Live free and buy

Taxis upended

Taxis upended

Portsmouth, New Hampshire votes to deregulate taxis.

PORTSMOUTH – In response to Uber ride-sharing drivers now working in the city, the Taxi Commission on Wednesday recommended the elimination of taxi medallions, regulation of taxi fares, city taxi inspections and the Taxi Commission itself.

“I think the public is probably better served if we also have ride-sharing,” Cataldo said, explaining that ride-share drivers help get intoxicated people home safely.

Cataldo said if drivers are smoking, or offering rides in unkempt vehicles, consumers will decide if they want to hire them. Under the proposal, police would continue to conduct background checks of registered drivers who would also have to provide proof that their passengers are insured for a minimum of $300,000 under a commercial policy.

Several commissioners compared the proposed deregulation of taxi fares to the fact that someone can buy a glass of beer for $4 at a downtown pub and pay $8 for a glass of the same beer at a nearby restaurant.

“I guess it’s going to come down to what consumers want to do,” said Lt. Chris Cummings, the Police Department’s liaison to the Taxi Commission.



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20 responses to “Live free and buy

  1. Al Dente

    I think this is a huge mistake. The intent is to get drunks home safely, but what if the Uber driver is drunk? Or the car is a deathtrap? The liability will fall back to the city for not regulating the business as other cities do.

    • Nothing in the proposal demands that the police stop enforcing drunk driving laws, regardless of whether the drunk is in a private car or a taxi. Furthermore, governmental liability for not doing something, such as regulate taxis within its borders, is minimal, at worst.

  2. no governmental regulations? you just know the result:

  3. Regulations evolved from unregulated chaotic models over decades of time..
    Deregulating the industry is a huge step backward.
    Naturally, it’s a step that ride-sharing mega-corporations have been
    lobbying for, simply because that puts them in full unregulated control.
    This won’t end well. I predict regulations will re-emerge in a few years
    but by that time this post will long be forgotten.

    • Back in 1910, looks like the Brooklyn taxi service was more like Uber, ‘filling an engagement made in advance’. When did taxis become regulated anyway?

    • Deregulating airlines, trains and freight tariffs worked well. Canada privatized its air control system and now has a far better system than we do.In fact, the “chaotic models” you fear were cutely responsible for the amazing growth of this country, unparalleled in the world. The decline of our economy can be traced back to 1970, when Richard Nixon began the huge expansion of regulatory agencies.

  4. Flash

    So, why do real estate agents have to be licensed?
    Does it guarantee a better agent car? Insurance? Knowledge?
    Or, a source of income for the license authority?

  5. Al Dente

    Soon they will regulate bloggers. One violation = 1,000 lashes!

  6. Call It Like I See It

    Here we go… This could be the birth of another special interest group looking for equal rights and eventually claiming discrimination for every perceived slight.

  7. Anonymous

    This is a great step forward, toward deregulating many other trades. Let the people hire whomever they want to hire, to do their plumbing, their brokering, their driving, etc.

  8. Publius

    For anyone who has taken a NYC cab of late, driven by a cabbie from a 3rd World Country where running lights and running down people is no big deal, it is very clear that having a medallion and being regulated is not all that its cracked up to be. It’s just another way to extract money to support the corrupt political class.

    • Anonymous

      So true. Even in Greenwich the Ubers I have taken have been cleaner, had more polite drivers, arrived quicker and cost less than Greenwich Taxi. Let’s see if that remains true once they kill the competition.

  9. AJ

    Just watched the History Television series “The Men Who Built America” — all four hour and a half episodes — on Netflix last night, which, in the main, is about Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnegie and Frick — hardly the gentle little man as portrayed by the Frick Museum promotional video on YouTube — J. P. and Junius Morgan — Vanderbilt’s rails, Rockefeller’s oil, Carnegie’s steel, and J. P. Morgan’s electricity. What? what about Edison, Westinghouse, and Tesla? You will see.

    An Awesome presentation that is well worth your time about how in the few decades after the Civil War, the United States went from complete ruin to become the most powerful industrial nation on earth. And, contrary to Elizabeth Warren’s “If you have a business . . .” and Hillary’s “Businesses don’t create jobs . . .”, the government didn’t have nothin’ to do with it. Fascinating!

    • Martha

      That was an amazing show, we watched it last week in our school. The wealth and power they had was staggering! It’s becoming rare to see a documentary that isn’t politically correct/biased anymore.

      Did you watch the Civil War? I’m wondering how graphic that one is. The Men Who Built America was borderline (albeit only rarely) for us.

  10. Call It Like I See It

    Sometimes the freedom of choice impacts others.

    • Flash

      Good point
      What happens in my neighborhood has consequences for ME
      Sex offenders and unvaccinated persons should be on some location list.
      Non-sex offenders and vaccinated persons should be on a list too.

      • AJ

        Unvaccinated persons? Well, if you’re vaccinated, then WTF are you worried about unless you believe vaccines don’t work.

  11. Greenwich Gal

    Hmmm – How about an unregulated food supply? Anyone want to take bets on that? Be prepared to see additives and all sorts of garbage in your food. Or medicine? We can get rid of the FDA and it will be a free for all. I for one, don’t want to take part in that. Most regulations serve the public good. Not all but most.