BOSTON (CBS) – Dozens of taxis filled the streets in front of Uber’s Boston headquarters on Thursday as part of a protest.
Taxi companies and drivers accuse the smart phone ride service of unfairly stealing their business.
Their complaint is that cabs are required to be licensed by the city, which means they have to deal with city rules and regulations as well as inspections. But Uber is not subjected to those regulations.
“We have no problem with competition as long as it’s fair,” said Arthur Rose, a longtime taxi driver and union member. “This isn’t even close to a level playing field.”
Without that regulation Uber can set its own rates and has lower overhead costs, keeping prices down and adding convenience for customers.
Cab drivers say it gives the company a distinct advantage.
Uber says any advantage comes from ease and quality of service.
“Uber X drivers go through Uber’s extensive background check process, which is much more extensive than anything the taxi industry does in Boston. The cars are clean, the drivers are nice,” Uber spokesperson Lane Kasselman told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says he hopes taxis and Uber can co-exist.
“I do feel there should be some regulations there, because cabs are regulated and we’re going to be looking at what’s the situation,” Walsh said.
MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON