WWL>Topics>>6-11-14 1:10pm Angela: on Uber and cab drivers

6-11-14 1:10pm Angela: on Uber and cab drivers

Jun 11, 2014|

Angela talks with Ryan Berni, senior adviser to Mayor Landrieu, about the possible implementation of the Uber app and what it might mean for local cab drivers, as well as Nawlins Cab owner Sheree Kerner, Limo Association president Michael Brinks, and Carriage Cabs spokesperson Todd Ragusa.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well I'm happy beautiful day today only gosh the humidity was down makes us all very happy campers. -- may be rain tomorrow but let's enjoy today. But today I think you're also going to enjoy a hope you do anyway our next three hours. The first one is fascinating if you're unaware of what Bloomberg News. This is going to be your hour to find out -- it is something that has the taxicab and limousine world here very upset. Then in our second hour were going to be revisiting. The Affordable Care Act we've done about eight hours on this so far. And were we haven't done a show and about a couple of months over -- say where where is obamacare now. What has been accomplished what still needs to be done with our two experts. And our third our very happy to report that one of our -- counsel people. -- -- such is going to be with this for the whole hour. Not talking about issues the city faces. His take on what happened up in the legislature since he was -- legislate -- for five years. And done anything else you wanna talk about. But we begin -- The city has made sweeping changes to the taxi experience. Requiring taxi companies to have newer cars. The ability to take credit cards have GPS and security cameras. And it's made a big difference to those of us who use -- Now the city is addressing updating the limousine service. All of this is good. But doesn't open the door to a car service named Wilbur that is already in seventy cities around the world. Over is simply an app. That connects writers to drivers. Allowing writers to see where the cars are find out information about who's picking them up. And then allows the writer to rate the driver. -- to save the taxi industry in New Orleans is upset is an understatement. Joining us to talk about this is sure -- -- owner of knowledge can. Michael Brinks president of the limo association. And -- reduce spokesperson for carriage camps. And also joining us by phone Ryan Bernie a spokesman for the mayor's office. And we also want to know that we invited a spokesperson from -- to join us and they told us they were not able to do that today. But I think this is going to be a very interesting conversation I've learned a lot just in the the reading I've done and I think you're gonna find it interesting as well. Don't hesitate to get this call 2601870. If we're not asking the right questions or if you have any comments at all. Let's start with not sure -- Hoover is a real threat to your industry. Yes it is and initially when the idea came out about who currently from city hall and I had been interviewed by one of the local stations. They didn't I was four because I'm for competition. But they didn't tell me we're gonna customize laws simply to allow -- in. That gives him an unfair advantage. Against the taxi industry and basically what is an unfair advantage. Well the first thing is on -- in fact there actually. Striking in your upper right now because of -- because it's that impact -- to the economy by letting mover and but the one of the important things to notice is they want -- allow the boomer -- to be able to use their app as a meter. Where the taxi industry is required to have the meter that puts -- -- different regulation and forces downtime on -- so that's number one. Secondly would they wanna do is. Allowed. -- driver to be able pick up our cream of the crop and those people actually you know they're the high tampers. On it's a premium fares and those premium -- currently subsidize us to go pick up the war. The working man the window you know anybody that's financially pinched that can afford to give us those kind affairs. So if you take the cream of the crop off of that and that's all we're left with is a low income and they've already pushed as below poverty level as it is with the reform. Okay. -- backtrack just a bit and then get Ryan burning on in just a moment. Wilbur is an app lets say I guess the app on my phone. I say here I am at 1024 different -- -- and then make it they do something back to me and it says somebody's gonna be there an eight minutes. -- just like taunts can Baptist no big deal it's no mystery is just like a phone these days everybody's gonna start happened phones on we have maps carriage has out Sino other taxi companies are developing their app. Like for some reason that they would not be under the guidelines that you all have to be done right with the city. This isn't a taxi -- hero you have rules to regulate how much you charge yes they do. So so when you say you pick up the the the poor who they still have to pay that regulated and -- fair. And it's -- you know we have -- meters are configured so we hit start. We get a fair and there it ticks 125 to detonate them out of a mile and on the passenger can watch that apparent. And you know a lot of people don't like to be flat -- 'cause they feel like the driver is getting ready to rip them off but that's what you are doing it for some reason that's fine so. Let's talk about that how they will have no meter right. They're just gonna say it's gonna cost you this to go from point eight appointing them. In Italy is trying to let him back up on Connecticut important to just -- about the contacts about all of this happening. On in 2012 as you mention that the that the start of the segment. You know we've had been working with tax cap ministry for awhile on updating the standard of the vehicles. On and not -- week that included. Newark State Department GPS critical machine. Something apart senators -- all right security cameras protect her driver and passenger safety. On a number of things that have obviously improved experience both -- Passenger but also oh we think has it improved the ability for drivers -- -- to make money and -- More safe and in a vehicle. At that time we did not. Touch -- update the limo regulations on these regulations have been on the books. -- as much as fifty years six years and change and they just have not. Been modernized to talk to one of the things that this happened. Over the last few weeks in particular -- Is we've been talking to the -- industry that talking to attractive entry. Let's talk about two ways that we can update. City laws took to get them more in compliance with what the actual business models are that. Happened today. And so one of the things that it happened is. Missed missed -- point now. Technology. Is evolving it's a bigger part. Transportation import our industry and so we wanna make sure that New Orleans has the ability to be on the cutting edge and we have. Good transportation -- options for our residents -- reformist. And also our business and leisure travelers. That obviously drive a large portion of our economy here a lot of things we. One of the things that we -- do issues kind of couple things and organs on the that we are proposing is not. What -- would -- themselves is not the way they operate a lot of cities it is. Specifically for the black claw marks and they have mobile service. So the higher end of the there kind of product they are also offer or ride sharing service. It's called were acts which is actually what a lot of people are now they talk about Cooper for action talking about black parks service so more -- tree. Services and that's what we've been -- more specifically with the open -- for the last few months. But ordered just said the couple simple things -- want it -- right now to rent A today and -- -- You're part to reserve it for three hours. To this -- a lot of people out the president three hour minimum minimum price would be a 105 dollars. It should also it's just not economical. And so -- -- -- additional options we proposed removing meant to -- and -- mental reservation apartment. And then setting -- minimum flat fee. From the airport. To and from the airport as well as minimum rate. Bomb that separate the cost double remote from attack people while still providing. People today. A fear that they can afford. May I am just just for second -- we're gonna have to take a break I just have to get my brain right around this. You're saying that the over things more leaning toward the limo and not the tax. Correct sort of thing is that -- or is that a proposal on the table that we've been talking about. Deals with -- live CP agencies and eleven oh entity and black car industry. Of course not that it happens in a vacuum -- so we have to the mindful about how that affects everyone wanted to that we set as let's take a very common sense approach -- try to find a way to. To. Regulate this in a way that works for awhile and what to figure out a way that we can set up minimum price that separates. The minimum -- for taxi tournament compare for. Blue black -- when those which could be -- black or could be you know a number of other -- president ms. Chernoff pointed out. There are a lot of local companies that would like to be able to charge. -- lower now and get rid of the three hour minimum. So that they can be profitable and then I just think overall are kind of mind frame throughout this has been and that. We know we obviously priest. Appreciate technology this city has made so many changes and innovation and not partnership we should be -- for that. A place where we appreciate that a patient but we also have. An obligation. At the city to insure that the public consumers protected to work trying to take a middle ground or -- approach this to them as has happened in a lot of -- I want you to stay on the line Ryan would we do have to take a break we'll be right back but we're going to continue this discussion. About what -- is and what the taxis limos are saying their concerns are right after this. We're talking about the taxi and limousine. Business and our town very concerned about the advent of an organization called Cooper. Which is an app. An app that will become. This is not confuse -- a driving surface for lack of it but we're also talking to Ryan burning with the city. -- know we don't have a very long Ryan and I want to clarify some things. I think the bigger picture for somebody just listening is that. We've all understood that the taxis in limos have lived under -- guidelines for years. And now there is the potential if you letting over -- who would not have to live by the same rules and -- incorrect in thinking meant. So they've always been to separate industries so when and attack cans are both. About the same channel it into regulated by the same. Provisions in this city ordinances. But they are separated their separate licenses for both of them are -- requirements for both the types of cars. Let me tell you an ignorant let me tell you what they're concerned about their concerns at this new ordinance has been tailored to. They really aren't. Our our interest is having customers have the ability to prearranged. Park service