The Des Moines Register defends Uber

City’s proposed Uber ordinance goes too far
The Register’s Editorial — December 3, 2014

Instead of hailing a taxicab, people in more than 200 cities now use their smart phones and Uber. The California-based company connects passengers with drivers who use their own vehicles. Customers use a credit card to create an account and turn to an app on their phones when they need a ride. Uber pinpoints their location and sends a message when the car is ready. Billing is automated.

The service is growing in popularity because customers like the convenience. Customers like not having to dig for money to pay their fare. They like knowing how close their car is.

Uber wants to succeed in Des Moines as it has elsewhere. But for that to happen, the Des Moines City Council should make changes to a proposed ordinance now being considered. If the council approves the ordinance as drafted, Uber likely will not continue to operate here, and that would be unfortunate.

Read the full editorial here

City should not stand in Uber’s way
Rekha Basu — September 19, 2014

It used to be Des Moines couldn’t make space for coffee. At least not a physical space, where people could gather to savor the aroma of freshly roasted beans and choose their origins. Investors wouldn’t back a plan for an independent coffee house in the early 1990s. If people want coffee, was the message, they’ll swill it at home.

At one time, it was an idea for a public outdoor gathering space downtown. The first reaction from city leaders was a cold shoulder. The plan was to fill a plaza with vendors, artisans and performers, along with young and old, rich and poor spectators. Then, the hang-up was that downtown was too scary and inconvenient for some people to get to. For art we had museums, for performances we had a civic center, and people already had their own social groupings, thank you. At least that was how the response came across.

Read the full column here

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