If you ask Uber customers what they think about its service, they'll have nothing but praise.
"It is 10 times better than dirty, filthy D.C. cabs where the drivers don't speak English and barely know where they're going," said Richard Howill. "It costs a little more and I'm happy to pay it."
Night or day, Uber cars are out there. You summon them to where you are through GPS and a smart phone app. They're sleek sedans and SUVs, always black, and from the tone of a hearing about them Monday, Uber is determined to fight Taxicab Commission red tape, saying regulations should be about safety and security, period.
"Clear guidelines around safety for the public, but it isn't on which mandates a whole lot of other things that don't seem to have any bearing on the public," said Rachel Holt.
Such a company must have a D.C. office with at least 20 vehicles. Council members are standing with Uber and against such regulations.
"We want this new technology," said D.C. council member Mary Cheh. "We will have this new technology. I expect these companies that do this to flourish."
No new changes take effect before December 31, if ever.
"We're working 80 plus hours a week," said one Uber driver. "It is very hard work, but we're putting our all in and we're getting returns."Many cab drivers are not happy, asking why Uber gets a free hand and they don't.
"My business is way down and it is very difficult to make a living at this moment," said one D.C. taxicab driver.