Editor, The Transcript:
Uber and Lyft are here and prospering because people absolutely despise the rude, arrogant, take-it-or-leave-it mentality of the taxi monopoly. Why get into an old worn-out police car with a $99 Earl Schieb paint job that has been turned into a taxi when you can ride in a nice, clean, stench-free car with cloth or leather seats and SiriusXM radio? And if the male taxi driver gets a little too friendly with a drunk college female, what happens when she reports that to the taxi company or the police? What info does she have to give them? The taxi company will deny employing a driver of whatever description the young lady gives, and you can bet they will also deny having anyone anywhere near where the alleged incident took place. The ride-sharing companies safeguard their riders from this by providing information via smartphone at the time the ride is requested and/or accepted. Basic info provided is a picture of the driver, a description of the car, the car tag number, VIN number and GPS-tracked trip that shows the exact time the rider was in the car and the route the driver took. This also protects the driver in case someone cries foul and there was no incident of any kind.
The current generation of college students are to be commended for having the wisdom to use Uber and Lyft to shuttle between their residences and the various venues they attend where drinking alcohol may be a part of the evening's festivities. These young adults realize that a $4 to $10 ride in a ride-sharing service is the safest and best alternative to driving and risking a DUI conviction, which could cost as much as $25,000 and ruin any chance they might have had securing meaningful employment after graduating from college. Why would the Norman City Council place any obstacles in the way people of acting responsibly by adding layers of government bureaucracy?
The City of Norman pays a person between $50,000 and $80,000 a year to attract new business to relocate or set up in Norman and do business here instead of establishing their company elsewhere. No doubt they are watching to see how the vaunted Norman City Council is treating companies like Uber and Lyft who have come here and set up shop at no cost to the city. Do we really need to pay someone to attract businesses to come to Norman if we treat them poorly after they come here by telling them how to run their company? The only thing the Norman City Council should do, in my opinion is to collectively sign a huge 'Thank You!' card and send it to to any ride-sharing company who wishes to do business in our beautiful city.