While our Free Uber campaign fought to defend consumer choice in Portsmouth, corporate Uber was busy lobbying Concord to restrict it.
Uber bullies state legislatures into adopting ridesharing regulations that encode its business model as law, setting an arbitrarily high bar for mandatory minimum insurance coverage that prices out smaller competitors like Arcade City.
Video and excerpt from my comment to the Portsmouth city council this week:
“I’m here actually to address the fact that the transportation ordinance is about to be overridden if House bill 1697 passes… That just had a hearing a few days ago. I ask that you do whatever is in your power to oppose this bill. I have obviously had my issues with how Portsmouth has handled the transportation ordinance. But I like that I can come here and talk with you folks and not have to go up to Concord and fight with Uber’s lobbyists.
I’m a little miffed by the fact that while I was here the past few months fighting to defend consumer choice, Uber has been lobbying Concord to pass “Uber model legislation”. The bill lead sponsor admits that the bill is based on Uber model legislation, which means that Uber wrote the bill.
Now that I’m looking at this through the lens of an entrepreneur having started a competing service — we have 1400 drivers signed up now across the country, about 50 of them in New Hampshire; we’re going to be launching on Valentine’s Day — now that I’m reading this bill through the lens of a competitor, I’m seeing that Uber has written it specifically to set the bar to price out competitors like me. They are about to encode into law basically Uber’s business model: that if you are not able to come in with a $60 billion budget, you’re not allowed to compete as a TNC. …
I prefer that this issue be handled at the local level. I don’t see any reason to bring it up to the state level other than it’s going to make things more convenient for Uber. I ask that you use whatever influence you have to oppose House bill 1697. Thank you.”