Taxi lawsuit: Uber a crime syndicate that hates poor people and cancer patients and puts public safety at riskBy adamg - 4/4/13 - 8:18 am
A lawsuit by key members of the local taxi industry against upstart Uber is now a federal matter - San Franisco-based Uber yesterday had the suit transferred from state court to US District Court in Boston.
In the suit, Boston Cab Dispatch and EJT Management charge Uber, which lets customers use a smart-phone app to arrange a ride, violates state law, which requires taxis in Boston to carry medallions.
The companies charge Uber lets drivers refuse rides to certain neighborhoods. As East Boston residents know, city law prohibits medallion drivers from refusing rides there.
The Boston Business Journal reports.
David Lavitman, a Milton driver who signed up for Uber, has sued the car service, claiming its illegally keeping half drivers' tips.
Lavitman filed his suit in state court in December, but Uber had it moved to federal court this month.
Lavitman alleges the company collected a 20% gratuity fee on all rides, but only gave half that to drivers.
Uber tells the Boston Business Journal drivers keep all the gratuities, but that it does take a percentage of the meter fee plus $1 per trip.
Hail, no: Rider says online cab reservation services have their problems, but both beat the old way of grabbing a cabBy adamg - 10/19/12 - 8:12 am
Dave Levy compares Uber and arriviste Hailo:
As an end-user, I'll likely go back and forth depending on wait times; the ability to choose and have multiple options only makes transportation around Boston better.
The state Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, which oversees the now infamous standards division, said today the division will issue an operating certificate to Uber now that it has learned a national standards body is evaluating GPS-based metering systems like the one Uber uses.
The office's statement came just a couple of hours after Gov. Patrick's spokesman vowed to get Uber back in the state's good graces, a couple weeks after the division had ruled Uber's GPS system illegal - following a sting operation set up by the city of Cambridge.
On the one hand: The sort of start-uppy people the city wants to attract to South Boston love the idea of Uber - which lets users reserve a cab-like car online. On the other hand: Cab drivers and owners are already pissed off about everything from having to take credit cards (which Uber does) to the loss of business to gypsy limos.
Uber, meanwhile, vows to kick what it says is antiquated state-regulatory ass and not shut down following a sting operation in Cambridge (Cambridge? Yes, Cambridge) that led to the state harrumphing.
The ruling could spell trouble for the company, which acts as a sort of broker for local drivers, across the river, where Boston Police also require cabs to be equipped with meters.