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Lyft and competition in the Taxi Market

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by jstriebel » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:40 am

I really can understand how Lyft is perceived as unfair competition.

But the response needs to be for MTC to deregulate some AND to utilize more and better technology.

Taxis are NOT practical in STL, and the status quo is BS.
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by innov8ion » Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:17 pm

jstriebel wrote:I really can understand how Lyft is perceived as unfair competition.

But the response needs to be for MTC to deregulate some AND to utilize more and better technology.

Taxis are NOT practical in STL, and the status quo is BS.

Agreed, jstriebel.

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by Aesir » Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:36 pm

Lost in all this is the issue of why the hell we have a Taxi Commission with 3 of the members directly part of the major taxi companies (probably more).

If that isn't corruption, I dunno what is.
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by innov8ion » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:45 am

Aesir wrote:Lost in all this is the issue of why the hell we have a Taxi Commission with 3 of the members directly part of the major taxi companies (probably more).

If that isn't corruption, I dunno what is.

Because it's guaranteed by an out-of-date state law that precludes competition in the market. It makes sense to have taxi representation on a taxi commission but much less when it serves to stifle innovation and consumer choice as it does now.

Contact your state representative:

- http://inspire.innov8ion.com/2014/04/ap ... in-st.html
- http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C000-099/0670001806.HTM
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by TheNewSaintLouis » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:03 am

I don't think the Taxi Commission nor the City would have thought of a Lyft or Uber would ever come of existence however it's time to let those rules go & be more progressive & welcoming.

People are always going to want options particularly over much dreaded taxi's.

Lyft & Uber are good for STL.
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by mattonarsenal » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:57 am

Curious... Has Lyft even been operating since its initial few weeks of operation a couple of months ago? I tried it out a few times, and liked it, but every time I checked the app after the first couple of weeks there were no rides available. I figured they shut down operations due to the legal issues, but maybe I just wasn't patient enough and demand exceeded drivers?

Overall it was a great service.

Another question... they seemed like they had all their ducks in a row with driver background checks, insurance and car inspections. What was the actual issue with the MTC, not paying some kind of fee (aka bribe) to MTC so they could work in STL?
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by roger wyoming II » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:06 am

^ Its an issue going on all across the country.... it is an understandable transition of how to fit this new type of service into antiquated regulatory systems.
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by innov8ion » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:52 pm

mattonarsenal wrote:Curious... Has Lyft even been operating since its initial few weeks of operation a couple of months ago? I tried it out a few times, and liked it, but every time I checked the app after the first couple of weeks there were no rides available. I figured they shut down operations due to the legal issues, but maybe I just wasn't patient enough and demand exceeded drivers?

Overall it was a great service.

Another question... they seemed like they had all their ducks in a row with driver background checks, insurance and car inspections. What was the actual issue with the MTC, not paying some kind of fee (aka bribe) to MTC so they could work in STL?

Lyft stopped operations in respect of the local court's decision. It's been months since they have provided service in the metro area.

What's the actual issue raised by the MTC? When it comes down to it, Lyft is approximately 20% cheaper and provides better service than local taxis. The MTC is afraid of competition although they will never admit it openly. The RFT posted an analysis of the issues the judge raised.
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by jstriebel » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:15 pm

I happen to think the MTC is right that Lyft is a comparable service and should be subject to similar regulations. Whether they should be subject to the exact same regulations probably requires a more in-depth look than I've given it.

But ultimately the point is that we need to re-evaluate those regulations, how they're being created, and how they're being enforced.

Because the system we have right now is stymying innovation and competition. Which is utterly awful for the consumer.
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by dweebe » Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:32 pm

Are Ride Sharing Services Cutting Down On Drunk Driving?

http://autos.aol.com/article/ride-sharing-uber-drunk-driving/
Uppity Doopity Dop
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by moorlander » Thu Jul 17, 2014 2:12 pm

Does anyone have a preference between Lyft and Uber? Does either differentiate themselves?
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by innov8ion » Thu Jul 17, 2014 2:17 pm

moorlander wrote:Does anyone have a preference between Lyft and Uber? Does either differentiate themselves?

