Every major industry and service in the world is regulated. In a shared economy, technology platforms or APPs are offering the same products and services as traditional industries, but flying literally under the radar of traditional regulations, taxes and permit obligations. In addition, these companies have no assets, as they simply take advantage of additional inventory already built into the marketplace, be it an extra bedroom, down time for a driver or hours not used by someone’s car.
The result is companies selling the same product or service, only one is regulated and one is not. One might be paying permit and licensing fees to a local government, the other is not. In the case of a rental car company or parking company near an airport or port, one is paying concession fees and the other is not. Local governments that depend on fees to fund regulators find themselves in a budgetary and regulatory quandary. Airports, ports and convention centers who rely on concession and user fees to fund construction and operation of their facilities begin to see the value of their concessions under attack by app companies circumventing their RFP and concession contracts.
The CPSE will compile and compare examples of the shared economy marketplace. CPSE will analyze existing regulations and the genesis for their existence. The center will attempt, through input from experts, to highlight those regulations that work and those that are outdated or better achieved through technology. We will also seek to balance the capabilities of technology and the rate at which they are emerging with the need for safety, fairness and thoughtful regulation in the marketplace.
Samples of model legislation from Baton Rouge, LA., an Minneapolis, MN., can be found here. These ordinances attempt to balance the growth of peer-to-peer taxicab services with those of traditional transportation networks.