Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Outside the bag the box came in.

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A Cab of a Different Color

A new tool for licensed cabs to compete with TNCs on their own ground
  [vote for,

Taxis at some airports (Spokane International Airport included) are heavily regulated. Can't pickup OR drop off without meeting extensive standards, including invasive vehicle inspections and FBI background checks as well as driver dress codes. We ask why Uber, Lyft, etc aren't held to these standards and basically, what we hear is "it's really hard to identify them because they aren't brightly colored and covered in decals like you guys, so because we can't enforce it, why bother going through the motions and making laws that restrict them?"

Diamagnetic paint. Electrochromatic paint. Idk what it's called but I've heard both terms used to describe what I'm talking about: paint that changes color at the flip of a switch.

I want a taxi that is painted in this stuff, including the "decals" (ie, instead of decals, the mandatory signage would be painted on). I pickup a fare downtown, in my brightly colored taxi, and on my way into the airport, simply flip a switch and the "decals" disappear, the rooftop "Taxi" sign folds down, and I look for all the world to see like a normal, unregulated passenger vehicle as I drop off my fare without paying the airport their bullshit fees.

What's good for the goose...

21 Quest, Jul 16 2017

Domino's Pizza rooftop thingies https://www.google....MA&biw=1032&bih=465
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jul 18 2017]


       [+]. Our local airport has just introduced a charge of £1 for _anybody_ stopping to drop people off or pick them up - this includes friends and family, as well as taxis.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 16 2017

       Get your own aircraft. Simples.   

       Stealth cab ... [+]
8th of 7, Jul 16 2017

       I think they charge you even more than £1 for landing an aircraft at Stansted. Especially in the drop-off zone.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 16 2017

       Yes, but it's worth it for the looks on their faces ...
8th of 7, Jul 16 2017

       Welcome return of 21. Munch on this croissant morsel. +
xenzag, Jul 16 2017

       He's back! Holy shit.
{fist bump}
We probably still shouldn't cross streams though.

       (+) But a whole paint job is a bit extreme, can't they make them just have to stick one of those Domino Pizza type thingies on their roofs or be subject to fines?   

       // one of those Domino Pizza type thingies on their roofs //   

       What, like a 12" double pepperoni ... ? Won't that be rather messy ?
8th of 7, Jul 18 2017


       // stopping to drop people off or pick them up //   

       Just don't stop. It should be the responsibility of your fare to successfully navigate your slowly- moving vehicle.
whatrock, Jul 19 2017

       Nice to see you [21] and nice idea. +
xandram, Jul 20 2017

       //Laws worldwide should just be amended to exclude sharing rides more than 2 times a day.//   

       I agree, things like Uber will probably kill off a lot of licenced taxis, and the end result will be a worse service run by people who don't have the expertise or geographical knowledge.   

       But legislation is not the answer. In a democracy, if I want to transport someone for money, and if they want to pay me, and if I pay my taxes, what right does a government have to stop me?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 20 2017

       It all begins with the definition of a government - a group of people with more guns than you.
normzone, Jul 20 2017

       //But legislation is not the answer..... if I pay my taxes, what right does a government have to stop me?// Governments legislate to make (inter alia) a country run better. Correct? Legislation already controls taxis. It just needs to be reframed and the type of rubbish like Uber will never be able to meet the stricter licensing requirements, which could require, for example, all taxis operators in the London metropolitan area to pass The Knowledge before they can pick up fares.
xenzag, Jul 20 2017

       Yes, I sort of agree, partly. But, if Uber was really rubbish then people wouldn't use it.   

       It all depends on whether you're legislating for the greater public good (which I'm not sure is achieved by regulating Uber out of existence), or regulating to preserve taxi drivers' jobs.   

