Cab drivers: Ride share services given 'unfair advantages"

Cab drivers: Ride share services given 'unfair advantages"
Protest at city hall
Protest at city hall

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Ousmane Faye has been a cab driver in Cincinnati since 2001. Lately, he's seen his business change. He says a lot of that has to do with two of his new competitors -- Uber and Lyft.

"They don't pay taxes, they don't pay the sticker, nothing! They just come go around and take our business away," said Faye.

He's not only one upset about the two new car share services. Dozens of cab drivers protested at city hall on Wednesday afternoon trying to tell city leaders that Uber and Lyft have been given "unfair advantages."

"We are regulated. We are following the guidelines, and we want justice, that's the bottom line. We want the city to do what they are told to do by law," said cab driver supporter June Hill.

Both Uber and Lyft came to Greater Cincinnati with great fanfare. In fact, city councilman PG Sittenfeld posed for photos in Uber's inaugural ad campaign after taking one of the first rides in an Uber black car. On Wednesday, after the cab drivers presented their case, Sittenfeld made a public statement on his Facebook page. He said he appreciates cab driver efforts, but also supports Uber and Lyft as positive additions to the city. He adds the City Law Department would also soon propose new rules and parameters for car services.

But Faye is still concerned.

"If they still can be here in Cincinnati and serving the city of Cincinnati, I think that it makes sense, you know to find a fancy car and, well, join them," said Faye.

Meanwhile spokespersons for both Uber and Lyft gave written statements to FOX19.

Uber's statement said:

"Since arriving in Cincinnati, Uber has received an overwhelmingly positive response from riders and drivers. By providing access to safe, affordable and modernized transportation options as well as economic opportunity for our partner-drivers, Uber has brought true competition and choice to the city."

Lyft's statement said :

"Residents of Cincinnati have welcomed Lyft as a reliable, safe and affordable transportation option. Cities and passengers benefit from a diverse range of transportation alternatives - all of which help to increase mobility and consumer choice, and reduce dependence on car ownership. We believe Lyft's peer-to-peer model can operate alongside other existing transportation options and look forward to continuing to meet the growing demand for ride sharing in Cincinnati."

Uber and Lyft have faced opposition in other cities. The city of Columbus recently used to shut down Uber's operation until regulations in the city have changed. Seattle has seen anti-ride share protests and cab drivers in Los Angeles protest Lyft and Uber last June.