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HANC’s Sharing Economy Series: Shared Rides or Bandit Cabs? Are Companies Like Uber and Lyft Helping or Hurting San Francisco?

June 8, 2015

By Rupert Clayton : HANC – excerpt

HANC’s series on the impact of the “sharing economy” continues at our June membership meeting (Thursday, June 11, 7 pm, at the Park Branch Library, 1833 Page Street) with a look at “ride-sourcing” – the unlicensed on-demand services that let smartphone users connect to private drivers for a taxi-like door-to-door service. UberX, Lyft and Sidecar have stormed the barricades of Bay Area transportation since 2010. The phenomenon goes by many names, with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) choosing the phrase transportation network companies (TNCs). Their mission is to “disrupt” what they see as the taxi industry’s monopoly, with “rides in minutes” booked through their smartphone apps. The widespread impression that a taxi trip involves a frustrating wait to ride with a rude driver in a grubby cab has given these companies an eager market… (more)

May at HANC: Airbnb Rentals and the Haight-Ashbury

Over 50 people attended HANC’s May meeting on the impact of short term tourist rentals (“Airbnb rentals”) on our neighborhood.  The day before the meeting the Board of Supervisors Budget and Legislative Analyst Office issued a report on the impact of short term rentals citry wide (Analysis of the Impact of Short Term Rentals on Housing) which found that the Haight-Ashbury had some 32% of its vacant rental hosing stock being offered as “commercial” Airbnb listings and removed from the rental market with resultant increase in rent .  This was the most rental housing removed of any neighborhood in the City.  Moreover, the report pointed out, the neighborhood led in the number of evictions that occurred over the same period.

The study was confirmed by personal testimony of neighborhood residents at the meeting who reported their stories of being evicted or having neighbors evicted to make room for the Airbnb rentals… (more)

Dale Carlson of ShareBetterSF (http://www.sharebettersf.com), a broad coalition of neighborhood, affordable housing, tenant, landlord and labor organizations engaged in a two-year-long effort to develop local regulations making sure Airbnb rentals did not reduce affordable and rental housing opportunities, protecting neighborhoods and offering building tenants and neighbors an effective say in the conversion to Airbnb uses.  Carlson chronicled ShareBetterSF’s  failed effort to meet and reach a compromise with Mayor Lee on changes and pointed out how the Mayor and Supervisor Farrell have proposed new legislation (to be voted on by the Board on June 9th) that would actually weaken the  already weak local laws regulating Airbnb.  The Mayor’s effort would make it impossible to identify the location of any “registered” Airbnb unit and would bar the City from taking effective legal action to enforce the local law.

Carlson outlined ShareBetterSF’s petition ordinance now being circulated which would close these new loopholes in the local law.

HANC members voted unanimously to support the petition drive and to join ShareBetter SF.  People seeking the petition can email  ruth@sharebettersf.com  to arrange delivery… (more)

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