the baltic course

Today, the Consumer Choice Center launched its Sharing Economy Index highlighting some of the world’s most dynamic cities by their sharing economy friendliness.

The index is the first of its kind and should be used to inform consumers about which city is doing the best job providing the greatest variety of sharing economy services and ensures easy access to them.

The top 10 cities according to the index are Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Warsaw, Kyiv, São Paulo, Tbilisi, and Helsinki. On the other hand, Prague, Dublin, Amsterdam, Bratislava, Ljubljana, Sofia, Tokyo, The Hague, Luxembourg City, and Athens found themselves at the very bottom of the list.

Maria Chaplia, European Affairs Associate at the Consumer Choice Center, said the ranking demonstrates the availability of sharing economy services along with ease of access to users. The cities that score lowest have chosen excessive regulation over the interest of consumers thereby significantly limiting their consumer choice.

“The sharing economy has transformed our lives in a variety of ways. Booking holiday accommodation via flat-sharing platforms and grabbing our phone to order a rideshare when we are late to a meeting is a habit many of us share. But now, those benefits to consumers are often undermined by excessive regulation and taxation. 

“The current COVID-19 pandemic has shown both how much the sharing economy has helped consumers access essential goods and services, while at the same time revealing the very real restrictions and regulations that undermine them,” said Chaplia.

“Spirited protests of taxicab drivers have spread all across the globe, and there is a good reason for that: excessive regulation. In every city analysed (except Kyiv), one must have a taxi driver’s licence to provide taxi services. The fear of competition has taken taxicab drivers to the streets and, in the end, resulted in even tighter regulation of ride-hailing services. Consumers benefit from fair and equitable competition. Less regulation of both traditional taxi services and ride-hailing means more consumer choice,” added Chaplia.

“Overall, three Baltic cities lead the way as the most sharing economy friendly. Estonia is well-known for its booming digital state, and the fact there is even a carpooling app for kids reinforces this fact. All top 10 cities score high when it comes to flat-sharing, meaning that they do not overburden this important part of the sharing economy with city taxes or special permit requirements.”

“The point system we developed for this index provides great insight into what cities you should consider if you would like to enjoy the outstanding variety of sharing economy services,” said Chaplia.

“In order to prevent a negative consumer experience, we examined 52 of the world’s most dynamic cities and ranked them in terms of availability and access to ride-hailing, flat-sharing services, e-scooters, professional car sharing, peer-to-peer car rental, and gym sharing,” added Chaplia.

The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org



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