Monday, November 10, 2014

Quick Link: Sharing Economy Startups versus Regulators

From Times of India article titled "New age taxis violate laws: Bangalore cabbies" dated Nov 12, 2014 titled:
The Bangalore Tourist Taxi Owners Association (BTTOA), Adarsh Autorickshaw Drivers' Union and Karnataka Maxi Cab Owners Association are meeting the city transport commissioner on Wednesday to discuss certain practices of the new operators which they allege go against the law.
"Some cab operators are using state and all-India permit vehicles to ply point-to-point taxis. That's against the Motor Vehicles Act 1988. Also, the Karnataka government has set a standard fare of Rs 19.50 per kilometre for radio taxis, but Ola, Uber and TaxiForSure are offering rock bottom fares, subsidizing customers with the tonnes of funding they have received," said L Radhakrishna Holla, general secretary of BTTOA that runs 45,000 cabs.  
But Raghunandhan G, co-founder of TaxiForSure, countered, saying Rs 19.50 per km was only a ceiling, and an all-India permit did not restrict point-to-point city services.
This Freakonomics Radio episode on the ongoing battle between the peer-to-peer marketplace enabling startups in the US - like Airbnb, Uber and Lyft - and the regulators provides some pointers as to how the issue might pan out here as well.

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