The complicated politics of Uber
“I don’t think there are any clear partisan lines yet,” said Andrew Moylan, executive director and senior fellow at the R Street Institute, a libertarian-leaning think tank based in Washington, D.C. “The reality has not yet caught up to the [Republican] rhetoric nationally.” The group recently released a report card grading cities on varying measurements of friendliness for transportation apps like Uber and Lyft. There were no obvious partisan lines. Interestingly, several liberal cities like Austin, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. established sensible regulatory climates and fared well, according to R Street. More conservative cities like Houston, San Antonio and Orlando fared poorly, and have embraced what Moylan describes as onerous regulations that hinder residents there from using the popular car-for-hire service…
…Moylan did say, however, that the legal fights have unearthed a division in the broader liberal coalition. “There’s the union-centric, labor-oriented side of that movement, which has done a lot to impose new regulatory climates and try to protect entrenched industries. On the other side, you have a younger, more tech-savvy part of the liberal movement not tied to union politics and more open to these technologies. Republicans have been trying to highlight that.”
…“My gut tells me that some level of consumer demand is the key,” said Moylan. “When you have cities like Washington, D.C. or Austin, where there’s lot of peoples and needs, you can’t afford to get it wrong,” he said, adding that bigger cities tend to be more supportive of such services.