Disruptive Technology

The US doesn’t just need a cyber policy, it needs a cyber doctrine

On November 8, in The Hill, Morgan Chalfant reported that the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act will require the Trump administration to develop a national cyber policy, which will …

Baby, you can’(t) drive my car: Addressing new challenge in automotive cybersecurity

As more connected and autonomous vehicles hit the road, policymakers must be prepared to address the risk of increased cyber assaults from hackers, cybercriminals and even nation states. …

Don’t shut trucks out of the driverless vehicle future

A law that would, for the first time, create a federal regulatory framework for autonomous vehicles is speeding down the legislative highway. Unfortunately, thanks to the intervention of …

R Street applauds committee passage of self-driving car bill

The R Street Institute welcomes the Senate Commerce Committee’s passage of legislation that sets down federal policy to ensure the safe and timely development and deployment of autonomous …

For connected cars, let the best technology win

Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among young people in the United States. It's therefore crucial that we find ways to improve the safety of our …

Technology-related bills struggled during recent legislative session

California’s leaders often point to the burgeoning high-tech industry as evidence of the state’s strong, future-oriented economy. The industry’s ongoing success helps Democrats rebut arguments from conservatives who say that …

Optometrists eye government to shut down app-based competition

Here we go again. Every time an innovative new industry pops up to take advantage of the boundless opportunities offered by phone applications and the internet, some threatened …

Let’s open the market for contact lenses in the manner Congress intended

Contact lenses are a staple in the daily lives of more than 40 million Americans, which makes it crucial that consumers have easy access to them. That's what's at stake …

R Street Institutes applauds House for passage of the SELF DRIVE Act

WASHINGTON (Sept. 6, 2017) – The R Street Institute applauds the U.S. House for today's passage of H.R. 3388, the SELF DRIVE Act. This legislation will help clear …

The cure For Uber’s controversies

Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick has resigned as the ridesharing app’s CEO, after mounting pressure from shareholders following a series of public controversies and embarrassments. From allegations of workplace sexual harassment to …

The Hillsborough PTC is dead; long live the Hillsborough PTC

After years of tormenting ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft, as well as their customers, with burdensome regulations designed to prop up area taxi cab companies, the Hillsborough County …

R Street applauds unanimous committee vote on SELF DRIVE ACT

WASHINGTON (July 27, 2017) – The R Street Institute welcomes today's unanimous vote by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to approve legislation that would move federal …

Why city officials should welcome the autonomous revolution

The following post was co-authored by R Street Tech Policy Associate Caleb Watney.  With tech and car companies racing to advance the state of self-driving car technology, the House …

Robots don’t get drunk or drowsy, so why hold up driverless cars?

The following op-ed was co-authored by Adam Thierer, senior research fellow with the Technology Policy Program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The House Energy and Commerce Committee is considering important …

Letter: SUPPORT for SB 182 (Bradford) as amended June 29, 2017 – Single Business License for TNC Drivers

Honorable Ed Chau Chair, Assembly Privacy & Consumer Protection Committee Legislative Office Building, Room 156A Sacramento, CA 95814 Re: SUPPORT for SB 182 (Bradford) as amended June 29, 2017 – Single Business …

LETTER: Support draft autonomous vehicle legislation

The following comment letter was co-authored by R Street Senior Fellow Ian Adams. Dear Committee Staff, Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this draft autonomous vehicle legislation, as …

LETTER: Support California SB 182

Dear Sen. Bradford, The R Street Institute is proud to support S.B. 182. R Street is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank with offices in Sacramento. We focus on many …

Self-driving cars are setting the stage for regulatory battle between feds and the states

The autonomous future is coming, provided regulators don't kill it first. Of particular concern on that front is a growing turf battle between the federal government and the …

Open letter to Congress: Reject special-interest protectionism, preserve choice and competition for contact lens consumers

Dear Member of Congress: The undersigned organizations from across the ideological spectrum encourage you to uphold competition and choice in the contact lens marketplace, which is exemplified by the …

Letter to Savannah Mayor: Oppose temporary stay on short-terms rentals

I am writing to oppose the resolution imposing a temporary stay on short-term-rental registrations. Savannah is an attractive vacation destination because of its historic character and great urbanism. According …

A ‘third status’ for the gig economy

The rise of the so-called “gig economy” — loosely defined as a market of freelance, self-employed and contract workers, often with low-to-median skill levels, who make a living …

Reports of the taxi industry’s death have been greatly exaggerated

Co-written with Jonathan Haggerty  It seems like nearly every time ridesharing is brought up in New York City, someone will inevitably bring up the dramatic decline in taxi medallion …

Letter: Support policies encouraging smokers to switch to less harmful alternatives

Dear Administrator Gottlieb, We the undersigned organizations dedicated to improving public health and reducing taxpayers’ burden through innovation, congratulate you on your confirmation to chair the Food and Drug …

Nebraska should be on the cutting edge of spacesharing

Nebraska’s fame as a place for innovation and leadership is legendary. Even before Warren Buffet became the “Oracle of Omaha,” Nebraskans had invented CliffsNotes, the Reuben sandwich, Vise-Grip …

Letter: Support California S.B. 182

On behalf of the R Street Institute, I write to support Senate Bill 182, the Transportation Network Company (TNC) Single Business License Act. We applaud this bill, which is …

R Street applauds Texas passage of H.B. 100

AUSTIN, Texas (May 17, 2017) – The R Street Institute welcomes today's vote by the Texas Senate to approve H.B. 100, legislation that creates uniform rules across the …

San Francisco sues Uber in battle over driver privacy

The City of San Francisco filed suit last week against the ridesharing service Uber after the company filed a motion in court to block the release of a …

Testimony: Support Texas H.B. 100

Chair Nelson, members, my name is Josiah Neeley and I am the Texas director for the R Street Institute, a nonpartisan research organization that works on issues related …

Idaho vacation-rental law is a model for the nation

Most neighborhoods will experience the occasional problem resident. There’s the person who throws a loud party late into the night, leaves junk in the front yard, lines the …

Ridesharing a victim of Alaska’s budget battle

As Alaska's legislative session ends, some perplexing in-house political gamesmanship has kept a popular bipartisan measure from making it to the House floor. It’s a shame, because freedom-loving …

Mistakes cloud self-driving vehicle regulations

Now that the California Legislature, the autonomous vehicle industry and the general public all have had their say, California’s self-driving future is in the hands of bureaucrats at …

Regulatory barriers are stifling the contact lens industry

In the science fiction novel Rainbow’s End, contact lenses equipped with what we would now call "augmented reality" allow wearers to overlay different images, filters or virtual scenes on top …

Statewide ridesharing rules on the table in Louisiana

Louisiana may soon join the more than 40 states that have adopted some kind of statewide ridesharing rules, under legislation that would pre-empt parish and local governments from …

R Street Comments to FTC on connected vehicles

On behalf of the R Street Institute, a free-market think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C that focuses on insurance, technology, and next generation transportation, we respectfully submit these …

Free-market groups warn California DMV not to derail self-driving cars

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (April 25, 2017) – The R Street Institute joined today with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, TechFreedom and the International Center for Law and Economics is calling …

Free-market groups comment on California DMV autonomous vehicle rules

On behalf of the R Street Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, TechFreedom and the International Center for Law & Economics, we respectfully submit these comments in response to …

Oregon might join the 21st century on ridesharing

Oregon has a reputation as young and hip, given the vibrant tech economy in cities like Portland, Eugene and Salem. But the Beaver State sometimes also shows a …

The ‘Teddy Bear and Toaster Act’ is device regulation done wrong

Should government to protect us from snooping teddy bears and untrustworthy toasters? The California State Senate seems to think so. With traditional devices on the decline, laptop and desktop …

R Street applauds Texas House passage of H.B. 100

 AUSTIN, Texas (April 19, 2017) – The R Street Institute welcomes today's vote by the Texas House of Representatives to approve H.B. 100, legislation to create uniform rules …

R Street applauds Florida Senate passage of ridesharing legislation

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 19, 2017) – The R Street Institute welcomes today's vote by the Florida Senate to approve H.B. 221, long-overdue legislation designed to regulate Florida’s ridesharing …

Missouri ridesharing bill moves to Gov. Greitens’ desk

Legislation legalizing ridesharing services in the Show-Me State now sits on Gov. Eric Greitens' desk, after the Missouri House passed statewide rules for transportation network companies by a …

Ex-offenders need jobs, not handouts. But there are too many regulatory barriers.

