State reps vote to ban Uber, Lyft pickups at convention center

The Globe reports, quotes one rep as saying the measure is not really to help cabbies but to help the "small" banks he says could be devastated if the cab medallions they lent money for collapse in value.

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Alright! More bailouts!

Now, if you're a "small", let's say individual investor, and your stocks tank, then tough poop. Way to go Mike Moran.

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I just emailed Mike Moran

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You can do the same.

Anyone know when he is up for re-election??

State House
Room 42
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617-722-2014
Email:[email protected]

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Big deal.....

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so they'll pick up across the street or around the corner.

I just love how legislators in a supposedly free country do everything they can in order to stifle the free market. But I guess that's what happens when the country is led by career politicians who never had a job in the real world.

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Please copy this message and make it go viral.

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Dear Conventioneers,

Welcome to Boston. Anyone attending an event at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) that would like to use Uber and Lyft may do so! Simply have the ride pick you up at 437 D Street. There is an exit right from the Westin Hotel (which is attached to the BCEC) to this address and you can wait inside the lobby while you wait for your ride. You never have to step foot outside except to get in your reliable ride!

- The Original SoBo Yuppie

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Hahah...

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I actually laughed out loud at the comment.

:::humbled:::

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“We owe the medallion

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“We owe the medallion industry a little better effort than just saying, ‘Sorry, there’s new technology, and you’re out of luck,’ ” said Moran.

But why? Why do we need to protect them from advances in technology? This is the way the world works. New technology replaces old technology. The world moves on.

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The needs of the public

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...must be overlooked, to enrich the pockets of a few bankers who are Too Small To Fail™

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Also

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(And I know I'm preaching to the choir here), it's less about new technology and more about people fed up with decades of shitty, expensive "service" and jumping all over the first consistent functional (T doesn't count) alternative to come along. And accept credit cards.

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The prob is

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Cabbies had an app. It sucked. Its more about the decades of shitty service than the App. I'm happy to ride in a NYC cab because the cabs are clean and well maintained (and the city pushes it). Boston cabs.. not so much.

Even still so we're going to keep around certain jobs and give them perks because technology soon will usurp them and call them out dated? What about Innovation?

And speaking of which.. so much for this being the "innovation district" when something innovating is not allowed to be used.

PS - Sounds like Moran is a shill for the cabbie industry. Maybe the issue is the medallion system, not technology.

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I'd go further than this

Cabs suck in NYC too. They refuse service to the outer boroughs, they're consistently rude, their cabs are often *not* well-maintained - in the summer, Uber is essential for the functioning A/C alone - and good luck getting a cab at all during peak hours.

It's a symptom of the medallion system. There's no incentive for good service when your fares are guaranteed and competition is illegal. The industry as it exists deserves to die. Everywhere.

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It's alot better

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It's alot better than it used to be.. NYC cabs were pretty much the equiv of what Boston has today.

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Not Anymore

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The cab industry has really turned around in NY. With 7,000 new green cabs on the streets, and multiple functional e-hail apps, you can pretty much be assured that a relatively new (and clean) vehicle will take you anywhere you want to go. Additionally, rideshare/app cars are registered as black cars and have TLC permits/plates. So everyone is regulated (and insured) in NY.

It's pretty much the opposite of cabs in greater Boston. No one wants to acknowledge the real problem that has kept Boston cabs shitty: the patchwork town-to-town regulations that keep cabs driving around Boston/Brookline/Somerville/Cambridge empty half the time, cutting down profits and making any kind of investment not worth it.

A regional medallion system would make so much more sense. I hoped the TNC competition would inspire some creative thinking on this, but no one tasked with "protecting" the taxi industry in Boston seems that creative.

As an aside, I do think that TNC cars in MA should be required to have livery plates and submit to driver background checks. There's no reason this growing industry should be completely unregulated and uninsured.

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Why would they care? They

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Why would they care? They have a monopoly thanks to the medallion system, so why put any money or effort into trying anything new? It's cheaper to lobby friendly politicians to ban any competition to your substandard service.

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they taxi and limo industry

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The DPU has rules and regulations, for taxis and limos. The City of Boston has regulations about vehicles for hire. How exactly are UBER and Lyft exempt from these? Oh they are ride sharing?
Come on I dont get why they have not been put under the same regulation.

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I love uber and lyft. Its

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I love uber and lyft. Its fast easy and affordable. Just a tap and youre gone lack that! Most cabs descriminate based on destination location and appearance. They have debit merchants in their vehicles and get mad when you use them. As soon as I got hip to Uber I said so long Metro Taxi! Theyre over priced slow and did I say over priced? I feel like the world needs to stop hatin and either get a goddamn job with uber or find another job. Taxis and shit will be a thing of the past soon and I cant fuckin wait

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Banks make bad investments

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...and the taxpayers bail them out again. Why can't we just let them deal with the consequences of their bad investments?

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Yay!

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That's what America is all about. Government interfering in private businesses and picking winners.

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or

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Or propping up the losers.

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Moran pointed out that the

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Moran pointed out that the sale of taxi medallions raised money that helped finance the convention center. “I love the convention center, but they wouldn’t be in that building if the taxi financing didn’t help put it together,” he said.

300 taxi medallions were auctioned for roughly $100,000 apiece. That money contributed to the convention center. Last year medallions were still selling for $350,000. Every year the medallions have been making money for the owners. It looks like the medallions have already paid for themselves.

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Good news

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We only need to see 100,000 more medallion then to properly fund the Convention Center, at least according to their bond request.

All we need to do to cover this is for all Boston residents to split up into groups of seven. If there isn't a cab driver in a group, then one of the group needs to come up with $100k to buy a medallion. This way the hacks at the BCC can properly feather their nests.

