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Newark cabbies lawsuit against Uber, Lyft tossed | AP Jan 20 2017

Michael - Cleveland

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http://www.fox5ny.com/news/230411984-story
Newark cabbies lawsuit against Uber, Lyft tossed
AP Jan 20 2017

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft operate differently from traditional taxi companies and therefore don't have to be subject to the same regulations, a federal judge wrote this week in dismissing a lawsuit against the city of Newark filed by several taxi and limo companies.

U.S. District Judge William Walls' ruling Wednesday is the latest chapter in the dispute between taxi companies and New Jersey's largest city over how the ride-hailing companies are regulated - or not - and whether that illegally gives them an advantage.

It's a battle being fought in states and cities around the country as the ride-hailing companies gain a greater foothold among a younger demographic accustomed to using smartphones to meet many of their needs.

The taxi companies sued Newark last year, claiming Uber and Lyft should have to abide by the same rules as they do regarding background checks and insurance requirements.

Taxi drivers must pass a background check, submit to drug testing, pay application fees and obtain special commercial licenses, and have their vehicles inspected every six months, according to the lawsuit. The companies claim those conditions gave them exclusive rights to operate for-hire transportation in Newark.

Last year, Newark announced an agreement with Uber under which the company would pay the city $1 million a year for 10 years and would agree to some regulations including background checks by a third party and a liability insurance requirement. Those regulations didn't meet the regulations required of taxi and limo operators, the lawsuit contended.

Walls wrote that Uber and Lyft differ from traditional taxi companies in three important respects: They can't be hailed on the street; passengers have a pre-existing contractual relationship with the driver via the smartphone app; and the fares are not set by the city.

That eliminates the taxi companies' claim of equal protection violations, he wrote.

The taxi companies also say the value of their individual taxi medallions has dropped more than 50 percent since Uber began serving Newark in 2013. On Thursday, Walls wrote that doesn't constitute a violation.

"Because Plaintiffs remain in possession of the medallions and there is no property interest in their market value, Plaintiffs' Taking Clause and substantive due process claims fail," he wrote. "Property does not include a right to be free from competition."

An attorney representing the taxi companies didn't comment on the ruling when reached Friday.

Last month, New Jersey lawmakers approved a measure to make the ride-hailing services legal and to allow the state attorney general to decide whether the criminal background checks they use are sufficient or whether a different kind of check is needed. The measure still needs to be signed by Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

More than 30 states now have laws allowing for the ride-hailing companies.
 

Another Uber Driver

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That judge thinks that people are stupid, just like that other judge.

You may not be able to hail Uber cars on the street, but you can call a taxicab.

It is long and well established that there is at minimum, an implied contract between a cab driver and an even prospective passenger.........at least it is in District of Columbia Law.

Fares' not being set by the City is one of the complaints that cab drivers have against the TNCs.

This judge tries to ignore the bottom line. TNCs and cabs haul people for compensation, thus should be subject to similar, if not the same regulations.
 

Michael - Cleveland

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That judge thinks that people are stupid, just like that other judge.

You may not be able to hail Uber cars on the street, but you can call a taxicab.

It is long and well established that there is at minimum, an implied contract between a cab driver and an even prospective passenger.........at least it is in District of Columbia Law.

Fares' not being set by the City is one of the complaints that cab drivers have against the TNCs.

This judge tries to ignore the bottom line. TNCs and cabs haul people for compensation, thus should be subject to similar, if not the same regulations.
You are suggesting that because there was no basis in law for the Judge to find for the cabbies, that the judge must be an idiot. I find that absurd. If you don't like the laws and regulations or the cabbies contracts with the city then change them, don't shoot the messenger. The judge is correct - and that's why the TNCs have been able to ride rough-shod over cab companies across the country. Citizens' United was a court ruling that has been horribly detrimental to our nation - but it was the correct legal ruling. These are the rulings that show us the flaws in our laws and regulations - and need to be addressed by the legislative branches of government. Certainly you're not advocating for legislating from the bench?!
 

Another Uber Driver

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I did not suggest that the judge was an "idiot" nor did I call him one. I did state that the judge thinks that people are stupid. There is a difference.

I listed my reasons for disagreeing with the judge. Just because I disagree with someone does not make him an idiot, just as simply because someone disagrees with me does not make me one, despite what some people of certain political persuasions might proclaim. Thinking that people are stupid is not necessarily characteristic of an "idiot".

I did omit any mention of the complaints about the reduced medallion value. Said failure should be obvious and conspicuous. The reason for that is that the judge is correct that the courts and laws have little, if anything, to do with market forces, despite the best efforts of some municipal and State governments to control the same. Being aware of that would hardly be characteristic of an "idiot".