There's a tragic irony at the heart of American criminal-justice policy. While we invest billions of dollars each year to house inmates in state and federal correctional facilities, …

Short-term rentals and property rights

I was surprised to read the claim in Sabrina Shaeffer’s Wednesday commentary, “Short-term rentals could turn our communities into commercial zones,” that prohibitions on short-term rentals are needed …

Stop mandating burdensome background check for Uber, Lyft drivers

The following op-ed was co-authored by Jon Haggerty, a research assistant at the R Street Institute. The Bay State has been abuzz this month at news that more than 8,000 Uber and …

San Clemente’s antics could make for a dark comedy

Between binge-watching some Coen Brothers’ dark comedies, I’ve been perusing videos of state legislative hearings and city council meetings. The acting’s not as good in the political proceedings, …

Caleb Watney talks self-driving cars on KVOI

In light of last month's high-speed crash in Tempe, Arizona, involving a self-driving Uber car (reports say the car had the right of way), R Street Tech Policy …

Bill handicaps the self-driving car industry

Regulating something before it even is exists is as tricky as it is ill-advised. But that's exactly what California state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, wants to do with …

Adams talks self-driving cars at Institute for Legal Reform

The threat of litigation could derail the promise of autonomous vehicles to lives. R Street Senior Fellow Ian Adams recently joined a panel hosted by the U.S. Chamber …

Short-term rentals are an opportunity Missouri can’t afford to miss

Whether it’s the cars in their garages or the rooms in their homes, Americans are realizing they’re leaving money on the table when their property remains idle. House …

H.B. 80 is short-sighted and would levy a tax on safe drivers

Delaware is poised to go back to the future with its approach to auto insurance. Inspired by California’s 1988 ballot initiative, Proposition 103, new Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro …

Alaska’s ridesharing bill one step closer to becoming law

With the state Senate's passage of S.B. 14, Alaska is one step closer to a legal framework for transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft. The Senate …

Hobson talks autonomous vehicles and organ donation on Polish TV

R Street Tech Policy Fellow Anne Hobson offered an interview recently to TVN, a private broadcaster in Poland, television network TVN, to discuss the recent Slate piece she wrote …

Testimony in support of Texas S.B. 451

Chairman Hancock, members, thank you for allowing me to testify today. My name is Josiah Neeley. I am the Southwest Region director for the R Street Institute and …

State lawmakers increasingly work to accommodate the ‘gig economy’

Washington state lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow companies to extend to workers some of the benefits commonly associated with full-time employment, but without triggering a presumption of …

Testimony to Texas House Committee on Transportation

Chair Morrison, members, my name is Josiah Neeley and I am the Texas director for the R Street Institute, a nonpartisan research organization that works on issues related …

Florida lawmakers weigh streamlining short-term-rental rules statewide

New legislation introduced in the Florida Legislature would establish a framework that does away with the hodgepodge of regulations governing vacation rentals across the state. The most publicized aspect …

Legislators should stop mandating how Uber conducts background checks

After several years of tumultuous debate, the big questions surrounding the basic legality of ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber have essentially been resolved. In most major American cities, we …

California DMV takes a ‘self-driving’ news dump

Friday news dumps are a long and proud tradition, and one in which the California Department of Motor Vehicles took part today by releasing its long-awaited “Proposed Driverless …

California legislators consider self-driving vehicles and the need for Prop 103 reform

Proposition 103—California’s restrictive regulatory regime for insurance—may need a few tweaks as fewer and fewer cars on the road have human drivers. During a March 8 informational hearing, …

Westworld shouldn’t frame debate over artificial intelligence

In the HBO show Westworld, guests are immersed in a Western experiential theme park populated by human-like robots bordering on self-awareness. The show exploits and exacerbates natural anxieties about …

The problem of legislating from inside a silo

In a recent example of how the best intentions often lead to the worst policy, Massachusetts legislators are considering a bill that would tax autonomous vehicles based on …

Setting the right course for self-driving cars

We’re still just weeks into the Trump administration, but Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has already signaled she will review a number of Obama administration policies related to developing, …

Short-term-rental rules on the docket in Indiana

Carmel, Indiana, is a beautiful and completely modern community of more than 85,000 folks, just north of Indianapolis. Its 100 traffic roundabouts are the most of any U.S. …

Jersey’s new ridesharing law should put New York on notice

With Gov. Chris Christie’s signing of legislation outlining a regulatory framework for ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft, New Jersey became the 36th state to legalize and …

Replacing ridesharing red tape with a red carpet

The attached policy study was published originally by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and was co-authored by Bryan Mathew, a policy analyst with TPPF's Center for Local Governance. Ridesharing …

Utah roomshare bill stops local overreach

Local government officials like to argue that “The government closest to the people serves the people best.” The general concept is a good one, in that far-off officials in …

America’s self-driving anxiety

  The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Senior Fellow Ian Adams. Autonomous vehicles hold great promise to remake our society and economy, but not everyone is along for …

Congress should take hands off the wheel of self-driving cars

Manufacturers developing the self-driving cars of the future haven't had the straightest regulatory road. States across the country each have pursued unique legislative and regulatory paths—to date, at …

Ian Adams on KVOI in Tucson

R Street Senior Fellow Ian Adams and Mike Shaw of KVOI in Tucson, Arizona, to discuss the REINS (Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act) Act …

New York is rightly moving to reduce barriers for companies such as Uber and Lyft

With this week's passage of legislation in the New York Senate aimed at allowing ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft to operate upstate—until now, state laws have limited …

Adams talks self-driving cars on Tech Policy Podcast

R Street Institute Senior Fellow Ian Adams recently joined TechDirt's Tech Policy Podcast for a discussion about the many implications of autonomous vehicles. Full audio of the show is …

Self-driving cars should disengage from public reporting

New data released last week by the California Department of Motor Vehicles offered bright news for fans of autonomous vehicles. Based on so-called “disengagement reports” submitted by developers …

Video: Orange County short-term rentals panel

Internet-based short-term rental companies such as Airbnb have built a burgeoning industry connecting homeowners with vacationers, who rent out rooms or entire houses for short-term stays. It’s a …

Short-term rentals: Are they compatible with residential communities?

Internet-based short-term rental companies such as Airbnb have built a burgeoning industry connecting homeowners with vacationers, who rent out rooms or entire houses for short-term stays. It’s a …

Self-driving car bill would authorize Cal DMV to do what’s already done

New legislation introduced in the California Assembly would mandate the state Department of Motor Vehicles revoke the registration of any autonomous vehicle that isn't operated in compliance with …

Regulatory protectionism in the contact lens market

The attached policy study was co-authored by R Street Senior Fellow Alan Smith. New technologies often present competitive threats to established industries. Incumbent businesses sometimes respond in turn …

Seven bold, probably unpopular, political predictions for 2017

At the end of 2016, social media buzzed with Americans intentionally sharing their unpopular opinions. While I wasn't aware that anyone on Twitter or Facebook ever held back …

Yes, fewer traffic fatalities is a good thing!

Outlet bias is a hallmark of the bored and lazy, and also of The Daily Wire's Ben Shapiro. Taken by the recent headline of a piece I wrote with …

Self-driving cars will make organ shortages even worse

The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Senior Fellow Ian Adams. Much has been said about the ways we expect our oncoming fleet of driverless cars to change …

Autonomous vehicles could change everything you know about traffic stops

The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Senior Fellow Ian Adams. A driver’s license is a rite of passage. Unfortunately for many drivers, so too is one’s first …

In internet of things era, cybersecurity for autonomous vehicles will require restraint

The following op-ed was co-authored by Darren Teshima, a litigation partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in San Francisco. Concerns about the vulnerability of America's physical infrastructure have long …

Michigan looks to become autonomous vehicle mecca

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder last week signed a package of four bills (S.B. 995-998) intended to signal the state's commitment to the autonomous future, including by opening up …

Uber and California DMV fight over definition of self-driving cars

In highly regulated private industries, the law means what it says – right up until a regulator decides that it doesn't. For that reason, Uber, a company with …

R Street panel on NHTSA rules for self-driving cars

When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its much anticipated self-driving vehicle guidelines, instant reaction was generally favorable. But upon further reflection, a more complicated picture was …

FBI fingerprinting for Uber and Lyft in Maryland would do more harm than good

Maryland is precariously close to being Uber-less, thanks to a requirement that, as of Dec. 15, all drivers must submit to background checks that include FBI fingerprinting [“Uber …

Ohio wants to be testing ground for self-driving cars

The world knows Ohio as home of the Wright brothers and the first man to step on the moon. But locals also know it as home to aviatrix …

Letter to Palm Springs mayor on short-term-rental law

I'd like to express concern about the restrictive short-term-rental ordinance the Palm Springs City Council will consider at its Nov. 30 meeting. I write as the Western region …

Self-driving car makers shouldn’t have to ask NHTSA ‘mother, may I?’

