By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Your elected officials want to force you to take a cab

Under a proposed bill to help the taxi industry (already passed by the House), ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft would be banned from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and from Logan Airport.

You know, if the Legislature really wants to help cabs, it could ban walking, too.

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  1. Innovative legislation, ban innovation in a Innovation District! Cleverly clairvoyant; politically polluted.

  2. If the convention center was financed by the sale of taxi medallions, shouldn’t that mean that there are more taxis now? And wouldn’t that lead to a lower fare?

    I wouldn’t object to regulating ride sharing services and requiring those drivers to get livery insurance, and it seems like a reasonable reaction to increased competition would be to lower fares for taxis, but banning ride sharing services from some venues altogether is ridiculous. I’ll be shocked if it flies.

  3. Were it not for the big money that Uber has apparently spent lobbying government agencies and elected officials around the globe to allow it to operate a taxi service (using “independent contractors” rather than hired perm drivers who would be more costly to lay off and provide benefits to, etc.) , perhaps Uber and Lyft would not have been allowed to do business in City of Boston in a way that ignored previously enacted local regulations and laws that regulate other taxi industry companies? And just because the Chief Administrator of the MBTA also used to work with Uber’s Boston area marketing representative at Bain Capital in the early 21st-century doesn’t mean that the MBTA should have cut its late night and early morning T service recently in order to create more late night and early morning student riders/customers for Uber. Besides subjecting Uber and Lyft to all of the same taxi service regulation rules/laws that competing taxi service companies must now adhere to, some alternative solutions might be for the City of Boston to municipalize its taxi service industry in 2016, roll back dramatically all taxicab fares, reform the whole apparently corrupt medallion distribution set-up, and run the municipalized taxi service on a non-profit basis itself or as a division of an MBTA (in which administrator salaries and rider fares were also rolled back and Big Dig debt payment obligations were shifted to Boston’s 10-largest corporate and tax-exempt university employers, like Harvard, etc.) with unionized permanent taxi service drivers who are eligible for unemployment insurance and other benefits..

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