TaskRabbit abruptly cancels ride-share service

In an email to users at 8:02 p.m. last night, TaskRabbit announced it will no longer allow ride-sharing services to be facilitated through its odd-jobs hiring website. The change is effective as of today. While the company did not explain the reasoning behind the decision, it comes at a time when several major cities have recently passed or are currently considering restrictive new regulations on ride-sharing services.

I have emailed TaskRabbit’s policy team to ask for further explanation of the move.  A Google News search did not turn up any relevant articles on the development at one of the emerging stars of the “sharing economy.”

Here is the full email:

An email from TaskRabbit.com to registered users on Friday, June 13 at 8:02 p.m. CST.

An email from TaskRabbit.com to registered users on Friday, June 13 at 8:02 p.m. CST.

In an interview with xconomy.com on Thursday, founder Leah Busque also notes that within the larger sharing economy, the transportation category is probably “getting over-saturated.” A comparison of the companies’ websites confirms that Uber operates in eighteen out of the nineteen U.S. cities that TaskRabbit does (all but Portland, Oregon), and Lyft does business in sixteen out of nineteen (all except New York, Philadelphia and Portland).

With new regulations in place from Chicago to San Francisco that would all but make it impossible for TaskRabbits (the affectionate name for people who land odd jobs through the site) to offer rides, plus the competition of specialized providers like Uber and Lyft, it’s no surprise that TaskRabbit had to pull this feature off the road.

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