Uber needs to be run out of town

240 posts / 0 new
Last post
Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
It is a taxi owners licence. so why does a dispatch company hold those licenses when the drivers are the owners of the taxis?

Because they bought them, rather than the owners of the vehicles buying them.

Quote:
Why does anyone on a progressive board that values labour at least as much as capital even try to defend this?

I don't think anyone's saying it's better this way.  But I assume the City's interest is primarily in ensuring a reasonable fleet of inspected and licenced taxicabs on the streets, rather than the relationship of a driver to the means of production.

As we've pretty much all agreed, making licences non-transferable would end the leasing of plates, but as long as they're transferable, whoever buys one can sell it, rent it, buy more, etc.

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
It is a taxi owners licence. so why does a dispatch company hold those licenses when the drivers are the owners of the taxis?

Because they bought them, rather than the owners of the vehicles buying them.

Quote:
Why does anyone on a progressive board that values labour at least as much as capital even try to defend this?

I don't think anyone's saying it's better this way.  But I assume the City's interest is primarily in ensuring a reasonable fleet of inspected and licenced taxicabs on the streets, rather than the relationship of a driver to the means of production.

As we've pretty much all agreed, making licences non-transferable would end the leasing of plates, but as long as they're transferable, whoever buys one can sell it, rent it, buy more, etc.

No to the second part of your post, if the City wants to change that regime they can. It is a regulatory process the city governs. There would be a strong argument that they woudl have to buy them back and there woudl be a compromise amount (not required to be market rate) that they woudl have to pay.

Ok let me rephrase -- it was obvious but I will anyway.

So why SHOULD a dispatch company buy the licenses rather than have them purchased by the people who own the material capital asset being licensed -- the actual taxi. This is a centralization of power to capital rather than labour and that is why. People should not be defending that here.

So it is wrong AND it can be fixed.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
if the City wants to change that regime they can. It is a regulatory process the city governs.

And I think we agree on this.  Make plates non-transferable.

Quote:
There would be a strong argument that they woudl have to buy them back and there woudl be a compromise amount (not required to be market rate) that they woudl have to pay.

And I would argue that the very most the City should have to pay to a plate-owner is the cost that the City charges for a plate.  It's really not the City's problem if a plate owner paid an inflated amount for one in the private market.  If you own a plate and you'd like to recover what you paid for it, put it on a car and drive it.  That's what the City issued the plate for in the first place, and the right to use that plate is all the City ever promised anyone.

Quote:
So why SHOULD a dispatch company buy the licenses rather than have them purchased by the people who own the material capital asset being licensed -- the actual taxi.

I'm not saying that they SHOULD.  I'm saying that they CAN, and evidently some DID.  And some plates bought in the private market were bought by actual drivers.  The City can stop this by making plates non-transferable, but if they don't choose to do that, they can't really start deciding who can or cannot buy one.  That's really not in the City's interest. 

There's no reason to assume that every cabbie wants to own (and insure, maintain and refuel) the means of production.  Lots of us are happy to show up to a building we don't own, sit down to someone else's desk, use their computer and phone, use some electricity they pay for, do our day's work and collect our pay.  Why would cabbies be any different?

Note, too, that if owners of a cab -- let's assume a cabbie, who owns their own car and their own plate -- want to see a return on their investment, they're going to want that cab on the streets at all times.  So even in a perfect world where every cabbie owns it all, s/he's still going to end up renting that cab+plate for half the time.  That or let it sit in the driveway earning nothing while they sleep.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
if the City wants to change that regime they can. It is a regulatory process the city governs.

And I think we agree on this.  Make plates non-transferable.

Quote:
There would be a strong argument that they woudl have to buy them back and there woudl be a compromise amount (not required to be market rate) that they woudl have to pay.

And I would argue that the very most the City should have to pay to a plate-owner is the cost that the City charges for a plate.  It's really not the City's problem if a plate owner paid an inflated amount for one in the private market.  If you own a plate and you'd like to recover what you paid for it, put it on a car and drive it.  That's what the City issued the plate for in the first place, and the right to use that plate is all the City ever promised anyone.

Quote:
So why SHOULD a dispatch company buy the licenses rather than have them purchased by the people who own the material capital asset being licensed -- the actual taxi.

I'm not saying that they SHOULD.  I'm saying that they CAN, and evidently some DID.  And some plates bought in the private market were bought by actual drivers.  The City can stop this by making plates non-transferable, but if they don't choose to do that, they can't really start deciding who can or cannot buy one.  That's really not in the City's interest. 

