I used a tax ‘loophole’ to ride in a nearly empty Uber that the government treats like the subway
"The mass transit I took to Brooklyn the other night came in the form of a gray Toyota minivan.
It sure didn't feel like mass transit: My colleague and I filled the middle row, and for most of the rush-hour journey crawling over torn-up Greenwich Village streets and then coasting across the Manhattan Bridge, it was just the two of us with the driver and four empty seats.
Comfortable, but hardly efficient."
Bob, prove it. Don't just say it, prove it. This story likely works in New York, but probably does not work anywhere else in the country. Even here in the Peoples Transit Utopia of Portlandia driving around three people to a reasonably efficient modern auto is more fuel, pollution, and carbon efficient than riding transit, much more in most cases. When Maddogsson was in Middle School we did an analysis of Portlandia transit to determine how much more efficient transit was then personal auto. We used the figures supplied by the federal government, and found that transit was generally not more efficient than personal auto. It used more fuel (not even counting electricity), it produced more carbon, and more pollutants all on a per passenger/mile basis. We found that Portlandia transit was slightly more efficient in fuel, then the Chevy Suburban with 1.6 the average occupants, on a per passenger/mile basis.
So, an UberPool ride in Portlandia carrying two riders, not counting the driver would have beaten the Portlandia transit system for efficiency, and pollution/carbon levels. In New York, Bob is probably correct, but New York is a special place in America, the only place where transit actually makes economic sense, pollution sense, and carbon sense.
Because the IRS is a national agency, and not a New York agency, its policies must apply to all, and New York is but a small subset of the 320,000,000 Americans subject to the IRS. The policies that Bob finds so inefficient are actually more efficient then transit in pretty much the entire country outside of New York. These policies are logical, and valuable.
Of course, if Bob wants to hinder New Yorkers by eliminating these policies for New Yorkers, so be it.
Ultimately, this story point out yet again why we should permanently abolish the income tax, and move to a sales tax. The whinging, and carping in the article is all about some odd moral fairness issue, not anything real. Once UberPool has to pay a small sales tax on every ride, this whinging, and carping goes away, and individuals can more easily obtain the transportation they need without all the moral grandstanding, and political BS.
The gold standard in transit should be to move people cheaply, quickly, and efficiently from the door where they are to the door where they want to be, no moral, or political grandstanding necessary. For now this is not the system we have, instead we have an immoral political system which converts the economically useful, efficient, and beneficial into a moral cause for moral midgets to bloviate about.