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News & updates archive


DECEMBER 2016, San Francisco – Re-Wire Discussion with Office of California Attorney General:
California Special Assistant Attorney General Justin Erlich hosted a Re-Wire sharing economy roundtable discussion December 12 to hear from industry players about the regulatory challenges they are facing. Lyft, Upwork, and home-food sharing network Josephine joined Turo in a robust discussion about how regulators and incumbents can inhibit innovation with overzealous regulatory action. Many in the room agreed that regulations cannot keep pace with technological change and urged the Office of the Attorney General to explore new ways of encouraging development of new ideas before they are quashed in disproportionate effort to protect consumers or “level the playing field.” Brand new ideas, like the marketplace that Turo offers car owners and travelers, should be allowed to flourish in order to address societal and economic concerns.

DECEMBER 2016 – Turo Government Relations Participates in TechNet State Policy Conference

TechNet held a State Policy Conference in Napa, CA on December 7-–8, bringing together several dozen state legislators and government relations representatives from a wide range of high-tech companies. Representatives from a diverse cut of industries — telecom, transportation network companies, car manufacturers, electrical charging stations — discussed a wide range of topics, including innovation in the transportation space. Turo'’s representative, Michelle Peacock, pointed out that Turo’'s business model positively impacts nearly all aspects of the innovation in transportation sector. Turo’'s customers rely on strong mobile phone coverage to communicate with each other, many Uber and Lyft drivers place their cars on Turo to earn money when they aren’t driving, car manufacturers appreciate that Turo car owners can make back the cost of car ownership by sharing their car, and, with the proliferation of electric cars on the Turo network, charging stations will become more and more important.

Programs like the TechNet State Policy Conference are outstanding opportunities to showcase a particular business model or technology to interested legislators and to build support for ideas and concepts that could enhance the regulatory regimes for Turo and our customers. Turo Government Relations plans to stay engaged in this and other programs.

DECEMBER 2, 2016 – Albany Times Union Op-Ed “State Actions Belie its Rhetoric on Tech”

The Internet Association’s Vice President of State Government Affairs penned a recent Op-Ed that calls out the New York State government for a disparity between their words about innovation and the actions the policymakers have made with respect to growing this sector. The message calls on both Governor Cuomo and the state legislature to remain open to discussing how innovation solutions benefit the entire state.

NOVEMBER 2016 – Tourism Industry Association of Ontario Invites Turo to Speak on “Tourism and the Sharing Economy: Embracing the Disruption”

Turo’'s Government Relations team was proud to participate in the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario alongside representatives from Uber and Airbnb, November 20–21, 2016. The panel discussion ranged from regulatory concerns to tax collection, and the interaction with and questions from the audience were interesting and at times a little controversial. It was an excellent opportunity to introduce Turo to a new audience of tourism-focused businesses and professionals.

SEPTEMBER 2016 – Michelle Fang Speaks at Sharing Economy Legal Forum

Turo General Counsel, Michelle Fang, joined other top attorneys at a legal forum for the sharing economy on Monday night, where representatives from Upwork, eBay, Thumbtack and Uber shared their views on a wide range of topics from trust and safety, to state and international regulation. Hosted at StubHub offices in San Francisco, and moderated by Rafik Bawa of eBay, the panel shared their challenges and successes with an audience of about 75 industry executives. Fang emphasized how important brand awareness seems to be in creating a regulatory landscape that accounts for new business models, and the entire panel discussed at length the importance of taking care of customers. Karin Schwab from eBay was explicit that while feedback systems are great at prompting good behavior, ultimately the customer needs to know that the company will make it right if things go awry. The benefits of the sharing economy are clear – making inefficient markets efficient, according to Brian Levey, GC of Upwork, and traditional regulatory structures can’t always accommodate these innovative businesses. These will continue to be challenges facing innovative capital and asset sharing businesses, and collaborating with regulators to forge the right framework will be an important part of these businesses success.
AUGUST 8, 2016 – National Conference of State Legislatures, Legislative Summit, Chicago
The Turo Government Relations team participated in the annual Legislative Summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). NCSL is a 40-year-old organization of state legislators and staff with a mission to improve the quality and effectiveness of state legislatures. The organization creates opportunities for stakeholders to meet and discuss the top issues facing state government. Participation and input from the private sector is welcomed and encouraged. Autonomous vehicles and self-driving cars were a big focus of legislative interest this year, with several panels and deep-dive discussions about the technology, safety and regulatory approaches. Turo attended several sessions and shared our point of view about the challenges legislatures face in keeping up with the pace of innovation.
AUGUST 5, 2016 – Turo in the Wall Street Journal article: How to Rent a Car and Not Break the Bank in New York
All of Turo strives to create an environment of success for their customers and the Government Relations team is no different. Despite challenges in the state legislature, Turo continues the fight to bring back peer-to-peer car sharing in New York State, where consumers pay exorbitant prices for rental cars all summer long. An August 5, 2016, Wall Street Journal story highlights the challenges and high expense New Yorkers face when attempting to rent a car and called out Turo as a solution. The article describes a great Turo experience: “Turo, the peer-to-peer car-rental service formerly known as RelayRides, launched here in 2012 and operated for more than a year before the state shut it down, citing a law banning group insurance for purposes other than health care. Turo now operates in more than 3,000 towns in 49 states and Canada. It’s been lobbying to get the law changed, but this past June, a bill co-sponsored by several state senators was never brought to a vote. Turo plans to keep lobbying. Meanwhile, New Yorkers are too resourceful to let a good deal go untapped. Rachael Dimit, a Williamsburg, Brooklyn, market researcher, says her last three car rentals were from Turo participants in New Jersey. She takes the 15-minute PATH train ride from her Herald Square office to the Hoboken station, where the car owner hands her the keys. She has paid about $50 a day for trips to Washington, D.C., and the Catskills. “It’s zero hassle,” she says.”
JULY 6, 2016 – City and State published op-ed by Turo CEO Andre Haddad calling on New York to modernize their regulations and allow peer-to-peer car sharing in New York State.

