Vocal critic of Uber, Lyft getting out of the taxi business
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A vocal critic of Uber and Lyft is shutting down his taxi operations, saying he can no longer compete with the ride-hailing companies.
David Jung founded Eco Cab in 2012 with an all hybrid taxi fleet and cars equipped with security cameras and Wi-Fi. But he contends predatory business practices by Uber and Lyft are forcing him to retreat.
"I see Uber and Lyft as supported by many of the politicians in the state of Hawaii as being like a tsunami. There's no way I can fight it," said Jung.
Jung is not closing his company entirely, but will now focus on a part of the business where he won't have to compete with rideshare apps.
Jung said he'll keep his 15 drivers on the payroll. But the business will only provide transportation services for the disabled.
About five office workers will be given jobs with other cab companies, he added
Jung has lobbied hard with other taxi operators to get the city to regulate Uber and Lyft.
But the ride-hailing companies have fought hard against the legislation, saying they provide lower fares, better service and more convenience.
"Honolulu has the highest taxi prices in the nation right now no way are consumers winning in that situation," Uber spokeswoman Tabatha Chow said, during a Honolulu City Council in May.
But Honolulu Councilwoman Kym Pine doesn't believe that's true. And she worries that Eco Cab may only be the first casualty.
"That is never good for local people. That means prices will skyrocket and be unaffordable for local people," she said.
Pine is introducing legislation to cap the number of cars operated by Uber and Lyft drivers, just like New York City is trying to do.
Meanwhile, Mayor Kirk Caldwell is proposing to deregulate taxis and ride-hailing companies.
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