The funniest part of the taxi cartel whining to Bill Peduto about ride-sharing apps Uber and Lyft, and begging him to introduce a city ordinance to make the taxi market uncompetitive, is that Peduto ran on bringing more competition into this market.
2. Expanding Service Options
The Pennsylvania Utilities Commission currently regulates the number of taxi companies operating in Pittsburgh, yet demand suggests that there is room for many more taxicabs to enter the Pittsburgh market. I will work with our partners in Harrisburg to make it easier for new companies to enter the market while protecting independent operators. A more competitive taxi industry will increase the size of the market, helping all companies grow.
Peduto gets that the purpose of taxi regulation is to make sure it’s safe for people to rent cabs for hire.
That’s the public interest. But for some reason our Public Utility Commission believes the public interest is in preventing new entrants from increasing competition in this market, which would bring down fares and increase the convenience of using taxis for people besides just rich business dudes.
We need state lawmakers to clarify that state policy is to promote competition in this market, not protect monopoly rents for incumbent taxi fleet owners.