using the latest technology. And -- is one of the comedy that does that. But it in no way it did this. To specifically to the supermodel and I think the broader point here is that there're a number of local. But limo and taxi cab company's -- looking to do some things things and so one of the things we had to do was update. City's ordinances to allow for something like this to happen it could under the old way. You could not arrange day. Today and are black marlin now -- -- less than three hours and so. That's one group one of the major things that we are looking to change. Michael you are head of the limo association. What is sheer difficulty with this. Our industry is concerned. It is their zone. They've introduced us team based on time and distance from her and that's not something that we like. And whether using. The -- -- her another. They're the ones that are actually determining the great. Right yeah you -- able to determine a link in the city determines -- raped. Know our enters this it would change it and there's -- -- that are established. But we extra maximum news in the city wasn't in favor of that. And we thought the backs and were important for the public's protection. Win this. -- as apps like Cooper do from time to time they do what's called surge pricing. And so the normal thing to pick you up from point -- -- -- people aren't content. If they think it's high demand period. Very independently. With you know not -- our input decide to charge 23456. -- -- the -- And that's the stuff that you know commission in charge of retirement distance and what about not -- interest it and. Well I'm I think we do in debate point -- point I think the broader point is. That as a consumer you ought to have. There ought to be a greater array of options and it view that the president or visitor from out of place. What would like to pay rate to be you know black car which is a different level of service. That attack see that you ought to have that ability incidental or Wear protective. Basically I see this is Robin Hood going ban ordinance where you steal from the port in order to give to the rich. Again. You know my concern is that date or use seeing the -- industry. To disguises itself as taxis. And again they are focused on picking up those premium fares. That we would normally get to be able to go service the pour the poorest in the city. And without those people I believe it's gonna cause market failure in the taxi industry. Many people that already had a go bankrupt and out of the industry because we had to go through taxi reform. This is just another blow we've been asked cannot City Hall for a rate hike you know to help us compensate for that and the answer is -- Okay. What is your response to that -- select get that. Well a minute to do broadly we've been working with the tech camp spokesman Carter's been the leader in in that industry and it really leans forward. In terms of modernizing the fleet and really -- in compliance with all of them. You're apartments and one of the things we had in our last meeting his. If you guys in the industry drivers the security holders heroic come together once proposed. A way that. You can begin in the capture additional revenue through either rating crucial not at all -- -- all -- for. The City Council but at least have -- can ministry put forward a proposal. Yeah but I don't we don't want Hoover at the same time because -- -- trying to do is trade off to us by given us a taxi rate hike now. It's at the same time that you're going to allow -- and we simply do not want to bury you and why can't you wait twelve months. For us to take a second graph. So we can finally get past that ass and start doing our own innovation because all of us are doing innovation right now. They just haven't app I have an app. There's many things my company's getting ready to roll out -- again ready to try to see if you can kill that -- animation idea just because you like their app because you sank. In that meeting you said it's 'cause it's convenient. Yeah people like the apps. And people like convenience of people also want to know that there's regulations at their safe getting -- cab -- limo. And is there anything there that will guarantee that if overcome -- Lot again I think nothing really changes about what it takes to be a -- or Libya attack can about it retort that. Nothing changes about what it takes to be a taxi cab or limo driver and the order to have so all the protection that it existed for a long time or interest in and keeping and again we can be city that. Embraces innovation and technology and at the same time to make sure that people but customers are and the drivers themselves. Are safe and so you know my last -- before have to go is. You know this is going to be have a thorough public betting. At this point we proposed that it has the labor for a certain period of time given that -- council guidelines. There will be a public hearing count number percent and Williams -- the co authors that'll be incalculable -- that's. Committee. That that point it to move on from there and go to work -- the City Council so I think there's going to be able a lot of time to continue to have these discussions. Over the next several weeks. Well it really is a major educational process for -- at the Ryder. As well. Understanding the difficulties that these people and -- -- in the studio were facing. But I do appreciate you joining trying very much we're gonna continue this conversation with. The taxi and limo people in and we do have some callers I hope you'll stay with us. And that will figure all this out but thank you so