hey buddy, going my way?

Yoused

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Vaccinated
Posts
1,039
Reaction score
1,869
It looks like Uber and Lyft are not helping. The original idea was something like rideshare – pooling resources for greater efficiency – but it seems to have devolved into nothing more than just another taxi service. But without the regulation that makes taxis a functional component of the transportation system.

Travel time and congestion has become worse, because no one wants to take a bus or train when one of those other services is so much more convenient. And their convenience (along with being less expensive than a taxi) makes them popular, which puts the cities in a bind.

This is a difficult situation. It is hard for people to understand the big picture here. Regulation looks like the city wants to take more of our money, just because. It begins to appear that market solutions are not actual solutions. Or maybe Americans are simply spoiled brats.
 

SuperMatt

Elite Member
Vaccinated
PRSI Banned
Posts
2,763
Reaction score
5,696
Uber and Lyft made traffic noticeably worse. It was never about “sharing” rides. As somebody who lives and drives in a city, I despise them. Used to be: if you see a taxi, you know they might stop at any time, so be prepared. Plus, most taxi drivers know how to pick up and drop off riders without blocking the entire street.

In comes Uber, and now you‘ve got unmarked cars stopping suddenly in the middle of a one-lane one-way for no apparent reason... after you lay on the horn and they just sit there, you realize it must be an idiotic Uber driver who is looking for their rider and has no clue where to stop on this street to avoid blocking it. And they think my driveway is a parking spot for them to await their riders too.

Add to that the massive increase of volume, and the “2nd rush hour” of them all leaving to go back to their suburban homes after they finish their morning fares… it’s terrible. The unfair payment of their drivers is just one more reason that I hope they are bankrupt soon.
 

SuperMatt

Elite Member
Vaccinated
PRSI Banned
Posts
2,763
Reaction score
5,696
Here’s a nice explanation of what Uber is really about. Use investors’ money to operate at a loss in order to hopefully gain monopoly power. To stay afloat longer while keeping prices lower than taxis, keep lowering wages for drivers, who are making less than minimum wage because of the terrible “independent contractor” rules.

The company’s current model can never turn a profit. The only way it can profit is to push taxis out of business. Then they can crank up the prices. Their entire business plan is to create an illegal monopoly and profit from it.

 

Stephen.R

Site Champ
PRSI Banned
Posts
406
Reaction score
587
I don't know how bad taxis ever were/are in America really.I think I've been in... 1, maybe 2? (in America). I don't remember any of them specifically. Are they really that bad?

I was about 2 seconds from being the white squishy bit in a taxi calzone (taxi driver ran a red, half asleep), and it never made me think "hey you know what would make this better? less regulation". This was in Australia though. Most things tend to be less extreme/more regulated than the US, IME.
 

JayMysteri0

Elite Member
Vaccinated
Posts
3,531
Reaction score
6,932
I don't know how bad taxis ever were/are in America really.I think I've been in... 1, maybe 2? (in America). I don't remember any of them specifically. Are they really that bad?

I was about 2 seconds from being the white squishy bit in a taxi calzone (taxi driver ran a red, half asleep), and it never made me think "hey you know what would make this better? less regulation". This was in Australia though. Most things tend to be less extreme/more regulated than the US, IME.
If you were Black and in NYC you wouldn't know how bad taxis were either.
8gUp.gif


Taxis in NYC were... not pretty. They were a racket that ended up turning itself into an investment bubble of sorts, that will / would break people who are trying to make a living independently. Unfortunately with NYC there's same shystiness inevitably involved, and taxi medallions that authorize driving a cab in NY rose to 7 figures to justify financing that no one could afford. Along came ride share, and those people owning 7 figure loans found their investments worth just thousands, and making even less while driving in hopes of making payments & surviving.

Before the cities took ride share money & let those services in unchecked though, taxi services did take note and really clean up their image. Better cars, better upkeep, but it's too little too late now.

A place like NYC let in the ride share services with paid politicians, and once treasure taxi medallion is now practically no more worth a badge out of novelty vending machine.


If you have Hulu, you can watch a deeper dive on one of my favorite shows the Weekly
 
Last edited:

SuperMatt

Elite Member
Vaccinated
PRSI Banned
Posts
2,763
Reaction score
5,696
If you were Black and in NYC you wouldn't know how bad taxis were either.
8gUp.gif


Taxis in NYC were... not pretty. They were a racket that ended up turning itself into an investment bubble of sorts, that will / would break people who are trying to make a living independently. Unfortunately with NYC there's same shystiness inevitably involved, and taxi medallions that authorize driving a cab in NY rose to 7 figures to justify financing that no one could afford. Along came ride share, and those people owning 7 figure loans found their investments worth just thousands, and making even less while driving in hopes of making payments & surviving.

Before the cities took ride share money & let those services in unchecked though, taxi services did take note and really clean up their image. Better cars, better upkeep, but it's too little too late now.

A place like NYC let in the ride share services with paid politicians, and once treasure taxi medallion is now practically no more worth a badge out of novelty vending machine.


If you have Hulu, you can watch a deeper dive on one of my favorite shows the Weekly
Uber management knowingly broke the law in many jurisdictions and, as Jay mentioned, they got out of it with payments to legislators who changed the laws. And riders gladly got behind this, because who doesn’t want a Taxi ride for a fraction of the cost? So the legislators thought it was a win-win.

