California has become the firs state in the Union to regulate ride-sharing services according to news breaking this afternoon. Ride-sharing services, commonly known as hitch hiking and car pooling, have been popping up online. These services encourage people to share their cars in order to get to destinations in a more cost efficient and energy conservative way.
The most commonly used site for ride sharing is Craigslist. The site, which acts as a simple virtual noticeboard, is not the easiest of places to regulate and has garnered a reputation for being dangerous. The California law is aiming more steadily at “e-hailing” services that cater specifically to ride sharing.
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The new California regulations seek to bring some order to a business that has sprung up in the Wild West of the internet. The California Utilities Commission voted unanimously to regulate ride-sharing services. One of the most important parts of the regulation, from the State’s point of view, is the ability to levy special taxes on the companies offering those services.
It is unclear at this point what exact shape the regulation will take in future, but it will have profound effects on the industry. The regulations passed today will require drivers on ride sharing services to have a background check. In order to qualify, they will have to have a driver’s license and insurance. The rules also require the companies promoting ride-sharing to share this information with the State of California.
Craigslist is almost untouchable because of the hands-off approach management takes to the web site. The firms that concentrate on the business are, however, going to have to abide by the rules as they continue to grow through the United States. The most commonly known firms in the business are Lyft, Sidecar and UberX, and they’ve all been growing rapidly through 2013.