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Rideshare Apps Prove to be Economic Boon for National and Local Economies
Townhall.com ^ | July 3, 2014 | Justin Sykes

Posted on 07/03/2014 6:25:53 PM PDT by Kaslin

While plenty of ink has been spilled over the controversies in the states surrounding rideshare companies Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, less attention has been given to the new opportunities that these newly-ubiquitous companies have helped to create. To be sure, rideshare apps are popular with consumers because they offer an innovative twist on an outdated taxi system. But while wildly popular with consumers, these apps also create thousands of jobs and increase revenue for the national and local economies in which they operate.

Over the past few years the rideshare boom, pioneered by Lyft and Uber, has taken the country by storm. Lyft now has thousands of drivers operating in 65 cities in 31 states including the District of Columbia. Uber boasts even higher numbers, operating in 72 cities across North America while also expanding globally to 38 countries. The meteoric rise of these two companies helps underscore how rapidly the global economy evolves – and how antiquated many of yesterday’s antiquated regulatory schemes are in today’s fast-moving, innovation-driven world. In just under four years rideshare services have expanded to cover roughly half of the nation’s population. These numbers evidence the popularity ridesharing enjoys, and the incredible economic promise that this relatively new sector holds – something that statistics are already beginning to bear out.

A recent report on the jobs impact of Uber, for example, found that Uber is creating a whopping 20,000 new jobs each month in this largely stagnant economy – and that’s just the tip of the ridesharing iceberg. Not counting Lyft, Sidecar and other ridesharing apps, Uber alone generates 2.8 billion per year for the U.S. economy. Ridesharing apps have also created hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs across the U.S. For instance, in San Francisco, the median income for uberX drivers is $74,000 per year per driver, and in New York City it’s even higher at $90,000 per year. Those are good-paying, family wage jobs – jobs that don’t require an advanced college degree and are within the reach of almost any American with a car. Yet even with the economic benefits created by ridesharing services, state and local politicians and regulators can’t help but succumb to the bureaucratic impulse to “kill the golden goose” through overregulation.

A prime example of how overregulation stymies economic growth comes out of Seattle. The Uber and Lyft operations in Seattle combined employ roughly 2,000 active drivers on their app-based dispatch system. Sidecar, another ridesharing app, employs an additional 1,000 drivers for a total of almost 3,000 people employed in Seattle by ridesharing apps. However, the City Council recently voted to impose a driver cap on ridesharing operations under a two-year pilot program. While ridesharing companies are still allowed to operate, the driver cap “means hundreds of drivers could have their work hours severely limited or even be out of work.” Thus instead of trying to embrace the ridesharing boom, Seattle is killing one of ridesharing’s greatest economic benefits by overregulation.

Seattle isn’t the only city trying to choke the life out of ridesharing services with the tight grip of government. Local bureaucrats in Miami, at the behest of the city’s entrenched and influential taxi industry, are taking a more thuggish approach – using the local police force to carry out “sting operations” aimed at Uber and Lyft drivers. Echoing sentiments expressed by the owner of U.S.A. Taxi, who called for Miami to “put the drivers in jail,” the city has begun issuing $2,000 fines and impounding rideshare driver’s cars. This is not only an unreasonable show of brute force by regulators but an embarrassing waste of law enforcement resources in a city that was recently ranked among the top 100 most dangerous places in America to live according to a recent, independent analysis. Apparently targeting rideshare services is what now passes for “Miami Vice.”

As the debate over ridesharing apps increases in the states, it’s important to keep in mind the economic benefits ridesharing apps have been proven to offer the National economy and more importantly local economies where these services operate. When state and local bureaucrats impose burdensome regulations on ridesharing operations, they are effectively “killing the golden goose.” Instead, state and local governments should encourage innovation in the marketplace, especially when that innovation is creating thousands of good paying jobs and billions in revenue each year.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: iphone; taxis; uber

1 posted on 07/03/2014 6:25:53 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
Ok....I read the article.

What is “ride share” and how does it work. Why isn't it just a taxi service?

2 posted on 07/03/2014 6:36:56 PM PDT by wintertime
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To: wintertime
It's much more informal. A typical ridesharing service involves a person who needs a ride and sends a request for a pick-up through their iPhone. Any participating driver in the area who has their phone on gets notified of the request, and can respond quickly to pick the person up. The passenger has already authorized payment through the order, and the driver's account gets credited without any cash ever changing hands.