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's recently issued safety guidelines for self-driving cars would upend five decades of federal auto-safety policy by embracing a system of pre-market approval. The …

R Street, CEI and TechFreedom comment on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Federal Automated Vehicles Policy

See attached pdf. …

R Street’s priorities for the next administration

The incoming Trump administration will inherit numerous challenges that must be dealt with in year one, such as overwhelming shortfalls in the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. and debt …

R Street Welcomes Bill Legalizing Ridesharing in Pennsylvania

WASHINGTON (Nov. 7, 2016) – The R Street Institute welcomes Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to sign S.B. 984 into law, at last legalizing ridesharing across the entire …

If elected, would Clinton declare war on the sharing economy?

The following post was co-authored by Senior Fellow Lori Sanders. This coming Tuesday, Hillary Clinton is expected to claim a resounding victory at the climax of a long, hard-fought …

San Diego council chief trying to quickly push through Airbnb ‘ban’

A common spectacle takes place at the state Capitol at the end of every session. Legislative leaders who have been unsuccessful advancing their bills through the usual system …

R Street Criticizes New York’s Anti-Airbnb Law

Following Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent signing of a New York State law that institutes a fine of between $1,000 and $7,500 for posting a property on a short-term …

“Third Wave” of tech companies need to be more engaged in the regulatory process

The arrival of what AOL founder Steve Case dubbed the “Third Wave” of internet companies will require revisiting the discussion of how tech companies will need to interact …

Catching the Third Wave: A tale of two tech-policy battles

In his recent book "The Third Wave," AOL founder Steve Case outlines what the latest generation of technology companies will need to do to succeed, stressing the importance …

Don’t over-regulate driverless technology

Self-driving vehicles promise an exciting future, but whether the technology will see widespread adoption in the near term is anything but certain. Among the first hurdles to clear …

Free-market coalition calls for improvements to California self-driving car regs

The California Department of Motor Vehicles' second round of draft regulations on testing and deploying autonomous vehicles are better than the iteration the department previously introduced last December, …

The new federal safety guidelines for self-driving cars are too vague… and states are already making them mandatory

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration earned plaudits from across the tech sphere for its recently released safety guidelines for self-driving cars. With the NHTSA looking to offer guidance …

Don’t over-regulate driverless technology

Self-driving vehicles promise an exciting future, but whether the technology will see widespread adoption in the near term is anything but certain. Among the first hurdles to clear …

Coalition provides comments on California’s proposed regulations for autonomous vehicles

 To:  Mr. Brian Soublet General Counsel California Department of Motor Vehicles Via: LADRegulations@dmv.ca.gov Date: October 14, 2016 Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments concerning these proposed regulations. We believe the revisions …

With state law still stalled, Lyft and Uber ordered to shut down in Philly

Most Americans are at least vaguely familiar with the Christmas Truce of 1914. Occurring during the early stages of World War I, the inspirational tale of a tenuous …

New Orleans could legalize spacesharing this week

The New Orleans City Council is set to vote tomorrow on an ordinance that would allow short-term rentals in the city. The vote comes in the wake of …

You can’t regulate self-driving cars into existence

The following blog post was co-authored by R Street Technology Fellow Anne Hobson.  The editorial board of The New York Times apparently knows precisely the autonomous vehicle future that …

New rules for driverless cars aim to fix what ain’t broke

The folks at the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) are a lot like other regulators: When they see that a given power exists, they covet it. Charged with …

Gov. Jerry Brown signs host of significant legislation

The 2016 legislative season is officially over, with Gov. Jerry Brown having signed 900 bills while vetoing 159 byFriday’s deadline. Some of the recently signed bills are far-reaching and will …

California’s draft self-driving car regulations: second time’s a charm?

Quietly slipped in to the Friday afternoon news dump were updated draft regulations from the California Department of Motor Vehicles that signal a pivot from the much-maligned rules …

Contra Costa pilot program will put fully autonomous cars on the road

Vehicles without steering wheels and pedals will soon be on California’s roads, if only in very specific areas, thanks to Gov. Jerry Brown's signature on A.B. 1592, sponsored …

California legalizes rental cars for ridesharing

Gov. Jerry Brown this week gave a small but significant boost to the ridesharing industry by signing A.B. 2763, which allows drivers for transportation network companies such as …

NHTSA forces Cal DMV to walk back self-driving car rules

The California Department of Motor Vehicles attempted to force one of the most promising automotive innovations in history to do what people waiting to register their cars do …

R Street sees NHTSA guidance on self-driving cars as positive step

WASHINGTON (Sept. 20, 2016) – The R Street Institute responded to this morning's release of guidance from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety …

How the internet, the sharing economy and reputational feedback mechanisms solve the ‘lemons problem’

The attached paper was co-authored by Adam Thierer, Christopher Koopman and Chris Kuiper, and appeared in the University of Miami Law Review, Vol. 70, No. 3, 2016. This paper argues that the sharing …

Is Pittsburgh the Kitty Hawk (or St. Petersburg) of self-driving cars?

The wonders of our modern age have left many of us immune to the kinds of feelings of astonishment that once were triggered by spectacular events. So, if only …

Michigan makes its play to be center of self-driving car universe

In the race to innovate, there often are rewards for being first. Just as technology firms and automakers vie to roll out the first scalable autonomous vehicle, so …

NAIC San Diego: Self-driving cars and regulatory renewal

Insurance regulators are a diverse bunch. Some are elected, while others are appointed. Some are Republicans, while others are Democrats. At the triennial meeting of the National Association …

Letter to CPUC on fingerprinting requirements

Dear California Public Utilities Commission, On behalf of the R Street Institute, I respectfully would like to offer comments on the commission’s consideration of a rule requiring fingerprinting as …

Self-driving cars could cut parking revenues

There were groans all across Sacramento when the City Council approved yet another expansion of parking zones around Golden 1 Center, the city’s new $507 million arena. The …

No, a new study does not say Uber has no effect on drunk driving

The first rule of science journalism is to read the study before you write about it. Alas, that hasn't stopped media outlets from routinely misreporting, exaggerating or exercising …

Bay Area making life difficult for tech firms

In most of the country, a region’s “big” industry – think automotive companies in Michigan’s heyday, the oil business in Houston and entertainment in Los Angeles – is …

How far a ‘freedom’ city has strayed

The presidential race has become an all-consuming affair on social media, as Americans debate which candidate will do less harm to the republic and our freedoms. I remain …

Conferees agree to legalize ridesharing in Massachusetts

In a marathon negotiating session that wrapped up at the literal 11th hour, Massachusetts lawmakers have reached agreement on legislation that would formally legalize transportation network companies in …

Time to pass long-term ridesharing reforms in Pa.

"Never laugh at live dragons," warns the protagonist of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, a reminder to avoid premature celebrations before an adventure has truly ended. It's a timely …

Adams talks driverless cars on ABC 10 Sacramento

R Street Senior Fellow Ian Adams joined ABC 10 in Sacramento, California, recently to talk about the future of driverless cars and what they could mean for auto …

San Fran threatens Airbnb

It's ironic that San Francisco, the city so closely identified with the burgeoning sharing economy, would be defending an onerous law that undermines one of the tenets that …

Droning on about issues they don’t understand

One of the most frustrating things about America circa 2016 is there is virtually nothing any of us can do - start a business, invent a technology, remodel …

Massachusetts ridesharing bill moves into final stretch

Transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft would be legally sanctioned to operate in Massachusetts, governed by a set of mostly reasonable regulations, under legislation approved this week …

Upward mobility in the on-demand economy

The following remarks were delivered at the June 29, 2016 R Street event "Boost or Barrier? Upward mobility in the on-demand economy." The mutual-fund prospectuses that I quickly direct …

Be careful what you vote for

The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Texas Director Josiah Neeley.  Rarely has a vote had such an immediate effect. On May 7, Austin residents elected not to …

Key lessons from Austin’s ridesharing debacle

The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Texas Director Josiah Neeley. Rarely has the effect of a vote been felt so quickly. Austin citizens voted May 7 not …

LA’s onerous rental rules threaten consumer privacy

The Los Angeles Planning Commission is considering onerous new regulations regarding short-term rentals. Here is a letter that R Street sent to the commission: I am the Sacramento-based Western …

Chicago’s spacesharing and ridesharing rules: Not as bad as they almost were!

