Yakima City Council’s Vote May Run Uber Right Out Of Town
A lot of people in Yakima have used Uber before and are excited that we finally have it here. I grew up in a town where you would have to wait forty-five minutes to an hour-at minimum- for a taxi. Of course, my hometown city of Nashville has a much wider geographic and demographic location than, say, the city of Yakima, but it is not uncommon to, even in Yakima, have to wait a long time for a taxi to pick you up on a Friday or Saturday night. Tired of the same old same old, two blokes Paris wished they had an app to call up a taxi who would not keep them waiting, so they made the app themselves! Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp created Uber, the company that promises to get you a ride when you need it, often times for a cheaper rate than standard taxi companies.
Sounds great on paper, right? Get a cheaper taxi ride home and not have to worry about getting a DUI or snatching the keys out of your inebriated friend's hands. Unfortunately, there are local taxi companies in Yakima who do not want you to have the option of getting that safe and possibly more affordable ride home from your Uber app.
In a previous city council meeting, one taxi company spoke up and said that Uber is driving them out of business and taking all of their customers. I am not surprised, if I had the choice between paying $15 for a regular taxi or $7 from Uber, you best believe I'm choosing the most affordable option. It's called competition; we live in a capitalist society. Price wars are the name of the game, and the presence of Uber in Yakima means that our regular taxis need to step their game up!
I do not think it's honorable that these taxi companies think they can run Uber out of town. I also don't think it's ethical that other cities' councils have coddled local taxi businesses by raising the regulations for Uber (and Lyft) to exorbitant levels, preventing new and existing Uber drivers from affording the license and insurance fees. This would ultimately force the company right out of town. That being said, I DO believe there should be some regulations so that local Uber drivers do not start discriminating against women and passengers with "ethnic" sounding names.
I hope that our Yakima city council will make their decision one that is fair for both local and online taxis. Just as long as I don't have to wait twenty to thirty minutes for a taxi ride, or have to shell out more than $10 just to go a couple of miles down the road. I am very curious to see how the city council will vote on Tuesday!
The Yakima City Council meets every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at 6pm in City Council Chambers at City Hall (129 N 2nd St).