Uber v. regulation: “Ride-sharing” creates a legal gray area
Technological innovations are quickly re-shaping our world and even changing the way we travel from place to place. Although the concept of “ride-sharing” only just emerged in 2010, it has rapidly gained popularity and expanded across the globe, offering a new way to get around major cities via a mobile application that instantly links drivers and passengers through the phone’s GPS system. At the forefront of this movement is Uber—the multibillion-dollar company and pioneer of ride-sharing that has experienced unprecedented growth and success in its short existence. However, Uber’s expansion into most major cities across the United States has not been free of controversy or difficulties. For example, Uber has received major pushback from the taxi industry, which was once virtually free of competition, but is now quickly losing its grasp as a popular mode of transportation in the markets Uber has expanded into. In addition, city and state regulators in highly-regulated markets such as Miami, Florida have created significant legal hurdles for companies like Uber to enter into new markets based primarily on the regulators’ inability to fit these innovative companies into existing regulations for taxis, resulting in a legal gray area. This article will examine the development of the immensely popular and controversial ride-sharing industry. Specifically, this article will focus on the unprecedented growth of the ride-sharing industry’s pioneer, Uber, and the legal hurdles Uber has encountered while expanding into highly-regulated markets, which have resisted this new collaborative form of transportation that has now become synonymous with “taking an Uber.
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