Yeah. I really don't get the nutjobs around here who run around bitching about how Taxis need less and less regulation. It's like they have no idea what it was like before the regulations were put in place. It's not like some politicians got together and conspired over the course of several decades to regulate an industry for the sole purpose of being dicks. Those regulations were instituted because taxi drivers and taxi companies were doing incredibly unethical things that were causing damage to both people and to the economy.
What I really don't get is the nutjobs (looking at you) who don't understand where Taxi regulation has ended up. It's easy to say how bad it used to be but now we have the end game of any regulatory regime where entrenched players totally control the "regulation" in order to tilt the playing field in their favor and erect barriers to entry that are all but impossible for a newcomer to overcome.
It's shameless. In NYC you have to buy a "medallion" in order to have a taxi. Hey, sounds easy, right? I mean, just go to the city and buy one, right?
They sold a very limited number of them and then quit. The secondary market has pushed the price of the medallion into the high 6 figures last I looked, possibly over a million dollars now. Note that's just to run one single cab. The medallions are owned by rich people who use them as an investment and rent them to taxi drivers on a monthly basis.
Now, you tell me: how does that "help" me, the taxi industry, or anybody else besides the people who own the medallions?
In Nashville they had new regulations a few years ago backed by Gaylord (owners of Opryland) to "regulate" the limousine/sedan industry here. Again, utterly shameless. Gaylord was specifically exempted *by name* from the "regulations". The whole point was to drive a company called "Metro Livery" out of service, and hurt others. The regulations force companies to have cars that are no more than 5 years old and prices could be no lower than $50/ride among other things. Yes, they specifically put a minimum price in the ordinance. I had used Metro Livery to get rides to the airport so I knew who they were targeting. Their cars were a few years older but I could get personal sedan service for less than the cost of a taxi.
The entire point was to put a lower cost competitor out of business. Again, how does that help anybody except the big players? Hint: It doesn't.
I agree that this industry needs to be lightly regulated - having a meter requirement for taxis is an example of useful regulation. What we have now is not the regulation that is needed and has nothing to do with helping consumers.