Boston Taxi Industry Sues Uber Car Service

BOSTON — Two Boston cab companies have filed a lawsuit against the Uber car service, accusing the company of “operating a car-for-hire service in violation of state and city laws and deceiving consumers about fees, drivers, safety and insurance,” according to a press release announcing the suit.

The 35-page lawsuit was filed Monday in Suffolk Superior Court by Boston Cab Dispatch Inc. and EJT Management.

“Uber pays none of the substantial capital costs and expenses required to operate a legal taxi and livery car business in Boston,” said attorney Sam Perkins, of Brody, Hardoon, Perkins & Kesten, who filed the suit on behalf of the two cab companies. “It uses a dispatch system that is not approved, ignores regulations that are essential to public safety and uses a payment system that illegally overcharges customers.”

Boston Business Journal first reported the lawsuit late Monday.

BBJ details:

Uber’s smart phone app allows customers to arrange, summon and pay for rides in so-called “black cars” operated by drivers who contract with the San Francisco-based firm. The app also allows users to summon participating taxi cabs.

BBJ adds that Uber has faced similar suits in San Francisco, New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

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  • Johan

    Competition’s a bitch, ain’t it?

  • http://www.jitneyhack.com/ Asafo Addai

    Uber should play by the rules. They should not be demanding special treatment.

  • Guest

    When you can’t compete, you can always resort to lawfare…

  • http://twitter.com/AwesomeRobot AwesomeRobot

    Well if they’re overcharging wouldn’t the market just speak for itself? How about Boston Cab steps up their game a little with quality instead of whining.

  • disqus_yHWywxNrkI

    Has nothing to do with competition. They are getting into a highly regulated business which costs normal taxi operators hundreds of thousands of dollars per cab. They do not have to follow rules/regs, have cars inspected, drivers licensed, meters inspected and sealed by city, etc. they are referring complaints to Boston hackney dep’t but do not feel they have to abide by rules. As far as livery services, they will be sued soon over employee/ independent contractor status and will lose just like every other livery company has.

    • http://twitter.com/cgorman8 Colin Gorman

      Except, of course, that Uber doesn’t pay the “substantial capital costs and expenses required to operate a legal taxi and livery car business”, because it is, in fact, NOT A TAXI OR LIVERY CAR BUSINESS. Drivers are already licensed and cars already inspected by those legal taxi and livery car businesses. Uber pairs consumers’ “demand” for safe rides with the business owners’ “supply” of those rides. Uber’s business is putting the two together, not actually providing the ride. By your logic, Orbitz and Travelocity should register with the FAA and verify the credentials of all of the pilots that fly the jets for the airlines for whom they sell tickets.

      Hope that clears things up

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Samuel-Sitar/100001444731897 Samuel Sitar

    not guilty. let Uber compete.

  • ChrisJScott

    Tough $h!t, Boston taxis. As someone else already posted: “Competition’s a bitch.” I GLADLY pay a few extra dollars for Uber’s exceptional, smartphone-based system, vehicles that are clean and built in this decade and drivers who are both courteous and do NOT reek.

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