I am directly affected by this every day. Living and driving in the city, I got used to the fact that a taxi could (and would) stop just about anywhere with no regard for other drivers, and give them some space accordingly. When Uber showed up, suddenly ANY car can start pulling those stunts, and the drivers knew far less about the city than the taxi drivers. So they’d just stop on a one-way street without leaving enough space to get by, or block a parking garage driveway, or go the wrong way down a one-way because they are relying on Google maps.

Sadly, I am now a bit better at spotting Uber drivers. They are generally driving an older car with Maryland or Virginia plates (in DC) and driving like a tourist in a part of town with no tourist attractions.

The volume of traffic went up drastically as Uber became more popular too. And now there is a second rush hour of Uber drivers leaving the city just after the morning rush hour to go back to MD or VA. It is just wonderful.

TL;DR - Uber Sucks.
 

Stephen.R

Site Champ
PRSI Banned
Posts
406
Reaction score
587
The mozzarella in the marinara sauce?
I’d probably have looked more like marinara sauce by the end of it.

It’s one of very few times I thought I was actually going to die. It should have been a forgettable 4am taxi to the airport. I don’t remember anything else from that day. Just that.
 

JayMysteri0

Elite Member
Vaccinated
Posts
3,531
Reaction score
6,932
The latest efforts of ride shares,

At the end of February, an impassioned op-ed appeared in The Chicago Crusader, a well-established Black newspaper in the city. Titled “Why Independent Workers Want to Stay Independent,” the op-ed argued that gig economy companies like Uber and Lyft are a “lifeline” to communities of color by providing “a flexible way to work.”

One week later the exact same op-ed was published in the bilingual El Dia Newspaper. Two months later, a version of it appeared again in Crain’s Chicago Business newspaper.

Similar articles and op-eds riffing on the theme of “protecting” independent work have popped up in local publications all over the country, from Colorado to Massachusetts to New Jersey to New York.

In some of these states the articles have a common thread: Their authors represent organizations that serve communities of color and have received recent donations from Lyft, and in some cases Uber or DoorDash.

The op-eds are one facet of a multimillion-dollar lobbying campaign aimed at fighting regulations that would require the companies to treat drivers and delivery workers as full-fledged employees. Over the past several months, news outlets have detailed political action committees set up by Uber and Lyft in New York and Illinois. The Markup found that the practice was even wider spread, occurring in other states and often involving alliances with local community groups.

According to public records obtained by The Markup, Lyft set up various types of political committees in Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington. Uber formed one super PAC in New York. Combined, the companies contributed a total of more than $3 million to the committees. Along with paying several public relations and lobbying firms through those committees, the companies also made donations to more than 30 local organizations that work with communities of color, according to an analysis by The Markup of the four states’ lobbying disclosure filings. A few of those organizations are behind the op-eds, which feed into the companies’ narrative that the fight for “independent work” is an organic grassroots movement waged by people of color.

“Race is a key technology that is being used to signal a kind of progressivism that will allow these companies get around their class and race exploitation,” said Chenjerai Kumanyika, an assistant professor of journalism and media studies at Rutgers University who focuses on the intersection of social justice and popular culture. “They’re happy to say ‘Black Lives Matter’ as long as that means their workers don’t form a union.”

When asked about its lobbying, Lyft spokesperson Julie Wood said in an email, “Lyft is committed to working with stakeholders who are interested in advancing innovative policy solutions that make sense for drivers.” Uber spokesperson Kayla Whaling said, “Our teams are continuing to collaborate with different state and local policymakers, as well as third parties to understand their priorities that support a modern policy framework for independent work.”

Over the past year, Uber and Lyft have run ad campaigns, written blog posts, and pledged to do more to further racial justice. Lyft announced it was celebrating Juneteenth as an official holiday and touted its LyftUp program, which it says provides “free or discounted rides to communities of color.” In May, Uber said it was “reaffirming our commitment to being an anti-racist company” with several initiatives to “fight against racism and inequality,” such as developing anti-racism trainings and making it easier to report discrimination through the app.

The companies’ lobbying tactics in Illinois, New York, and the other states are reminiscent of their successful $205 million campaign to pass California’s Proposition 22. The ballot measure exempted the companies from a state law that required them to give drivers and delivery workers employee benefits and at least minimum wage pay. In the run-up to last November’s vote, the gig economy companies paid $95,000 to a small firm run by Alice Huffman, then president of the NAACP’s California chapter, who subsequently wrote op-eds in local Black newspapers advocating that drivers should be classified as independent contractors.

These types of payments have caught the attention of some of Uber’s and Lyft’s shareholders. The Teamsters General Fund, an investor in both companies, proposed resolutions at both companies’ annual shareholder meetings this year that would require more transparency around their lobbying practices, including how much money they’ve spent directly and indirectly and their “grassroots lobbying.” The vote on Lyft’s resolution is scheduled for Thursday, June 17, the publication date of this story.

“It’s like social justice greenwashing,” said Mark Smithivas, a former Uber driver who’s an organizer with the driver advocacy group Independent Drivers Guild Chicago.

While the gig economy companies worked to pass Proposition 22 in California, they also set their sights on other states with similar regulatory battles.
 
Top Bottom