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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

“I guess it’s going to come down to what consumers want to do,” said Lt. Chris Cummings, the Police Department’s liaison to the Taxi Commission.

– Report here. Thank you Instapundit.

Lt. Cummings didn’t say if he approved, because the Police Department’s job is to enforce ordinances, not make them. Maybe he was speaking through gritted teeth. But the Portsmouth Taxi Commission is unanimously for it. Good for them. The more Uber and its rivals are allowed in this or that place, somewhere, and the more we get to hear about it, the more chance that they will be allowed almost everywhere.

6 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Mr Ed

    the Taxi Commission on Wednesday recommended the elimination of taxi medallions, regulation of taxi fares, city taxi inspections and the Taxi Commission itself.

    The Turkeys said their prayers at Thanksgiving, and wished each other Merry Christmas.

    The fallback is a moderately intrusive system of licensing requiring proof of insurance, background checks etc. the sort of thing that most people probably regard as so anodyne that libertarians being to sound like infantile loons for opposing.

  • Proof of insurance and roadworthiness is covered by existing legislation used for any car (except the insurance must cover commercial activities). Beyond that, I don’t see the need. Not being raped is desirable, but were I going a-raping I’d probably not start my little spree by registering with a third party and allowing my victim to know my name and numberplate and track me in real time. Anyone who signs up to be an Uber driver in order to assault people is not going to be helped by any system of regulation outside that which covers mental health.

  • Tedd

    It’s pathetic that we’re talking about Uber “being allowed” to operate somewhere.

    “[In] New York City the monopoly advantage for taxi license holders was $590 million in the early 1980s. The city has 1400 fewer licenses than in 1937.” [source] Moderate, indeed.

  • There is no reason at all that the three substantive recommendations at the top of the article could not in fact be done on a pay-per-user model and sold simultaneously as a service to taxi drivers and/or a data feed to Uber and competing platforms. I’m sure the Uber app will have room for a little “Portsmouth Road Safety” badge as part of the drivers’ details. User’s would then be able to make up their minds about whether to take the ride offered.

  • Andrew Duffin

    “The proposal was presented by Taxi Commissioner Larry Cataldo as one of several options the city could adopt…”


    So plenty of other more repressive options they could adopt, I am guessing.

    Let’s see which one actually gets through – the monopolist taxi-drivers’ union lobby will just be revving up as we speak.

  • Nicholas (Natural Genius) Gray

    Giving consumers a choice? What, does he think that we live in a free enterprise society, or something?