Uber connects limos, riders but raises controversy
A new company--with an app--can help you catch a ride when no cabs are around. It's catching some heat from the D.C Taxicab Commission.
But it has support from one D.C. Councilmember.
Councilmember Mary Cheh says in her neighborhood of of upper Northwest, cabs are so unreliable she wants to give the new service, Uber, a chance:
Uber's a company that uses GPS-based smart phone apps to links riders with limo drivers between jobs.
Last week D.C Taxicab Commission Cchairman Ron Linton, who says it's illegal, set up a sting where he rode a limo found by Uber to the Mayflower, then confiscated the limo and fined the driver $2,000.
Cheh, who has oversight over taxis, sent him a letter saying she didn't like that.
"Let's not jump on this and try to kill it, let's figure out if we can make it work," Cheh says.
Linton says Uber's not legal under current law.
"They cannot be both a limosine and a taxicab," he says. "They have to be one or the other."
"We're neither," says Rachel Holt, Uber's D.C. Manager. "We're an efficient lead generation system.Just like Kayak is an airplane and Hotwire is a hotel."
It's expensive, about twice what a cab would cost for a two-mile ride.