Ridesharing

How to modernize labor law

The attached policy study was co-authored by Andrew Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union and a senior fellow at Columbia University. It appeared first in the …

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 …

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 …

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 …

“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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Backlash against sharing economy worthy of the Luddite label

From Daily Caller: "A widely publicized report commissioned by the Freelancers Union in 2014 found what appears to be strong evidence of a growing gig economy: About a third …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

The future of work

The attached policy study appeared in the Summer 2016 edition of National Affairs.  In recent years, more than a few Americans in public life have spoken of a revolutionary …

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 …

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, …

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 …

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 …

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. …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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. …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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, …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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. …

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 …

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 …

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