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California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools

No Airbnb or Uber for U. of California Employees

06/26/2014

Inside Higher Ed. June 25, 2014.

University of California employees will from now on have to hail regular cabs and book standard hotel rooms when traveling on official business, as the system’s Office of Risk Services has decided to ban the use of peer-to-peer services such as Airbnb, Lyft and Uber.

Those and other service startups “should not be used because of concerns that these services are not fully regulated and do not protect users to the same extent as a commercially regulated business,” according to an email sent out to the University of California at Los Angeles campus. “As the market matures and these businesses evolve, the University may reconsider whether reimbursement of travel costs provided by peer-to-peer or sharing businesses will be allowed.”

The decision was made due to “insurance concerns,” a spokeswoman for the university system said in an email.

The ban is perhaps particularly ironic as many of the companies were established in California. In fact, some of the founders behind the startups even graduated from campuses in the university system. Logan Green, the CEO and co-founder of Lyft, attended UC-Santa Barbara, while Travis Kalanick, the CEO and co-founder of Uber, went to UCLA.