Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Safer than thou taxi

Cato's Matthew Feeney asks, and answers, the important question, Compared to what?
Ridesharing safety worries relate to the well-being of drivers, passengers, and third parties. In each of these cases there is little evidence that the sharing economy services are more dangerous than traditional taxis. In fact, the ridesharing business model offers big safety advantages as far as drivers are concerned. In particular, ridesharing’s cash-free transactions and self-identified customers substantially mitigate one of the worst risks associated with traditional taxis: the risk of violent crime.
Of course, there should be no reason to hold taxi drivers to the more dangerous standard;
...heavily regulated taxi drivers have a valid point when they complain that they have to compete on an unlevel playing field with less regulated rideshare companies. But the appropriate response to this problem is to rationalize and modernize the outdated and heavy-handed restrictions on taxis—not to extend those restrictions to ridesharing.
De-regulate for safety! We're for it.

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