Meet three of Syracuse’s new Uber drivers as app readies for arrivalUpdated on June 3, 2017 at 2:46 PM Posted on June 2, 2017 at 9:30 AMBY PATRICK LOHMANN email@example.comSYRACUSE, N.Y. — Uber and other ride-booking apps are stepping up their efforts to prepare Syracuse for their arrival in the next few weeks. … The apps could come Syracuse as early as June 29 if Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs a new bill fast-tracking the apps’ arrival. …And three drivers, all of whom are professional drivers for medical or other private transportation, spoke briefly with Syracuse.com about why they signed up for the app and what they hope it will bring to Syracuse. …Darnell Brandon… He is a former Syracuse taxi driver and drives for a local medical transport company now. He said his strategy will be to drive around downtown on weekends in particular, where “you get those drunk people from Armory Square.”He said one major appeal is being able to decide where to pick up passengers. He said he often felt unsafe going to rough neighborhoods when a taxi dispatcher sent him there.“(Driving a taxi) was dangerous because sometimes the dispatcher would send us to like the real bad neighborhoods. The dispatcher would just throw you in there, to the wolves,” he said. “With Uber I will decline it if they send me to a bad neighborhood.” …Garron Murphy-BabsonMurphy-Babson is buying a new vehicle — probably a Toyota SUV — to drive for Uber. … He and his husband are trying to make enough money to move out of Syracuse to the suburbs. … He said he quit his job as a taxi driver because it was too dangerous. One factor was witnessing a homicide downtown on Thanksgiving, he said.
The reason for Uber’s vast success is because the taxi business got loaded with extra costs by public regulation. Owners of cabs got the number of cab medallions limited so that owning a car with a legal entitlement to carry passengers for money was worth a lot. And cab drivers got loaded with non-discrimination requirements, as the black and the gay former cabdrivers above complaining about the uncompensated risks they had to take to drive a cab.
Uber just decided that all those laws don’t apply to itself because it was a tech company.
Uber’s CEO, who had the kind of personality that would assume that he was above the law, was just forced out, so expect to see a long battle to load Uber up with the kind of costs that taxicab companies got stuck with.