DCTC decision shuts down competition in taxi service

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WASHINGTON (Aug. 20, 2013) – The R Street Institute is concerned that the decision by the District of Columbia Taxicab Commission expanding sedan regulations to bar mid-sized, fuel-efficient vehicles robs consumers of choice and creates an anti-competitive atmosphere in the district.

The decision appears clearly intended to forestall the company Uber – which the D.C. Council formally approved to offer sedan-on-demand services in December 2012 — from rolling out its new, lower-cost option “uberX,” which makes use of hybrid vehicles.

“Banning uberX is a cynical move to protect cabs from competition,” R Street Associate Policy Analyst Michael Hamilton said. “Uber has done more to ensure that D.C. residents have access to pleasant for-hire rides at a fair price than the D.C. Taxicab Commission could possibly hope for. If district regulations are designed to protect consumers, then UberX should clearly be allowed to operate.”

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