I'm a commercial driver. I went through training and licensing to be able to transport people. I think that anyone who makes a commercial enterprise of transporting people should be subject that licensing. That said, I route for companies like Lyft and Uber who innovate new ways to provide services that people want.
In Salt Lake City, +Lyft is just taking root and it's also taking heat just as it, and other ride share programs, have taken in other cities. My opinion, in summary, is this: If the establishment is upset by your arrival, your probably on the right track. Taxi companies should be nervous about new competition and need to be dynamic in a 21st century market place. New companies, however, need to play by the rules. If there are ordinances about transporting people, you need to be in compliance. Complying with the regulations is good for your image and your bottom line. If you're operating as a pirate, your image will constantly be under scrutiny. You'll always be the outsider operating in the shadows and capturing the necessary mind share to put your business on top will not happen.