BOSTON (CBS) – Taxicab drivers packed Boston City Hall for a public hearing to discuss regulating companies like Uber and LYFT.
“Why are Uber and LYFT allowed to come into a commonwealth or a city and defy regulations and rules,” asked Donna Blythe-Shaw of the Boston Taxi Drivers Association. She attended a rally outside City Hall Plaza before the hearing.READ MORE: MLB Headed To 1st Work Stoppage Since '95 As Deal Expires
Driver Chando Souffrant said he made about $20,000 less this year than last. “There are no words to describe how hard it is to make ends meet and to pay our bills,” he says. Among other things, he says he pays hundreds of dollars every month for a medallion, which Uber drivers avoid.READ MORE: Red Sox Acquire Jackie Bradley Jr. From Brewers
Sgt. Tom Lema, with the Boston Police Hackney Division, told city councilors the Uber system is confusing. “The general public who leaves South Station, they don’t know who these people are, and that’s one of the problems we as police officers have, identifying vehicles in the street that have no means of identification,” he says. “We don’t know if they work for anyone.”
But an Uber spokesperson said the company is not against regulations. He says they have to be new and updated. “What we’re seeing across the country, in dozens of municipalities, cities, and states, recognize that ride-sharing is a new part of the transportation ecosystem, and they created regulations from the ground up,” said Taylor Bennett. “I think what you have with medallion owners is a real concerted effort to block competition.”MORE NEWS: Pandemic Continues To Take Toll On Tourism Industry In Massachusetts
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