Maybe it was the Summer Solstice, although more likely it was Mayor Rahm Emmanuel's playing a bit of hardball with dissenting aldermen. Whatever it was, the Chicago City Council …

Gov. Cuomo needs to veto terrible short-term-rental bill

Forces aligned against short-term rentals are on the cusp of victory in their battle to harm the ability of spacesharing services like Airbnb and HomeAway to conduct business …

Austin sharing-economy rules headed to court

Recent controversies involving the sharing economy in Austin are about to enter a new phase, as lawsuits challenging city regulations of ridesharing and short-term rentals have been filed. Over …

Testimony before the Texas House Committee on Economic and Small Business Development

Good morning. My name is Josiah Neeley and I am the Texas director for the R Street Institute, which is a nonpartisan research organization. The R Street Institute …

The FBI isn’t Santa Claus: Fix your lists and check them twice

The recent tragedy in Orlando has set off yet another contentious debate over the issue of gun control. On a June 13 conference call Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., …

The gig economy could defy regulation

Austin, Texas, has been taking a lot of heat after passing a proposition that essentially regulated Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing companies out of town. This is unfortunate …

Pennsylvania lawmakers bat around regulations for self-driving cars

Not unlike curious cats, lawmakers often show inordinate interest in the newest and shiniest objects to pass their field of vision. In Pennsylvania, recently hailed as a center …

One senator’s war on innovation

The California Legislature is well-known for its heavy-handed approach to business. The state recently scored dead last in Chief Executive magazine’s survey of CEOs, which isn’t even newsworthy, …

Arizona flips the narrative, legalizes spacesharing statewide

Did you see the one in which the terrorist organization recruits a kid to destroy a government facility, killing millions of innocent bureaucrats in the process? What about …

Iowa, Alabama pass ridesharing bills; could Pennsylvania be next?

It's been a busy week and a half on the ridesharing front, as legislation setting out statewide rules for transportation network companies moved forward in Iowa and Alabama, …

Austin may move to deregulate taxis

It’s been a busy week for vehicles-for-hire in Austin. This past weekend, the city's voters rejected a proposal that would’ve blocked new restrictions on ridesharing passed by the …

China’s self-driving future

In Beijing, a young car culture is going through teething pains. The pressure of urban density, in combination with growing demand for personal transportation in an ever-more-affluent city, …

Texas should step in to resolve cities’ ride-hailing disputes

Austin voters this past weekend forced out two of the city’s most innovative and popular companies. On Saturday,Austinites rejected Proposition 1, a citizen-led ballot initiative that would’ve continued …

Texas cities shouldn’t block short-term rentals

The past few years have seen the rise of the “sharing” economy. First, ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft allowed thousands of drivers to earn extra cash (and …

Uber’s surge pricing is like watching a bald eagle eat a cat

When I see the lightning bolt on my Uber app, I almost instantly feel a hateful resentment toward the corporate overlords standing between my next destination and me. …

Oregon town ponders onerous short-term rental rule

The Hood River, Oregon, City Council has delayed its decision until May 9 on an ordinance that would restrict short-term rentals to a family’s primary residence and ban …

Dear Philadelphia, Uber isn’t ISIS

One of the most disappointing aspects of being involved in politics is the tone one consistently encounters. Differing opinions are rarely given the benefit of the doubt. Do you …

Rideshare rules could cost Austin coveted ‘Smart City’ designation

Austinites will vote next week on how to regulate ridesharing companies in the city (early voting began Monday). On the ballot is Proposition 1, which would continue the …

R Street Institute welcomes Uber settlements in California, Massachusetts

WASHINGTON (April 22, 2016) – Concluding a legal battle that began last year, ridesharing company Uber announced it will pay $100 million to settle two class-action lawsuits initiated …

Optometrists push for state laws blocking online eye exams

Billing itself as a sort of Uber-for-eye-exams, telemedicine startup Opternative recently came on the scene offering a quick, inexpensive alternative to traditional optical exams that uses your computer …

It’s time for Uber’s regulators to be as transparent as the company is

This post was coauthored by R Street Policy Analyst Nathan Leamer. Recent years have seen a range of internet companies release “transparency reports” that attempt to detail, to the …

Iowa’s ridesharing bill is good for bankers, bad for Iowans

When I was a child, the notion of “staying up all night” was a sort of Holy Grail. In my elementary school-aged mind, successfully doing so was tantamount …

Mississippi and West Virginia governors both sign ridesharing laws

Mississippi and West Virginia have become the 30th and 31st states to pass legislation to create a statewide regulatory framework for ridesharing services offered by transportation network companies …

Nevada study on rideshare background checks turns up nothing…literally

Would it surprise you to learn that government sometimes asks people to do the impossible? Last year, Nevada passed legislation that allows transportation network companies such as Uber and …

Lawsuits, legislation threaten the ‘sharing’ economy

As an occasional cab rider in Sacramento, I've noticed something that isn't always a given: fleets of newer cabs, polite drivers and the use of modern credit card …

Moylan talks Roomscore on the Tech Policy Podcast

R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan sat down recently with Evan Swarztrauber, the host of TechFreedom’s Tech Policy Podcast, to Roomscore, R Street's new report and website looking at …

Lawsuits, legislation threaten ‘sharing’ economy

As an occasional cab rider in Sacramento, I’ve noticed something that isn’t always a given: fleets of newer cabs, polite drivers and the use of modern credit card …

Moylan talks Roomscore on the In the Tank podcast

R Street Institute Executive Director Andrew Moylan joined John Nothdurft and Donny Kendal of the Heartland Institute's In the Tank podcast to discuss Roomscore, R Street latest report …

Reimagining retirement for the gig economy

The emergence of the so-called “gig economy” – employment situations in which a worker may spread his or her labor among several part-time or freelance arrangements with several …

South Dakota opens the door to ridesharing

South Dakota has become the 29th state to implement statewide rules governing the operation of transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft, with news that Gov. Dennis Daugaard …

Mile-for-mile, TNCs beat taxis hands down

It's always a pleasure to have one’s intuition confirmed. Last week, we at R Street were mighty pleased when a new working paper from the National Bureau of …

Texas rideshare rules are headed to the voters

All across Texas, battles are raging between the fans and foes of ridesharing. Ridesharing mainstay Uber officially suspended operations in Corpus Christi March 13 after the city passed …

Amid Airbnb debates, Arizona offers sensible solutions

Ronald Reagan famously summed up the federal government’s view of the economy as, “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, …

Galveston, Savannah offer nation’s best rules for short-term rentals

WASHINGTON (March 16, 2016) – As services like Airbnb and HomeAway grow in popularity, a new study from the R Street Institute of 59 of the largest U.S. …

Roomscore 2016: Short-term-rental regulation in U.S. cities

See the report's full methodology and results at Roomscore.org. In recent years, discussion of the so-called “sharing economy” has dominated local politics in many cities across the country, and …

Flawed ridesharing bill moving in Massachusetts

Consider a world in which your morning commute and the afternoon drive to drop your children at soccer practice each required a separate license from your state government. …

California proposal to let Uber drivers, other sharing economy workers, unionize

California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez's latest high-profile legislative effort has been billed as a fairly modest measure to provide a "safety net" for workers in the growing sharing economy. "All …

R Street disappointed in onerous Corpus Christi ordinance that hurts ridesharing drivers and riders

WASHINGTON (March 10, 2016) – The R Street Institute is disappointed at news that ridesharing company Uber will cease operations in Corpus Christi, Texas, due to onerous regulations …

With Florida ridesharing reform going nowhere, Hillsborough is back to ticketing drivers

After a six-month reprieve, the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission – the agency that regulates taxicabs and limousines in Florida's fourth-largest county, which includes the City of Tampa …

Thoughtless bureaucrats and driverless cars

California’s Legislature set out in 2012 “to encourage the current and future development, testing, and operation of autonomous vehicles on the public roads of the state”—but now, the …

