two major models for taxi companies.

1) Taxi drivers are hourly employees who hustle almost entirely for their tips; requirements for who they pick up or what else they might make per fare vary.
2) Taxi drivers are renters of taxi infrastructure. They pay a daily fee to take a companies cab out, complete with dispatch service, and they hope to make more than the rental fee, which, if they're lucky, they don't have to pay until they get back.

Re:another great example... (1)

aurizon (122550) | about 6 months ago | (#46635713)

Yes, there are several models. In Toronto they have a number of radio dispatchers and cab fleets.
The small get forced out

Re:another great example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46635977)

You think $7,000 a year from a job is greedy?

Re:another great example... (1)

ThatAblaze (1723456) | about 6 months ago | (#46636235)

What he is talking about is $7,000 per years per car. One dispatch can serve a lot of cars.

Re:another great example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636293)

Oh, thanks for clearing that up.

Re:another great example... (2)

pepty (1976012) | about 6 months ago | (#46636311)

Radio dispatchers, the greedy little fucks, want $400-$600 per month, the plate ownjers want $3000 per month to rent a plated cab. They will fight and bribe all the politicians in city hall to keep their little, very very very high profit turfs.

you left out the taxi medallion owners have $100K to $2.5M sunk into each taxi medallion in some markets. NYC just auctioned off 200 taxi medallions for over $200M. There are over 15,000 taxi medallions in NYC; If NYC turns around and deregulates the taxi turfs then they are facing a ~$30 billion dollar class action law suit from those owners. It would be great to transition to a less regulated market; but the current stakeholders (a lot of them individual drivers with medallions that can't be rented out to others and who have all of their savings plus a monster loan tied into their cab) will not be going quietly into bankruptcy.

Re:another great example... (2)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 6 months ago | (#46638001)

If NYC turns around and deregulates the taxi turfs then they are facing a ~$30 billion dollar class action law suit from those owners. It would be great to transition to a less regulated market; but the current stakeholders (a lot of them individual drivers with medallions that can't be rented out to others and who have all of their savings plus a monster loan tied into their cab) will not be going quietly into bankruptcy.

While I agree that any attempt to deregulate would result in the current medallion owners screaming bloody murder, they wouldn't have a leg to stand on, legally. The city has never made any commitments as to the number of medallions it will issue. It could have another auction tomorrow with a minimum bid of $0.01 and 1 billion medallions up for sale. Of course, it's not going to, particularly since the Mayor De Blasio is 100% in the pocket of the taxi companies, who have been major campaign contributors.

Re:another great example... (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 6 months ago | (#46639673)

Why do licenses cost so much? Seems to me that would be the first place to start.

Re:another great example... (1)

jandrese (485) | about 6 months ago | (#46640451)

They cost so much because the supply is held artificially low and NYC is one of the most profitable places to run a cab in the entire US.

Re:another great example... (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 6 months ago | (#46636549)

They will fight and bribe all the politicians in city hall to keep their little, very very very high profit turfs.

If you think the taxi business is high profit... you're even more clueless than I thought. (Not realizing that vehicles for hire go back at *least* well into the 19th century was the first.)

Re:another great example... (1)

aurizon (122550) | about 6 months ago | (#46637735)

It is low profit to the drivers and newly bought medallion holders.
Legacy medallions = cash cows, radio services = cash cows.

Most cab companies are filled with legacy medaiilions, although they buy a few to maintain share.
The biggest racket is the casuals, who drive for a week and go away because they hate it. Usually their hours are logged as a family membersor friends , and after a while(15-20 years) = free medallion. A company will have a few people they can drop driven hours onto, to add to the hours they drive for real.
Back in the 60's quite a number did this

Re:another great example... (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about 6 months ago | (#46635391)

The free market created innovation, so the established players want to shut it down. They go whining to legislators, who will put in a reglation because their donors tell them to.

True but completely free market gives the same results. Without regulation the established players will shutdown competition by selling services at below cost until competitors go out of business, paying for exclusive rights, using vendor lock-in or any one of a handful of nasty tactics to kill competition. So the problem is not that they go to governments asking for legislation - after all that is what the small, innovative companies have done too. The problem is that the politicians rarely seem to make decisions based on what they think will give the best outcome for society.

Re:another great example... (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 6 months ago | (#46635979)

True but completely free market gives the same results.

No it doesn't.

Without regulation the established players will shutdown competition by selling services at below cost until competitors go out of business

In the price is too low, other drivers will go home, not "out of business". As soon as the would-be-monopolist raises prices again, competition will reappear in about five minutes. Your scenario requires high barriers to entry. Offering rides for sale in a society with widespread car ownership has near zero barriers to entry.

Re:another great example... (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 6 months ago | (#46636065)

But you've already identified that this is not a free market, which makes your post nothing more than an extremely poor troll.

-1, Douche

Re:another great example... (1)

ruir (2709173) | about 6 months ago | (#46636795)

Yep, back here the local bus and taxis were too worried about the competition of the emergent car sharing market for people arriving/departing, they were strong arming them and trying to forbid them to do that at the regular pickup places that cabs and normal cars use. Finally after much racket, they established a "parking" zone, which of course only can be used by the companies that pay fees to the airport.

City Airports aren't run by libertarians (2)

billstewart (78916) | about 6 months ago | (#46635113)

It shouldn't be much of a surprise, but just because Silicon Valley is libertarian-leaning, that doesn't mean that the government-run airports in San Jose, San Francisco, or Oakland are libertarian. Of course, even if they were libertarian-run, they might still view taxi service to/from the airport as a profit center, but San Francisco airport in particular is much more likely to restrict access by services that compete with city-medallion taxis.

Re:City Airports aren't run by libertarians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46635339)

It shouldn't be much of a surprise, but just because Silicon Valley is libertarian-leaning...

By what evidence? By what defintion? Question your premises. I doubt you'll find more than 5% of the voters are libertarian in theory or practice.

Please, proove me wrong.

Re:City Airports aren't run by libertarians (1)

alen (225700) | about 6 months ago | (#46635505)

city airports are paid for by debt backed by the fees that travelers pay to use them
some of these startups are trying to use the infrastructure and avoid the fees
they aren't libertarians, just leeches

Re:City Airports aren't run by libertarians (1)

PPH (736903) | about 6 months ago | (#46635799)

No. They are run by port authorities. Who are about as close to pure socialist institutions as you'll find in this country.

Re:City Airports aren't run by libertarians (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 6 months ago | (#46637263)

The argument made by airport operators is that the money they collect from taxis, private car parking, rental car operations and other ground transport is used to maintain the road networks and parking lots around the airport, hence when someone comes along offering a service that (from the point of view of the airport) looks just like a service already operating but isn't paying the same money, the airport is going to say "hey, the taxis are paying, you guys are doing the same thing, using the same roads etc, pay up".

What is it with curtwoodward? (4, Insightful)

ddtstudio (61065) | about 6 months ago | (#46635117)

In the last few days he's posted two highly biased, agenda-driven things on Slashdot's main page. Both take the perspective that it's eeeevil guvmint trying to crack down on plucky, innovative, honest corporations who just wanna do right by you. In the way he presents these highly questionable narratives, there's no no room for the facts that city governments have had long-standing regulations for cab and ride services that require adequate levels of insurance and other means of covering liability when Bad Things Happen.

One such case of Things happened New Years's Eve here in San Francisco, when a ride-service (yeah, it's not "sharing" if you exchange a service for a fee) driver ran over and killed a child. The company in question, because it had been throwing tantrums and refusing to comply with existing regulations (not to mention publicly ranting that the city was trying to "kill innovation"), didn't have coverage and refused all liability, putting it all on the driver.

If these companies cannot afford to comply with existing safety regulations, the way cab companies have and do, maybe they aren't a viable business model and need to innovate all over again.

Re:What is it with curtwoodward? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46635523)

With regards to the Uber-X New Years Day accident, you are leaving out some important details. Such as the driver at fault didn't have a paying Uber customer in his car, nor was he on the way to pick one up.

