Washington — Taxi companies across the US waged a bitter, high-profile battle to keep Uber Technologies and Lyft from bringing the sharing economy to cabs. They lost. Now the cabbies are adopting an "if you can’t beat them, join them" strategy. Pittsburgh Yellow Cab, for example, re-branded itself last year as zTrip. A century-old fixture in Steel City, it launched an app and offered a hybrid of services: accepting cash along with credit cards; letting rides be hailed from a corner or scheduled online; and forgoing Uber’s controversial surge pricing during peak periods. "The pie’s bigger," said Jamie Campolongo, the company’s president. "So why not get over in that segment?" Campolongo was able to do that, in part, because of regulatory changes the ride-sharing companies championed. Uber and Lyft have spent millions of dollars to win approval for their web-based business model in nearly all 50 states. In many cases, this allowed them to escape more onerous regulations put on cab com...

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