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[Uber]: Disrupting Livery Service (And Ethics)

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Posts

  • Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    Veevee wrote: »
    kime wrote: »
    In a statement, Lyft argued that the new rule would make it more difficult for the company to compete with Uber.

    Does Uber not have to pay minimum wage?

    It's more that they're bigger, so the utilization calculation isn't as bad for them, and that they probably see the optics of this fight as not being good for them.

    Edit: This article explains the utilization fee. It's clever - instead of a hard cap, it forces companies to keep drivers utilized, or otherwise they have to pay.

    I think Uber thinks their "But they're contractors" schtick will keep them from having to pay the minimum wage

    Or maybe they think they are doing some "Don't stop my enemies from fighting" Sun Tzu bullshit.

    Uber's long term goal is self-driving cars.

    You don't need to pay minimum wage if you don't have drivers in the first place.

    Uber still doesn't have a profitable business model with self driving cars.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    if you are considered about the environment and congestion Uber>Taxis.

    That isnt really what is happening here. Rather what is happening is that Uber is subsidizing rides and people are choosing it over the otherwise more efficient service as a result. There is an oversupply of livery causing low utilization for everyone and taxis are suffering most of all. Supply increased 4 fold in the past few years. Furthermore Uber is the marginal supplier here and as such should have a larger share of congestion tax.

    Ubers model isn’t necessarily better than taxis because they all are on the same trichotomy that Phyphor points out above this post. There are no ways around the fundamental economics of the business, which demand fleets of identical cars centrally maintained.

    Also note that high utilization isnt that much better for the environment. Taxis can turn off when not in use and idling is relatively low cost anyway

    Man that sure is one take. Taxis are suffering because of oversupply when they were the more efficient service before?

    As opposed to taxis suffering because they're a terrible service that is often unavailable, especially if you are black, costing too much money for too little value, delivered in a beat-up jalopy with piss on the floor, driven by a scam artist who will lie about the meter, and owned by an actual criminal enterprise.

    DoodmannElvenshaeLostNinjamcdermott
  • I ZimbraI Zimbra Registered User regular
    Veevee wrote: »
    kime wrote: »
    In a statement, Lyft argued that the new rule would make it more difficult for the company to compete with Uber.

    Does Uber not have to pay minimum wage?

    It's more that they're bigger, so the utilization calculation isn't as bad for them, and that they probably see the optics of this fight as not being good for them.

    Edit: This article explains the utilization fee. It's clever - instead of a hard cap, it forces companies to keep drivers utilized, or otherwise they have to pay.

    I think Uber thinks their "But they're contractors" schtick will keep them from having to pay the minimum wage

    Or maybe they think they are doing some "Don't stop my enemies from fighting" Sun Tzu bullshit.

    Uber's long term goal is self-driving cars.

    You don't need to pay minimum wage if you don't have drivers in the first place.

    Uber still doesn't have a profitable business model with self driving cars.

    Uber still doesn't have a profitable business model with people driving cars, either.

    schuss
  • MrMisterMrMister A pup must first get in the water to be successful as a seal!Registered User regular
    edited January 31
    Goumindong wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    There is nothing wrong with a medalion system. A modular system which is better able to respond to demand is better sure. But that has its own downsides for drivers (specifically income variance due to oversupply during down times. Even if theyre not driving this does not imply they can perfectly substitute between driving and other jobs)

    It's inherently vulnerable to rent seeking. Avoiding it basically requieres constant vigilance, something that historically has proven to be unlikely.

    Incorrect. The auction prefrectly transfers the rents to the state. Its not anymore rent seeming than any regulated system.

    Can you explain or link this claim?

    I can see how it could be true if auctions were regularly held, such that the price of medallions remained constant over time (with new medallions being auctioned at pace with increasing demand). But that's not how medallions are issued. Almost all existing medallions were issued in the original 1937 print run (11,000 out of 13,000) and none were issued at all between 1937 and 1996. The rollercoaster price of medallions as an asset over their history--from a few thousand, to a million, then back down to half a million under competition by rideshare--has been a product of almost entirely static supply combined with changes in demand, and has been to the profit or misfortune of the private actors who held and traded them over time, be they fleet owners, venture capital funds, or the odd driver.

    MrMister on
    Elvenshaespool32
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    Its like any other asset sale. Value accrues to the original seller so long as there is a market to sell (like an auction).

    Just think of it like an auction for an annuity. If you could make money buying the annuity then the price would be bid up until its the same return as any other investment.

    The fact that the prices of medallion prices have changed doesn't change the fact that the value accrues to the original seller. Its just that there is error in the value of an annuity.

    wbBv3fj.png
  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Its like any other asset sale. Value accrues to the original seller so long as there is a market to sell (like an auction).

    Just think of it like an auction for an annuity. If you could make money buying the annuity then the price would be bid up until its the same return as any other investment.

    The fact that the prices of medallion prices have changed doesn't change the fact that the value accrues to the original seller. Its just that there is error in the value of an annuity.

