Similar battles are being waged all across the sharing economy as municipal and state governments wrestle with questions about what kinds of licensing, taxes, and oversight make sense for businesses that operate virtually and “employ” a rotating group of regular citizens.
Last year, Airbnb found itself in hot water in a dispute over whether the company should be subject to the city’s 14 percent hotel tax, a battle it fought—and lost. After being hit with the CPUC fines, both Lyft and SideCar refused to comply and adopted the Airbnb argument: that the old rules need to be updated instead of reining in the new companies. “Asserting that we are operating a transportation carrier,” SideCar founder Sunil Paul posted on the company’s blog, “is like saying that Airbnb is a hotel chain, that Travelocity is an airline, or that eBay is a store.”
i believe that ridesharing is an integral part of a working transportation system—one that increases people’s mobility options.
i hate taxis (esp. when cycling around in SF; and they’re expensive), the bus may never come, BART closes after midnight, outside of walking distance, i may not have my bike with me or am not going somewhere with a bikable route… immensely thankful for rideshare. LYFT! in particular.
i have, three times, hitchhiked for rides to get home after music shows because those cities i was in didn’t have rideshare.
also, i still believe it’s “The revolution will not be motorised.” but yeah, rideshare’s pretty awesome.