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Uber’s Travis Kalanick recites the demise of early 20th century ‘Jitney’ carpool service in over-regulation tip

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By John Glenday, Reporter

February 17, 2016 | 1 min read

Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick is urging regulators to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past in his ongoing tussle to limit regulatory hurdles facing his app based taxi service, by recalling the fate of America’s ill-fated Jitney service.

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An early example of the shared car concept the Jitney was used by millions of American’s in 1914, attracted by the convenience and cheapness of the service, but fell out of favour within five years as a raft of new laws mandating such things as multiple drivers and mandatory 16-hour days killed it off in its infancy.

The rest as they say is history with America going onto embrace the private car and all the attendant issues this brought for cities and commutes.

Speaking during a TED talk in Vancouver Kalanick said: “It goes back to the lesson of the Jitney. What if they had not been regulated out of existence? “Would we have parks in the place of parking lots? We lost that chance, but technology has given us a new opportunity.”

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