    I don't see how this works for a medallion that was sold 80 years ago. There's no way to calculate what 80 years of taxi medallion profit would even look like due to the amount of risk involved. (Imagine an alternate world where we actually spent real money on public transportation, for example, or one where the city issued fifty thousand more medallions in the 60s.) Pricing this over an 80 year period involves an unknown number of unknown risks, and I can't see anyone doing that math right.

    ElvenshaeMrMisterMan in the Mists
  • MrMisterMrMister A pup must first get in the water to be successful as a seal!Registered User regular
    edited February 1
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Its like any other asset sale. Value accrues to the original seller so long as there is a market to sell (like an auction).

    Just think of it like an auction for an annuity. If you could make money buying the annuity then the price would be bid up until its the same return as any other investment.

    The fact that the prices of medallion prices have changed doesn't change the fact that the value accrues to the original seller. Its just that there is error in the value of an annuity.

    Regardless of the formal properties of economic models, here we have access to the results and can do corresponding reality checks. Using the numbers in the wikipedia article, plus an inflation calculator, it appears that the full original 11,000 medallion run was auctioned off for no more than 306 million dollars in today-money (and probably much less: that's using a price per medallion that's already a decade out from the initial auction).

    To be clear, that's 306 million dollars in public revenue in exchange for what turned out to be 59 year term of exclusive rights to run taxis in NYC, followed by a never-less-than 85%+ share of the market for another 22 years and on into the foreseeable future. In order for the medallion auction to have perfectly transferred that value, it would have to be the case that the value of a total/near-total taxi monopoly in NYC from 1937-2018 and onward is less than 306 million dollars--to put in context, that would require the annuity of running the fleet for 80+ years and onward to have a real value less than what it would presently cost to buy ~1-2% of existing medallions.

    The NYC auction was not a perfect auction in the economist's sense, and representing the government as having collected the monopoly profits of the current system is not accurate. The scarcity imposed by the medallion system benefited existing medallion holders, not the public.

    MrMister on
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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Its like any other asset sale. Value accrues to the original seller so long as there is a market to sell (like an auction).

    Just think of it like an auction for an annuity. If you could make money buying the annuity then the price would be bid up until its the same return as any other investment.

    The fact that the prices of medallion prices have changed doesn't change the fact that the value accrues to the original seller. Its just that there is error in the value of an annuity.

    I don't see how this works for a medallion that was sold 80 years ago. There's no way to calculate what 80 years of taxi medallion profit would even look like due to the amount of risk involved. (Imagine an alternate world where we actually spent real money on public transportation, for example, or one where the city issued fifty thousand more medallions in the 60s.) Pricing this over an 80 year period involves an unknown number of unknown risks, and I can't see anyone doing that math right.

    Annuities are a thing and its not hard to calculate their value

    wbBv3fj.png
    shrykeHeffling
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Streetsblog has created a list of the major problems with online livery, but the anecdote in the opening paragraph is incredibly illustrative:
    Here’s the latest evidence that Uber and Lyft are destroying our world: Students at the University of California Los Angeles are taking an astonishing 11,000 app-based taxi trips every week that begin and end within the boundaries of the campus.

    That's not sustainable, from an environmental perspective.

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  • DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    edited February 11
    Streetsblog has created a list of the major problems with online livery, but the anecdote in the opening paragraph is incredibly illustrative:
    Here’s the latest evidence that Uber and Lyft are destroying our world: Students at the University of California Los Angeles are taking an astonishing 11,000 app-based taxi trips every week that begin and end within the boundaries of the campus.

    That's not sustainable, from an environmental perspective.

    This is a problem of UCLA being incredibly not bike friendly (because you're in West Los Angeles) and also super hilly.

    It's actually a good argument FOR electric scooters like BYRD.

    Doodmann on
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  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    Streetsblog has created a list of the major problems with online livery, but the anecdote in the opening paragraph is incredibly illustrative:
    Here’s the latest evidence that Uber and Lyft are destroying our world: Students at the University of California Los Angeles are taking an astonishing 11,000 app-based taxi trips every week that begin and end within the boundaries of the campus.

    That's not sustainable, from an environmental perspective.

    You can claim they are operating in transit friendly and walkable areas all you want but if the masses are flocking to them in such numbers there is clearly a need there that isn't being met.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    I mean people Uber from the Space Needle to the stadiums in Seattle all the time too, and that's about the same distance as going all the way across UCLA's campus. It's a pretty large area. Electric scooters are one alternative, but present their own problems when it comes to safety for both riders and bystanders (as somebody who nearly got run over by bikes more than once while in college, I have opinions on mixing pedestrian and wheeled traffic).

    So yeah, any way you slice it clearly there's a need not being met. I have to assume that UCLA has some kind of free semi-rapid shuttle service running around campus (like FLASH at ASU), so presumably this means that the frequency or speed of operation is insufficient (which, frankly, was true of FLASH). Or if they don't have any such shuttle...well there ya go.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Streetsblog has created a list of the major problems with online livery, but the anecdote in the opening paragraph is incredibly illustrative:
    Here’s the latest evidence that Uber and Lyft are destroying our world: Students at the University of California Los Angeles are taking an astonishing 11,000 app-based taxi trips every week that begin and end within the boundaries of the campus.

