This benefits the taxi industry and no one else. Moreover, riders won’t even know the fee is being assessed because the law doesn’t allow Uber and Lyft to show it on the invoice—a sneaky way to keep the political backlash to a minimum.
Reuters reports that some taxi drivers were hoping the Massachusetts law would go farther and put ride-hailing apps out of business, but that’s unlikely to occur because the move would be so unpopular. As we pointed out last week when Uber announced the imminent launch of its driverless vehicles, the more cost pressures governments put on companies like Uber, the faster those companies will try to cut expenses by doing things like eliminating altogether the need for drivers. And if Uber is successful at eliminating drivers, the cost savings will make it impossible for traditional taxi services to compete.
Thus do the defenders of the blue model eat their own.