“The TLC protects the taxi industry. And I don’t think anyone in their right mind can deny that fact,” SideCar co-founder Sunil Paul said to applause at Disrupy NY today.
Paul argued back and forth with New York Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) Deputy Commisioner of Policy and Programs Ashwini Chhabra, with Hailo’s Jay Bregman hopping in to discuss innovation in the New York taxi industry.
Chhabra argued that Sidecars too often act as unlicensed taxis, which he claims is dangerous. Paul argued that SideCar’s core users are 20-something year old women and claimed 71% of people surveyed think SideCars are safer than taxis.
“If something is not prohibited by code, the it should be allowed,” Paul said. Paul continued that the questions SideCar most frequently gets are about how much money is made and what the business model is, not about safety.
“Sharing is not a crime. We want to make sharing possible in New York,” Paul said, discussing an incident this past weekend where two SideCar drivers were stopped by New York police officers. Paul urged Disrupt attendees to tweet at New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and speak up to make change.
The panelists often talked over each other as they argued over the innovation of and restrictions placed on SideCar, Hailo, Uber, and others.
“You can be disruptive without being abrasive,” Bregman argued.
“If you want to be disruptive, you have to be willing to piss people off,” Paul countered.