    That's not sustainable, from an environmental perspective.

    You can claim they are operating in transit friendly and walkable areas all you want but if the masses are flocking to them in such numbers there is clearly a need there that isn't being met.

    Given the class issues with mass transit in the US, I'd have to wonder if the "need" is "to have a system of transit where I don't have to interact with the lower classes."

    Which is something that shouldn't be met.

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  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    Of course, the subsidizing of Uber's costs should be a part of this conversation. Unsubsidized, the cost would be roughly double to just break even.
    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/9a3vye/uber-true-cost-uh-oh
    (Probably triple if Uber wants to actually make a profit.)
    When you're subsidizing that heavily, people are going to use your service who wouldn't touch it otherwise.

    OrcashrykeGnome-InterruptustsmvengyEtiowsaMan in the MistsLord_Asmodeus
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Streetsblog has created a list of the major problems with online livery, but the anecdote in the opening paragraph is incredibly illustrative:
    Here’s the latest evidence that Uber and Lyft are destroying our world: Students at the University of California Los Angeles are taking an astonishing 11,000 app-based taxi trips every week that begin and end within the boundaries of the campus.

    That's not sustainable, from an environmental perspective.

    You can claim they are operating in transit friendly and walkable areas all you want but if the masses are flocking to them in such numbers there is clearly a need there that isn't being met.

    Given the class issues with mass transit in the US, I'd have to wonder if the "need" is "to have a system of transit where I don't have to interact with the lower classes."

    Which is something that shouldn't be met.

    Then I guess people will just continue to use Uber instead.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
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  • VishNubVishNub Registered User regular
    Huh. I found the UCLA bus system pretty good. I guess I never had to deal with north campus though.

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  • LostNinjaLostNinja Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I mean people Uber from the Space Needle to the stadiums in Seattle all the time too, and that's about the same distance as going all the way across UCLA's campus. It's a pretty large area. Electric scooters are one alternative, but present their own problems when it comes to safety for both riders and bystanders (as somebody who nearly got run over by bikes more than once while in college, I have opinions on mixing pedestrian and wheeled traffic).

    So yeah, any way you slice it clearly there's a need not being met. I have to assume that UCLA has some kind of free semi-rapid shuttle service running around campus (like FLASH at ASU), so presumably this means that the frequency or speed of operation is insufficient (which, frankly, was true of FLASH). Or if they don't have any such shuttle...well there ya go.

    I’d like to see more public transportation systems try the PRT method. The one on West Virginia’s campus was crap and unreliable, but I like the idea and it addresses a lot of the complaint other systems have about scheduling.

  • MrMisterMrMister A pup must first get in the water to be successful as a seal!Registered User regular
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Streetsblog has created a list of the major problems with online livery, but the anecdote in the opening paragraph is incredibly illustrative:
    Here’s the latest evidence that Uber and Lyft are destroying our world: Students at the University of California Los Angeles are taking an astonishing 11,000 app-based taxi trips every week that begin and end within the boundaries of the campus.

    That's not sustainable, from an environmental perspective.

    You can claim they are operating in transit friendly and walkable areas all you want but if the masses are flocking to them in such numbers there is clearly a need there that isn't being met.

    Given the class issues with mass transit in the US, I'd have to wonder if the "need" is "to have a system of transit where I don't have to interact with the lower classes."

    Which is something that shouldn't be met.

    This is a piping hot take.

    You tend to see lower class people on public transit is because it is, generally, less desirable than driving yourself--it takes longer, goes to fewer places, and is less reliable. But you don't have to own a car, so...

    What you're doing is kind of like saying "if people stop buying miracle whip and plastic bottle vodka, it's probably because they've bought into anti-poor messages." Or, alternately, the reason why those products are associated with the poor in the first place is because they're affordable but otherwisevery low quality goods!

    It is true that sometimes constituencies avoid buses in favor of alternate modalities (esp light rail) for reasons that have a lot more to do with social perceptions than actual feasibility. Nonetheless, to assume that any transition in consumption away from cheap public to expensive private transit must be explained by classist prejudice is not a particularly evidence-based.

    spool32LostNinjaDevoutlyApathetickimeMan in the MistslazegamermcdermottNobodyNSDFRandSummaryJudgmentSleepElvenshaeCauldGnome-Interruptus
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    MrMister wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Streetsblog has created a list of the major problems with online livery, but the anecdote in the opening paragraph is incredibly illustrative:
    Here’s the latest evidence that Uber and Lyft are destroying our world: Students at the University of California Los Angeles are taking an astonishing 11,000 app-based taxi trips every week that begin and end within the boundaries of the campus.

    That's not sustainable, from an environmental perspective.

    You can claim they are operating in transit friendly and walkable areas all you want but if the masses are flocking to them in such numbers there is clearly a need there that isn't being met.

    Given the class issues with mass transit in the US, I'd have to wonder if the "need" is "to have a system of transit where I don't have to interact with the lower classes."

    Which is something that shouldn't be met.

    This is a piping hot take.

