Los Angeles May Soon Have Uber-Style App For Taxis

Uber is no stranger to offending the status quo, with several taxi and limo commissions making life difficult for them in various parts of the world. The ridesharing service also runs aground in legislation, where cities like Portland, Los Angeles, and San Francisco all take issue with Uber's business model. Still, for consumers, Uber is dead simple to use, which makes it attractive. Now, the city of Los Angeles says they're ready to challenge Uber, and are about to vote on creating their own app for taxi services.

Los Angeles' Board of Taxicab Commissioners will put the app to a vote next month, with the aim at keeping taxi services competitive with the likes of Uber and Lyft. If the vote comes out positive for the app, all taxi drivers and services would have to allow ride hailing via the app.

The proposed app comes at the right time, too. As Uber faces trouble the world over, with everything from assault (sexual and otherwise) to plain creepiness or passengers being taken for a ride they didn't bargain for popping up almost daily, the discussion turns to regulation.

Uber doesn't currently make drivers pass a rigorous screening process. If a passenger runs into trouble with an Uber ride, the company can shift blame to drivers, whom they hire as independent contractors. Taxi services don't have those luxuries, and treat drivers more like employees.

Los Angeles is also taking steps toward authorizing services like Uber, which hedges a bet for citizens. If they can strike the right balance between a robust taxi service, an app, and pricing — Los Angeles might actually out-Uber Uber.

Source: The Los Angeles Times