Uber offers many services so it's not an apples to apples comparison. Of the Uber offerings below, only uberX can be compared to Lyft. Ref: https://www.uber.com/

Only the Uber offerings of Taxi, Black, SUV, and LUX are traditional taxi services. This is why Mayor Slay has stated on Twitter that Uber will hit the market before Lyft will. To be clear, this excludes uberX as it faces similar hurdles as Lyft.

"It's important to clarify that Uber has not be been talking with the Mayor's team about its ridesharing product, UberX," Simpson said. "Uber has been focused only on its professional limo product called Uber Black, and that's why it hasn't sought significant changes at this point to the existing rules. The limo rules clearly do apply to Uber Black, and those rules clearly do not apply to ridesharing. As in every other location around the country, we anticipate that if Uber ever decides to bring its UberX ridesharing product to St. Louis, Uber will seek the same regulatory changes that Lyft will be seeking."

From: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt ... 26a46.html


Uber Service Levels:
- uberX: Peer to peer transportation like Lyft. This is where drivers like you and I can use our own cars as "taxis" to give people rides using the uberX app. Of course, only after we've gone through the approval process and are insured.
- Taxi: Yellow taxi
- Black: High-end, black sedan taxi
- SUV: SUV (seats up to 6) taxi
- LUX. Luxury taxi
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by mattonarsenal » Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:01 pm

jstriebel wrote:I happen to think the MTC is right that Lyft is a comparable service and should be subject to similar regulations. Whether they should be subject to the exact same regulations probably requires a more in-depth look than I've given it.

But ultimately the point is that we need to re-evaluate those regulations, how they're being created, and how they're being enforced.

Because the system we have right now is stymying innovation and competition. Which is utterly awful for the consumer.


I've been following the pretty closely, and I still don't understand what Lyft/UberX are trying to avoid?

They both seem to have pretty strict requirements for drivers/vehicles, that made me feel confident climbing into a Lyft ride. Where are they falling short? Does MTC have regulations that are written so it is impossible for these services to comply? Is there an actual quota for taxis on the street, so they would force all of the "ride share" drivers to pay a fee for a medallion or similar?

What appealed to me was the ease of the technology, which is something the taxi companies could fairly easily implement. But more importantly, the increased supply and service that they offered far exceeds my experience with cabs in STL.
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by innov8ion » Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:03 pm

^ The MTC's code is ~80 pages long or something. It's pretty ridiculous.

This is why a two-tiered system is being developed in Chicago: http://voices.suntimes.com/business-2/u ... g-chicago/

St. Louis is currently backward in this regard as it treats peer to peer taxi services like uberX and Lyft the same as traditional taxi services. This is wrong and the FTC has already stated so as it stifles innovation and reduces consumer choice.

However, County Executive Dooley and Mayor Slay have an opportunity to show leadership in creating a two-tier system within the MTC that would enable innovation and consumer choice in the peer to peer segment of the taxi industry.

As had been stated earlier, common sense dictates it will reduce the percentage of DUI arrests and problems caused by drunk drivers. This appears to be a safety issue that our leaders are on the wrong side of.

If you want a two-tiered regulatory system that promotes safety and choice, let Dooley and Slay know.
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by Greatest St. Louis » Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:57 am

Taxicab commission changes pave way for Uber to enter St. Louis:

http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/blog ... -uber.html

But hold your horses:

The rule changes pave the way for Uber to operate its Uber Black service, which offers premium sedan rides. It differs from UberX, which allows nonprofessional drivers to use their own cars to give rides.


Not only that, but:

Meanwhile, Lyft, the peer-to-peer ride-sharing company that has been barred from doing business in St. Louis pending a final ruling from a St. Louis judge, received more bad news.

Lyft won’t be back in court until August 2015, according to MTC spokesman Richard Callow.

Hamilton said the commission likely won’t negotiate with Lyft until the matter has played out in court.


Thuggish taxicab commission.

UGH
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