“There’s a debate right now in Washington about rules that could discourage the innovative on-demand car service company, Uber. Not hard to guess which side I’m on — I’m on the side of innovation,” said Federal Communications Commission Chairman, Julius Genachowski, in an unusual show of political support for an issue he has no authority over. The move shows the growing opposition to D.C.’s taxi union, which is continuing its yet unsuccessful bid to regulate the popular on-demand cab service, after a very public online protest shut down the union’s first attempt earlier in the summer.
While the union fronts public safety reasons for pushing regulation, the more obvious reason is that Uber’s more innovative service is cutting into taxis’ already slim business. “My business is way down and it is very difficult to make a living at this moment,” said one D.C. cab driver to local broadcast affiliate, ABC 7.
Local lovers of Uber, however, are not mincing words for why they prefer it, “It is 10 times better than dirty, filthy D.C. cabs where the drivers don’t speak English and barely know where they’re going,” said resident Richard Howill to ABC 7. “It costs a little more and I’m happy to pay it.”