Up for Debate: Jury upholds minimum fares

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 12:25am

Last week, a federal jury upheld Metro's minimum fares for non-taxi “for-hire” transportation companies. Do you think this practice is fair? Is it too much government interference or just enough?

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Up for Debate

92 Comments on this post:

By: Ask01 on 1/30/13 at 5:17

Just what is fair about this ruling?

I thought the entire concept of the free market was to allow enteprenuers to get ahead by offering a service at a lower price than competitors?

The only possible reason I can imagine for Metro to establish a minimum fare would be so drivers can, when passengers complain, just declare "It's the law. I'm just following orders."

The more cynical side of my persona thinks perhaps an individual, or Metro government, is receiving a 'gasp' kickback and wants to ensure the revenue stream.

By: Rasputin72 on 1/30/13 at 5:25

Anytime one considers that Karl Dean may have an "interest" in a controversial issue there is
ample reason for suspicion.

I am still agog over the purchase of property from Bob Frensley on Charlotte ave at twicewhat the property was worth.

By: gdiafante on 1/30/13 at 6:35

Anything the government does just stokes the fire of the government is too big crowd. I'm not familiar with this issue and I don't really care about it either.

How about those storms last night? I love the smell of January tornadoes in the morning...

By: govskeptic on 1/30/13 at 6:50

While not a lawyer, I fail to see how this controversy made it into Federal Court.
While everyone complains of Government interference in so many issues,
the fact is, that is often the case, and usually to the financial determent of the
citizens and their wallets. Requiring license is one thing, controlling price is
certainly another very different issue.

By: yogiman on 1/30/13 at 6:54

Since when did the government have the right to run someone's private business? Why don't they go into all retail stores and tell them what they can charge on each item?

Who sets your charges on your utilities; the government or the utility companies?

They're doing a lousy job even running the government offices. They should stay out of private businesses and let competition take place.

By: BenDover on 1/30/13 at 7:19

Its protectionism for the registered cab companies. It's done in exchange for the limits and regulations metro does to assure consumers are not ripped off when they get in a cab. I appreciate the we don't have to negotiate a new deal every time we get a cab and that they can't take advantage of tourists and gouge during special events. I think the uniformity benefits the cab companies too.

By: gdiafante on 1/30/13 at 7:38

Well, it doesn't seem to benefit the consumers that much, Ben. Unless you think paying $45 is better than paying $25. Of course, that was for the Black Car service...

I think this is a pretty good example of a lobbyist being able to influence something that normal citizens would consider a no-brainer (competition, anti price-fixing...that pesky free market).

As the judge stated, fishy indeed.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/30/13 at 7:38

Wouldn't the market determine the cab fees? Nashville has some strange ordinances when it comes to cabs anyway. I can't believe a person is not allowed to hail a cab downtown.

By: BenDover on 1/30/13 at 8:45

That's how it is in DC blanket. I'm on the fence about it but I think the regulation serves the consumers pretty well in Nashville for the aforementioned reasons.

By: slacker on 1/30/13 at 8:51

''You looking at me.. Metro?''
-Travis Bickle

By: slacker on 1/30/13 at 8:56

It is protectionism, but it does create a sense of order. I believe wreckers are regulated in similar manner. It won't be long until you can call a cab with your smart phone.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/30/13 at 9:04

Cabs are more reasonably priced in Chicago than they are here.

By: slacker on 1/30/13 at 9:07

I know nazi.. Chicago is wonderful.
If you're a believer.. when you die you go to Chicago, if you've been good of course.

By: yogiman on 1/30/13 at 9:07

I see where Lamar Alexander has set a 3 million dollar budget for his re-election campaign. Shouldn't the government tell him he should only get his money from the citizens of Tennessee who he's supposed to be representing?

Shouldn't his limit on collecting from them be set at a certain amount each; that is, if they want to 'donate' to him?

Why spend 3 million to collect only 9 hundred thousand in salary? That is, unless congress can give themselves a bigger pay raise.