The best the city could come up with is that his phone was logged into the Uber app....so it's not entirely clear (legally) if his own liability insurance should pay or Uber's. Aside from that it was just a tragic accident, not anything to do with safety of the program. It's akin to an off-duty cop getting into an accident. Because he had his radio, badge, gun etc does that mean the city is liable?

   

Re:What is it with curtwoodward? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46635691)

if a cab does not have a fare riding in it, is it suddenly a private vehicle and not the cab company's responsibility?

Was the Uber driver out driving that night for any reason other than wishing to land an Uber fare contract in order to earn some money?

Re:What is it with curtwoodward? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 6 months ago | (#46638795)

If a pizza delivery guy, who is reimbursed to use his own car, creams someone on the way to work, and not while delivering, is he personally liable?

In any case, this isn't about insurance -- that's a smokescreen. It's about using one issue to restrict competition for established players. New companies can get insurance, if that's the established players' only beef.

Look in the mirror and repeat after me: "...but it's not."

Re:What is it with curtwoodward? (1)

phorm (591458) | about 6 months ago | (#46640535)

Actually, that's a good question. I also wonder about the reimbursement for the car. Around here, you need to be insured "for business use." The insurance is still your own, though. I'm not sure that most pizza kids can afford the extra cost of "business use" insurance, so they're probably SOL in a lot of cases.

Re:What is it with curtwoodward? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46639039)

Interesting questions - and they show what often seems to be the truth of much of the peer-to-peer "revolution". Usually it seems to be a way to individually reap the benefits and rewards while evading the burdens and costs.

Re:What is it with curtwoodward? (2)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about 6 months ago | (#46637277)

I don't know if the headline came from the submitter or an editor, but "How Airports Became Ground Zero In the Battle For Peer-to-Peer Car Rentals" is one of the most egregious examples of needlessly inflammatory clickbait I have seen.

"Airports", "Ground Zero", "Battle", what images do these words suggest? (Hint: Lower Manhattan, tall buildings, September 11, 2001.) Is it appropriate to invoke those images when discussing a relatively silly and inconsequential spat between taxi providers? (Another hint: this is a rhetorical question; the correct answer is no.)

Re:What is it with curtwoodward? (1)

curtwoodward (2147628) | about 6 months ago | (#46641959)

Headline came from the submitter, which was me. It's also the headline on the main article linked, which I also wrote, so I'm your source of nefarious clickbait for the day. I'm really sorry if the headline brought up traumatic associations with 9/11 for you. Clearly I was not anticipating that, and wasn't intending it. In general I try not to go over the top with headlines, promise! But their function is to make a (hopefully) nuanced, detailed article enticing in as few words as possible. And I actually do agree that war metaphors are used too often in the business, sports, and political press. Guess I should remind myself of that next time. :)

Re:What is it with curtwoodward? (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 6 months ago | (#46637463)

Maybe that's because government *is* evil and will happily crush anyone in its path? Especially in highly left-wing cities like San Francisco, where by default people -especially those who couldn't cut it in real life and resorted to government jobs - *really do* think that companies are evil, evil, evil and want to make profit by throwing babies into wood chippers.

Re:What is it with curtwoodward? (1)

ddtstudio (61065) | about 6 months ago | (#46638991)

Citation, please? Peer-reviewed sources preferred.

(Conservapedia and Mies fan blogs do not count.)

Re:What is it with curtwoodward? (1)

curtwoodward (2147628) | about 6 months ago | (#46641923)

Suppose I can take a crack at this one! I not only posted this article, I am its author. (I'm using the singular because I can't tell which is the second main-page posting in the past few days that touches this topic). **TL;DR I'm great! Nothing's "with me," how are you tho you seem mad :(** While I can't quibble with the way you felt the article was constructed or intended - your experience is authentically yours and I respect that - I certainly don't agree with the analysis that this rental-car startup piece was highly biased and driven by an agenda that seeks to make government into an evil, illegitimate actor. The narrative of the piece roughly flows this way: One rental car startup broke the rules, and got shut down. They decided to run and fight. Another startup doing something similar decided to play by the rules and get the proper approvals. These two companies are part of a trendy sector, which has seen a lot of this battling with local regulators. But now, as they grow up, some of them appear to be playing nice and acting as reasoned, pragmatic businesses rather than striking the libertarian hero pose. The Uber mention therein is mostly a side note. This article doesn't really have much to do with Uber specifically.

