05/03/2013 11:43 am ET Updated Jul 03, 2013

What's Going On With NYC's Taxi Wars?

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It's been a roller-coaster week for Uber, the San Francisco–based order-a-ride app. Earlier this week, a judge removed the last barrier to the company's plan to offer "e-hail" taxi service in New York, which would allow yellow cabs to pick up passengers through a smartphone app. Then, the next day, an appellate judge put that barrier back in — cutting off the e-hail program 24 hours after it had begun.

I expected that Uber would prevail in this fight, if only because the e-hail program has been a pet project of Mayor Bloomberg and Taxi & Limousine Commissioner David Yassky for quite some time. So the quick about-face surprised me. But it's a bit more understandable once you comprehend the entrenched political forces Uber is going up against, and how deep the beef runs between the constituencies involved.

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