       We also have to face the fact that The Knowledge is less of an advantage than it used to be, now that satnavs exist. It's still some advantage (proper London cabbies will know when to avoid certain routes; and can identify destinations based on the most vague descriptions), but not as much as it used to be.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 20 2017

       People would still use Uber and every other sort of rubbish if you allow money to control everything. ie it's cheap so people use it. It's the inevitable race to the bottom when 'the market' is allowed to dictate all decisions. This means that polluters and scum companies like Monsanto can cut corners and squeeze out better quality, more caring rivals, simply by being cheaper etc. This is why Union Carbide got away with poisoning hundreds in India (for example).
xenzag, Jul 20 2017

       Like I said, I sort of agree. I'm just not convinced that it's the government's responsibility to legislate in situations like this - other than the obvious safety/insurance/tax things.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 20 2017

       It's more rewarding when you disagree.
xenzag, Jul 20 2017

       Well obviously, [xen], I disagree with _you_, but not necessarily with what you said.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 20 2017

       // Union Carbide got away with poisoning hundreds in India (for example) //   

       When the Bhopal plant was built, there was a clear area around it. Then an entirely illegal shanty town started to develop. The company (not actually UC, but a local subsidiary) repeatedly told the local council that the illegal settlement needed to be cleared for safety reasons. For political reasons, the council did nothing. Although UC objected, they bought votes by providing some very basic utility supplies.   

       The plant was badly run and badly maintained, undoubtedly. The staff were poorly trained. But there were no casualties among the staff. Not one of them required hospital treatment.   

       It was a failure of local government, not technology. No-one should have died if the original safety perimeter had been maintained.   

       There were large placards around the perimeter fence telling people what to do when the alarm sounded. They were stolen as fast as they could be replaced, and used for construction of the shanties. The local police did nothing.   

       Of course the lesson's very simple. Don't invest in third-world countries; make your products, safely, in the developed world, keep the jobs close to home. Then if the locals set up their own plants without the know-how and kill lots of people, it's their own problem.
8th of 7, Jul 20 2017

       Ah yes, but then the 'free market' makes everything cheaper and cheaper and no one will buy your more expensive but pollution free etc products.... why do think Union Carbide went to India in the first place? Cheap labour/slack regulations/who cares if a few hundred coolies get poisoned. After all it was clearly their own fault.
xenzag, Jul 20 2017

       Of course it was, that's what we said. And then they go and make a big fuss about it, as if they didn't know. Wonderful thing, a free market.   

       // why do think Union Carbide went to India in the first place? //   

       It was a UN-sponsored technology transfer initiative to help developing countries build up the capability to produce basic chemicals including pesticide precursors that they needed but couldn't afford to buy in quantity on the open market. Since India didn't buy much UC product anyway, UC were happy to take the government-backed grants and loans (The Indian government and local investors owned 49% of the operation) on the condition that product wasn't exported, thus competing with them. So they got royalties, and were seen as "good citizens", and everyone seemed to win, particularly the grafting local politicos who liked the jobs and the tax revenues but weren't interested in hearing about a problem - however serious - that might not happen on their watch ...   

       Of course, the local investors had NEDs, but they were probably more interested in their dividends and eating big dinners than checking up that the sites were well-run ...
8th of 7, Jul 20 2017


       Non executive directors. A board position which while having all the same fiduciary duties as run of the mill directors but with an at least implied remit to take a hands off role to challenge decisions of the rest of the board / the exec.   

       As to Uber etc, according to the monomaniac cabbie who drove me from Luton (the glamour!) to Milton Keynes (the horror!) the other week, Uber are in parts of the UK at least indeed subject to local authority regulation and the difference between uber and any other minicab is the software alone.   

       As to the idea, nice one!
calum, Jul 20 2017

       Maxwell, part of the point of all the legislation is to make sure cab drivers ARE paying their taxes. They want us to be highly visible to make sure we aren't doing exactly what I propose in this idea. The government even inspects, calibrates and seals our meters to make sure the rate we say we're charging per mile is the rate we're actually charging. The business licenses (state AND city) that each driver must obtain will have the department of revenue calling you if you don't file your quarterly income statement.
21 Quest, Aug 07 2017

       The thing is, Uber can only BE so cheap because they're unregulated. They can crowdsource drivers at the drop of a hat so they always have enough on hand to flood the market. But if their drivers had to get a for-hire permit like a licensed taxi driver does, that wouldn't be the case. Drug tests, fingerprint background checks, and driver physicals alone would disqualify a YUGE amount of them, and the costs involved in getting a for hire permit and having to present proof to city hall that you have not just insurance but the RIGHT insurance for the job would make the casually part time nature of the job unprofitable so the few drivers who qualify to drive for-hire wouldn't want to with that business model.
21 Quest, Aug 07 2017


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