much we'll be right back I'm Angela on WW well. Your back talking about. Some changes that may be happening or learning about Bloomberg. And other concerns that the taxi and limo industry has in new world. Again it's a little confusing I'm learning more literally every minute. But let's go back I appreciate it Ryan from the city was with us but now I have you here. You the taxi and limo industries I'm learning now there are two sets of -- And the little the 590 with a one that the city is looking at his uber black which is really -- Your concern sugary is that in fact it will just be excuse that the toe in the water and personal attacks. Yeah actually they're creating a third layer of transportation service because Lamo is defined by. All of your cars. They are taking it and separating all there. Quote unquote black cars away from stretch limos which creates a different classification. And that classification. To us is a limo taxi. In our Angel if I can talk yes absolutely. Suits at issue here. With -- reply is that as we seen in cities across the country. Where -- upper fifties and plus cities. They start with a legitimate business model -- And then they moved to the very dangerous number X. Which means anybody with a car can go online and sign up to be a driver and pick up passengers perfect. That's really dangerous entry might human wild with the -- scenarios. That can happen from. Service. We're seeing instances of drivers and -- Killing grounds and Francisco. Sexual assaults kidnappings. Because they're not subject then to the same regulations or requirements attacks here in. So -- says the toe in the water but it gives them a foothold in us and take -- to open up the excerpts. And we quote from Cooper CEO which says once you reach a critical mass is impossible shot past. That means once -- in town everyone's using that -- They'll they'll have to switch flip on a switch for acts that everyone's got an and at that point. I don't know how you enforce it. And in Hoover acts. But not under none of the regulations they -- just independent people they're currently operating illegally in Los Angeles. State of Virginia city of Austin city Houston state Maryland Arizona and they can't shut -- -- I thought that in Austin and another city that they -- actually the city actually banned them. Actually. The last one guys on ways and in Arizona. And the legislature passed -- bill to -- -- but it was beaten body Arizona governor because she -- public safety. It's not good for the -- of -- in nations he vetoed an applicant cease and desist from the state of Virginia stated. June 5. Asking stop circuits in the state of Virginia. When talking about convenience which is in the world looking. You're saying that your cab company that companies are in the mode now trying to do that convenience with yet that's exactly. So you're saying to the city it was twelve months -- get that are -- -- it would make it would neutralize. Okay it would need to -- you know okay. Obviously thing that your industry. Isn't doesn't have the convenience that the public may be -- Well they're talking about the visitor because of visitors comes from -- -- from the cities and over again. They come in thinking -- Lugar touts that they're all over the -- on the unit -- get disappointed because -- not here. So that's become an outcry TV two hospitality industry because they want. So now. I don't see why you know when they come into one islands they come here for and wants culture. You know like team we do things differently here and I think from hospitality tourism perspective. I think as industry leaders appreciate healthy. And industries do it for two -- has fleets that -- service technology. Let's go to -- in lake view. -- -- -- I've been in any business for about 23 years. And it needs. When I first got -- Olympic -- industry. The city into Portland would not permit. -- Could not get it deep and be a -- in technical. Attacked the industry to RT party yet. That they feared that we would cannibalize -- -- -- different what -- at airport was probably two hours. Picture to an airport in a bit pain and -- was about 55 dollars. So it would be. Different in the right it is. Taxis -- And black or short. And you're saying this will this will. But shorten that distance. Vote but it sure an incredibly. Good at what Rupert. It's -- -- are quote attack or. So it has been her attack. -- my. Weight more. In fact going to airport with six people's 84 dollars have a minimum of it's 65%. This would be one of their vehicles it's cheaper so vehicle that it would inland number of the witness these structures would be nineties -- his -- No I'm talking about years ago yeah actually -- big lobby beard that quite that. To get a war. And what are what are all saying is is that that this is gonna be much closer together but I thought Ryan Bernie was saying that because of its. This area of of over the black area who -- black car area isn't is going to be under the regulation of the city. -- the charges. If you are if you talked to spoke of call that would known. Him for instance pick up. And Carrollton and Charles and drive downtown. There's nothing in the ordinance that really identifies. How that app based would be able to charge. The only thing that they put in it is that. For a sitting in for instance currently it's his 25 dollar minimum and it talks about. But over charges based on timing distant. And that's and that's what's he -- -- however. Hoover wants to calculated. Picking calculating charges. And with their local manager mr. Hayes told me is that there apartments has to be about 20% above camp