Some Uber supporters contend that city's proposed regulations are not part of some larger debate over the quality of life in Cambridge, but rather more simply an effort to protect a single business interest: the taxi industry.
"There clearly is a faction in the Cambridge city government who is opposed to Uber and trying to protect the entrenched taxi incumbents," said Joel Fleming, who first came to Cambridge to attend Harvard University and decided to stay because of its progressive and liberal nature.
Fleming was so incensed by the city's proposal that he joined an angry crowd of Uber users and supporters who crowded into a small basement meeting room at a municipal building Tuesday night where the License Commission held its hearing.
The Commission proposed that Uber and its drivers obtain licenses to operate in the city, which requires background checks and regular inspections. Private drivers such as black cars or limousines would have to charge a minimum of $50 — well above Uber's $7 base fee. The regulations would also ban the practice used by Uber called "demand response booking," where drivers pick up passengers without knowing their destination in advance.
After a huge outcry, the licensing board backed away from its initial recommendations and said it will hold more meetings before deciding on new rules.
Cambridge Versus Uber