Block Island residents say they are fine without Uber or Lyft

2017-04-21 09:55
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New Shoreham— A picturesque summer resort island without Uber or Lyft wants to keep it that away.

Block Island is 19,3 km and a ferry ride from the Rhode Island mainland. Residents there are asking the state government to exempt it from new regulations that legalized the ride-hailing apps statewide.

In April, An Italian court banned the use of smartphone apps for the ride-hailing group Uber, saying they contribute to traditional taxis facing unfair competition, local media reported.

SEE: Uber smartphone apps provisionally banned in Italy

Year-round residents who drive the island's 32 licensed taxis see themselves as ambassadors to the thousands of visitors who flock there in the summer months. The drivers say they're fighting to preserve their island way of life and make ends meet in a place where the median home price is $1.2 million (about R15 million).

The community has had its own taxi rules since 1929. The wait to get a taxi license is about 15 years.

Lyft has proposed deregulating the town's rules.

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