rates. For our service and that's. I think it's it's it's it's trying to feed to which the. Averages in terms this. Record -- for Oprah doesn't have over it correct they don't have that right. Is -- it's incredibly expensive to build infrastructures and it does come in with technology you know meet a kink -- code this stuff from his and you know and all -- unhappy now happily go in these Justin -- -- Okay it would take another -- -- -- with this every one we'll be right back. Well we're talking about proposed changes in our taxi and limo. Services here in the city let's go to Sandra on the North Shore Sandra. Sandra. -- -- -- -- -- -- Our -- listening to. It was so and tickets have been quite frustrated. We travel in the past but it you know we go to New York City a couple times a year and that's -- I use now as -- -- and we just recently got back from new York and -- -- the the best thing. You know we use these -- the do crap. Is says requesting a card comes up you know -- two minutes three minutes five minutes late. Ten minutes and you're using a picture of the driver's seat is that dividing land. Essentially of the car is. So that you know you know basically how close they are few. And they -- exhibit nice clean vehicle. And I drive and and typically brought where apparently before. This is -- superb. Some type of black suvs that says stop. I would -- what are the prices. It depends of me that I think I think the minimum it's still like fifteen dollars. I think we do -- ago. You know maybe ten miles for 25 dollars. Let me ask you that because do you like the whole concept of the -- and you know what it reveals you know here's the driver here it's coming centers that are. What if it were local not -- but. Her car company or his car company and you had that is that's what's appealing to you. Doesn't -- that it's just didn't Brian I think Cooper has. Is that a help itself out very well and like so what is the Petit has I would never want to have any issues whatsoever. You have five minutes to cancel if you decide you know what -- -- of five minutes or ten minutes -- your plans to get by the minister canceled their penalty. I've actually only ample -- time after five minutes and that he didn't charge me. Whatever the minimum fee is what's I don't even have a couple dollars cancellation -- -- -- hold on to ours does the same thing we don't charge times so. I appreciate that integrate technology it's very cool it's convenient it's fast that's all wonderful. The concern and I'm glad that your caller had a great experience the concern here is that -- over X opens up. Did the driver's skin art and I held accountable to same type of regulations that taxi cab drivers they don't have to get the same background checks. They don't need to meet the same guy insurance regulations that don't happen the same kind standards and cars in Sadr. I mean just last week and the week before and -- driver was accused of kidnapping a woman and take you to motel for the purposes of sexual assault. Who the driver killed a six year old girl in San Francisco. I mean there's -- the list goes on and on. We have we have that in New Orleans all the time with taxicab drivers. You know there's there's a lot. We need to be worked in and that's actually correct and that's the reason why taxi reform happen I was totally for City Hall behind that because they did do the right thing. And it definitely has flipped the infrastructure. We've gotten -- we do on a criminal backgrounds in the drug testing at all. It's eradicating the people 'cause we used to be a second chance industry here. Because we didn't -- those kind of rules but now we gain a whole new layer of people you know that -- here in our city that provides jobs to people you -- And in Cuba as even as far. Far greater. Standards for their drivers and certainly their vehicles. You know go online right now and sign up to be Brack driver into Craigslist. So I can do that you can do it and street view and -- It is one thing radio but the fact that. There's not the facts and these are excited about it what -- you should acknowledge it. Which would supermodel do you like the most out of all the choices. We'll -- -- offers a multitude of choices of different. He could be tags in anything issued an order and arms mr. Rupert Buick who were black -- UV you were now excel. I didn't have that group of regular group that you didn't quite click on the black car. But black caught access -- -- that. Though the results industries. Cooper has our separate section. For their suvs and singular issue -- Yeah -- a black car but double -- is that I think we've always gotten and -- -- my Apatow says black are requesting a black car and we're going to begin activity which works out well because of some of the taxi cab you know as you know the fact it's a very small there's no weight room. I don't really take -- -- -- New Orleans that -- -- like -- -- -- -- York if it's so much more comfortable. To be in this in this move their cars there's. Always clean and you'd either be very nicely. You're saying actually then probably wouldn't have a need to use over here. Now would you know as a as a residency I would probably not. Seventies. Sandra I hate in Iraq we are out of time I appreciate your call. I appreciate all of you being here on Sri Kerner and Michael brink and -- reduce. We're gonna have you back because this is gonna go before the transportation committee. We'll pick it up from there and see what happens but I think we're all learning something. And I just appreciate it that the conversation hasn't stopped stay with this'll be right. --