For a while, most of what I wrote about Uber and Lyft has involved the criminal deeds of their drivers, and at times of their principals. A lot has been written in the news media regarding assaults, attempted rapes and thefts by their drivers, and thefts by management, among other violations (the most recent being Uber’s data security breach cover-up).

All this time, Uber and Lyft have been peddling their companies to investors as “the next best investment in the market.” Investors have been listening, and have bought in to what was initially “pie in the sky” forecasts, and a way to turn a quick buck (or billion bucks) in the investment industry. There were investor names that most of us have never heard of, and some that all of us are familiar with, such as Google and others in the Silicon Valley crowd.

All the while, the Black Car and Yellow Taxicab industries chose to attack this new paradigm on the basis that it was not regulated, and that regulators across the country weren’t holding them to the same stiff regulations the Black Car, Yellow Taxicab and Limousine industries are currently adhering to. Some Black Car and Yellow Taxicab companies saw an opportunity to become a part of this new paradigm, and are operating accordingly.

An interesting aspect to all of this has been a number of back room deals regarding purchases, investments, hirings and firings and the bringing of high-end investment companies out of the shadows and into the limelight (even companies from across the globe).

All of this has also brought about, as reported in The Hill by Melanie Zanona, on November 13, 2017 (my birthday by the way) the fact that the Senate has confirmed by a 90-7 vote President Trump’s pick for the number thre spot at the Department of Transportation (DOT). The Senators approved the nomination of Derek Kan, a general manager for Lyft, to be undersecretary of transportation for policy at the DOT. Kan had previously served as a policy advisor to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). McConnell is married to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

Can we ask the question here, “Does this have any meaning?”

Let’s also look at what we KNOW has  meaning: The CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick  has stepped aside and the new CEO is Dara Khosrowshah. This all came about as a result of much infighting among Uber’s board members. Mr. Kalanick remains on Uber’s board.

All this said, it appears that Uber will still be around, although with some new faces, and possibly a new paradigm.

How will this affect the Black Car, Yellow Taxicab and Limousine industries going forward remains to be seen. Remember, Uber is still a MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR company.

 

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Article by Victor Dizengoff

Victor Dizengoff is a retired industry icon and a founder of the New York Black Car industry.

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