On Saturday, October 10th, Free State Project early mover and Keenevention keynote speaker Christopher David was peacefully offering a very valuable service to the people of Portsmouth – late night rides home at a far faster and more affordable rate than the local taxi monopoly.
He was picking up some eager customers outside of the Daniel Street Tavern when he was threatened with $500-$1,000 ransom for trying to help them return home.
He recorded some incredible audio of the incident, which you can watch and listen to below.
There’s an absolutely incredible customer rant leveled at a taxi driver who attempts to box David in, which you really have to listen to for yourself. Aside from his shocking directness, the customer also points out,
I took a cab once from here to Hampton, where I’m living, and it was $60. I take an Uber, it’s $28 – it’s a nicer car, and it’s nicer people.
So, why would the city of Portsmouth possibly want to shut down a business that customers enjoy so thoroughly?
Perhaps even more to the point, why would the bouncer at the Daniel Street Tavern (you can leave them a review here, as I have) be chasing down police offers to tell them of an Uber driver trying to get his customer home to safety?
Taxi services on the Seacoast are notoriously slow to respond to customer inquiries, and are also known to shut down before bars have last call. Uber was filling this niche in the marketplace very nicely, until the Portsmouth city council decided to ban Uber this summer.
This leads to a very dangerous situation for all drivers in the Portsmouth area, giving incentive for more drivers to be on the road while impaired. It’s one thing for a city council to attack the people of Portsmouth. That’s pretty much what city councils do. But bouncers at private institutions, who should theoretically have a vested interest in their customer’s safety? It’s downright irresponsible.
If you want to support Christopher in his heroic efforts to nullify the Uber ban in Portsmouth (and perhaps lay a groundwork for nullifying these ridiculous bans worldwide), head over to FreeUber.org and get involved.
For additional coverage of the Free Uber movement in Portsmouth, check out Rights Brigade, a New Hampshire based activism group that has been assisting Christopher in canvassing the city with flyers to raise awareness for the city council’s protectionist schemes.