D.C. Council Gives Uber Thumbs Up
Tuesday, the D.C. City Council unanimously passed a bill that promotes innovation, consumer choice, safety, and economic growth throughout the city. It’s a model for cities across the country who are looking at ways to update their transportation laws for the 21st century. The law makes it explicitly clear that a company like Uber can continue to operate lawfully in Washington, D.C. The law is pro-consumer and pro-innovation; it’s pro-small-business, pro-driver, and progressive.
So what does the D.C. law include?
- It explicitly defines a separate class of for-hire vehicles, sedans, that operate through digital dispatch and charge by time and distance.
- It creates a single operator license for taxis, sedans and limousines and requires the D.C. Taxi Commission to actually issue licenses after a long four-year hiatus.
- It sets new standards for price transparency that will benefit consumers.
- And, above all, it brings regulatory certainty to the vehicle-for-hire marketplace – making it very clear that Uber and its partners, the licensed/regulated sedan companies and drivers, can’t be regulated out of existence.
Practically, this new approach means that consumers can rely on Uber to connect them to a ride with the licensed car and driver closest to them. It means never wondering if you’ll be stranded in a corner of the city because of how you look or where you live. It means having a reliable form of transportation you can count on 24 hours a day.
For drivers, it means that they can easily fill their downtime, be more productive, substantially increase their income, and continue to invest in and grow their businesses. It will help them live their own American Dream.
And for the city, it means that there will continue to be more transportation options – benefitting businesses of all sizes and boosting economic growth – and that D.C. will be known as a place that welcomes and embraces innovation that improves the quality of life for its citizens.