Auto insurers, national trade associations and Uber are coming together to help eliminate consumer confusion, provide a framework for safe transportation options, and support continued marketplace innovation. The TNC Insurance Compromise Model Bill will help bring clarity and consistency to TNC insurance laws, and will enhance consumer choice, increase entrepreneurial activity, and bring greater stability and confidence to the transportation network industry.
Local critics of Uber and Lyft say the ride-hailing apps are failing to pay the required Rhode Island sales tax on their services. As state lawmakers wade through proposals to reform the state’s complicated taxi and car service regulations, questions are surfacing about whether the transportation apps, which are not subject to those regulations, are gaining an unfair advantage by not collecting the sales tax required by law — or, worse, whether they have been charging customers sales tax since they began operating in the state, but have not passed those collections on to the government.
Adi Vaxman tried to do the right thing when she was setting up Tripda, a ride-sharing application that allows drivers to find passengers and share the cost of long-distance trips. She wanted to know whether Tripda could be liable if somebody using the site got in an accident, and whether the company should insure itself or provide insurance to drivers to protect against loss. “We spent a ton of money on lawyers to try to figure out the best way to run this,” said Vaxman, a veteran entrepreneur and former PayPal executive, who’s raised $11 million in venture financing for Tripda so far. “And with all the questions we’re asking, the answer always is `it’s a gray area.’”
The explosion of sharing or on-demand services like Uber and Airbnb is the beginning of an economic upheaval every bit as significant as the industrial revolution. The on-demand economy promises to radically reshape the cost of services and change the face of the workforce. These upheavals, in turn, are altering state and local government policies — imposing unforeseen fiscal risks.
A judge in Frankfurt dealt a setback to Uber on Wednesday, ruling that drivers for its ride-sharing service UberPop must hold the official permits required of taxi drivers to operate in Germany. The ruling reinstates one of the most severe legal restrictions faced by the company anywhere in the world. The decision, by Judge Joachim Nickel, overturns a ruling from September that allowed UberPop to operate. The injunction against the service was sought last year by a taxi drivers’ trade group.
CHEVY CHASE, Md.–After a successful launch in Virginia, GEICO is now offering its innovative ridesharing product to drivers in Maryland. Drivers that have been approved to drive for Uber (UberX and UberXL), Lyft, Sidecar and other services in Maryland can now get the insurance coverage they need through GEICO.
During its monthly meeting Tuesday afternoon, the Louisville Regional Airport Authority addressed the ride-sharing services by adopting a set of regulations to govern how those companies will operate on airport grounds. The airport has been working on the regulations for the last several months in response to emergency regulations passed by the state in December as a means to address ride-sharing services.
Data scientists have picked apart exactly when a New York City yellow taxi is a cheaper option than Uber—and they’ve built an app to tell you when that is, according to Quartz. The bottom line: Based on 2014 data for the cheaper UberX rides (liberated by a FOIA request), yellow taxis are marginally cheaper than Uber up and until about the $35 mark, according to the data scientists’ research paper, at which point Uber generally becomes a better deal.
Millennials hate cars and love convenience. And Uber is tapping into both of those trends. “Millennials don’t give a s— about cars,” said venture capitalist Bill Gurley in conversation with author Malcolm Gladwell at SXSW on Sunday. “I hear parents frustrated that their kids won’t get their drivers licenses.” Gurley, whose Benchmark Capital is an investor in Uber, contrasted this to his generation, which dreamed of the cars they would one day own. “[Millennials] view cars as a utility, not as a social statement,” he said. “We just got lucky with some of the demographic changes.”
Families with less means often rely on public transportation or extended family to get their children around, with many immigrant families turning to “raiteros,” or cheap, informal car and van networks. But for affluent parents who can pay to ease the pressures of juggling work and family and are jittery about leaving children to their own devices, Uber and other app-based car services have clear appeal.