In New York a taxi licence costs getting on for $1m. And the taxi businesses like it that way because it means they have the pitch to themselves. Plus, of course, they get the government to kick any competition that crops up. Such as ridesharing - using mobile technology to manage a car pool.
Ridesharing -- also known as carpooling -- involves members of the public contacting each other via a smartphone or PC internet networking service and arranging to ferry each other to various destinations for fees.
It's clear that this is a threat to the taxi business. And they don't like it:
On Saturday, SideCar was the target of an orchestrated sting operation conducted by the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA), which regulates taxis. Three everyday drivers in our community were given hefty citations and had their cars impounded, leaving them alone in the dark and cold in need of a ride home.
That's right folks, the local council seized private cars because their owners made a private arrangement with another private citizen to give them a lift in exchange for a small fee. In city after city the rideshare operators are being harassed and banned by local authorities acting to defend their financial interest in the current limited and managed marketplace.