Uber Threatens To Leave Houston Amid Over-Regulation
Start writing a post

Uber and the city of Houston, TX have been in a brawl over how Houston wants to regulate the popular ride-sharing business. The city government currently requires fingerprinting, among other rules and licensing requirements, on all Uber drivers as a matter of public safety. Uber has dissented about these sorts of rules and released a public statement explaining how Houston's regulations are "some of the most burdensome in the country." Uber has now threatened to leave Houston altogether if these rules continue to be enforced.

The mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, recently held a press conference explaining the situation and how he basically wants Uber to stay in the city, but the organization needs to play by the same rules as taxi cabs, limousines, and the like.

Even though the main argument for these regulations is public safety, there doesn't appear to be any evidence showing rides are made safer by requiring drivers to submit to fingerprinting in addition to the background checks Uber already requires.

In fact, Uber explains how the cost of Houston's regulations can actually make rides (or the roads in general) less safe. The idea is that more regulations lead to fewer drivers, and fewer drivers lead to fewer safe rides.

The aforementioned report explains how the average Uber driver works another full-time or part-time job and only drives for supplemental income. So by requiring people to comply with over the top regulations, it can become too costly for someone to register who was only planning on driving in their spare time. Note that about 51 percent of Uber drivers work 15 hours per week or less.

Another big point Uber brings up is that Houston's rules inhibit drivers from surrounding areas outside the city from coming in and giving rides during big events when demand gets particularly high. This means that during events like New Years, large concerts, and sporting events, there will always be a driver shortage and people willing to wait for a ride will always pay higher prices.

So more regulations lead to fewer drivers, but how do fewer drives translate into fewer safe rides? Uber experiences peaks in demand late at night when people are trying to get home after a night of drinking. In most other cities where Uber operates, this peak in demand is met with more than enough drivers who choose to drive at these times to earn more money.

But in a city like Houston where over-regulation decreases the incentive to become an Uber driver in the first place, and on top of the fact that drivers from surrounding cities can't legally venture in to meet spiking demand, there is a constant driver shortage.

People still need to get home, and taxi cabs are often less efficient and almost always more expensive than Uber. This could lead to more people making the horrible mistake of driving drunk in lieu of an easy way to get home.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of Uber is societal in nature. Creating a fast, cheap, and reliable way to get around town helps keep people from driving drunk, which makes the roads safer for everyone who uses them.

Unfortunately, it appears Houston's regulation of Uber, under the guise of public safety, may actually contribute to a less safe Houston. This is a current example of how bureaucracies, though guided by good intentions, crowd out private business and make the majority of society worse off.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

157704

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1621186

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

1014414
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

924721
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

603537
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

387464
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

501220

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments