A Case for Car-Sharing in Singapore

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I am behind Low’s case for an approach to car-sharing services that benefits consumers and does not over-protect taxi company incumbents (Straits Times). But I share a concern, that often in such debates, the (car-sharing, aka service providers) drivers’ interests to earn a honest living, could easily be side-lined.

Through my frequent car-sharing experiences, I received near unanimous feedback from existing drivers about their eroding earnings because of these intermediaries’ incredible market power to recruit other new drivers and set lower fares. Many of these drivers are full time drivers and they only receive about 80% of the final fares, after paying the intermediaries their cut. The drivers mentioned that they were considering a move back to regular taxi service once their current one-year contract is over, in order to earn a better and stable income.

In midst of these upcoming debates, regulators should never forget to put people interests, the commuters and the drivers, at the heart of their policy considerations.

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Embracing the Global Sharing Economy – A UK policy reference

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Image Credit: Emilio Quintana (Creative Common)

An independent report (Nov 2014) comissioned by the UK Government on the potential, barriers and policy recommendations to embrace the sharing economy.

It’s key recommendations includes:

  1. “The Government should embrace the opportunities offered by the sharing economy, both to make its own operations more efficient, and to make better use of public resources.”
  2. “Regulations must be examined to ensure they are still fit for purpose and meet people’s expectations – particularly for accommodation and online task-sharing platforms.”
  3. “We need to support start-ups in the sharing economy – by encouraging experimentation and innovation – and sharing what works.”

Hope this will be useful reference for the all policy makers who are also considering the same issues for their own countries.

(H/T: Independent Report Urges UK to Embrace Sharing, Airbnb)