“I was the first to qualify as a Uber driver in Key West,” says Hank Allen with a look of disillusionment. We caught up with him on the steps of the Monroe County court house last Tuesday where he was on his way in to face the criminal charges the City of Key West had brought against him for driving his Uber car without a City permit.
Just what Uber is [or isn’t] depends entirely on who you talk to. According to its foes, Uber is nothing more than a Taxi company that uses a smartphone app as a dispatch system and is attempting to simply bypass every licensing and insurance requirement out there. However, according to Uber, the company is strictly a technology firm – it doesn’t own any vehicles and Uber drivers are not “employees.”
The San Francisco based company is a $40 billion new technology sensation and its “ride-sharing” system is rapidly invading the antiquated, and arguably, overpriced world of taxicabs.