    You tend to see lower class people on public transit is because it is, generally, less desirable than driving yourself--it takes longer, goes to fewer places, and is less reliable. But you don't have to own a car, so...

    What you're doing is kind of like saying "if people stop buying miracle whip and plastic bottle vodka, it's probably because they've bought into anti-poor messages." Or, alternately, the reason why those products are associated with the poor in the first place is because they're affordable but otherwisevery low quality goods!

    It is true that sometimes constituencies avoid buses in favor of alternate modalities (esp light rail) for reasons that have a lot more to do with social perceptions than actual feasibility. Nonetheless, to assume that any transition in consumption away from cheap public to expensive private transit must be explained by classist prejudice is not a particularly evidence-based.

    I'd argue that when you have at least halfway decent mass transit, the argument that driving yourself is superior to mass transit becomes a lot harder to make. When public transit is actually reliable and gives good access (and this is a choice, because as mass transit systems the world over show, mass transit can be both when the will is there), it becomes a preferred choice for a large part of the population. Also, I'd point out that a lot of what makes personal transportation "superior" to mass transit has to do with public policy that gives the former preference over the latter. For example, take parking requirements that require that facilities provide parking space:



    Start removing these policies (which, as many planners will tell you, harm cities by forcing the surrender of land to cars that could be used by people), and suddenly personal transit is no longer superior to mass transit. The idea that mass transit is somehow "low quality" is, in fact, a classist assumption, as it's predicated on the mass transit being inherently inferior, instead of being rendered inferior by public policy preferring people who use personal transportation, who tend to be higher on the socioeconomic ladder. And that's not even getting into when mass transit is explicitly crippled by outright classist and racist policy, as we've seen with MARTA in Atlanta, GA.

    In short, the reason that in the US mass transit is seen as being tied to the lower classes with a few exceptions tied primarily to mode and locality is because of public policy that makes it that driven by larger societal impulses built around class, not because of some innate quality in mass transit itself. And we've seen a number of examples of Silicon Valley being pretty caught up in those same impulses, like the parallel mass transit systems created purely for the use of the tech industry, or the design of the HyperLoop with its small capacity independent cars. And while I wouldn't attribute all of the draw of online livery to classist impulse, to argue that it's not in the mix is to ignore the state of public policy regarding transit.

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  • kimekime Queen of Blades Registered User regular
    You're just explaining why it's inferior. Which, you know, is totally valid. But it's still generally just a less pleasant/convenient option.





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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    kime wrote: »
    You're just explaining why it's inferior. Which, you know, is totally valid. But it's still generally just a less pleasant/convenient option.

    In the US, perhaps. But again, a lot of that is due to public policy designed to privlege private vehicles and neuter mass transit, and many of those policies aren't actually healthy for us. Remove those policies, and private vehicles aren't nearly as attractive.

    Also, pleasant/convenience is in the eye of the beholder. Rail systems like Metro-North thrive because commuting by rail is much more convenient than traveling by car. Unsurprisingly, they also have a higher class of passenger on average, have greater political support, and don't have the typical stigma that mass transit in the US has.

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  • kimekime Queen of Blades Registered User regular
    kime wrote: »
    You're just explaining why it's inferior. Which, you know, is totally valid. But it's still generally just a less pleasant/convenient option.

    In the US, perhaps. But again, a lot of that is due to public policy designed to privlege private vehicles and neuter mass transit, and many of those policies aren't actually healthy for us. Remove those policies, and private vehicles aren't nearly as attractive.

    Also, pleasant/convenience is in the eye of the beholder. Rail systems like Metro-North thrive because commuting by rail is much more convenient than traveling by car. Unsurprisingly, they also have a higher class of passenger on average, have greater political support, and don't have the typical stigma that mass transit in the US has.

    Sure, I think we're repeating the same thing :)

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  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    MrMister wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Streetsblog has created a list of the major problems with online livery, but the anecdote in the opening paragraph is incredibly illustrative:
    Here’s the latest evidence that Uber and Lyft are destroying our world: Students at the University of California Los Angeles are taking an astonishing 11,000 app-based taxi trips every week that begin and end within the boundaries of the campus.

    That's not sustainable, from an environmental perspective.

    You can claim they are operating in transit friendly and walkable areas all you want but if the masses are flocking to them in such numbers there is clearly a need there that isn't being met.

    Given the class issues with mass transit in the US, I'd have to wonder if the "need" is "to have a system of transit where I don't have to interact with the lower classes."

    Which is something that shouldn't be met.

    This is a piping hot take.

    You tend to see lower class people on public transit is because it is, generally, less desirable than driving yourself--it takes longer, goes to fewer places, and is less reliable. But you don't have to own a car, so...

    What you're doing is kind of like saying "if people stop buying miracle whip and plastic bottle vodka, it's probably because they've bought into anti-poor messages." Or, alternately, the reason why those products are associated with the poor in the first place is because they're affordable but otherwisevery low quality goods!

    It is true that sometimes constituencies avoid buses in favor of alternate modalities (esp light rail) for reasons that have a lot more to do with social perceptions than actual feasibility. Nonetheless, to assume that any transition in consumption away from cheap public to expensive private transit must be explained by classist prejudice is not a particularly evidence-based.

