Everyone loves catching an Uber, but imagine your shock to find instead of a flashy car, you’ve been served with ye olde horse and buggy?
Well that was the latest public stunt pulled by Uber on the streets of Austin, Texas as the ride sharing company went old school and started a horse and buggy service.
The purpose? A bizarre protest against city authorities, apparently.
Spokeswoman Debbee Hancock said the “Kitchen Uber”— named after Austin councillor Ann Kitchen, who wants to clamp down on ride sharing — aimed at making a point about her proposed regulations.
“Council Member Kitchen’s plan would impose 19th Century regulations on 21st Century technology,” Hancock said.
“Uber has improved mobility for half a million people in Austin, but [this] proposal would take Austin backwards and eliminate this reliable transportation option.”
‘KITCHEN’S UBER’ Horse & Buggy will be available at 6PM by City Hall! Request KITCHEN for a $50 ride. pic.twitter.com/N78YurBQbo
— Uber Austin (@Uber_ATX) November 5, 2015
Hancock insisted that the new regulations would essentially render ride-sharing companies as useful and relevant as a horse and buggy, making it impossible for Uber to operate in the city where 10,000 UberX drivers have now completed 2.5 million trips.
Fun (and very pointed) fact: The City of Austin prohibits horses from operating on the streets before 6pm.
Austin’s mobility committee is considering a range of new regulations for ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft, including a requirement to pay the city US$1 per ride provided instead of one per cent of their revenue, My Statesman reported.
Also on the cards is the call for handing over fingerprint checks instead of the simpler names-based background check.
Hancock also shared the fact that 70 per cent of Austinites surveyed by Uber supported ride sharing, and a petition doing the rounds to oppose Kitchen’s plan had already racked up 30,000 signatures.
Kitchen Uber rides are available in Austin for a flat fare of $50, weather permitting, ahead of the city council’s 16 November vote on the issue.
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