Judge tells Boston to revise the way it regulates cabs and ride-share services

The Globe reports on an order issued by a federal judge yesterday that gives the city six months to revise its car-for-hire rules - and that if it wants to continue treating services such as Uber and Lyft differently, it it better be prepared to show some really good reasons.

Read the judge's order.

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Good

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Good

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I agree

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Do away completely with the medallion system and go to a simple regulation system such as the ride-shares are currently subject too.

(What, that's not what the taxi services want? They want to eliminate any possible competition and keep their artificial monopoly? To bad they've done such a dreadful job with their own industry that they'd have riot on their hands if the ride-shares were forced to leave town!)

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Terrific

While we're at it, can this judge order taxi drivers as a collective to actually do their jobs, and stop driving like complete assholes? And maybe get some actual enforcement behind this?

Also, has everyone forgotten that the taxi industry had a service called Hailo (founded by taxi drivers in London) a few years back? People could literally hail a cab just like an Uber or Lyft and pay with the app. It was the exact. Same. Thing. And people still chose to use Uber and Lyft. Hailo shut down US operations in 2014, citing pricing pressure from Uber and Lyft.

Boston cabbies, and the taxi industry as a whole, had the chance to be competitive dropped into their laps, and they blew it. We were actually the first US city to get it. We've now seen what this industry can do when it wants to make something happen, and if pricing was the issue for Hailo/the industry, they could have worked to be more competitive. But instead, when they're getting hammed by consumers in a free market economy, they decide to just piss and moan about one set of regulations to make it go away, all while they collectively ignore the regulations, and traffic laws, that aren't convenient to them on daily basis.

A quick personal Hailo anecdote: When the service launched, I used it a few times to get around the city, and it wasn't bad. Got a few good drivers (while my above statements are collective, there are good cab drivers out there), never had to worry about "broken" card machines, I could enter my destination and the driver had the GPS to follow, etc. Just like Uber and Lyft, but in a cab. Then, one fateful rainy night, it happened. It was late, cold, and wet. I decided to grab a cab home, a destination I hadn't actually tried using with Hailo yet. I hail my cab, 4 minutes until arrival. While I wait, I enter my destination in East Boston. 30 seconds later, ride cancelled by driver.

Uber had me home 15 minutes later.

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No property rights in medallions

Glad to see the judge saw through the taxi-ites attempt to claim medallions were some magic things they had property rights in and dismissed the taxi-ites' claims that allow non-medallion-owners to carry passengers was a 5th Amendment taking and that the taxi-ites had some sort of "contract" with the city that guaranteed only medallion owners could carry passengers.

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I'm fascinated to see the

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I'm fascinated to see the love for Uber coming from Young Urban Progressives. Especially because of the nature of Uber - the Walmart/McDonald's of taxi services. Uber takes what is, for many people a full time job and turns it into a part-time, personel-churning race to the bottom. Think about this - the one-percenters who invest in Uber don't even have to buy the vehicles, much less maintain them. And needless to say - no health care costs, no nothing! They don't even pay enough to cover maintenance and running consts of the suckers' cars.

Enjoy you McTaxi rides!

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Well hell, if you're going to play the stereotype game

I'll spin it right back at you: Uber is not the Walmart/McDonald's of taxi services, but rather the homegrown, artisanal version of a high-volume, low-quality product. Furthermore, the focus on digital operations, as well as the pollution reduction from using a location-based system and lack of idling at taxi stands are extremely eco-friendly, making this a much greener option.

Your move, anon troll.

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Who are you comparing Uber to here?

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You are pretty down on Uber, but are you implying that Medallion owners are better? I was not aware medallion owners provide health insurance or even a living wage to their drivers.

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Right

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Medallion owners offer nothing to the drivers. Driver have to lease the medallion - they're paying the owner, not the other way around.

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wow

it never occurred to me that was a rule

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regulation

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If the city and state regulate the business of providing transportation for a fee, then everyone should all come under the same rules. Setting up separate rules for cabs and then for other drivers is the crux of the complaint. Taxi drivers have a far larger burden of regulation and expense than Uber and Lyft drivers. One of the reasons Hailo died is because they couldn't compete on price and make it work for the drivers, Uber and Lyft also face the insurance and employee or not employee fights to come. None of this is a done deal.

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