But in the Orwellian land of Newark, New Jersey, the city council calls it a “Liberty License.”
The Newark City Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to advance a measure that would require that app-based ride share drivers pay to the city an annual fee of $1,000 for a “Liberty License” to operate within city limits.
I’m pretty sure that “Liberty” and “License” don’t ever belong in the same sentence. Unless you’re a protectionist hack, bought and paid for by the taxi unions.
But the license would not allow drivers to pick up passengers at Newark Liberty International Airport or Newark Penn Station, two areas that have been at the center of a turf war between Uber and city cabbies.
Have you ever stood in the taxi line at Newark Airport? At 1 AM on a cold January night? And waited over an hour for a dirty, smelly, loud, fume-belching cab driven by a guy who doesn’t understand English and has no clue where he’s going?
Because I have.
And it sucks.
Contrast that with Uber. I punch in my destination address and click a button. The app tells me the fare (always less than the cab fare, which seems to go up every other week). It tells me when the car will arrive, so I can stay warm inside the terminal. When the driver arrives he texts me and I walk out to his clean, comfortable car. His GPS guides him effortlessly to my destination. I can watch our progress on an interactive map if I’m so inclined. And when we arrive there are no unexpected hidden charges for “tolls” or “extra baggage handling.”
Taxi drivers complain of losing business to Uber drivers who connect with passengers through a smart phone app.
So, instead of competing, taxi drivers go to government to “liberate” them by punishing their competition? That ain’t liberty, that is un-American!