The City Council in Washington DC is set to vote tomorrow on a measure that would stifle progress in the transportation industry -- specifically it would prohibit startup company Uber from offering a competitive service in the sector. Join us in calling members of the Council to ask them to protect innovation by voting against this proposal.
With a long, blighted history of corruption and malfeasance in the taxi industry, the city of Washington has long stood against progress in a vital area of transportation for the Nation's Capital. Earlier this year, Uber, who we're proud to say joined us last month for our Startup Day on the Hill event, launched their innovative, disruptive service in Washington alongside many other cities throughout the U.S. and around the world. Almost immediately, this move was met with resistance from the Taxi Commission, Mayor Vincent Gray and the City Council in an attempt to protect an existing taxi industry which has been fighting modernization for some time.
Tomorrow, the Council is looking to take another step backward against modernization of transportation in the District with the impending passage of a so-called "fare floor" for Uber riders. The proposal, according to an email sent earlier this afternoon by Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to the product's users, would set rates no less than five times higher than a minimum taxi rate. Instead of investing in a modern taxi fleet, or welcoming innovation in transportation in DC, Mayor Gray and the Council will instead seek to make an alarming move against innovation and a popular small business in DC by forcing rights sky high and making programs like the recently-announced UberX -- a lower-cost alternative to Uber's popular black car services that uses hybrid cabs -- impossible in the Nation's Capital.
Amidst the furor surrounding the impending votes, there is still an opportunity to change hearts and minds and keep transportation in Washington free for innovation and modernization. If you live in the District, or use Uber to get around DC, we are encouraging you to call members of the DC Council and register your displeasure with the proposed regulations. Here are their numbers, we hope you'll make the call.
Phil Mendelson (Chairman), (202) 724-8064, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Cheh, Ward 3, (Chairperson of Committee on the Environment, Public Works and Transportation), (202) 724-8062, email@example.com, @marycheh
Michael Brown, at-large, (202) 724-8105, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Jim Graham, Ward 1, (202) 724-8181, email@example.com, @jimgrahamward1
Jack Evans, Ward 2, (202) 724-8058, firstname.lastname@example.org, @jackevansward2
Muriel Bowser, Ward 4, (202) 724-8052, email@example.com, @murielbowser
Kenyan McDuffie, Ward 5, (202) 724-8028, firstname.lastname@example.org, @kenyanmcduffie
Tommy Wells, Ward 6, (202) 724-8072, email@example.com, @tommywells
Yvette Alexander, Ward 7, (202) 724-8068, firstname.lastname@example.org, @cmyma
Marion Barry, Ward 8, (202) 724-8045, email@example.com, @marionbarryjr
David Catania, at-large, (202) 724-7772, firstname.lastname@example.org, @cataniapress
Vincent Orange, at-large, (202) 724-8174, email@example.com, @vincentorangedc