May 1, 2017

Alaska Is Showing How to Regulate Ridesharing Right

Michael D. Farren

Senior Research Fellow

Ending stifling local regulations would expand service quantity and quality, as well as lower prices.

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"Transportation Network Companies" like Uber and Lyft are about to complete their inevitable 50 state revolution of the for-hire transportation industry. Alaska, known as the "Last Frontier," is also the last frontier for ridesharing – and that will soon change.

Recently Anchorage's city council voted to allow ridesharing companies to operate in the city. The state legislature, meanwhile, is considering legislation that would prohibit cities from creating rideshare regulations, in order to create a consistent statewide standard.

Both developments are encouraging. There is a reason these companies have been hugely popular everywhere they've been allowed to operate: because they work much better than taxis. Welcoming them would be a win for customers, as would reforming stifling taxi regulations.

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