JUNE 2016 – Bringing Turo Back to NY

Bringing Turo back to New York remains a top priority for the government relations team. Despite a three-year effort from Turo’s executive team and government relations, the state legislature refused to allow a vote on a bill that would allow car sharing in the state. Turo will continue to fight for economic opportunities for car owners and car transit options for travelers. Please join OpenRoad to receive updates on this issue and to help us gather support for this effort.
JUNE 2015 – Turo Launches Government Relations Program
Turo understands the importance of participating in the legislative and regulatory process, so along with the launch of Turo OpenRoad, we're delighted to announce the addition of two new staff who will accelerate the company's efforts to make our customers' voices heard.
Joining Turo as General Counsel, Michelle Fang brings with her extensive experience as a legal and policy leader in marketplace business. She joined Turo from StubHub where she served as General Counsel following her roles as Head of Global Intellectual Property and Head of North America Litigation at eBay, Inc.
Michelle Peacock has also joined Turo as Head of Government Relations and Public Policy. Peacock has over 25 years in government relations, having lead several policy initiatives for eBay, PayPal, Cisco Systems, and Microsoft Corp. We believe the addition of these two experienced professionals will enhance Turo's participation in the government process and that their work will continue to make the Turo experience better every year.



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March 2017 – TechNet’s first Arizona Lobby Day

Turo was delighted to join a dozen TechNet companies in Phoenix for the first Arizona Lobby Day. Advocating for HB 2440, a bill which would encourage the state of Arizona to use new economy substitutes for their state fleet of cars, the Government Relations team was proud to share with a range of legislators news about Turo’s growing presence in Scottsdale.

A highlight of the day was TechNet companies, including Turo, being recognized from the floor of the state legislature.

March 2017 – Turo testifies before Maryland state legislature

On March 3, Turo joined the Internet Association in testifying against HB 1520, a bill which would require peer-to-peer car sharing companies to comply with a range of regulations intended for traditional car rental. Despite vigorous and dramatic testimony from Enterprise Holdings and American Car Rental Association, the committee decided against taking action on the bill.

The issue was raised again in the Senate Finance Committee on March 7, and again Turo’s message of innovation and opportunity resonated. However, the Finance Committee’s previous experience crafting regulatory frameworks for other sharing economy businesses in the ride sharing and home sharing space, has inspired them to act similarly for car sharing. While the Senate bill SB 1056 did not progress further in this legislative session, the Committee Chair expressed desire to work further on this issue over the summer interim period.

Turo will continue to fight to preserve the ability of our hosts and travelers to use the platform to share a car within an appropriate regulatory framework.

February 2017 – Michelle Peacock addresses sharing economy issues at New York App Economy on a February 8 panel discussion presented by TechNet and the Progressive Policy Institute

Turo’s Vice President and Head of Government Relations, Michelle Peacock, joined a panel with representatives from SmartUp, CA Technologies, PPI and moderated by Rachel Haot, from 1776, in New York City. An interactive discussion among the panelists and attendees was robust, and covered a range of topics highlighting the tremendous growth of app-based businesses and the impacts on the New York area. Peacock emphasized the challenges for Turo with respect to New York, citing the need to modernize the insurance regulations to allow for peer-to-peer car sharing.

February 2017 – Turo joins TechNet at California Lobby Day in Sacramento

On February 6-7, Turo joined dozens of technology companies on visits to the California state capitol to discuss many issues facing the technology sector. With many technology-themed topics on the table, Turo’s Government Relations team raised the importance of protecting platform businesses from regulations intended to apply to the traditional incumbent players.

January 2017 – Turo visits state capitols; brings message of innovation and opportunity

Turo Government Relations team met with legislators in Tallahassee, FL and Jefferson City, MO to update them about Turo’s presence in those states and to explain how the company’s platform helps connect car owners and travelers.