Sharing Economy' Takes Steps Toward M...

Sharing Economy' Takes Steps Toward Mainstream

Posted in the Laval Forum

Since: Jul 13

Montréal, Canada

#1 Aug 9, 2013

the tyler group

What's often known as the "sharing economy" _ represented by startups like Airbnb, Sidecar and TaskRabbit that match buyers with goods and services ranging from rooms to rides to running errands _ has long operated on the margins of legitimacy.

But there are growing signs that the sharing economy is going mainstream _ creating thousands of jobs and a business model that promotes environmental sustainability through more efficient use of resources. In the process, this emerging economy is disrupting traditional businesses such as hotels and taxi companies, and forcing governments to rethink decades-old rules on taxation, labor and safety.

Last week, state regulators with the California Public Utilities Commission proposed groundbreaking new safety regulations that would grant state licenses for smartphone-enabled ridesharing companies like Lyft, Sidecar and Uber. Passionate users of the sharing economy companies have formed their own advocacy group, and several mayors are working to make their cities more "shareable."

"It's a groundbreaking new economic paradigm," said Arun Sundararajan, a professor at New York University's Stern School of Business who studies digital economies. "This isn't just a recession-era phenomenon. It's a technology-driven change."

PEERS, a nonprofit advocacy group for the sharing economy, launched last week. Founded by service users, academics, entrepreneurs and several leading sharing economy startups, PEERS hopes to forge a unified voice for what many have come to regard as a movement.

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