Obamacare’s state impacts dominate spring NCOIL meeting

Even with Sen. Ted Cruz also in town, the struggle between state lawmakers and regulators over who would take the lead on health-care policy continued to dominate the …

New Mexico lawmakers beat clock to pass ridesharing

The New Mexico Legislature closed out its 2016 session Feb. 18, but not before passing legislation to legalize and regulate ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. Just hours after …

Bill legalizing ridesharing moving through West Virginia House

What a difference a year makes in the world of ridesharing. Just 18 months ago, only one state (Colorado) had passed comprehensive legislation legalizing and regulating the emerging …

Philly taxi cartel’s ‘public-private partnership’

Regulators have a long and lamented history of picking winners and losers among businesses and industries. But they typically at try to appear to be demonstrating impartial judgement …

Support streamlined regulation for transportation innovation in Missouri

Dear Missouri Legislator, We urge your support for S.B. 991 and H.B. 2330, which seek to provide a streamlined regulatory paradigm for transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber …

New Mexico tries once again to legalize ridesharing

New Mexico is the latest state to undertake an effort to make the operation of ridesharing services, like Uber and Lyft, legal within its borders. With the blessing …

R Street praises Florida House for legalizing ridesharing, urges Senate passage

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Jan. 28, 2016) –The R Street Institute is pleased with the Florida House of Representatives' overwhelming 108-10 vote to pass H.B. 509, legislation creating a regulatory …

Portland’s sees big gains in transportation market freedom

Portions of Portland’s transportation-for-hire market – that is, the market for taxis, limos and ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft – have improved faster this year than in …

Fingerprint background checks: not as reliable as you think

The Austin City Council last month passed rules mandating fingerprint-based background checks for prospective ridesharing drivers. These new requirements were part of wider changes to Austin's ordinance regulating …

Vegas transportation reform: the proof is at the cabstand

Any city looking to host conventions for more than 170,000 people, like this month's Consumer Electronics Show, needs some serious infrastructure and sufficient transportation options. But until Nevada lawmakers …

Nashville tops national ridesharing scorecard with innovative attitude

When it comes to an inviting regulatory environment for transportation innovators like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, Nashville is the best city in the nation. According to a report recently …

Kasich signs Ohio TNC bill into law

Ohio has officially become the 28th state to pass legislation regulating transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft, as Gov. John Kasich signed H.B. 237 into law Dec. …

DMV is off track on proposed rules for self-driving cars

The rise of self-driving vehicles is not the much-feared rise of the machines that some make it out to be. But try explaining that to the California Department …

R Street alarmed by Austin City Council’s hostility toward TNCs

AUSTIN, Texas (Dec. 18, 2015) – The R Street Institute was dismayed by the Austin City Council’s adoption of an ordinance last night that would require all transportation …

Ridesharing lessons from the Buckeye State

One wonders if Ohio Gov. John Kasich, before he made his way back home following Tuesday's CNN presidential debate in Las Vegas, might have noticed how the local …

Seven cities top R Street annual ‘Ridescore’ for transportation friendliness

WASHINGTON (Dec. 17, 2015) - In the second year of analyzing data from 50 of the largest U.S. cities, seven cities received the top score for friendliness to …

Ridescore 2015: Hired driver rules in U.S. cities

The attached policy study was coauthored by R Street Digital Director Zach Graves.  R Street researchers last year embarked on an ambitious project to assess 50 of America’s largest …

Seattle picks a fight with Uber

Under federal labor law, drivers for transportation-network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft are currently considered contractors, not employees — and thus they don't have a right to …

Statewide ridesharing rules ready to go in Florida House

State legislators descended on Tallahassee last week for their final round of interim committee hearings – also the last time they will meet before the official start of …

Austin shifts into reverse on sharing economy

The last few years have seen an incredible expansion in what’s known as the sharing economy. Digital media has made it easy to sell belongings online, rent out …

In wake of record fine, Pennsylvania lawmakers scramble to legalize ridesharing

The Pennsylvania Legislature is having to act fast to settle on a way to regulate transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. That’s because administrative law judges for …

Massachusetts lawmakers go home for holidays; no action on ridesharing

In the home of the Pilgrims, lawmakers have gone home ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. The Massachusetts Legislature has adjourned for 2015, having failed to move on any …

Readopted credit-scoring model highlights NCOIL’s annual meeting

Cyber insurance, international regulatory efforts, the sharing economy and the successful state credit-scoring model dominated the agenda of this past week's National Conference of Insurance Legislators meetings in …

R Street brief refines principles for the future of work in the sharing economy

WASHINGTON (Nov. 10, 2015) – Stable and flexible benefits are good for workers, business and society and public policy should encourage firms to compete across all dimensions to …

The flexible future of work

Working with partners from the worlds of business, labor and academia, the R Street Institute recently took part in crafting an open letter to policymakers that lays out …

Chicago still isn’t giving Uber a fair shake

Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing services will be permitted to pick up passengers at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports under a plan approved by the City Council in …

Bernie Sanders doesn’t like Uber; uses it literally all the time

Bernie Sanders is the champion of the little guy, the downtrodden and the oppressed victims of (big "C") Capitalism who have found themselves trapped in the lower-middle class …

Prop F fails, but news not all rosy for Airbnb on home turf

On a night of statewide and city races across the country, the highest-profile vote may have occurred in San Francisco. There, voters decided by a 55 to 45 …

Portland’s ridesharing pilot could come crashing down

The Portland City Council demonstrated remarkably good judgement when it instituted its transportation network company pilot program back in April, allowing firms like Uber and Lyft to operate …

The Chicago Way: Bringing a subsidy to a fight over ridesharing

Uber became so popular so fast because it filled voids the regular taxi industry did not: its drivers would go into non-touristy neighborhoods, pick up African-American customers and …

What does Uber’s return to Broward mean for the future of TNCs in Florida?

Ridesharing giant Uber returns to Florida's second-largest county today after a two and one-half month hiatus. This development both appears to resolve the at-times nasty public battle over …

Jersey City brings legal spacesharing to New York area

With average hotel rates upward of $350 a night, Manhattan is perhaps the costliest tourist destination in the United States. Thankfully, much more affordable accommodations are available just a …

Is ridesharing saving lives in Austin?

On March 13, 2014, a car plowed through a barrier in downtown Austin and into a crowd of SxSW festival-goers. The crash resulted in four deaths and two …

Airbnb isn’t killing hotels, after all

Much as Uber and Lyft are transforming the taxi industry, Airbnb is transforming the lodging industry. Airbnb connects hosts to guests. Hosts can rent out anything from a …

How ridesharing has helped the taxi industry

The taxi industry has been perhaps the biggest, and unquestionably the most forceful, critic of the emerging ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. Taxis see the upstarts unregulated …

R Street urges Austin City Council not to hinder the tourism economy

AUSTIN, Tex. (Sept. 15, 2015) – The R Street Institute today expressed deep concern about proposed regulations currently before the Austin City Council that would restrict short-term rentals …

How ridesharing could help the poor

Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft are very popular among millennials. The ease of ordering a car service directly from your smartphone is very appealing to those who …

GOP lawmakers and the ‘gig economy’

The partisan battle over the "gig economy" — epitomized by ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft and space-sharing services like Airbnb — has crept into the early stages …

So what do Uber drivers actually think?

Are taxis becoming extinct? Is creative destruction a good thing? Are Uber and Lyft drivers fulltime employees entitled to benefits or are they independent contractors? Should municipalities cap …

Mississippi is on the wrong track with telemedicine

Recent years have seen plenty of debates about misguided health and safety regulations, but the current one in Mississippi threatens to frustrate one of the brightest trends in …

Uber dust-up shows the Empire State has an innovation problem

Unless you live under a rock, it was hard to miss the showdown this past week in New York City between Mayor Bill De Blasio and ridesharing platform …

6 charts that debunk the ‘gig’ economy

The headlines are, by now, depressingly familiar: "more Americans are stuck in part-time work" or "part-time jobs put millions in poverty." Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich recently …

Tallahassee City Commission right on Uber vote

Last week, the Tallahassee City Commission showed that even a broken clock is right twice a day. I have oftentimes taken issue with its decisions over the years …

Dear Birmingham, Mobile and Huntsville welcome Uber…why can’t we?

