Innovation needs deregulation: the case of taxi and private hire companies

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Abstract

Every year seems to bring about new technologies that radically change the way we do things. New innovative business models come to life, that change the way the world works so much that a shift of mindset is required if we are to keep up. These days, the largest transport company in the world owns no cars, the largest accommodation provider owns no real estate, the largest retailer by value has no inventory of its own, and the most popular media owner creates no content. But what about the role of regulation in this brave new world? We take a look at the rivals, taxi companies and private hire transport companies (in particular Uber), to assess the need for regulation and the impact of regulation on these two contenders. Our research examines the effects of said regulation on service quality and safety, correlated with consumer opinion data. The impact of non-regulatory incentives on the two seemingly-opposed business models is discussed, thus making the logical case for increased deregulation of both taxis and private hire companies. Opening the way to innovative companies and innovative new business models, allowing them to change the world is our gateway to growth, prosperity and sustainability.

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