For people who pride themselves on being the most convenient way to get from Point A to Point B, ride-hailing companies sure had an arduous ride in Fort Worth.
They finally got to their Fort Worth destination Tuesday when the City Council decided to back off vehicle-for-hire regulation.
The hands-off approach will affect Lyft, Uber, limo and taxi drivers.
This all started about 18 months ago, when the City Council wondered if ride-hailing companies should be regulated like taxi companies.
Uber said no, saying its customer feedback model is enough regulation. It touted itself as a self-regulating machine, one that the city need never worry about.
Council members had their doubts, working to amend the ordinance to give an inch but not let ride-hailing companies take a mile.
About 17 months into the effort, Mayor Betsy Price said, “The city doesn’t really need to regulate a lot of this.”
The City Council decided to let ride-hailing companies fend for themselves, free-market style.
You could practically hear the collective cheering of Uber executives.
But taxi companies were also shoved into the vehicle-for-hire death match. With no regulations, they became the equivalent of the old guy who shows up at a college party.
Nobody wants to be that guy. That guy gets put in a corner, unsure what to do.
Nobody wants that party to get too crazy either. Passenger safety is at stake, and the only defense is user feedback in the ride-hailing model.
When Uber representatives met with the Editorial Board this year, they made it clear that a passenger giving feedback is the only way the company gets alerted to any safety issues.
We’re all for parties, but someone needs to check periodically to keep them from getting out of hand.