Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Uber ban in London

This week, it was on the news that Uber will soon lose its license to operate in London since the local transport regulator ruled that Uber is "not fit and proper" to operate in city. This decision is not settled yet and it's probably  hopefully  going to be negotiated along the appeal process towards a middle-ground regulation. 

In the meantime, Tyler Cowen's has shared his views on why this is "a big brexit mistake". This is part of a much larger debate on whether/how governments should regulate the 'sharing economy', a debate which would need a careful discussion on transport regulation. A paper on this very topic just got recently published and it does a really good job at tackling the most important points in this debate. The paper is coauthored by top researchers from the Transport Studies Unit TSU/Oxford   I'm biased . This is a very timely discussion in Brazil, where the Congress will be creating a national regulation  scheme for ride hailing apps in the coming months (link in Portuguese).

Dudley, G., Banister, D., & Schwanen, T. (2017). The Rise of Uber and Regulating the Disruptive Innovator. The Political Quarterly.

The ride-hailing company Uber has achieved extremely rapid global expansion by means of outmanoeuvring governments, regulators and competitors. The rise of the company has been based on a deliberate strategy of acting as a market disruptive innovator through a user friendly technology and making use of the ‘sharing economy’. These attributes are not unique, but are distinctively augmented by a relentless expansionary ambition and an ability to maintain the capacity to innovate. Uber has generated great political controversy, but the challenge for governments and regulators is to embrace the benefits of the disruptive innovator, while adopting an approach that takes into account the full range of impacts. For Uber, the challenge is to maintain its expansionary style as a disruptive innovator, while also redefining on its terms the political and public debate. The case study of London provides important insights into the dynamics of these processes.

image credit: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

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