With a unanimous vote, Mobile's City Council affirmed amendments to the city's vehicle-for-hire ordinance, enabling app-based transportation companies like Uber to operate. Huntsville has also declared itself open for …

Progressives turn their backs on the sharing economy

Santa Monica, Calif., is now spending $410,000 a year investigating, ticketing and fining residents who sublet their houses and apartments on Airbnb. In Key West, Fla., a new city …

Hillary Clinton, old person, does not like this newfangled Uber app

A week or so ago, my friend Lisa De Pasquale penned an article over at Breitbart about how this election cycle is shaping up to be Gen-X versus …

Airbnb faces trouble at home

Airbnb’s fate in San Francisco may soon be up for a vote. While the village that raised the 7-year-old company is not yet ready to abolish it completely, …

Florida fumbles ridesharing

After not taking up ridesharing legislation during either the Legislature’s earlier this year or its special session in June, Florida has left ridesharing companies subject to the often …

Study shows Airbnb has positive economic impact for New Orleans

Like many cities, New Orleans has struggled with whether and how to crack down on short-term rentals such as those offered through services like Airbnb. Some neighborhood activists …

Je suis Uber

Imagine you are approaching an airport using your chosen transportation-for-hire service in a foreign city, when suddenly a brigade of angry, savage men start attacking your car with …

Nikki Haley signs bill legalizing TNCs in South Carolina

While the country was focused this past week on the flag that flies above the South Carolina statehouse, important work was being done inside its doors. In a major …

‘Disloyal competition’ — here and abroad

Commuters on their way to Paris' major airports and train stations were disrupted this week by the presence of a rolling blockade. Taxi drivers, under pressure from competition …

Utah TNC bill makes optional coverages mandatory

When Utah's brief legislative session came to a close in March, proponents of ridesharing services offered by transportation network companies rejoiced. The state had passed S.B. 294, sponsored …

Confronting public misconceptions about ridesharing

I had a conversation with my mother several months ago about how I commute on a regular basis around Washington. As many young Millennials would reply, I told …

FTC should heed advice on the sharing economy

Regulation shouldn't be used to make new business platforms fit the rules crafted for older regimes. That was the consensus of policy experts, bureaucrats, economists and industry representatives …

Comments to Federal Trade Commission on the sharing economy

Thank you for the opportunity to take part in the Federal Trade Commission's Sharing Economy Workshop. I offer the following comments on behalf of the R Street Institute, …

Nevada lawmakers send bill legalizing ridesharing to Gov. Sandoval

There was no rest for lawmakers in Carson City over the weekend as the Nevada Legislature was hard at work in the early hours of Saturday morning. The …

Legal ridesharing comes to Portland…sort of

Uber is operating legally in Portland, for now. A pilot program adopted by the Portland City Council has given transportation network companies the green light to operate for …

Nevada Senate gives green light to ridesharing

With just three weeks to go in Nevada’s legislative calendar, a bill that will give the green light to hitherto illegal ridesharing activity has cleared an important hurdle …

TNC bills could be on agenda for Florida’s special session

One of the consequences of the Florida House of Representatives' decision last week to commence an abrupt sine die adjournment, rather than play out an intractable battle with …

Uber’s not in Kansas anymore; will New Jersey be next?

The decision by the Kansas Legislature earlier this week to override Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of onerous ridesharing legislation already is yielding its inevitable consequence. Transportation network company …

Kansas overrides Brownback veto on TNC bill

In a disappointing development, the Kansas Legislature has overturned Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto of S.B. 117, the so-called “Uber bill.” While S.B. 117 is not without redeeming qualities – …

Leaked email: Mayor Walt Maddox and Councilor Kim Rafferty’s municipal cabal to keep ridesharing out of Alabama

"Clearly, controlling the narrative is in our best interests," writes Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox. Birmingham City Councilor Kim Rafferty favors forming an ad hoc committee "to keep control of …

R Street, ATR urge Gov. Brownback to veto anti-competitive ridesharing legislation

Dear Gov. Brownback, On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform and the R Street Institute, we urge you to veto S.B. 117, which would burden ridesharing services with hostile …

Plan to regulate Airbnb might lead to total deregulation in Maine

A summer trip to Maine has it all: fresh air, ample boating, moose watching, covered bridges, picturesque lighthouses, lobster rolls, blueberry pie, perhaps a visit to downtown Portland's …

Don’t let local control undermine the Texas model

Texas has always been fiercely protective of its prerogatives as a state. From challenging federal regulatory overreach in court to maintaining our own electric grid, we are willing …

Could ridesharing shift to an ad-supported business model?

(This post was co-authored by R Street Western Region Director Ian Adams.) In a recent blog post, tech entrepreneur Andrew Chen discussed what a free, ad-supported service tier for …

Kansas City could make terrible ridesharing market even worse

I was in Dallas last week and used my Uber account to hire rides from Love Field to the hotel, and then back again when I was finished …

The West not yet fully won for ridesharing

On the heels of last week’s cross-industry compromise on insurance requirements for ride-sharing drivers, and with some legislative sessions drawing to a close, it's a good time to …

NAIC rises above ‘No Action Is Contemplated’ on ride-sharing

Regular attendees of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' thrice-yearly meetings are known to joke that NAIC actually stands for “No Action Is Contemplated.” At the group’s latest meeting …

For Uber drivers, one license is good enough

Michigan has experienced a dynamic economic reinvention over the past five years. Individuals young and old have turned their new ideas, artisanship and creativity into sustainable employment opportunities …

Major insurers to strike deal to support compromise TNC language

For much of the past year, we at R Street have been active in trying to promote reasonable, effective compromise on ride-sharing regulations. The goal all along has …

Letter to Minnesota House Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee

Rep. Joe Hoppe, Chair Rep. Tim O'Driscoll, Vice Chair Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL Lead Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee Minnesota House of Representatives 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Saint Paul, MN …

New Orleans takes step in right direction on ridesharing

New Orleans has traditionally been hostile to the sharing economy. Airbnb and other room-sharing services are still effectively outlawed in the Crescent City. Ridesharing companies have not had …

Louisville should find way to accommodate home-sharing

The growth of the popular home-sharing website Airbnb over the past few years has engendered opposition in some quarters. Most recently, Louisville, Ky. is the latest city to …

Judges say labor laws outdated to deal with sharing economy firms

New laws might be needed to provide courts better guidance on how to classify the employment status of drivers for transportation network companies, and indeed, other services offered …

Progressive is rolling out TNC coverage in Pennsylvania

Slowly but surely, more of the major U.S. auto insurers are rolling out custom products designed to cover the unique risks presented by the emerging market of transportation …

Missouri considers overly prescriptive TNC law

Governments are having a difficult time keeping up with changes in the culture and in the economy these days. One of the top issues for governments everywhere is …

San Antonio must continue to revisit rideshare ordinance

Ridesharing reform is coming to San Antonio, but so far it’s been a bumpy road. In December, the San Antonio City Council voted 7-2 to impose a set of …

TNCs, state flood insurance among hot topics at NCOIL spring meeting

For those whose travel plans weren't interrupted by the inclement weather, the spring meeting of the tri-annually convened National Conference of Insurance Legislators – held in Charleston, S.C. …

Florida may move forward on TNC regs

Florida lawmakers this month filed legislation in both houses of the Legislature to regulate transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.  The two companion bills seek to establish …

R Street scholars on your podcast airwaves

R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan sat down with the fine folks at the Through the Noise podcast to discuss, among other things, what a "think tank" is, …

The ‘sharing economy’ is under threat

This piece was co-authored by R Street Editor-in-Chief and Senior Fellow R.J. Lehmann. One of the underappreciated problems of the growth of the regulatory state is that rather than …

Alcohol delivery and your smart phone: a match made in heaven

In a world where the lines between the digital and the physical are blurry and fluid, constantly crossing and morphing and mashing up into a new version of …

Geico goes end-to-end with Virginia ridesharing product

In a continuation of the encouraging trend of personal insurers embracing innovation as a way to deal with the increased popularity of "sharing economy" services, auto insurance giant …

FAA suit hopes to help ‘flight sharing’ take off

The Arizona-based Goldwater Institute last month sued the Federal Aviation Administration on behalf of Flytenow Inc., a fledgling transportation network company that is looking to do for "flight …

The inevitability of the sharing economy

Uber, AirBnB and other companies that mine the so-called “sharing economy” continue to face legal and regulatory challenges, both in the United States and internationally. At heart, these services …

