Lawmakers debate letting Colorado taxis set prices like Uber

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DENVER — Lawmakers at the State Capitol will soon vote on a measure to deregulate the taxi cab industry.

HB 18-1320 would allow for cabs to offer prices similiar to Uber and Lyft, in an effort to save the struggling industry.

“Taxicabs have no say in the ability to lower their fares, so this would allow for them to be more competitive,” Rep. Dan Pabon (D-Denver) said.

According to Pabon, a typical taxi from downtown to DIA costs $50-$60 while Uber and Lyft change their prices based off demand — sometimes it’s as low as $30.

The bill does not change licenses or permits; ensuring cab drivers must still pass background checks.

“It is about keeping them competitive,” Pabon said.

The bill — which was heard in committee this week — could be voted on as early as next week.

Hasen Hisu, a Denver taxi cab driver, is grateful for the effort – still confused that Uber and Lyft were able to upend the industry like they did.

“I don’t know how this all happened but it’s like it’s very slow and we can’t make no money,” Hisu said.

As for why lawmakers are focused on deregulating taxi and not regulating Uber and Lyft more — Pabon suggested it’s a changing economy.

“The idea of a regulated monopoly in 2018 is going out the window,” Pabon said.


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