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Uber bringing taxi service to Washington, DC after winning City Council fight

Uber for iPhone

After winning a political battle in Washington, DC last month, controversial taxi startup Uber has announced it will be adding taxi service to its existing livery cars in the city. In a blog post, Uber praised the DC City Council's decision, saying that it would begin offering a pilot program for taxis starting today. For now, black car service will remain the default, and Uber says few taxis will be available at first as the company "curates" existing cabs. Otherwise, it'll operate like other Uber taxis, though pickups will only be available in the District of Columbia itself, not nearby suburbs in Virginia or Maryland — that's something Uber says will be coming in the future.

Uber's convenient but pricey app-based cab service has often struggled with existing regulatory frameworks, which often protect consumers but make using new technology difficult. The company generally has an easier time opening a livery car service than a taxi one (since existing livery companies already require customers to call ahead), but it's managed to launch Uber Taxi previously in cities like San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago. A short-lived New York Uber Taxi service, however, wasn't able to survive local Taxi and Limousine Commission protest, though a pilot program for Uber-like services was later approved.

Thanks, Renwyk!

Update: Original article referred to a "legal" battle, not a political or City Council campaign as was more accurate.

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