I know it's been forever since I've been to a meeting...There hasn't been a Wednesday I've been in Charlotte all year :(. I'm once again looking for a new job so maybe that will change.
But onto my post: I'm a big fan of organizations that blatantly or covertly circumvent regulations (such as hiring services on Craigslist). There are 2 new taxi-like services in Charlotte...Lyft and Uber.
Of course their costs are lower because they don't have to deal with the administrative costs that taxis do. They work on a rating system and low rated drivers and passengers are kicked out of the program. Lyft is mainly just picking up in Uptown, Plaza-Midwood, NoDa, SouthEnd, and Montford, but can drop off within 60 miles of the pickup. Lyft works by suggesting a donation and you can pay as much or as little as you'd like. The drivers never know who pays what since they just get an aggregated summary the following day.
The kicker is that although cabs are very anonymous, especially with cash, Lyft requires using an iPhone or Android phone, Facebook connect (and I know several of you out there aren't on Facebook) and you must have a credit card on file before requesting rides. So for privacy Lyft and Uber have huge strikes on their record, but for skirting government red tape they are cool.
According to NPR this morning Uber actually hired a lobbyist in NC and got something pushed through to prevent cities from regulating it (boo! if you need to use the government to protect your monopoly or prevent the government from realizing you are skirting their rules I'm not a big fan since I think the markets should work it out, not the government).
If the Facebook connect aspect of Lyft and keeping your credit card on file haven't scared you away, you can get $10 Lyft credit. Download the app on your phone, enter all of your personally identifiable information, and hit the menu button and go to Payments and enter 6V3P22. Otherwise, next time you are uptown and see a car with a pink mustache know that it's doing its part to provide competition to the taxi industry.