California opens fast lane to approve TNC insurance products

The California Department of Insurance has approved the state's first private passenger auto policy endorsement specifically crafted to cover drivers for transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. …

NAIC seeks input on TNC white paper

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has begun a 30-day comment period on a draft white paper (available here) that no doubt will shape the development in states …

Personal auto insurers wade cautiously into ridesharing waters

In recent months, controversy over the potential "uninsured" status of drivers for app-based transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft has finally started to settle down. Those two …

Letter to Virginia General Assembly on transportation network companies

January 22, 2015 Virginia General Assembly 1000 Bank Street Richmond, VA 23219 Dear Members of the Virginia Legislature, We applaud the General Assembly’s initiative to advance full legalization of transportation network companies (TNCs) …

Louisiana’s largest parish could legalize ride-sharing

Jefferson Parish – a New Orleans suburb and Louisiana’s most populous parish -- is considering an ordinance by Parish Councilmembers Cynthia Lee-Sheng and Ben Zahn that would legalize …

Politics, regulations are ruining state insurance market

Much has been made of the so-called California comeback, and it’s certainly true that the state’s economy is beginning to show signs of life. But in some ways, …

In Vegas, CES parties like it’s 2009

It is estimated that 150,000 participants will flock to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year. CES is a citywide forum for the introduction of novel …

Taxi deregulation happened where?

Mary Cheh, who represents a leafy, affluent, embassy-filled section of Washington, doesn’t fit anyone’s image of a free-market reformer. A member of the D.C. Council since 2007, the …

Taxi trouble in Texas

Texas has a well-deserved reputation for being a freedom-loving state. We like our regulations same as we like our steaks: rare. That, at any rate, is the stereotype, and …

San Antonio goes too far with ridesharing insurance requirements

San Antonio, Texas appears to be on the verge of implementing one of America’s worst laws to regulate transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. The current San Antonio …

Will San Antonio welcome or reject ridesharing?

When talk turns to cultivating a local high-tech economy, Internet companies like Google, Facebook, Apple and other Silicon Valley giants tend to come to mind. Certainly these companies …

R Street strongly urges San Antonio to reject new ridesharing regulations

AUSTIN, Tex. (Dec. 10, 2014) – New ridesharing regulations currently before the San Antonio City Council could force transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft to leave the San …

Rounding up NCOIL’s San Francisco meeting

The National Conference of Insurance Legislators is an organization founded with the goal of helping legislators make informed policy decisions. Over the course of three yearly meetings, members …

The Uber fight comes to the South

You'd think the GOP would side with ride-sharing companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar over the taxi cartels and the local governments that are trying to protect …

Austin gets a C on taxi alternatives

Austin enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a vibrant, tech-friendly metropolis. But when it comes to the vehicle-for-hire market, the city could be doing a lot better. A new report …

Don’t overregulate taxis, ride-sharing

The hallmark of downtown Sacramento’s renaissance has been the emergence of a high-quality restaurant and bar scene. It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that Sacramento, geographically diffuse as it …

Post-election scrum powers ride-sharing bills in the Midwest

It is disappointing to see all the public policy debates that languished over the last several months, both in Washington and in the state capitals, suddenly light up …

State of Illinois should not strip regulatory control of transportation network companies from Chicago, other cities

CHICAGO (Nov. 18, 2014) – Chicago performs reasonably well among big cities in friendliness to transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft, and state lawmakers should not usurp …

Our work speaks for itself

One of the more dispiriting trends of the political left in recent years has been the growing tendency to do battle, not by engaging with ideas, but through …

CDI ready to review ride-sharing insurance

Reasonable observers of California government must give credit when credit is due. In this case, the good news is that the California Department of Insurance reports it is …

D.C.’s new ridesharing law will give business a lift

Sometime this month, Mayor Vincent Gray is expected to sign legislation to formally legalize and regulate ridesharing in the District of Columbia. Dubbed the Vehicle-for-Hire Innovation Act, the law …

Ridescore 2014: Hired driver rules in U.S. cities

The attached paper was co-authored by Ryan Xue, Evan Engstrom and Zach Graves. Visit R Street's companion website, www.ridescore.org, for an interactive visual presentation of our regulatory scorecard. Over the past several …

D.C. offers nation’s freest transportation market, R Street study finds

WASHINGTON, (Nov. 12, 2014) – Washington leads the nation in terms of friendliness to vehicle-for-hire transportation, according to a study released today jointly by the R Street Institute …

Hey, taxi!

Sometimes, people and businesses start out by trying to avoid regulation, and then discover that some basic ground rules aren't such a bad thing after all. At an …

HomeAway goes to court over San Francisco’s ‘Airbnb law’

An old adage in the legal profession suggests: “When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the law is on your side, pound the law. …

A big conservative city is about to strangle its sharing economy

Onerous new regulations in Houston, Texas, set to go into force this Tuesday, may end up shutting down some ride-sharing operations in the country's fourth most populous city …

R Street disappointed in onerous regulations on ridesharing in the City of Houston

HOUSTON, TEXAS (Oct. 31, 2014) – The R Street Institute expressed deep disappointment in the onerous regulations for transportation network companies set to go in effect in the …

Steer clear of pricing for private business

The Orlando City Council's proposal to force Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing companies to charge more than their competitors as a condition to conduct business in Orlando is …

New York City’s hotel war heats up

As any visitor to New York City discovers, the Big Apple isn’t the best place to get a hotel room. Rates top $300 per night, the highest in …

Why hasn’t the market for ride-sharing insurance taken off?

As ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft continue to expand in cities around the country, the services have been dogged by questions about whether their drivers are fully …

Gov. Brown forces AB 2616 to walk the plank

California’s workers’ compensation system is a political flashpoint that attracts the interest of labor, management, attorneys and insurers. Last session, a skirmish about expanding the scope of workers’ …

Airbnb regulated into legality

One of the many oddities of San Francisco is that the city is full of libertarians who love regulation. You can do your own thing, unless you’re a …

Five ideas to put taxis, limos and ride-sharing companies on equal footing

Recent polling by the University of Chicago’s Initiative on Global Markets find that economists overwhelmingly agree that the rise of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft is good …

Detroit enables ‘prison guards of the past’

"There you go again..." exclaimed  Ronald Reagan famously, as he claimed the debate audience and eventually the White House.  The City of Detroit is once more eschewing hospitable …

Blurred Lines: Insurance challenges in the ride-sharing market

The world of property/casualty insurance long has been divided into two separate and entirely circumscribed hemispheres: the personal and the commercial. Personal lines policies – primarily home and …

Jacksonville should find a commonsense solution for ride-sharing

Jacksonville, Fla., is making headlines over plans to enact stiff penalties against ride-sharing drivers. Some transportation network company drivers in Jacksonville have recently gotten into trouble for not carrying …

Dealing with Uber, Birmingham City Council must understand that common-sense regulation is not the same as deregulation

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Alabama's failure to create opportunity for Uber, a popular ride-sharing service, to operate. I was particularly hard on the Birmingham City …

Nashville regulators seek to bring Airbnb into the fold

On its face, Airbnb would seem to violate Nashville laws against short-term rentals of any sort, other than licensed hotels and historic bed-and-breakfast inns. And so, lawmakers are …

Conservatives should champion the free-market system of the peer-production economy, R Street study finds

WASHINGTON (September 22, 2014) – Regulation of the “peer production” or “sharing” economy can be a good political issue for both the left and the right, argue R …

Embracing the peer-production economy

(The attached paper, co-authored by R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan, appear in the Fall 2014 edition of National Affairs.) Enthusiasts of the growing "peer-production" or "sharing" economy are …

TNC battle ends with Gov. Brown’s signature

Gov. Jerry Brown has lent his signature to compromise legislation that clarifies how and when transportation network companies are commercially insured. Sponsored by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, A.B. 2293, …

Airbnb helps, not hurts, SF housing shortage

San Francisco is in the midst of a housing shortage, fueled by huge demand and exacerbated by decades of wrongheaded regulatory intervention and, more recently, by professional troglodytes. Firms …

Alabama’s Uber failures showcase big brother bureaucracy over consumer opportunity

First it was Birmingham that refused to accommodate Uber, the popular app-driven transportation service, and then the Tuscaloosa Police Department began enforcing the city's transportation regulations against drivers …

