Local governments should beware of fast-moving innovators who break all the rules. They don’t keep their promises very often, either. This doesn’t mean on-demand business can’t engage with local government. They must find ways to create and actually demonstrate added value for the community — the ideal way is to create jobs or livelihoods while finding new ways to collaborate with state, regional and local governments to build new post-federal safety nets.
Nine months later, Pittsburgh residents and officials say Uber has not lived up to its end of the bargain. Among Uber’s perceived transgressions: The company began charging for driverless rides that were initially pitched as free. It also withdrew support from Pittsburgh’s application for a $50 million federal grant to revamp transportation. And it has not created the jobs it proposed in a struggling neighborhood that houses its autonomous car testing track.