Earl Kaing

An urban planner by trade, Earl believes strong vibrant cities empower people through choice, and that most Americans today have little choice when it comes to getting around. He sees injustice in a system that shackles us to our cars, that demands oceans of free parking in cities that already struggle to house people, and that punishes those who are too young, too old, or too poor to drive.

But don’t get him wrong. Earl doesn’t hate cars. Nor is he hopelessly in love with some romantic notion of public transit serving all permutations of people and place. He thinks the solution to automobile dependency is in fact more cars on our streets, cheaper cars, everywhere!—in the form of car services like taxis, Uber, and Lyft. His love affair with car services spans years of experience as rider, regulator, and scholar. He spent a summer volunteering with San Francisco’s taxi regulators; studied bandit taxis in Koreatown, Los Angeles; devised a novel approach for mapping the taxi-friendliness of Los Angeles neighborhoods; and authored a master’s thesis exploring the potential of car services to reshape the politics of urban transport. Earl’s fresh ideas won him a $2,500 cash prize at the 2014 Cameron Rian Hays “Outside the Box” competition, an invitation to speak at NACTO’s 2014 Transportation Innovation Day, and a place in Next City’s 2015 “40 under 40” Vanguard class.

Earl has a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from UCLA (2012), and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley (2006). In a former life, he was a management consultant with Accenture.