Sharing economy

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Sharing economy

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Nowhere to park? How the sharing economy is changing the way we use our space

  • زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
  • سطح متوسط

دانلود اپلیکیشن «زبانشناس»

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Note: This is not a word-for-word transcript

Finn Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I’m Finn, and Rob’s here too.

Rob Yes, hello.

Finn Hi. Rob - tell me - do you have a spare room in your house?

Rob Absolutely not. We’re full to capacity in our house.

Finn And what about a driveway for your car?

Rob A driveway - so you mean a parking space off the road at my house? Not exactly a driveway, but yes I do have a parking space, yes.

Finn Well - both of these are ways of making money in the ‘sharing economy’. Interested? Well, we’ll be talking about this new economy in the programme, and learning some language related to making money. But first - a question.

Rob Great. I don’t have to pay for it do I?

Finn It’s a free question. But no prize either. In February 2014, Britain’s most expensive parking space went on sale, but for how much? Was it:

a) £80,000

b) £100,000

c) £400,000

Rob Well, it’s just a parking space isn’t it? So I’m going to go for the lowest value: £80,000.

Finn £80,000 - still a lot of money. We’ll find out if that’s the right answer at the end of the programme. But first, let’s find out a bit more about this sharing economy. Rob, are you feeling the pinch?

Rob Feeling the pinch - you mean feeling poor. Yes, I’m always feeling the pinch. So come on Finn, tell us how we can make some money.

Finn Well, perhaps the best-known example of a company in the sharing economy is Airbnb - it’s an American web business which allows you to rent out your spare room to holidaymakers.

Rob OK. Holidaymakers - so these are people on holiday. Using your spare room as a B and B - that’s a bed and breakfast?

Finn Yes - you can provide breakfast for your guests too…

Rob That sounds like a clever way to make a few pennies.

Finn Yes, to make a few pennies - to make a bit of extra money.

Rob OK well, Airbnb say they operate in 34,000 cities and have 800,000 listings of rooms and apartments. In fact, we could say they’re the market-leader in this industry - the main, most successful company.

Finn There are many companies doing very similar things. And one doing something with parking spaces is JustPark. It’s a British business that lets you rent out your driveway or parking space.

Rob Another way to make money on the side - which means to make some extra money in addition to your normal job. We’re going to hear from the founder of JustPark now, Anthony Eskinazi. Where did the idea for the business come from?

Anthony Eskinazi, founder of JustPark When I had the original idea, I spotted a driveway close to a sports stadium. It would have been so convenient if I could have just parked in that driveway rather than in a commercial car park.

Rob So, Anthony said that he got the idea when trying to park near a stadium. He said he saw a driveway. He thought it would be more convenient to just park there than in a commercial car park - a normal one which makes money.

Finn So he set up this site. And around 20,000 people have put their spaces on the site, and he says around half a million drivers use it.

Rob Interestingly, a church near Kings Cross in central London has apparently made over £200,000 by renting out space in its yard to travellers!

Finn And of course there are other sites doing very similar things, like Uber and Lyft - these let drivers share their cars with other passengers.

Rob And there’s even a company in Hong Kong which lets you share space under your umbrella when it rains!

Finn That sounds like one for a rainy day.

Rob Haha - an idea to store away until you need it. But I do have a question. What about the people who run things like traditional B and Bs, or commercial car parks - or taxi services - things like that? Won’t they be out of pocket?

Finn Out of pocket, yes - lose money. Many of them are out of pocket and are not happy about this. And there is another issue: regulations - or laws. Listen to the editor of Tech City News , Alex Wood. Why are regulations for these new businesses unclear?

Alex Wood, editor of Tech City News Take the example of someone who has a driveway in their house. They’ve got some spare capacity there - they’re looking to make some more money. But how does that affect their neighbours? How does that affect the Council and the regulation and the rules around them? Because this is a new business world, those rules aren’t there yet.

Finn Well, he says they’re unclear - because the rules aren’t there yet. Because it’s a whole new business world.

Rob In fact, Airbnb has had problems with the law. But, in a time when the economy is doing badly, these businesses seem to be thriving - doing really well - and provide an extra source of income for many people.

Finn That’s right. Many are benefitting from this new economy. But others are out of pocket. That’s business. Rob, what about us? Could you make some money from this sharing economy? You could rent out your bike - your lovely folding bike - while you’re at work?

Rob That’s a really good idea - it’s kind of a downtime, the bike’s not being used, so why not! Anyway - how about the answer to today’s question?

Finn Yes, earlier I asked you about the most expensive parking space ever to go on sale in London. How much was it on sale for?

Rob Well, I had a guess and I said £80,000.

Finn Well, you were completely wrong. It was the most expensive one: £400,000.

Rob No way! For a parking space!

Finn It was a space in London, in Kensington and it went on sale for £400,000, which is over twice the price of the average UK house. So very expensive! Anyway, Rob, before we go any further, how about those words again?

Rob OK, the words we’ve heard today were:

driveway

feeling the pinch

holidaymakers

make a few pennies

on the side

market leader

one for a rainy day

out of pocket

regulations

thriving

source of income

Finn Thank you Rob. And that’s it for today - if you want to listen to more programmes like this one, visit our site bbclearningenglish.com. Bye bye.

Rob Bye.

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