By: budlight on 1/30/13 at 9:08

yogiman on 1/30/13 at 6:54
Since when did the government have the right to run someone's private business? Why don't they go into all retail stores and tell them what they can charge on each item?

Who sets your charges on your utilities; the government or the utility companies?

They're doing a lousy job even running the government offices. They should stay out of private businesses and let competition take place.

Yogi, they do what they want to do. Case in point: Obamacare. So next year if we don't have insurance, the IRS will pick up on it and we'll get a fine. So if we can't afford insurance, I guess they think we can afford a fine.

The US government: infringing daily on our rights.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/30/13 at 9:15

Chicago is wonderful. ;)

By: slacker on 1/30/13 at 9:26

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoKn7vkSMBc

By: BenDover on 1/30/13 at 9:26

I love Chicago too. Lou Malnati's -- mmmmmm... dang I'm hungry!

That Grand Lux on Michigan Ave is awesome.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/30/13 at 9:28

bud tries to enlighten us sinners with her clear headed approach to life. If only she could rule the world.

By: gdiafante on 1/30/13 at 9:31

Chicago bang bang

Bud, the "tax" will be considerably less than getting insurance, especially if you can't get insurance through your work. Have you tried COBRA lately?

That's another reason why I think Obamacare, though well intended, isn't going to do much, except make insurance carriers richer. You must get the idea that this is a government takeover of the health care industry out of your mind. It's not even close.

By: yogiman on 1/30/13 at 9:32

Sadly, budlight, congress is riding in that trailer behind Obama. They voted for that Obamacare program without even reading it. I guess they thought Pelosi knew enough about it they should follow her instructions.

I see where Alexander is running for re-election next year. He's been in office too long. I've read where he "stood by" Obama over 60% of the bills when Obama was in the Senate. Just wondering, did he know what he was supporting?

I can't seen where he's changed since Obama usurped the Oval Office.

By: yogiman on 1/30/13 at 9:36

gdiafante,

The government already had a takeover of insurance when LBJ got the Medicare bill passed. I didn't have a choice to say yes or no when I hit that 65 year mark. I did have a choice to keep my regular insurance as a backup.

By: gdiafante on 1/30/13 at 9:54

No, yogi, Medicare is not a takeover of the insurance industry either.

By: yogiman on 1/30/13 at 10:22

Then what is it? I didn't have a choice whether to take it or not. I know I'/m paying for it and I sure didn't volunteer to take it.

I understood they was offering two forms: Medicare and Medicaid. You was charged for Medicare but given Medicaid if you couldn't afford Medicare.

And they didn't ask me which one I wanted.

By: gdiafante on 1/30/13 at 10:34

Do you not understand the term industry takeover? Did the government take over an industry or provide a social program that supplements that industry?

If you can't tell the difference, maybe you should just stay out of the conversation.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/30/13 at 10:42

The people who complain about Obamacare usually don't know the first thing about it or the healthcare industry as a whole. I bet none of them can define what single payor is or what it would accomplish vs. what Obamacare is or how it is paid for.

By: Loner on 1/30/13 at 10:59

Good morning, Nashville.

As I understand it, one guy owns all three taxicab companies in Nashville....and last year, he tried to keep the minorities from forming their own competitive cab company. Mobster-style.

Now a federal grand jury agrees with the tainted taxi tycoon of Nashville....competition would be bad....gouging the consumer is thus protected by law, in Music City.

ATTN Tourists: Avoid Nashville at all costs...it's open season on visitors.....if you go, be prepared to bend over and spread 'em.

OK....who bribed the jury?

By: Loner on 1/30/13 at 11:02

The feds are now in the price-fixing business.....follow the money.

By: Loner on 1/30/13 at 11:08

Normally, Ben Dover opposes government regulation of commerce...but in the case of hosing visitors who need a lift around town, he is an advocate of government price-fixing.

This strange turn-about is quite perplexing...Ben did a 180....he now supports government control of commerce.... with bureaucrats micro-managing small businesses in America.

Ben must have stock in the Metro area livery business....otherwise, this major flip-flop is tough to explain.