As competition between Lyft and Uber grows, questions linger about disruption

As Americans become more familiar with the concept of “ridesharing,” things are heating up in what the Wall Street Journal last week dubbed the “fiercest battle in the …

Lehmann talks Uber and Lyft in Virginia

R Street Senior Fellow R.J. Lehmann, co-author of our recent white paper on principles for regulating the peer production economy, discusses a recent deal struck by the Commonwealth …

Gingrich advises state lawmakers not to kill innovation

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich is known as a font of ideas, even by detractors who don’t necessarily approve the product of all his …

R Street Institute applauds Houston city council vote on Uber, Lyft

Houston, Texas (August 6, 2014) - By a 10-5 vote, the Houston City Council today paved the way for transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft to operate legally in …

R Street applauds Virginia agreement on ridesharing services

WASHINGTON (August 6, 2014) - The R Street Institute welcomed today's news of an agreement between the Commonwealth of Virginia and transportation networking companies Uber and Lyft. This arrangement …

R Street testimony to Houston City Council on ridesharing

      Remarks by Steven Titch Associate Fellow, R Street Institute Re: Legalization of ride-sharing services Houston City Council meeting Aug. 5, 2014 Good Afternoon, I would like to thank the City Council for the opportunity …

The sharing economy will thrive only if government doesn’t strangle it

The so-called sharing economy is many things to many people. To Wall Street and Silicon Valley, firms like Uber and Airbnb offer tantalizing market capitalizations, the …

Uber, Lyft and Houston’s policy leadership

Under the guise of needing to review a list of new amendments, the Houston City Council this week once again delayed a vote on granting legal status to …

Letter to Houston City Council on transportation network companies

    Houston City Council City Hall Annex 900 Bagby Street First Floor Houston, TX 77002 July 31, 2014 Dear Honorable Council Members, By approving the proposal to allow vehicle-for-hire companies like Uber and Lyft to operate, …

The peer production economy should be allowed to succeed without heavy regulation, R Street study finds

WASHINGTON (July 29, 2014) – Emerging "peer production" markets could unlock trillions in previously dormant capital, making it essential that lawmakers and regulators do not strangle these new business …

Five principles for regulating the peer production economy

The attached paper was co-authored by R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan. Economic history over the last 200 years is largely the story of the industrial move from small-scale …

The twisting tale of the CVT

Would you think that an unexpected ban of a disruptive technology, particularly a ban imposed 20 years ago by a private race car administrative organization, could retard timely …

Lyft’s insurance move a first step toward regular TNC coverage

Even as it faces new regulatory headaches in New York, transportation network company Lyft is making news this week with a major announcement today that should quiet at …

New York threatens to fine car service $2,000 for giving free rides

UPDATE: New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is indeed now suing Lyft for daring to offer free rides. See the update here. As anyone who has visited …

California Senate panel lowers insurance requirement for TNCs

California's A.B. 2293 – sponsored by Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, D-Concord – crossed another hurdle Wednesday by earning approval of the state Senate Insurance Committee. Having earlier been amended …

University of California has strong opinions on peer-to-peer business

Earlier this week, the University of California's Office of the President (UCOP) determined that, as a result of a perceived shortfall in regulation, it would not reimburse faculty …

The fight over TNCs in California

Legislation regulating so-called "transportation network companies" in California passed the state Senate Energy, Utilities and Commerce Committee by a unanimous 8-0 vote earlier this week, amid a row …

Moylan on Virginia’s TNC ban

R Street's Andrew Moylan joined Afternoon Constitutional host Joe Thomas of WCHV-FM, 107.5 in Charlottesville, Va., to discuss Virginia's recent cease and desist letter to transportation network companies …

Virginia’s war on Uber and Lyft

The hidebound arm of an administrative state once again has descended upon one of the nation's most visible, exciting and novel industries. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles …

Who will weight-watch the watchmen?

In what is likely the most bizarre story you will read all week, Seattle resident, trained fighter and self-proclaimed "superhero" (read: costumed vigilante) Phoenix Jones has decided to …

R Street disappointed by Virginia’s treatment of Uber and Lyft

WASHINGTON (June 6, 2014)  - The R Street Institute is deeply disappointed by Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle's cease and desist order to Uber and Lyft this week, ordering …

TNCs fight for footing in California’s legislature

A recent R Street post by Zachary Cohn laid out three steps that transportation network companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar should take to solidify their place in …

TNCs need to go on the offensive…nicely

In the past year, so-called "transportation network companies" like Uber and Lyft have gone from fighting for explosive growth to fighting for survival. They won their first fight …

Bucking the ‘mother, may I?’ mentality

"Permissionless innovation" is what we call the unconstrained tinkering and continuous exploration that takes place at multiple levels across the digital economy today, from professional creators to amateur …

Peer production enters the kitchen

There's another peer production platform for regulators, taxmen, and assorted other busybodies to get the vapors about: Feastly, the "Airbnb of dinner." Feastly follows a pretty typical peer-to-peer model: …

Uber and Lyft prepare for Houston showdown

When Uber entered the Houston market in February it provoked the same outcry from the city's only two cab companies. The city code does prohibit drivers without livery …

Differentiation within the peer production economy

Earlier this week, Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry posted a long and thoughtful comment on my response to his Forbes piece on the sharing economy from last week. I wanted to …

How to tax sharing

Across the nation, so-called "peer production businesses" have become a common feature of the urban landscape, and cities are scrambling to figure out how to tax and regulate …

Renters and rent-seeking in San Francisco

As anyone who’s lived in a major coastal American city knows, apartment renting is about as far from an unregulated free market as you can get. Legal and …

Responding to Coppage and Gobry on the sharing economy

This morning in the American Conservative, Jonathan Coppage writes about "The Sharing Economy’s Undead Capital, and Its Discontents," commenting on my essay in The Ümlaut last week, as …

Ridesharing, insurance and regulation

ALEC's Cara Sullivan had a good post earlier this week on the American Legislator blog about the importance of balancing consumer protection with innovation in the ride-on-demand services …

How Uber and Airbnb resurrect ‘dead capital’

Arguably the two biggest economic stories of the last decade are the Great Recession and the rise of a category of new businesses that turn noncommercial capital and …

‘4/04 Day’ panel and happy hour

The Congressional Data Coalition is hosting a panel and happy hour on April 4 ("4/04 Day") sponsored by the R Street Institute, and organized with help from other coalition …

Republicans should back Tesla, creative destruction at its best

Gov. Chris Christie's administration just effectively banned Tesla Motors from selling cars directly to consumers in New Jersey. Here's why his move is a quintessential example of how …

Upcoming R Street tech policy briefings

Please join us for two days of tech policy briefings followed by a networking happy hour at Capitol Lounge presented by the R Street Institute and Generation Opportunity. …

New York AG treating Airbnb customers to fishing expedition

Eric Schneiderman, New York's attorney general, has issued a subpoena to Airbnb to request data on all users in New York who have ever used the popular Internet …

Sarvis gave Republicans their key to victory

A few weeks back, I noted that libertarians were turning to Robert Sarvis over Ken Cuccinelli due to a combination of historical resentment from the Bush era, and hard political …

D.C. Taxicab Commission should reverse course and re-legalize uberX

Uber recently launched their new uberX service in Washington, D.C. and immediately faced opposition from the District of Columbia Taxicab Commission. UberX is similar to Uber's black sedan …

DCTC decision shuts down competition in taxi service

WASHINGTON (Aug. 20, 2013) – The R Street Institute is concerned that the decision by the District of Columbia Taxicab Commission expanding sedan regulations to bar mid-sized, fuel-efficient …

How computerized work affects immigration

In 1900, 41 percent of the U.S. workforce was employed in agriculture. One hundred years later, that share had declined to 1.9 percent. Over that interval, the jobs …

Is there a future for driverless cars?

My first job out of school was in a picturesque city named Oshkosh, Wis., a compact town of 75,000 tucked neatly against the picturesque Lake Winnebago, and I …

What the race for Virginia governor does (and doesn’t) mean

Ken Cuccinelli, the person I'm supporting for governor of Virginia -- my home state and locus of what's likely to be the most watched political race of 2013 …

Grow your pie and eat it too

The Politics of Abundance: How Technology Can Fix the Budget, Revive the American Dream, and Establish Obama’s Legacy By Reed Hundt and Blair Levin 101 pages; Odyssey Editions, 2012 A …

Top



Print Friendly and PDF