We wrote recently about a new start-up in San Francisco called UberCab (now just “Uber”) which allows users to beckon town cars using their smartphones. Apparently, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and Public Utilities Commission don’t think it’s such a great idea. According to articles posted on TechCrunch, the SF Examiner, and others, the City ordered UberCab to cease and desist its operations last week. They claim the name UberCab is misleading (making them sound like a taxi service) and that the company is avoiding paying the necessary fees to the City for operating such a service.
Some of the loudest voices crying out against UberCab are those of the taxi dispatchers who make their living by operating a central radio communication system to direct cars to people. UberCab just uses a smartphone. MG Siegler of TechCrunch thinks they’re onto something, otherwise no one in the City would care. Is it a threat that warrants punishment? What do you think?