Now They’re Coming After Uber


… by they, of course, we mean a few highly misguided legislators at the General Assembly. From the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity’s weekly blast about good and bad bills at the General Assembly.

By adding unreasonable burdens, H8044, sponsored by House Majority Whip Rep. Jay Edwards (D, Portsmouth), would impose heavy regulations and fees for transportation network companies (like Uber), including (among other things) $150 fees for each driver, unusual insurance regulations, bans against cash use, bans on driver gun licensing, and disability mandates.

In other words, Rep. Edwards wants to do instantly what the Rhode Island General Assembly usually does more gradually and unobtrusively, which is to regulate a business out of existence. (Okay, slight exaggeration. But not much.)

Is this to protect the taxicab industry? If so, here’s an idea. Rather than regulate Uber and Lyft, DEregulate taxicabs. Does RI charge a taxicab medallion fee on the state or local level? Stop charging it. (Cue the gasps of horror from revenue hungry officials.)

Let a new form of commercial transportation lead the way to a new way of treating business here in Rhode Island, rather than allowing bad old government ways to damage a new industry.