    I'd argue that when you have at least halfway decent mass transit, the argument that driving yourself is superior to mass transit becomes a lot harder to make. When public transit is actually reliable and gives good access (and this is a choice, because as mass transit systems the world over show, mass transit can be both when the will is there), it becomes a preferred choice for a large part of the population. Also, I'd point out that a lot of what makes personal transportation "superior" to mass transit has to do with public policy that gives the former preference over the latter. For example, take parking requirements that require that facilities provide parking space:



    Start removing these policies (which, as many planners will tell you, harm cities by forcing the surrender of land to cars that could be used by people), and suddenly personal transit is no longer superior to mass transit. The idea that mass transit is somehow "low quality" is, in fact, a classist assumption, as it's predicated on the mass transit being inherently inferior, instead of being rendered inferior by public policy preferring people who use personal transportation, who tend to be higher on the socioeconomic ladder. And that's not even getting into when mass transit is explicitly crippled by outright classist and racist policy, as we've seen with MARTA in Atlanta, GA.

    In short, the reason that in the US mass transit is seen as being tied to the lower classes with a few exceptions tied primarily to mode and locality is because of public policy that makes it that driven by larger societal impulses built around class, not because of some innate quality in mass transit itself. And we've seen a number of examples of Silicon Valley being pretty caught up in those same impulses, like the parallel mass transit systems created purely for the use of the tech industry, or the design of the HyperLoop with its small capacity independent cars. And while I wouldn't attribute all of the draw of online livery to classist impulse, to argue that it's not in the mix is to ignore the state of public policy regarding transit.

    What you are really saying is that if you make driving and parking shit enough it will become worse than mass transit. Which is obviously true. But the fact is that even the best case scenario for mass transit can't compete with mediocre driving conditions in terms of going where you want whenever you want as fast as possible. If I have to go into DC I'll take the metro because driving through DC is worse but I'll always choose driving to somewhere else in the suburbs over either.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
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  • Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Streetsblog has created a list of the major problems with online livery, but the anecdote in the opening paragraph is incredibly illustrative:
    Here’s the latest evidence that Uber and Lyft are destroying our world: Students at the University of California Los Angeles are taking an astonishing 11,000 app-based taxi trips every week that begin and end within the boundaries of the campus.

    That's not sustainable, from an environmental perspective.

    You can claim they are operating in transit friendly and walkable areas all you want but if the masses are flocking to them in such numbers there is clearly a need there that isn't being met.

    Given the class issues with mass transit in the US, I'd have to wonder if the "need" is "to have a system of transit where I don't have to interact with the lower classes."

    Which is something that shouldn't be met.

    This is a piping hot take.

    You tend to see lower class people on public transit is because it is, generally, less desirable than driving yourself--it takes longer, goes to fewer places, and is less reliable. But you don't have to own a car, so...

    What you're doing is kind of like saying "if people stop buying miracle whip and plastic bottle vodka, it's probably because they've bought into anti-poor messages." Or, alternately, the reason why those products are associated with the poor in the first place is because they're affordable but otherwisevery low quality goods!

    It is true that sometimes constituencies avoid buses in favor of alternate modalities (esp light rail) for reasons that have a lot more to do with social perceptions than actual feasibility. Nonetheless, to assume that any transition in consumption away from cheap public to expensive private transit must be explained by classist prejudice is not a particularly evidence-based.

    I'd argue that when you have at least halfway decent mass transit, the argument that driving yourself is superior to mass transit becomes a lot harder to make. When public transit is actually reliable and gives good access (and this is a choice, because as mass transit systems the world over show, mass transit can be both when the will is there), it becomes a preferred choice for a large part of the population. Also, I'd point out that a lot of what makes personal transportation "superior" to mass transit has to do with public policy that gives the former preference over the latter. For example, take parking requirements that require that facilities provide parking space:



    Start removing these policies (which, as many planners will tell you, harm cities by forcing the surrender of land to cars that could be used by people), and suddenly personal transit is no longer superior to mass transit. The idea that mass transit is somehow "low quality" is, in fact, a classist assumption, as it's predicated on the mass transit being inherently inferior, instead of being rendered inferior by public policy preferring people who use personal transportation, who tend to be higher on the socioeconomic ladder. And that's not even getting into when mass transit is explicitly crippled by outright classist and racist policy, as we've seen with MARTA in Atlanta, GA.

    In short, the reason that in the US mass transit is seen as being tied to the lower classes with a few exceptions tied primarily to mode and locality is because of public policy that makes it that driven by larger societal impulses built around class, not because of some innate quality in mass transit itself. And we've seen a number of examples of Silicon Valley being pretty caught up in those same impulses, like the parallel mass transit systems created purely for the use of the tech industry, or the design of the HyperLoop with its small capacity independent cars. And while I wouldn't attribute all of the draw of online livery to classist impulse, to argue that it's not in the mix is to ignore the state of public policy regarding transit.