There's no reason to assume that every cabbie wants to own (and insure, maintain and refuel) the means of production.  Lots of us are happy to show up to a building we don't own, sit down to someone else's desk, use their computer and phone, use some electricity they pay for, do our day's work and collect our pay.  Why would cabbies be any different?

Note, too, that if owners of a cab -- let's assume a cabbie, who owns their own car and their own plate -- want to see a return on their investment, they're going to want that cab on the streets at all times.  So even in a perfect world where every cabbie owns it all, s/he's still going to end up renting that cab+plate for half the time.  That or let it sit in the driveway earning nothing while they sleep.

 

Cab drivers rent plates paying more a month for the pleasure than the permanent licensing cost. I don't think there is a cabbie who would not want to be licenced by the city in this context.

The city has created these plates at very low rates.  By creating an annual plate it stands to make a lot more money -- this would allow it to buy back at a higher price the ones out there to its own benefit.

As well a taxi license plate should be revoked if it is not being used.

But yes, I suspect we agree on the major stuff here.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Cab drivers rent plates paying more a month for the pleasure than the permanent licensing cost. I don't think there is a cabbie who would not want to be licenced by the city in this context.

Then they can put their name on the list, and wait until it's called.

OR, they can buy a plate in the private market, at market cost.

The person they're currently paying had to have done one or the other.

Quote:
The city has created these plates at very low rates.

That certainly confuses things somewhat, in the sense that the City charges far less for a plate than its market value.  But as noted above, the City doesn't really "earn" more than what they charge in terms of services in exchange.  As I understand it, the cost of a plate just subsidizes things like inspection and enforcement.  It would be a bit unseemly for the City to charge $100,000 for one solely because an owner of one can also charge that in the private market.

Quote:
By creating an annual plate it stands to make a lot more money -- this would allow it to buy back at a higher price the ones out there to its own benefit.

It really doesn't need to "buy back" any plates.  Presumably, even if plates are subject to an annual renewal fee, someone with a plate this year will get to keep it next year and the year after and so on (rather than having to apply for one each year, or take their chances with a lottery, or whatever).

And if the plates that were out there were sold as "forever" plates, I see no problem with the City honouring that.  It's yours until you retire -- you can't sell it or lease it, but you can use it as long as you're still driving.

Quote:
As well a taxi license plate should be revoked if it is not being used.

I don't disagree.  But I'm not aware of any not being used.

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Both taxi drivers and Uber drivers are members of the class that's increasingly being called "the precariat"...it's just that driving a taxi is a little less precarious because there are a few rules and regulations imposed by municipal governments that provide some minimal safety rules and income.

For Uber drivers the rules are set by a $40 billion Silicon Valley venture capital corporation.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Cab drivers rent plates paying more a month for the pleasure than the permanent licensing cost. I don't think there is a cabbie who would not want to be licenced by the city in this context.

Then they can put their name on the list, and wait until it's called.

OR, they can buy a plate in the private market, at market cost.

The person they're currently paying had to have done one or the other.

Quote:
The city has created these plates at very low rates.

That certainly confuses things somewhat, in the sense that the City charges far less for a plate than its market value.  But as noted above, the City doesn't really "earn" more than what they charge in terms of services in exchange.  As I understand it, the cost of a plate just subsidizes things like inspection and enforcement.  It would be a bit unseemly for the City to charge $100,000 for one solely because an owner of one can also charge that in the private market.

Quote:
By creating an annual plate it stands to make a lot more money -- this would allow it to buy back at a higher price the ones out there to its own benefit.

It really doesn't need to "buy back" any plates.  Presumably, even if plates are subject to an annual renewal fee, someone with a plate this year will get to keep it next year and the year after and so on (rather than having to apply for one each year, or take their chances with a lottery, or whatever).

And if the plates that were out there were sold as "forever" plates, I see no problem with the City honouring that.  It's yours until you retire -- you can't sell it or lease it, but you can use it as long as you're still driving.

Quote:
As well a taxi license plate should be revoked if it is not being used.

I don't disagree.  But I'm not aware of any not being used.

Ok now this post has degenerated into circular blather ignoring what has already been said. Clearly you are arguing just to argue and have no interest in the topic so there is little point continuing. After all the only possible response to this other than letting it go is to remind you of what already has been said.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I'm at least interested enough to look into how it all works.  You're interested enough to just assume the the City prefers to sell plates to some "cabal".  I even asked you whether you found any support for that.

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I'm at least interested enough to look into how it all works.  You're interested enough to just assume the the City prefers to sell plates to some "cabal".  I even asked you whether you found any support for that.

Well your interest does not go so far as representing the discussion accurately.

