On Demand Car Request Service Uber Receives Praise and Backlash from Local Officials

Word has rapidly spread that Malachai Hull, Director for the City of New Orleans’ Department of Safety and Permits Taxicab and For Hire Vehicle Bureau, and others have threatened Uber with arrests and fines if they enter into the New Orleans market.

UberUber is a venture-funded, on demand car request service, not a taxi company.

Some city officials have embraced Uber in Louisiana and have been working to get the company to the big easy. Public Service Commissioner Eric Skrmetta is facing a push back.

“Uber is a service in virtually in every major city in the U.S. and Europe, I thought it was one of the most anti-business moves I’ve ever seen,” said Skrmetta.

Hull and the International Association of Transport Regulators have publicly criticized Uber, even calling their app designed for quick and easy booking a “rogue smartphone app.” One release stated that the “war against the rogue apps is not yet over but the tide has turned, and the IATR is winning!”

The New Orleans community is fighting back. After a cease-and-desist letter was sent to Uber, long before operations in the city were set to begin, dozens have expressed pro-Uber opinions, even creating a petition to bring the car service to Louisiana. As of 1:30 PM, 31 have signed the petition.

“It’s important that our city does not get in the way of allowing a quality business like Uber to come to New Orleans,” wrote Joe Corbett, creator of the petition. “Preventing Uber from doing business in New Orleans sends a bad message to the rest of the country about how we do business here. Do the right thing and let Uber come to New Orleans.”

Supporters of the petition have expressed that the city of New Orleans needs to show that its open to allowing innovative businesses into our market. “Let’s tell the city that it’s not ok to prevent good businesses from opening up shop in New Orleans,” continued Corbett.

Uber has also had issues entering many other markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, D.C., San Francisco, and more.

In support of Uber in New Orleans? Sign the petition.

Not in support of Uber in New Orleans? Comment below and tell us why!