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Last week the R.I. Division of Public Utilities and Carriers heard testimony on the topic of minimum charges for rides offered by nontaxi motor vehicles.
New regulations that had been scheduled to go into effect in November, but which were suspended while the PUC studied the issue, had called for a minimum $40 per ride charge for any of these new carriers.
Before the PUC makes its final decision – which by the way should rescind this onerous minimum charge – it should read up on what happened recently in Chicago.
The city was preparing to impose more stringent regulations on the ride-sharing services when it received a letter from the Federal Trade Commission saying that any new regulations “should be limited to safety and consumer-protection concerns and not impose higher license fees or insurance requirements than traditional taxicabs have to meet,” according to Crain’s Chicago Business.
The point here is that the entrenched taxi interests should not be able to stifle competition that consumers are calling for and deserve, either in Chicago or in Rhode Island. •