Show me where I speculated that the city "prefers to sell to a cabal."

I have said that in plates have been allowed to accumulate in the hands of a couple people who are also players in the market (there is a conflict there). I have said the effect is not equitable and that there are no more plated being issued.
Now good luck demanding that I support something I have not said.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Show me where I speculated that the city "prefers to sell to a cabal."

OK, disqualified on a technicality.  I should have written "cartel" not "cabal".

Still want to see what you said?

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Show me where I speculated that the city "prefers to sell to a cabal."

OK, disqualified on a technicality.  I should have written "cartel" not "cabal".

Still want to see what you said?

Check again -- that wasn;t the point.

I never said that the city had an intention or a preference. I said what happened -- the effect of actions.

What has happened is not a good thing but it evolved that way and they copied models from elsewhere. I have no evidence that this result is what they wanted or planned to have happen.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Okay, but here's what you said:

Quote:
The city set the rules for the market and they are the ones that allow the plates to go to a small cartel. Essentially the city gives the paltes away to a small group who then lease or sell them at massive profit. The market for Cab drivers does not include plates at $600. The little guys had to buy from the cartel the city practically gave the plates to by the bundle.

Here's the best I've been able to find about how the City of Ottawa actually releases new plates (in this case, Accessible and Ambassador; no new Standard plates in a while).

Quote:
Accessible plates

  • City to issue 25 accessible plates
  • Plates to be issued by lottery / $1 per plate
  • All licensed drivers/taxicab owners are eligible subject to completion of Accessible Training Program
  • More than one driver per car permitted
  • Accessible vehicles can operate in all zones
  • Must initially use vehicle 2 model years or less
  • Accessible plates are transferable and can be sold after 5 years in business

Ambassador plates

  • *City to issue up to 40 ambassador plates annually to a maximum of 1/668 population ratio
  • Plates to be issued by lottery
  • Only drivers that have been licensed 5 years, do not own a plate and complete the ambassador training program are eligible
  • Only one driver per car
  • Must initially use vehicle 2 model years old or less
  • Plates are not transferable and are returned to City when the ambassador plate holder leaves business

All bolding above is mine.

And I'm not saying any of this solely to bicker.  It just seems like the City of Ottawa actually has a reasonably fair process that in and of itself -- notwithstanding a limit to the number of plates offered -- doesn't prevent a driver from becoming a driver-owner, nor seek to help someone acquire their 20th plate.

ed'd to add:  and an interesting article about Toronto cabs.

    Sean in Ottawa

    Mr. Magoo wrote:

    Okay, but here's what you said:

    Quote:
    The city set the rules for the market and they are the ones that allow the plates to go to a small cartel. Essentially the city gives the paltes away to a small group who then lease or sell them at massive profit. The market for Cab drivers does not include plates at $600. The little guys had to buy from the cartel the city practically gave the plates to by the bundle.

    Here's the best I've been able to find about how the City of Ottawa actually releases new plates (in this case, Accessible and Ambassador; no new Standard plates in a while).

    Quote:
    Accessible plates

    • City to issue 25 accessible plates
    • Plates to be issued by lottery / $1 per plate
    • All licensed drivers/taxicab owners are eligible subject to completion of Accessible Training Program
    • More than one driver per car permitted
    • Accessible vehicles can operate in all zones
    • Must initially use vehicle 2 model years or less
    • Accessible plates are transferable and can be sold after 5 years in business

    Ambassador plates

    • *City to issue up to 40 ambassador plates annually to a maximum of 1/668 population ratio
    • Plates to be issued by lottery
    • Only drivers that have been licensed 5 years, do not own a plate and complete the ambassador training program are eligible
    • Only one driver per car
    • Must initially use vehicle 2 model years old or less
    • Plates are not transferable and are returned to City when the ambassador plate holder leaves business

    All bolding above is mine.

    And I'm not saying any of this solely to bicker.  It just seems like the City of Ottawa actually has a reasonably fair process that in and of itself -- notwithstanding a limit to the number of plates offered -- doesn't prevent a driver from becoming a driver-owner, nor seek to help someone acquire their 20th plate.

    ed'd to add:  and an interesting article about Toronto cabs.

      These are not regular cabs

      NorthReport
      NorthReport
      Sean in Ottawa

      NorthReport wrote:
      What a fucking mess
      ">https://www.fastcompany.com/3042248/the-gig-economy-wont-last-because-it...

      Gig will not be up for the gig economy.

      Big capital knows it is on to something with the model. It is a perfect end run around workers rights and wage legislation. They will seek to loosen the rules and talk about freedom and all.

