Category Archives: United States

New York’s Taxi King Is Going Down

Evgeny “Gene” Freidman is no fan of Uber. The increasing popularity of this vehicle-for-hire (or ridesharing) company has lost him millions of dollars. He has even asked New York City taxpayers for a bailout. As difficult as bailing out the big banks was to swallow, bailing out a taxi mogul—who at one point owned more than 1,000 New York City taxi medallions—is an even harder sell. A bailout would be especially outrageous considering that Freidman and his financial backers are actively working to make consumers pay more for fewer options.

Freidman reluctantly took over his father’s modest yellow taxi business as a young man. He brought his experience in Russian finance to the industry, and started to accumulate increasing numbers of taxi medallions using highly leveraged financing. Freidman expanded a company with just a few taxis into a conglomeration of three- to five-car mini-fleets.

Read the rest on The Federalist here.

Congress’s Highway Bill Falls Short

The nation’s highway fund is running out of money. This is not news to readers of the DC Leviathan, but the case remains that transportation funding is still one of the nation’s most pressing issues.

Faced with a looming legislative deadline, representatives on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee have introduced the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, or STRR Act.

The bill proposes about US$16 billion less spending over six years than its Senate counterpart, and includes a number of welcome regulatory reforms. A few of these will remove layers of red tape which slow the building of new transportation projects.

Read the rest on the PanAm Post here.

Your drone papers, please: Feds preparing registry for unmanned flight

Drone hobbyists everywhere are on notice: your personal drone will soon need to be registered with the federal government.

In a joint press conference yesterday, the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Transportation announced the creation of a new task force to develop a federal drone registration system. The news comes on the heels of reports indicating a rise in drone “incidents.”

While there are certainly safety and security concerns that need to be addressed with these unmanned aerial systems (UAS), the FAA and DOT seem to be jumping the gun.

Read the rest on Watchdog here.