Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Uber Faces Massive Threat In Colorado
Uber, the smartphone driven, towncar service which launched into Denver in August, is facing a massive threat in Colorado, via the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. According to Uber, the Colorado PUC has proposed a set of rules which would force Uber's driver partners out of business, would make Uber's pricing-by-distance illegal, and will ban Uber's drivers from being within 200 feet of any restaurant, bar, or hotel.Uber, in a blog post, said the rule changes--if approved--will shut down Uber in Denver, and that the rules are are intended to stop innovation, protect incumbents, and hurt independent drivers. Uber complained that the move are not designed to promote safety, nor improve quality of service, and is "TAXI protectionism at its finest."
Uber has made waves nationally for its smartphone driven service, which lets users book towncars with a click of their smartphone, paying pricing based on demand and distance. The firm also has ruffled the features of a not-insignificant number of cities, who have sought to protect their existing taxi service arrangements, which usually benefit both cities financially and the politicians who run them.
Brad Feld, venture capitalist at the Foundry Fund and a vocal member of the local tech community, said in an online response that this was another "insane move by government against entrepreneurs and job creators" and said it was a "misuse of power in an egregious form".