[ICDE paper] Driving Economic Justice: Cooperative Taxis in San Diego

Tandon, Udayan. “Driving Economic Justice: Cooperative Taxis in San Diego.” Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy, New York City, 2024. Accessed May 4, 2024. https://ia600700.us.archive.org/23/items/DrivingEconomicJustice/UT0504_2024.pdf.

In “Driving Economic Justice: Cooperative Taxis in San Diego” by Udayan Tandon, a case is made for a “public option” in the taxi industry as a remedy to the challenges posed by platform economy companies like Uber and Lyft. This approach is part of United Taxi Workers San Diego’s collaboration with UC San Diego, aiming to establish a cooperative taxi app platform that embodies principles of platform cooperativism. The public option is envisioned as a democratically controlled, publicly regulated, and just workplace for taxi drivers, supported by public agencies to ensure affordable, regulated on-demand transportation. This model seeks to offer a sustainable alternative to the extractive business practices of gig economy giants, by prioritizing the economic well-being of taxi workers, improving access for riders with disabilities, and transitioning to an electric fleet through government regulation and support. Despite facing significant technological, regulatory, and financial barriers, the proposal underscores the importance of policy and philanthropic support for economic democracy, emphasizing that a publicly funded and regulated platform could create better jobs and serve as a viable alternative to for-profit rideshare companies.