"Here's the headline version of what comes below: As a longtime resident of DC, I am accustomed to misadventures in governance in our "taxation without representation" existence here. But a fight over a new competitor to the District's (often horrible) taxi service offers something I haven't seen in a while. Not routine retail-level corruption, nor skillful top-level favor trading, but instead what appears to be a blatant attempt to legislate favors for one set of interests by hamstringing another. I know, I know, this happens all the time -- but the seeming crudity of this one gets my attention."Sommer Mathis at The Atlantic Cities wonders if the taxi model is dying.
[DK: I think there are major challenges to the taxi model and broadly speaking there may be something to her thesis. However, it is an open question if entrenched taxi and transit interests will squash new competition into for-hire vehicle services. History suggests that the old, flawed regulatory model will be hard to break. Let's hope, but we'll see. The optimal amount of regulation is less than we have now but more than none.]
New York City taxi fares are set to increase by 17 percent. Here is a NY Times story about this. Also in the Times, Michael Powell writes about the plight of the taxi driver.
New York Magazine just published the Everything Guide to Taxis. There is lots of great stuff there.