      Artificial freedom is the new servitude. It won't go easily.

      Unionist

      [url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/uber-paying-its-drivers-to-flout-... paying its drivers to flout Quebec law[/url]

      Quote:

      The ride-hailing service Uber is encouraging its drivers to continue operating in Quebec, even though its activities are illegal under a new law that came into effect last month.

      In some cases, it has offered financial incentives for drivers to stay behind the wheel. 

      CBC News obtained messages an Uber representative sent in September to two different drivers who were seeking to clarify whether they could legally pick up clients.

      Amid confusion among Uber drivers about changing taxi-industry regulations, Uber told one driver on Sept. 16: "For the moment, you can continue driving as an Uber Quebec partner-driver as usual." 

       

      But under a law passed last June, which went into effect on Sept. 8, Uber drivers face steep fines and the seizure of their vehicles if they continue to offer rides through the app.

      The free market. I love it. Yes I do.

      6079_Smith_W

      We have a canadidate in our municipal election who just came out in support of this too "because it is what the people want".

      Even though it has not been established that they do.

       

       

      josh
      NorthReport
      josh

      Meanwhile, Lyft donated $1 million to the ACLU.

      NorthReport
      NorthReport

      Uber CEO bows out of Trump connection after users' boycott

      https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/feb/02/travis-kalanick-delet...

      Boze

      Somebody give me a good reason why I should need anybody's permission to exchange rides for cash on a "ride at your own risk" basis.

      abnormal

      Boze wrote:

      Somebody give me a good reason why I should need anybody's permission to exchange rides for cash on a "ride at your own risk" basis.

      Let's start with insurance.  

      Then there's the little matter of income taxes.

      NorthReport

      With Mercedes Benz now in their fleet car2go will do some serious busines

      https://www.car2go.com/CA/en/joincar2go/?cid=c2g_ola_ca_yvr_cpm_joinc2g_...

      NorthReport

      In Silicon Valley, a Voice of Caution Guides a High-Flying Uber

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/18/technology/bill-gurley-uber-travis-ka...

      NorthReport

      Uber president Jeff Jones is quitting, citing differences over ‘beliefs and approach to leadership’

      He is leaving after apparently deciding the current controversies are too much to handle.

      http://www.recode.net/2017/3/19/14976110/uber-president-jeff-jones-quits

      NorthReport

      Riding With the Underdogs: Apps Fill a Void Left by Uber and Lyft

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/19/technology/personaltech/south-by-sout...

      NorthReport

      Uber executives defend embattled CEO in latest damage-control effort

      Board member Arianna Huffington and other executives repeatedly said they support Travis Kalanick despite weeks of turmoil and public relations crises

      https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/21/uber-ceo-travis-kalan...

      NorthReport

      So how much longer before Uber bites the dust as people working for them, these self-employed contractors are making less than minimum wage. What a miserable contribution to society Uber has been.

      NorthReport

      CAN UBER BE SAVED FROM ITSELF?

      ‘They have dug themselves a very deep hole’

      http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/6/14791080/uber-sexism-scandal-strike-way...

      NorthReport

      I'm skeptical about this whole for profit share industry.

      Airbnb is proably contributing to a real estate bubble. Some people have no idea how much damage to a dwelling one person can do in a very short period of time.

      NorthReport

      Going, going, .........

      How Uber lost its way in the Steel City

      The relationship between Uber and city mayor sours.

      http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/01/uber-pittsburgh-city-mayors-237772

      laine lowe laine lowe's picture

      Good riddence. Winnipeg is thinking of inviting them in. I guess Uber was good in pushing long-standing firms to update their service platforms but I'm sure they would have gotten there soon enough regardless.

      Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

      Quote:
      I guess Uber was good in pushing long-standing firms to update their service platforms but I'm sure they would have gotten there soon enough regardless.

      I'm kind of curious here.  Which "long-standing" firms, and when would be "soon enough"?  Do you mean existing taxicab companies? 

      NorthReport
      josh

      Uber said Tuesday that it had made a mistake in the way it calculated its commissions, at a cost of tens of millions of dollars to its New York drivers, and the company vowed to correct the practice and make the drivers whole for the lost earnings.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/23/business/economy/uber-drivers-tax.html?emc=edit_nn_20170524&nl=morning-briefing&nlid=77748371&te=1

      kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

      Bonny's & Queen City Taxi are affiliated companies servicing the lower mainland of British Columbia, Canada. They provide taxi services, delivery services, roadside assistance and tourism services for Burnaby and New Westminster via automated dispatch systems. 

      http://www.bonnystaxi.com/defaultx.htm

      Pages