    What you are really saying is that if you make driving and parking shit enough it will become worse than mass transit. Which is obviously true. But the fact is that even the best case scenario for mass transit can't compete with mediocre driving conditions in terms of going where you want whenever you want as fast as possible. If I have to go into DC I'll take the metro because driving through DC is worse but I'll always choose driving to somewhere else in the suburbs over either.

    congratulations, you figured it out. the things we spend 150 billion dollars more a year on as a country are better.
    In 2014, 70.0 percent ($203.9 billion) of state and local spending on transportation (including expenditures paid for with federal grants) went to highways, and 20.5 percent ($59.6 billion) went to transit

    in a world where millions of people sit in traffic for hours a day on the regular, the thought that cars are the only solution to our problems wrt rapidly getting places is a take honestly so baffling i can't even process it.

    aeNqQM9.jpg
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  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    If I could take the metro to places in the suburbs I would.

    Hell I prefer taking the train to the station by the Guinness brewery given the chance.

    FencingsaxElvenshaeshrykeDarkewolfeAngelHedgieLostNinjaMortiousMan in the MistsOneAngryPossum
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    I use mass transit and my feet to get places almost exclusively... because I've almost died in a car multiple times and hate driving.

    Driving is definitely more convenient. You don't have to work around an inflexible transit system.

    Yes given a magic transit system that takes me where I want when I want I'd say it was more convenient and clearly the better option, but I've literally not found a public transit system like that in any country I've ever been to. Buses and trains got schedules, and they aren't always your schedule. There's nothing quite like being a minute late at the beginning of your journey and having that turn into being 20 minutes late at the end of your journey immediately because you missed the first train in your commute. God forbid if your first piece of transit runs shitty for a second and forces you to miss the next leg of the journey and your just stuck waiting there. There's a lot of annoying shit that comes with using mass transit, the least of which is other people. It mainly revolves around scheduling concerns. There's been a bunch of times I've had to just not go and do things because there's simply no way to make it happen with the transit system.

    ElvenshaetinwhiskersMrMister
  • MrMisterMrMister A pup must first get in the water to be successful as a seal!Registered User regular
    I'd argue that when you have at least halfway decent mass transit, the argument that driving yourself is superior to mass transit becomes a lot harder to make.

    Ok, sure, but you were talking about actually existing transit conditions. Transit systems can be great when backed by sufficient political will; but they aren’t in most places in the US, and that’s the backdrop againsy which consumers are making their choices (ie the choice to use Uber and Lyft instead). Their choices reveal their motivations under actual conditions, not hypothetical ones. Under actual conditions, you don’t have to be classist to think the bus is a pain.

    fwiw, I haven’t owned a car in a decade and use a mix of public transit—including plenty of buses—and Uber/Lyft to get around. I have definitely used Uber/Lyft to replace trips I would have taken on transit otherwise, and so that data is unsurprising to me. Sometimes I don’t feel like making a couple transfers and taking an hour long trip when I could take a 20 minute one instead. Sometimes I’d rather stay somewhere late, or dodge track maintenance work, or otherwise travel at hours where transit service is terrible or non-existent—so where in the past I would have sucked it up and rescheduled the trip to a worse time (sorry guys, would love to stay, but the last bus is in ten minutes...). Now I can just get a Lyft.

    I would love to have way better transit, such that I never had to use alternate modes... that isn’t the currently existing world, though

    I’d also bet that, overall, even if you hit all my Lyfts with a 2x multiplier to represent the dead time idling between rides, I’m still clocking way, way fewer miles than your average car owner, and responsible for less congestion too.

    PS traditional taxis are nightmare fuel for trying to do any of the above. Want to stay late, past the last bus? I hope you meant LATE. Have fun calling a car, waiting an hour, and then getting a no show. Hope you’re friends with the hosts, you’re probably better off staying the night.

    DoodmanntbloxhamSleepSummaryJudgmentmcdermottElvenshaeGnome-InterruptusMoridin889Man in the Mists
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    edited February 12
    kime wrote: »
    You're just explaining why it's inferior. Which, you know, is totally valid. But it's still generally just a less pleasant/convenient option.

    In the US, perhaps. But again, a lot of that is due to public policy designed to privlege private vehicles and neuter mass transit, and many of those policies aren't actually healthy for us. Remove those policies, and private vehicles aren't nearly as attractive.

    Also, pleasant/convenience is in the eye of the beholder. Rail systems like Metro-North thrive because commuting by rail is much more convenient than traveling by car. Unsurprisingly, they also have a higher class of passenger on average, have greater political support, and don't have the typical stigma that mass transit in the US has.

    I'm not sure Metro North is thriving. It's certainly nicer to use than the regular subways, but is also much more expensive than most other modes of transportation. On the weekends driving is almost always cheaper. If you're in a group of even 2 people, I would think an Uber is comparable in price for a lot of potential trips. Also, I've read that Connecticut is considering ending portions of it's weekend service as it's too expensive to subsidize.

    Edit: This is all ignoring that in my mind at least, Metro North exists almost entirely for relatively well off northern suburban people to get into Manhattan quickly and avoid taking buses and/or subways from the Bronx.

