Since Uber announced its intention to operate in Puerto Rico, there was a pronounced debate about transportation and the regulation of this new player.This transportation network company (TNC) is part of the so-called “sharing economy” where companies use technology to unite networks of individuals who share and exchange products and services among themselves. Although the development of the “sharing economy” can benefit many sectors in Puerto Rico, this paper focuses on ground transportation for two reasons. First, accessibility is an important element for the development of the Visitor Economy. A robust transportation network allows both visitors and residents to connect and easily access thousands of points of interest and at the same time, participate in multiple experiences on the Island. The second reason is the urgency of addressing the possible regulation of this innovative service. Once these TNC’s are established on the Island, it will be the regulatory framework that dictates the operation of their model. For this reason, we dedicated an abundant part of this paper to analyze the regulatory framework by presenting an analysis of the existing regulation and its implications in Puerto Rico and other cities around the world. The regulation that finally manages these TNC’s will establish a precedent that will serve as a model for other sectors in the “sharing economy” where entrepreneurs seek to improve, through innovation, the visitor’s experience.
Defines the influence of the “sharing economy” in the visitor economy
Describes how the “sharing economy” became a policy disruptor
Explains the impacts of a transportation network company (TNC) and the theory of regulation
Outlines policy recommendations to structure guidelines for a new local “sharing economy” framework