Monthly Archives: March 2016

Airbnb To Big City Mayors: ‘Take Our Tax Dollars, Please!’

Forbes – March 28, 2016

Airbnb, the popular room-sharing app, has made a plea to the mayors of the largest U.S. cities asking to be taxed. The company’s head of global policy, Chris Lehane, addressed the attendees of the United States Conference of Mayors earlier this year with a proposal to work together to help cities collect tax revenue from the peer-to-peer transactions that occur on its platform.

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Study: ‘Sharing’ Services Boost Transit

Governing – March 22, 2016

Transit systems should be encouraged, rather than threatened, by the proliferation of transportation choices, according to a new report issued by the American Public Transportation Association. Released last week, the report determined that the people who depend most heavily on shared modes of transportation — including ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft, bike sharing, and car-sharing services like ZipCar and Car2Go — are also more likely to rely on public transit.

“The Technology is Just a Shiny Shopfront”: The Case Against the Sharing Economy

New Statesman – March 21, 2016

What’s Yours is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy is a painstaking examination of the latest set of companies claiming a chunk of our future. AirBnB, Uber and apps that send you anything from dinner to a cleaner all claim that they’re portals, upon which vendors and customers can “share” (or “buy and sell”, as we’ve called it for thousands of years) their products. At first glance, it’s a utopian vision, which bypasses all the nastiness of Big Business. Yet Slee’s book redraws the landscape in harsher terms, as a group of companies backed by enormously wealthy “old-school venture capitalists” which count themselves out of the rules and regulations that other companies are bound by.

App That Lets You Order Food Made By Strangers Launches in Philly

Philly Voice – March 17, 2016

According to Foobooz, Homemade, an app developed in New York City by entrepreneurs Nick Devane and Mike Dee, expands its food-sharing services to Philadelphia today, the first U.S. city outside of New York. In concept, it allows amateur cooks and hobbyists to serve home-cooked foods to app users who are craving a meal, but don’t want to deal with a restaurant. Think of it as Etsy for cooks, only with the promise of a thorough vetting process for the seller.

Automakers Prepping for a Future Where Fewer People Buy Cars

NBC News – March 17, 2016

Since just the beginning of the year, Ford has announced a variety of new ventures outside its traditional lines of business. It’s even launched a partnership with Amazon that will give motorists in-car access to the high-tech company’s voice assistant, Alexa. That will let a motorist remotely control their home’s thermostat and lights or open the garage door.

Google Maps Update Is Giving Uber Competition

Fortune – March 16, 2016

Google has added a way for users of its Map app to compare at ride-sharing fares with industry giant Uber. Users in certain countries (though not the U.S.) will be able to see which service is cheaper so they can better decide which one to choose. It is an example of the growing amount of transit information available through Google Maps beyond the typical driving directions.