The Council of the District of Columbia is slated to vote tomorrow on a price-setting measure that, if passed, will block competition in the district’s transportation market. Uber, an Engine member and a startup that will be immediately affected by the proposal, is urging its users and concerned parties to call, email, and tweet to members of the council. For more information on how you can help, read Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick’s blog post. A petition has also been launched to oppose the measure.
The so-called Uber Amendment contains language that sets a minimum fare for sedan drivers offering transportation services. Startups like Uber, who offer a popular and efficient service, would not be permitted to charge less than five times the fare of a taxicab. Sedan prices would be set by law higher than those of competitors. Under the proposal, UberX, a lower-cost car service the company unveiled July 4, would not be able to operate in the Washington DC market.
Not only does the proposed amendment stifle competition, it poses a danger to a healthy and vibrant economy by preventing the growth of startups and the jobs they provide in the DC market. Engine urges its members to support healthy competition and disruptive startups like Uber by voicing your concerns with council members.
Update 7/10/2012: After receiving thousands of notes from Uber customers, the DC Council has dropped its plans to add the minimum fare amendment. Report in full at the DCist.