News & Politics

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.

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: