Leveling the Playing Field: The Need for Taxi Reform in the Commonwealth
The debate over future regulation of transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft has been one of the most contentious on Beacon Hill in 2016. It has polarized the legislature and pressured lawmakers to take sides in the larger fight between popular international tech companies and traditional, more localized enterprises. While TNCs have lobbied aggressively against specific proposed restrictions, taxi and livery service providers have fought back with claims that their business is dying due to what has become an uneven playing field. Pioneer Institute has long been a champion of innovative ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft and has consistently opposed efforts to strangle them with misguided regulations. At the same time, the archaic regulations that currently govern taxis, particularly those that prevent regional street hail-based pick-ups and enforce minimum pricing, create an unfair business environment for cabs, making competition with innovative new firms impossible.