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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hail-a-cab apps on City Council agenda July 22

Posted By on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 4:46 PM

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After being slammed by both taxi and limo companies at the last Transportation Committee hearing, Uber looks like it's gearing up to win big at the next one, with t-shirts and other "swag" ready for supporters who RSVP.

On July 22 at 10 a.m., the committee with meet to discuss legislation it postponed a vote on earlier this month, regarding amendments to the transportation code that would allow Uber and other alternative, app-based taxi services the chance to operate in New Orleans. 

A few weeks ago, City Councilmembers Stacy Head, James Gray and Susan Guidry all voiced concern over the proposed changes to the transportation code, most reiterating the fear that allowing Uber's premier "Black" service would open the floodgates to the company's ridesharing platform, Uber X. Representatives from the taxi industry were vocal in their opposition to Uber, and limo companies were similarly wary of the business breakdown. (In the Uber Black model, an existing limo or black car driver gets 80 percent of a ride, and Uber gets 20 percent. The limo company doesn't get anything). 

In an email sent via list serve, Uber made clear its aim to rally supporters for a comeback at the upcoming meeting. The email begins with one dramatic sentence: "We need your voice." It includes links to pre-composed Tweets advocating for a dissolution of the proposed minimum fare, which Uber says it would hinder its expansion into New Orleans. More importantly, the company invited supporters to RSVP to the meeting, offering to provide t-shirts and other Uber gear for advocates to show whose team they're on.

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