We are becoming Third World (3, Informative)

jtara (133429) | about 6 months ago | (#46635317)

Great. Now we have a bunch of under-insured, illegal jitney drivers, just like any third-world nation...

Read the tales of woe of Uber-X drivers who have lost their personal insurance. Yes, riders and the other driver in an accident are covered by Uber-X, up to an inadequate $100,000.

California Livery law requires $1,000,000 insurance, though, and specific licensing to drive passengers for hire.

These drivers typically have neither of these, though. And personal policies generally specifically exclude driving for hire. So, driver gets in an accident, Uber pays, and driver is now out of a job (or side job) and is uninsurable.

Re:We are becoming Third World (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636043)

Seems like there is a simpler solution to the problem than outlawing such services. The solution should be something along the lines of forcing insurance companies to cover for hire drivers like they would have to for any other passenger. Why does 'for hire' make any difference what-so-ever in the first place? If I drive 200,000 miles a year and my neighbor drives less than 1000 and both are personal there isn't a premium for one over the other even though the 200,000 miles makes it more risky to insure the one over the other. The other idea might be to simply have Uber do it as part of it's services. I'm assuming Uber provides some sort of service already and charges for it, and it's not like Craigslist (traditionally, which didn't charge for anything and and more like a place to post 'wanted' / 'for sale' advertising).

Re:We are becoming Third World (2)

bws111 (1216812) | about 6 months ago | (#46636269)

First, I don't know what you mean that there is no premium difference between someone who drives 200000 miles a year and someone who only drives 1000. There certainly is a difference.

Second, of course it matters if you drive for hire. Your liability insurance does not cover you, it covers others you injure. If you crash your car a don't injure anyone other than yourself your insurance pays nothing. That same crash with a paid passenger could cost the insurance company hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Last, that is exactly how it works today - the company carries the insurance. But these wonderful new 'innovative' companies think they should be exempt from all that. Because, you know, it's DIGITAL, so normal rules do not apply.

Re:We are becoming Third World (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636289)

Drive for hire is inherently more dangerous. Fares want to be dropped off "here, right here", and these kinds of last-minute notifications tend to lead to drivers making more risky maneuvers to cut across traffic and get to the desired destination. Fares pressure a driver because they are in a hurry, and tend to provide more distractions than the average passenger (which in the US is "not a passenger" - most car journeys are solo.) Drivers-for-hire drive for longer, and tend to drive for longer whilst tired.

(And I don't know about you, but I do get a price break for not driving all that far in a year. If your neighbour doesn't, he needs to change insurance.)

Re:We are becoming Third World (3, Insightful)

pepty (1976012) | about 6 months ago | (#46636417)

The solution should be something along the lines of forcing insurance companies to cover for hire drivers like they would have to for any other passenger. Why does 'for hire' make any difference what-so-ever in the first place? If I drive 200,000 miles a year and my neighbor drives less than 1000 and both are personal there isn't a premium for one over the other even though the 200,000 miles makes it more risky to insure the one over the other.

If forced to cover for hire drivers they probably would add a huge extra fee to cover the added risk and higher coverage ($1 million minimum in CA); more of their customers will be driving more miles, so the company will end up with more claims overall. The claims will also involve more passengers, so the average expense per claim would rise a bit. They would probably also raise rates after moving violations even more than they do now. I don't think they charge for insurance per-mile because it would be a pain to keep track and would encourage tampering with the odometer/ECU.

Re:We are becoming Third World (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 6 months ago | (#46638119)

Some insurances companies might cover for hire drivers. However the premiums are going to be drastically higher than what you pay for your personal insurance.