    Cauld on
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    MrMister wrote: »
    I'd argue that when you have at least halfway decent mass transit, the argument that driving yourself is superior to mass transit becomes a lot harder to make.

    Ok, sure, but you were talking about actually existing transit conditions. Transit systems can be great when backed by sufficient political will; but they aren’t in most places in the US, and that’s the backdrop againsy which consumers are making their choices (ie the choice to use Uber and Lyft instead). Their choices reveal their motivations under actual conditions, not hypothetical ones. Under actual conditions, you don’t have to be classist to think the bus is a pain.

    Again, the condition of mass transit didn't just happen in a vacuum - we have had nearly a century of public policy oriented towards private car use at the expense of mass transit, which has been driven by classist (and flat out racist) sentiment. Also, given things like the rather racist "interpretation" of what MARTA stands for:
    For those who have never heard it, it's "Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta",

    I find the argument that classist sentiment driving people to use online livery as opposed to mass transit isn't a thing to be hard to swallow. It's not the whole story, sure - but it's definitely part of it, and as with many things involving class and race in the US, bigger than we usually think.
    fwiw, I haven’t owned a car in a decade and use a mix of public transit—including plenty of buses—and Uber/Lyft to get around. I have definitely used Uber/Lyft to replace trips I would have taken on transit otherwise, and so that data is unsurprising to me. Sometimes I don’t feel like making a couple transfers and taking an hour long trip when I could take a 20 minute one instead. Sometimes I’d rather stay somewhere late, or dodge track maintenance work, or otherwise travel at hours where transit service is terrible or non-existent—so where in the past I would have sucked it up and rescheduled the trip to a worse time (sorry guys, would love to stay, but the last bus is in ten minutes...). Now I can just get a Lyft.

    I would love to have way better transit, such that I never had to use alternate modes... that isn’t the currently existing world, though

    Again, the problem is that all of this is interconnected - online livery has (among other things) sapped political will to improve mass transit because of how easy and cheap it is, thanks to ride subsidization.
    I’d also bet that, overall, even if you hit all my Lyfts with a 2x multiplier to represent the dead time idling between rides, I’m still clocking way, way fewer miles than your average car owner, and responsible for less congestion too.

    As the saying goes, "no one drop thinks itself responsible for the flood." This is one part that has been researched - online livery as a whole is increased congestion and cars on the road, because of their policies. And online livery being more likely to cannibalize mass transit or walking than driving exacerbates the problem, especially given that it was sold in part on pushing reductions in car usage.
    PS traditional taxis are nightmare fuel for trying to do any of the above. Want to stay late, past the last bus? I hope you meant LATE. Have fun calling a car, waiting an hour, and then getting a no show. Hope you’re friends with the hosts, you’re probably better off staying the night.

    Traditional taxis have gotten much better about this in more recent years because of the one good innovation that online livery did bring (and that everyone else stole because it was good) - giving drivers assurance that there will be a fare waiting for them when they arrive.

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  • DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    I think if buses worked more like hop on hop off trolleys, and there were like 3x as many of them I would pick it over livery. There just needs to be a bus every 5-10 min not every 20-40.

    Basically bring back the red car.

    OrcakimeMoridin889Man in the Mists
  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    Doodmann wrote: »
    I think if buses worked more like hop on hop off trolleys, and there were like 3x as many of them I would pick it over livery. There just needs to be a bus every 5-10 min not every 20-40.

    Basically bring back the red car.

    You're not the only one:

    "research says that frequencies of 15 minutes or better—good enough for people to turn up and go without consulting a schedule—are where the biggest jumps in ridership happen. But that is so far off from service levels in most American cities that a 30-minute standard is more appropriate."
    https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/08/how-america-killed-transit/568825/

    OrcashrykeSleepDoodmannQuidPolaritiekimeElvenshaeMan in the MistsCalicaLord_Asmodeus
  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    I feel like public transit was mortally wounded with stupid city planning catering to white flight in the 20th century. The way our cities and suburbs are laid out exacerbate our political divides, set a timebomb for municipal finances and lead to us destroying the environment even more rapidly. Scaling up transit without fixing zoning and urban planning doesn’t seam feasible.

    Uber and Lyft (and taxis!) are fulfilling needs that we would all be better off for not having exist in the first place.

    DoodmannOrcaFencingsaxGnome-InterruptusjmcdonaldkimeMan in the MistsCalicaJulius
  • Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    basically just a money problem. we used to have short headway transit, but then the budgets got cut, so transit organizations had to increase headways, which made service worse which reduced number of passengers which let lawmakers cut budgets more and on and on and on.

    i personally live near 3 lines that have <10 min headways and it's truly fantastic.

    aeNqQM9.jpg
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    Doodmann wrote: »
    I think if buses worked more like hop on hop off trolleys, and there were like 3x as many of them I would pick it over livery. There just needs to be a bus every 5-10 min not every 20-40.

    Basically bring back the red car.

