In 2015, Austin was ranked the “Best City to Live in” by WalletHub, a personal-finance forum. However, some members of the 2016 Austin City Council seem to have forgotten that the city’s ability to embrace and foster innovation is what has made the city great.
Emails between taxi medallion owners and the Philadelphia Parking Authority have revealed a too-cozy relationship between the regulated and the regulator (“Taxis, PPA join against Uber,” Thursday). Shrugging it off as business as usual only justifies bad behavior.
For the past three years, Austinites have enjoyed all the inherent freedoms of home ownership. But some of those freedoms could vanish if the Austin City Council passes City Code 25 on Thursday.
In 2013, Austin led the state, and the nation, in adopting sensible short-term rental regulations. This allowed homeowners across the city to offer short-term rentals to visitors and Austinites.
“Austin is the fastest-growing city in America, and it needs all the help it can get on traffic congestion, public safety and environmental protection,” Carl Szabo, a policy council for NetChoice, said in a prepared statement. “Ridesharing technology is making a real difference for Austin.”
“Austin is the fastest-growing city in America, and it needs all the help it can get on traffic congestion, public safety, and environmental protection,” said Carl Szabo, policy counsel for NetChoice, in a statement. “Ridesharing technology is making a real difference for Austin.”
Technology has always promised to give us the freedom to work where, when, and how we want. And, in the past two years we have truly seen this become a reality.
We call it the sharing economy. People are able to leverage their expertise or skill without the need for a traditional employer. But old world cartels are trying to stop the new freedoms granted to us by this new economy.
The sharing economy is changing the way we work, live and play. But nowhere have we better seen the benefits of this change than in our transportation and travel. In just a few years, we’ve added Lyft, Uber and SideCar to our zeitgeist for rides and turned to Airbnb for housing when visiting a city.
We’ve lovingly termed this change “disruption.” It’s a disruption of industries that have remained relatively unchanged for decades and a disruption craved by us all. We’re turning our cars and homes into valuable assets and facilitating the type of customer experience we all want.
Ride-sharing companies like Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar are transforming how we travel. Everyday, ride-sharing provides Utahns with rides on demand via the press of a button and these rides come with the safety and security of knowing the driver’s name, photo, and ratings.
These services allow Utah citizens to turn their car into a source of income. Their presence reduces traffic congestion and DUIs. And these services illuminated the inadequacies of a taxicab system that has not changed much since the introduction of the Model T.
But rather than looking in the mirror at their own deficiencies and taking the opportunity to improve, the taxicab monopoly has cried foul and decided to blame its troubles on the marketplace. One of the biggest criticisms from the taxi industry is that ride-sharing companies are “playing by a different set of rules and regulations.”
Earlier this year, Utah passed SB 294 that created a common sense regulatory framework requiring ride-sharing drivers to comply with the same insurance requirements as taxis.