by Becki Gray
Former Senior Vice President, John Locke Foundation
One likely issue to come up in the 2015 legislative session is if, how and what to regulate ride for services companies like Uber and Lyft. What we know is regulation stifles innovation and creativity. Government can easily regulate a successful business model right out of business.
According to a HuffPost report, the fee for ride model is alive and well in NC. For now.
Uber currently offers rides in 10 cities in North Carolina, ranging from Wilmington and Asheville to the larger Raleigh and Charlotte. The company says that’s more than any other state but California. Six of those cities have populations greater than 200,000, and all are home to universities.
The companies’ expansion has legislators in North Carolina and elsewhere scrambling to study their business models ahead of sessions in 2015 when they could address insurance, car inspections or criminal background checks. Throw in concerns from traditional taxi companies and insurance lobbyists, and Uber and Lyft’s public policy staffs should stay busy.
The taxi industry opposes these other fee for ride companies, of course and not just in the US. This is another good example of regulations used to keep out competition. The Uber/Lyft question raises the whole issue of occupational licensing and one lawmakers should carefully consider in 2015.