I'm no fan of excessive government regulation, but I can see where this is fraught with potential problems. For one thing, auto insurance companies aren't going to look too kindly on their clients running a taxi-cab service with their private autos. And I've always questioned the safety/security aspect of this, too.

3 posted on 07/03/2014 6:49:05 PM PDT by Alberta's Child ("What in the wide, wide world of sports is goin' on here?")
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To: Alberta's Child

P.S. — The ideal application is if you need to go from Point A to Point B, you send a request through your iPhone, and you get picked up by someone who is already driving in the area of Point A and is destined for a place where they have to drive past Point B.


4 posted on 07/03/2014 6:51:03 PM PDT by Alberta's Child ("What in the wide, wide world of sports is goin' on here?")
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To: Kaslin

they are trying to put them under in Minneapolis as well.


5 posted on 07/03/2014 6:51:44 PM PDT by cableguymn (It's time for a second political party.)
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To: Kaslin
Where I live, Uber and Lyft have been put out of business by court order. Various parties, including the major local cab company, cited safety concerns in their lawsuits. Safety, my foot. They didn't like the competition.
6 posted on 07/03/2014 6:53:02 PM PDT by fatnotlazy
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To: fatnotlazy

I believe that.


7 posted on 07/03/2014 7:08:32 PM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Alberta's Child

Personally I think this is very risky for both sides as one doesn’t know what kind of person is being picked up, and what kind of person picking the other person up. Either one could be a criminal


8 posted on 07/03/2014 7:12:53 PM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: wintertime
Basically, it's a way for people who KNOW how dangerous it is to get into a vehicle with an unknown weirdo driving a taxicab, to call for safer, alternative transportation from point A-B.

It's just prey avoiding predators.
The government frowns on that, nowadays.....

9 posted on 07/03/2014 7:21:59 PM PDT by sarasmom (Extortion 17. A large number of Navy SEALs died on that mission. Ask why.)
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To: Kaslin
Personally I think this is very risky for both sides as one doesn’t know what kind of person is being picked up, and what kind of person picking the other person up. Either one could be a criminal

I share your concern but I wonder if it is really any more dangerous than a regular taxi. At least in this case someone knows that passenger A was picked up by driver B at that location. If I wave down a taxi no one else knows that I was ever picked up.

10 posted on 07/03/2014 7:31:09 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: Kaslin
Do you really think you are “safer” in a traditional taxicab?
Either as passenger or driver?

People who use the “app” methods are more deeply and thoroughly vetted, both as drivers and passengers, than people hailing a government “licensed” public taxicab.

I submit there is less chance of criminals using the private rideshare “apps”.

11 posted on 07/03/2014 7:33:16 PM PDT by sarasmom (Extortion 17. A large number of Navy SEALs died on that mission. Ask why.)
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To: fatnotlazy

In defense of the taxi and limousine companies, they are subject to a mountain of licensing/insurance requirements and safety standards that don’t apply to an ordinary motorist. They see a rideshare system the same way a doctor would see an unlicensed quack practicing medicine.


12 posted on 07/03/2014 7:33:53 PM PDT by Alberta's Child ("What in the wide, wide world of sports is goin' on here?")
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To: Kaslin

I agree with you. Even aside from the safety concerns, I think the liability problem could be daunting. If you get in an accident with one of these passengers in your car, you are likely to get sued in a big way.


13 posted on 07/03/2014 7:35:13 PM PDT by Alberta's Child ("What in the wide, wide world of sports is goin' on here?")
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To: sarasmom

The apps have your payment information already, so you are identified before you get into the car... also, both driver and rider have their locations being tracked as well. I think it is more safe than riding with some meth head cab driver who hasn’t replaced his suspension in 5 years.


14 posted on 07/04/2014 2:11:20 PM PDT by willyd (I for one welcome our NSA overlords)
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To: willyd
Quite frankly, I agree with you.

I can understand why “the revenuers/government” are not pleased that a new system replaces their private cash cow and total control over transportation, but I don't understand why any citizen would applaud them.

But I am old enough to remember a time when there were independent truck drivers, before the feds and the unions colluded to put them all out of business...

15 posted on 07/05/2014 8:31:58 PM PDT by sarasmom (Extortion 17. A large number of Navy SEALs died on that mission. Ask why.)
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