Uber Wins Round One in Battle With DC City Council

A proposal to set a higher price floor for the on-demand car service was shelved today.

By: Carol Ross Joynt

We’re not sure whether this is a win for the big guy or the little guy, but regardless, the DC City Council today handed a victory to a ritzy upstart car service Uber, which has been operating here since only late last year. The council for now shelved a proposal that would have set a price floor for the on-demand car service. It operates as an app and is open to anyone who sets up a membership via credit card. The measure would have required Uber to charge a base fare of no less than five times what it costs when the meter starts in a DC cab, which adds up to about $15. As it is right now, Uber’s website lists its DC base price as $7 for a sedan and $14 for an SUV, with a rate of $3.25 or $4 per mile at a speed of more than 11 miles per hour, respectively. The minimum fares are $15 for a sedan and $25 for an SUV. While more expensive than a traditional taxi, Uber promises pickup in a timely fashion in a clean, polished vehicle. The DC Taxi Commission has accused the chauffered car service of being illegal.

The shelving of the proposal, which was introduced by Ward 3 council member Mary Cheh, came after noisy opposition flooded social media. Here is a sampling from the Twitterverse: