With a quick stroke of the pen, Boise declared war on Uber, a ride-sharing service that’s revolutionizing transportation.
But, to be sure, Idaho’s biggest city, which just sent the company a cease-and-desist letter, just declared war on safety and people, too.
Uber has grown in popularity among the tech-savvy, particularly in America’s biggest cities. With a few taps on a smartphone, riders can request a posh black car or SUV for a ride across the city. It’s incredibly convenient and less odorific than flagging a cab, stained with the stench of cigarettes, booze and, occasionally, human excrement.
To put it plainly: I love Uber.
Besides the convenience factor, Uber encourages safety for drunk riders. There’s at least a bit of data showing the ride-sharing company helps cut down on drunk driving, which is good for everyone. Best part: no extra patrols or sketchy police checkpoints.
Make no mistake about it, though, Boise’s action is nothing less than a war on struggling Idahoans. The company offers living wages for its drivers and allows workers to choose their own hours—opening the door of opportunity for those who might to need make some extra cash for school, a down payment on a house or to pay off debt.
During a recent trip to Orlando, I rode in an Uber from a hotel to an event center. The driver was an immigrant from Haiti who came to the United States seeking a better life. He told us he doesn’t want to drive long term, but needs the Uber arrangement to aid his budget.
Uber is putting food on his table while he looks for a career in technology or computers.
Orlando is waging a similar war on Uber, but the driver was optimistic he’d be able to continue feeding his family off his driving.
Boise’s action is dangerous. Uber may only employ six drivers in the Treasure Valley, but those are six individuals who have needs, families and hopes and dreams.
Let us hope Boise doesn’t crush their dreams.