How Cities Use Regulation for Innovation: the Case of Uber, Lyft and Sidecar in San Francisco

Authors: Onemiso Flores and Lisa Rayle
Date published: 8 June 2017
Research commissioned by: Harvard University and University of California, Berkeley

Why did we select this research?

Since the emergence of alternative transportation methods (Uber, Lyft, etc), a new context for politicians and the private sector has emerged. How can this be regulated? This paper explores some options through the case of San Francisco.

Key findings:

  • Acknowledging the unrest among the taxi community, if done according to the regulation laws and controlling the lobby sector for this new player in the game, alternative methods of transportation can co-exist in the market. 
  • Very specific and contextual understanding of a given city is needed in order to provide targeted services (and hold accountable) both the provider and the user of these services.


Flores, O., & Rayle, L. (2017). How cities use regulation for innovation: the case of Uber, Lyft and Sidecar in San Francisco. Transportation research procedia, 25, 3756-3768.