Regulators from the US, Canada, and Australia are releasing guidelines on Friday for dealing with taxi apps like Uber and Zimride, reports The Wall Street Journal. While the rules would still have to be adopted by local governments, they would curtail the use of GPS as a substitute for a taxi meter, bar drivers without proper licensing from offering rides for pay, and prohibit charging extra during peak demand.

Is the IATR protecting consumers or the taxi industry?

The International Association of Transportation Regulators (IATR) drafted the document with participants from New York, Chicago, Boston, Houston, San Francisco, and Toronto, among elsewhere. At the same time, local regulators are putting together their own guidelines. New York's Taxi and Limousine Commission recently drafted its own, more stringent, proposal, which requires that fares be obtained from meters directly, although the two share many similarities including rules outlawing discrimination against passengers. The IATR says its goals are "to bring rogue applications into compliance" with existing regulations and "create a fair and even playing field," but the proposals are bound to be criticized by those who think traditional taxis should be forced to compete with newer, leaner services. Is the IATR protecting customers or the taxi industry?