Chicago Taxi Companies Sue Uber For Coolness Discrimination

Chicago Taxi Companies Sue Uber

Chicago Taxi companies have sued (see the full complaint below) a new car service called Uber for their discrimination against the uncool. Uber is a well-known on-demand private car service that lets users reserve cars for pickup over their smart phones.

Actually, the companies seem to have a litany of complaints that seem unlikely to be upheld in court. The list of complaints, as Techdirt compiled them, range from Uber comparing itself to taxi and livery services (the taxi companies claim this is misleading) to Uber charging too much because of a 20% gratuity. It also complains that the gratuity is misleading because only half of it goes to the driver and half goes to Uber.

All these seems like silly things for any company to think they could sue another company over. Really, taxi companies? You think you can dictate Uber’s pricing? Shouldn’t you concentrate on your own first?

Anyway, the most entertaining claim is that Uber discriminates against the uncool. Finally, someone willing to stand up to the scourge of coolness based discrimination.

While Uber advertises itself as “Everyone’s Private Driver”—that is in fact a gross mischaracterization as Uber only chooses to cater to what it perceives as the technologically elite and well-off individuals. It is obvious that through Uber’s marketing it caters to young, hip, urban professionals, which is perfectly reasonable on the livery side. But using the publicly regulated (and limited number) taxis in order to create a two tier system— “high quality taxis” for the “haves” and the remainder for the “have nots”—runs contrary to the many ordinances enacted in Chicago to ensure non-discriminatory service for everyone in Chicago, not just those “cool” enough to use Uber.

No longer should the uncool have to suffer as second class citizens to hipsters when it comes to private taxi choice. I have a dream that my four imaginary little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by their coolness, but by the content of their character.

Yellow Cab v Uber