Yesterday, President-elect Donald Trump announced Elaine Chao as his pick for Department of Transportation head. Today, Uber and Lyft are applauding the decision. Representatives for the two ride-hailing companies told Bloomberg via email that they welcomed the appointment and looked forward to working with Chao. The publication also notes that the former labor secretary, who served under President George W. Bush, has voiced support for nontraditional businesses such as Uber in the past:
At a talk at the American Action Forum in November 2015, Chao said that “many of the government’s workplace regulations were created during an era when workers spent the majority of their lives in one establishment or one profession. That’s no longer the case today. So it is legitimate to ask if the regulatory solutions of the past—crafted by big government for big business—are appropriate for a peer-to-peer economy that is fluid, flexible, and filled with workers who prefer independent arrangements. I believe there is room in our economy for a variety of approaches.”
While a Trump presidency might not be as advantageous for all tech companies (as I pointed out here), it looks like the future might be bright for those in the transportation industry. Having an ally in the next administration is never a bad thing and could prove especially clutch as Uber presses more deeply into automation and self-driving opportunities.