Must-read: Dude, where my Uber?

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Seattle joins a number of cities that BloombergView columnist Megan McArdle sees as fighting a “dire threat” to their way of life.

In “Dude, Where’s My Uber?” McArdle notes that services like Lyft and UberX, if left unchecked, could give residents the unthinkable — “convenient and affordable rides.”

The horror!

All sarcasm aside, Seattle city leaders are currently attempting to restrict the number of drivers at its three main taxi services to 450, about one-quarter of the estimated number already operating.

In two years of reporting on Uber, the luxury car on-demand service, McArdle writes that not once have regulators given a “credible reason” for their crusade against the service, which uses a mobile app to connect drivers and passengers.

The real reason, which no one would dare say — taxi drivers simply do not want competition.

The taxi industry is tough; they provide something that more than 90 percent of Americans already own — an automobile and the ability to drive.

So the desire for a monopoly to make taxi service scarce (and profitable) is understandable.

McArdle puts the blame squarely on the taxi commissioners, who work for the residents of the cities they serve, not for the small percentage of taxi drivers or medallion owners.

Seattle must put a stop on such nonsense, or risk being left behind.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.