By: yogiman on 1/30/13 at 11:11

I'm sorry, gdiafante, I'm apparently not as smart as you. I do know I wasn't given an option whether I wanted Medicare or not. I could only presume the government had entered the medical insurance business with a take it whether you want it or not. I since I could keep the insurance I already I never thought of Medicare as a competitive issue, just a 'take it dammit, you have no choice'.

So I took it.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/30/13 at 11:19

You are not as smart as a rock, yogi.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/30/13 at 11:20

It is called price control.

By: Loner on 1/30/13 at 11:22

So, if it costs the consumer $45, just to open the door and get in the transporting vehicle, one wonders who will be attending conventions in Nashville's new Convention Center....let the word go out....Nashville is out to exploit and gouge visitors and Metro government is orchestrating the massive rip-off.

Booking the convention in a city other than Nashville will save conventioneers lots of hard-earned cash.....once again, Metro is acting in a foolish and counter-productive manner....Why? Because the politicians are in bed with the mob....WAKE UP!!

By: slacker on 1/30/13 at 11:27

Loner, mob guys don't like country music.

By: slacker on 1/30/13 at 11:28

Badda-Bing.. Badda-Bang..

By: Loner on 1/30/13 at 11:34

Was the true purpose of this minimum fare law to keep the Negroes out of the taxicabs and limos and confined to Metro buses? It certainly looks that way....this is segregation by another name.

By: Loner on 1/30/13 at 11:40

As we all know, Frank Sinatra was a mob guy...you are right, Slack, Frank was not country....sounds to me like the mob does not enjoy country music...but they do make money off of it....by hosing those who do love country music....in that sense, the mob is definitely country-friendly.....Kerching!

Karl Dean to Nashville visitors: "Yous who don't like it can kiss my mobster @ss!"

By: Loner on 1/30/13 at 11:43

I am seeing an image in my crystalline spheres of clairvoyance....it's Al Capone wearing a Coonskin Cap......he's packing heat....and waving a rebel flag.....

By: slacker on 1/30/13 at 11:46

Big Al was a Roy Acuff fan...

By: slacker on 1/30/13 at 11:49

'' Pay up or I'll break your legs you hicks..''

By: Loner on 1/30/13 at 11:51

I had considered visiting Nashville this Spring...forget about it....I'd be picked clean of my cash in a few hours....thanks to the mob, Music City is Rip-Off City.....I'll just bypass the place when I cruise by.

By: Loner on 1/30/13 at 11:52

Karl Dean must have found a horse's head in bed with him...he's now got his mind right.

By: Loner on 1/30/13 at 11:55

The phrase, "being taken for a ride", has new meaning in Metro Nashville....thanks to the mob and their reps on the Metro board. Time to clean house...get the soap and bleach out....Nashville is filthy.

By: Loner on 1/30/13 at 11:59

Dean did not like the idea of trying to swim in the Cumberland River....wearing cement shoes....thus, he is an advocate for price gouging......to "protect" the consumer, of course.

By: slacker on 1/30/13 at 12:02

Loner, rumor has it.. that Al Capone owned a house on Hillsboro Rd. in Franklin, Tn.

By: Loner on 1/30/13 at 12:13

No rumor, Slack...I see the place in my crystal balls....I see Capone wearing a Coonskin Cap and brandishing a Bowie knife....he's mumbling something....something about the right to keep and bear arms...now, he's scratching his crotch....something about, "crabs".

By: bfra on 1/30/13 at 12:14

slacker - I thought it was a house in North Nashville, known as "The house on the hill".

By: Loner on 1/30/13 at 12:17

The guy who owns all three cab companies in Nashville is a grand nephew of Al Capone....according to my crystal balls....they never lie.

By: Loner on 1/30/13 at 12:20

So, did the mayor get a nice little Christmas gift from the mob? You'll never know...I mean, yous will never know. That's a state secret, folks.

By: slacker on 1/30/13 at 12:31

bfra, the house on the hill was a joint I frequented back in the day. Don't know the history of it.. Nemo might.