Houston Threatens Uber With Some Legalese Over Email Campaign
Generally, Uber's services tend to be more reliable than traditional taxis in cities where they are allowed to operate. Cab services are often unreliable at peak hours. Uber and Lyft combat that by increasing fares -- sometimes dramatically -- during those times. This has caused some controversy surrounding the services along with questions relating to how the services handle driver insurance and background checks. Uber was recently sued by the family of a child struck and killed by one of their drivers. They claim that because the driver was not on a call, they were not responsible, as opposed to a taxi driver who must operate a company-authorized vehicle.
Back to the petition. Perhaps I missed something, but I thought this was simply citizens exercising democracy. The fact that a company with a vested interest in those signed petitions is facilitating them being sent is irrelevant. If people want to interact with the city and some web-based service gives them the ability to do so, that is certainly their right.
Letter writing campaigns have been the backbone of grassroots organizations for decades. If the constituency's airwaves can be flooded with paid-for political advertisements and phone lines be clogged with supporters of candidates and ballot initiatives, I'm pretty sure the city mail servers can handle an influx of signed online petitions.