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Right in time for PAX. If

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Right in time for PAX. If Uber was smart, they'd be out there with clipboards collecting signatures this weekend

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Well, yeah, so any protest

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Well, yeah, so any protest wouldn't be a threat to unseat these guys (can they even be unseated at this point) but that they'll stop bringing their sweet sweet out of state dollars to blow on hotels and restaurants

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It is government which required the medallion.

Medallion holders need to be compensated for the now useless license. A ride share surtax can be structured to compensate the medallion holder/lender and allow for continued open market competition.

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No.

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That's just a bailout for the politicians that supported the medallion system. Let people take the loss. Let banks take the loss. Let the anger for the loss be at the pols. Vote them out!!!

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Article X of the Massachusetts Constitution

in part "And whenever the public exigencies require that the property of any individual should be appropriated to public uses, he shall receive a reasonable compensation therefor".

If I was told I needed to purchase a government license and then told that my business competitor did not need the license because it did not serve the public interest I would sue under Article X.

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Except that the medallions

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aren't private property being appropriated by the government - they are licenses issued by the government.

The fact that private individuals chose to inflate the value of the medallions by purchasing and selling them among themselves is irrelevant to the argument as to whether Uber and Lyft should be subject to stricter regulations as to where they can pick up and drop off passengers.

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An analogy for these lawsuits

Let's say you run a business. And you pay the Mafia a year's protection money up front, in return for a promise to keep competitors out of your neighborhood.

Now let's say halfway through the year the police break up your local Mafia outfit, and so competitors are now able to enter your neighborhood, and your business profits decline.

Do you have an Article X claim against the police for destroying the value that your protection money bought?

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Since there will need to be a

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Since there will need to be a contraction of the medallion supply, it would be fair for the government to buy back unwanted medallions and refund the original purchase price.

That would be more than fair. The world does not owe anyone a living.

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But why? They paid for a

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But why? They paid for a license to do business, did a shitty job, and now someone else is doing a better job competing against them. That's a cost of doing business.

This is the equivalent of compensating one restaurant that paid for a liquor license and is now doing a poor job competing against another restaurant.

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Happens all the time

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When new restaurants apply for a license, usually the competitors, or neighbors who have some connection to the place complain and state that the neighborhood doesn't "need" any more restaurants. To hell with letting the market decide, government tells us what we NEED.

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Except that...

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The new restaurant has no license and no insurance, and does not compete on a remotely level playing field.

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Except that the new

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Except that the new restaurant actually has MORE insurance than the old one.

Taxis generally have only the minimum amount of insurance required by the state ($20K), while Uber offers its drivers $1 million insurance while they are carrying passengers.

It's also worth noting that most taxi drivers do not own medallions. They have to rent them at a steep cost from a handful of owners. If the city simply started selling an unlimited amount of medallions to any qualified drivers for a nominal fee (say $100 or $200), it would save most taxi drivers a huge amount of money.

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Not directly

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But by setting a cap on the number of medallions, the city has (or had, until Uber and Lyft showed up) constrained supply and pushed prices up. It's the same reason so many liquor licenses disappeared from the outer neighborhoods to chain outlets downtown and along the water (except that in that case, the limit is set by the state legislature).

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Government also requires you

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Government also requires you have a physical address attached to your business, and some kind of license, pay taxes, apply for permits -- these are all the costs of doing business. If your business fails, you don't get to have the city give you back the property taxes for your office. Buying a medallion is like buying rental property - a large capital outlay to gamble that you will make back the money in profits. It's not the government's job to stave off any gambling losses when the taxi (or rental) market crashes.

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Why I hate Government

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What they are saying is we created a stupid system to restrict the free market in the first place, but the free market found a way to exist anyway. We justified our original stupidity using the logic that we had to keep the public safe and the people were stupid enough to go along with it. We had to put a stop to the free market making an end run around our stupid medallion system, or at least force Uber (et al) to Kowtow to us by way of campaign contributions, but the voting public likes Uber. So, let's force out of town conventioneers into our stubid cab system since they can't vote against us. And we will blame the banks since we blame everything else on them. Brilliant!

I hate career politicians.

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Oh come on

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You're required to at least TRY to convolute the laws of reason and logic and try to justify how this will be good for the consumer

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Michael Moran

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7/28/2015 Meister, Larry
45 Adams Ave Everett, MA 02149 Manager
Independent Taxi Operators Association $500.00

7/28/2015 Tamagna, Karen
221 Hampstead St Methuen, MA 01844 General Manager
Green Cab Co $250.00

7/28/2015 Horan, Cheryl
10 Pheasant Hill Lane Methuen, MA 01844 VP
Green Cab Yellow Cab $250.00

Looks like the medallion owners had a nice meeting w/Moran back in July.

If you'd like to discuss this issue w/Rep. Moran, just pop your head in 21st Amendment, Emmetts, or Carrie Nation. In 2015, he charged his campaign $1,712, $2,544, and $6,088 respectively for over 60 visits to these fine watering holes.

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Need Something, Just Not Medallions

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We do need a system for licensing, testing, fining etc. taxi drivers. AND Uber drivers, or any other type of livery service driver. However it should be equal for all, and low threshhold for all. There should not be limits, nor expensive fees. Something simple like $25 - 100 per year to cover the paperwork and yearly drivers test at BPD or the registry would suffice. And the same deal for all professional drivers, regardless of whether they are using a company or personal car.

On the other side, both Uber drivers and taxi cab drivers are severely underpaid, being run as contractors without benefits. That needs to change completely outside of the law, by pressuring those companies to treat employees [whether actual or contractors] fairly, and by providing benefits to those workers. Better still of course would be free tax-paid universal healthcare for ALL workers, but you know... that's going to be a longer battle.

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