Perhaps cab drivers in Newark have contracts with the City, I do not know. They do not have contracts with them, here. Funny, too, in my extensive discussions with Lee Williams, he never mentioned contracts with the City of Newark. Lee Williams was Chairman of the D.C. Taxicab Commission under Mayor Anthony Williams (until the Mayor sacked him). Before that, he was in charge of the taxicabs in Newark. He was a retired Newark police occifer, as well.

Now, if you want to discuss taking the regulations off of taxicabs, that's a hoss uvva' diff'rint cullah. I am not against that, although there is the possibility of things decaying into such chaos that the governments will decide to return to overregulation of taxicabs and put the TNCs under the same tent.
 

Michael - Cleveland

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I did not suggest that the judge was an "idiot" nor did I call him one. I did state that the judge thinks that people are stupid. There is a difference.
Maybe - a thin difference.
I listed my reasons for disagreeing with the judge. Just because I disagree with someone does not make him an idiot, just as simply because someone disagrees with me does not make me one, despite what some people of certain political persuasions might proclaim. Thinking that people are stupid is not necessarily characteristic of an "idiot".
Yeah. hehe, ok.
Perhaps cab drivers in Newark have contracts with the City, I do not know. ... Funny, too, in my extensive discussions with Lee Williams, he never mentioned contracts with the City of Newark.
Whether the cab companies have contracts or not is irrelevant - the cabs are regulated' by the city. A breach of contract terms would be a civil matter - a breach of regulations would be a criminal matter. Both come before a court unless settled.
Now, if you want to discuss taking the regulations off of taxicabs, that's a hoss uvva' diff'rint cullah.
Indeed it is... and like you, I'm not sure how that plays out - or should play out. Should regulations be lifted in favor of passengers having the ability through 5-star rating systems to get a cab driver booted from his/her job? Should cab companies be required to 'deactivate' a cabbie for cherry-picking ride requests?
 

Another Uber Driver

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Maybe - a thin difference.

Yeah. hehe, ok.

Whether the cab companies have contracts or not is irrelevant - the cabs are regulated' by the city.

Indeed it is... and like you, I'm not sure how that plays out - or should play out. Should regulations be lifted in favor of passengers having the ability through 5-star rating systems to get a cab driver booted from his/her job? Should cab companies be required to 'deactivate' a cabbie for cherry-picking ride requests?
One of the wonderful things about being in America is that you are entitled to your opinion. You have stated yours. You are aware that mine is that the difference is anything but "thin".

I am not like certain elements of our society who can not comprehend the possibility that someone just might disagree with them in an intelligent manner. Please do not mistake me for one of those.

You raised the matter of contracts. I was replying to it. If it is "irrelevant", why did you raise it?

The possibilities are myriad. We could consume all sorts of bandwidth discussing it. Here is one that applies locally. It might apply in Cleveland, as well, or at least have the potential to be applied there.

Recently, the Capital of Your Nation allegedly initiated a rating system for the hackers. It is supposedly there, but no customer has manged to figure out how to use it. Further, there is no statement from the Bureau of For Hire Vehicles (the successor agency to the Taxicab Commission) as to any consequences for poor or excellent ratings, only a statement that such a system exists. It could, of course, be a gradualist method for the full implementation of a system whereby hackers can be "de-activated" or sent to school for poor ratings.

There is precedent for the latter, here, at least. In the past, hackers who had repeated or serious consumer complaints had their hack faces suspended, received a fine, and, as condition for re-instatement, were required to attend and pass (and pay for) the hack course offered by the Vocational Division of the University of the District of Columbia.

In addition, there was implemented a general requirement for a refresher course for all cab drivers (regardless of consumer complaints or lack thereof), but the University has offered it only once. The requirement is still on the books, but there is the proviso that in order for the DFHV/DCTC to enforce it, the University must offer it.

I have more, but in the interest of brevity to a specific post, and, in keeping it on-subject, I will save them for another post to this topic.

What possibilities are occurring to you?
 

Michael - Cleveland

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One of the wonderful things about being in America is that you are entitled to your opinion. You have stated yours. You are aware that mine is that the difference is anything but "thin".
That wasn't meant to contradict you - just poke fun that you went to such great lengths to say you didn't call the 'idiot' (which was my word, characterizing what you expressed). :wink:
I am not like certain elements of our society who can not comprehend the possibility that someone just might disagree with them in an intelligent manner. Please do not mistake me for one of those.
You've known me long enough to know me better than that!
You raised the matter of contracts. I was replying to it. If it is "irrelevant", why did you raise it?
We're boring people here, you know that, right? <sigh> Contracts and regulations governing the cabbies' relationship with Newark are not irrelevant - the existence or lack thereof of a contract is irrelevant when their is regulation in place: With one OR the other in place, one the fact that one doesn't exist is irrelevant.
What possibilities are occurring to you?
None really - I don't give the cabbie industry much thought (other than to damn the financiers, bankers and politicians - and hope the drivers can survive, thrive and feed their families).
 
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