    You're not the only one:

    "research says that frequencies of 15 minutes or better—good enough for people to turn up and go without consulting a schedule—are where the biggest jumps in ridership happen. But that is so far off from service levels in most American cities that a 30-minute standard is more appropriate."
    https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/08/how-america-killed-transit/568825/

    The local metro runs every two minutes during rush hour and at worst is every 10 minutes late at night. The trams are roughly every 5-10 minutes or so. That metro schedule is civilization, you don't have to check a schedule, you don't even have to run for the train since one will be right along if you miss the current one. Throw in timers on the platform that tell you exactly how long it is until the next train and the whole experience is incredibly low stress. Especially compared to the good old MTA.

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  • ArtereisArtereis Registered User regular
    I would love to have more US cities with a metro system like Chengdu or Hong Kong. Trains come every few minutes, and the stations are brightly lit and super clean. They put ours to shame.

    kime
  • GdiguyGdiguy San Diego, CARegistered User regular
    edited February 15
    So some new Uber numbers are out:

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/15/tech/uber-2018-financial-report/index.html
    The company lost $1.8 billion in 2018, the first full year under new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, according to the company's select financial results for 2018 released on Friday. The staggering figure represents a modest improvement from one year ago when it reported $2.2 billion in losses.
    While Uber's losses shrunk, so did its sales growth. Its revenue hit $3 billion in the final three months of 2018, up just 2% from the prior quarter and up 25% from the same period a year ago.

    So to the discussion above about 'subsidized fares', you can back-of-envelope calculate - in order to break even in 2018, figure fares should've been ~15% higher than they were ($12 billion / yr revenue vs $1.8 B loss). That's not totally right, but order-of-magnitude it's probably pretty close

    Gdiguy on
    Julius
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    Gdiguy wrote: »
    So some new Uber numbers are out:

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/15/tech/uber-2018-financial-report/index.html
    The company lost $1.8 billion in 2018, the first full year under new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, according to the company's select financial results for 2018 released on Friday. The staggering figure represents a modest improvement from one year ago when it reported $2.2 billion in losses.
    While Uber's losses shrunk, so did its sales growth. Its revenue hit $3 billion in the final three months of 2018, up just 2% from the prior quarter and up 25% from the same period a year ago.

    So to the discussion above about 'subsidized fares', you can back-of-envelope calculate - in order to break even in 2018, figure fares should've been ~15% higher than they were ($12 billion / yr revenue vs $1.8 B loss). That's not totally right, but order-of-magnitude it's probably pretty close

    Customer acquisition is also vastly more expensive than customer retention, so (as with Tesla before it, the previous target of the 'this company can never make money' crowd) it is distinctly possible that if Uber was to say, "Eh, we're big enough now" it would become profitable, unless someone else paid to take its market share (meaning that they would also have to make a loss)

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  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Gdiguy wrote: »
    So some new Uber numbers are out:

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/15/tech/uber-2018-financial-report/index.html
    The company lost $1.8 billion in 2018, the first full year under new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, according to the company's select financial results for 2018 released on Friday. The staggering figure represents a modest improvement from one year ago when it reported $2.2 billion in losses.
    While Uber's losses shrunk, so did its sales growth. Its revenue hit $3 billion in the final three months of 2018, up just 2% from the prior quarter and up 25% from the same period a year ago.

    So to the discussion above about 'subsidized fares', you can back-of-envelope calculate - in order to break even in 2018, figure fares should've been ~15% higher than they were ($12 billion / yr revenue vs $1.8 B loss). That's not totally right, but order-of-magnitude it's probably pretty close

    Customer acquisition is also vastly more expensive than customer retention, so (as with Tesla before it, the previous target of the 'this company can never make money' crowd) it is distinctly possible that if Uber was to say, "Eh, we're big enough now" it would become profitable, unless someone else paid to take its market share (meaning that they would also have to make a loss)

    Aren't Lyfts just about the same price as Ubers?

    It would seem that until Lyft folds then Uber can't decide they're big enough to price higher.

    Man in the MistsCouscous
  • Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    uber's problem isn't that uber can never make money.

    uber can never hit it's vaulation. toyota invested last year at a valuation of 78 billion dollars. their IPO is aiming at 90 to 120 billion.

    these numbers are 8-10x the revenue on a company that has never proven it can turn a profit.

    aeNqQM9.jpg
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    Gdiguy wrote: »
    So some new Uber numbers are out:

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/15/tech/uber-2018-financial-report/index.html
    The company lost $1.8 billion in 2018, the first full year under new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, according to the company's select financial results for 2018 released on Friday. The staggering figure represents a modest improvement from one year ago when it reported $2.2 billion in losses.
    While Uber's losses shrunk, so did its sales growth. Its revenue hit $3 billion in the final three months of 2018, up just 2% from the prior quarter and up 25% from the same period a year ago.

    So to the discussion above about 'subsidized fares', you can back-of-envelope calculate - in order to break even in 2018, figure fares should've been ~15% higher than they were ($12 billion / yr revenue vs $1.8 B loss). That's not totally right, but order-of-magnitude it's probably pretty close

    Not quite. Because you also have to figure in driver cost subsidies. Uber probably won't sustain if its effectively paying drivers less than yellow cab due to them eating maintenance.

    wbBv3fj.png
    Julius
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