July 22, 2016
By Jared Meyer
A new Mercatus Center paper entitled “Rethinking Taxi Regulations” suggests that antiquated taxi regulations do not apply to today’s economy.
This conclusion stands in stark contrast to statements by Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren. Referring to the decision of Uber and Lyft to leave Austin, Texas after the city upheld burdensome ridesharing regulations, Warren claimed that the companies are fighting “against local rules designed to create a level playing field between themselves and their taxi competitors.” In other words, Warren wants to make Uber more like taxis .
This single-minded way of thinking is all too common among proponents of increased regulation. What they fail to realize is that there are two ways to “level the playing field.” The first is by placing outdated, stifling regulations on innovative business models. The second approach is removing existing barriers to competition and allowing existing businesses (such as taxis) to better compete with new services (ridesharing).
The Washington, DC, Department of For-Hire Vehicles is considering changing the way it regulates the local taxi and ridesharing market. The DFHV should ignore Warren’s recommendations and instead permit taxis to become more like Uber.
Read the full article at Forbes.com: DC Uber Regulators Shouldn't Listen to Elizabeth Warren