Re:We are becoming Third World (4, Insightful)

spasm (79260) | about 6 months ago | (#46636081)

I moved to the US 14 years ago from another developed nation, but had spent a lot of my childhood in developing nations; I quickly found that anything that baffled me in the US abruptly made a *lot* more sense when viewed as if the US is a third world nation.

single payer health care system (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 6 months ago | (#46636503)

can help to cut some of the insurance cost and any ways what about auto drive cars? they can be driving thought an legal mind field

The Internet will meet its match (2)

bytesex (112972) | about 6 months ago | (#46636447)

Never mind spying governments, Microsoft and/or Apple, or the RIAA - anywhere where the Internet will try to compete with the mafia, the Internet will fail. Because just like the mafia, the Internet is an unregulated bunch, but unlike the mafia, the Internet does not use fists and/or real-life weaponry when it doesn't get what it wants.

Taxi-business, garbage-collection - Internet people shouldn't even try it. They'll come after you.

Re:The Internet will meet its match (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46638203)

Yes, but unlike the mafia, the internet has eyes everywhere. The internet has the power to investigate and expose. Of course the mafia has the power to conceal and hide. But I don't think it's as easy as saying "mafia is greater than internet".

Re:The Internet will meet its match (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 6 months ago | (#46639747)

It cant last forever in the Information Age.

Automated Dispatch Taxi Services are still Taxis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636811)

The fundamental difference between so-called 'ride sharing' service and taxis or cars-for-hire is that the former have an automated dispatch system and part-time drivers, while the latter have human dispatchers and different employment models. All of these are ride-for-hire. One might argue that the current costs of taxi licenses, insurance regulations etc. are excessive. However, if you want to argue that, the argument would apply to the established ride for hire industry just as much as it does to new ones. The argument seems be getting made that the new auto-dispatch car services are materially different. I would suggest that they are only different in (1) they have a new dispatch system and (2) they appear not to meet the letter of the law that would bring them under existing regulation. A new dispatch system will not inherently effect the issues existing regulations are intended to address: safety, liability, market crowding. Since all are in the same business, differing only in dispatch technology, there is no apparent reason that the same regulations should not apply to the new businesses-- neither more not less stringent than for the established businesses. A free-market is most free if all players in an industry that are *materially* the same carry the same regulatory burdens. If the regulations are excessive, then they should be reduced for existing ride-for-hire entities. If the regulations are reasonable then the new businesses using automated dispatch systems should be subject with the same regulations. Whichever the dispensation of the existing regulations, everyone should be playing by the same rules (and regulations). Once everyone is playing by the same rules, the competition will be on the merits of the service and efficiency of operation, as well as fashion, personal preference, and marketing -- the most fair market discriminators we can realistically achieve.

Are things so different in the US? (2)

spacec0w (894586) | about 6 months ago | (#46638239)

In Spain 100% of the cab rides (50+) I've taken have had courteous, social drivers (at least as far as Spanish people are courteous), fast, fairly metered, in modern cars with air conditioning, etc. I think a few times they may have taken a slight detour, but nothing I would get upset about. And cabs are pretty much always available, pretty much all times of day. And the prices are fine, cheap even. So, I don't know if this is an American problem but I definitely would not welcome so called peer-to-peer car services destroying what is a functioning, well-regulated, economy here. I think what it would put in its place would be a city with a similar service, for a similar price (although probably fluxuating much more wildly, with price-gouging effectively condoned) but with the car drivers not being able to actually count on what they do as a full time job. I can already book a cab in real time with a mobile app, and get them to pick me up at a certain time by phone. So how does this really benefit me, or anyone, in the long term? It seems like it's just making one more sector a horrible one to work in. At least in terms of stability.

Rear Admiral Grace Hopper on getting permission (1)

GPS Pilot (3683) | about 6 months ago | (#46639327)

Grace was a renowned innovator. And her favorite saying was "It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission."

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/G... [wikiquote.org]

For aficionados of Grace, Dave Letterman's interview [youtube.com] is a must-see.

Its all about the Tax (1)

cgfsd (1238866) | about 6 months ago | (#46639647)

It all boils down to companies paying tax to someone one, be it the government or airports in this case.
As long as everyone pays the taxes, no issues. Try to bypass the taxes and lawyers shall descend upon thee.

SFO is cheap compared to other airports for taxes, in Vegas it works out to be about 50% tax on top of the rental bill.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>