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[Uber]: Disrupting Livery Service (And Ethics)

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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    So, San Antonio proposes some sensible regulations of drivers, and Uber responds by threatening to take their ball and go home. It's worth reading their letter to the city, just to see the argument they try to present.

    About the only real concern I have is the fees and hoops creating a barrier to entry for part-time and occasional drivers.

    On the other hand, there's no reason Uber can't cover those costs and roll it into a per-ride fee for San Antonia residents, whose representatives approved these measures. Call it the "We hate those dirty communists in the San Antonio government" fee if it makes you feel better. But it's not unworkable. $300 a year for a driver pulling in as few as six rides a week is still only $2 a ride, and it'd actually be mush lower (with most drivers doing more like six rides or more per day).

    Sorry, but that's a really bad argument to make. It doesn't matter if the driver is out there for 1 hour or 40, they're still a commercial driver for hire, and asking them to abide by basic safety requirements is a reasonable position. Just because someone is doing a job part time doesn't make the risks and requirements go away.

    Just to be clear, you realize we are in agreement, right?

    Wrote a whole "on the other hand" paragraph, just want to make sure my meaning wasn't lost.

    Edit: basically I agree, and the issue of barrier is easily addressed if uber simply foots the bills and passes it along to riders.

    Sorry. I'm just a bit tired of the usual SV argument about how we should just ignore regulations on commercial conduct because it's just a regular person doing some odd bit of work. It's not just Uber that says this, but AirBNB, TaskRabbit, etc. It does illustrate the gooseshit behind their argument of being in a "partnership" with their drivers, though.

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    tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    So, San Antonio proposes some sensible regulations of drivers, and Uber responds by threatening to take their ball and go home. It's worth reading their letter to the city, just to see the argument they try to present.

    Really, a drug test is sensible regulation? I thought drug tests were dangerous, puritan gooseshit.
    schuss wrote: »
    schuss wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »

    To be fair, he signed a doc that said he wouldn't smoke when he signed on there, so this is a case of "don't be an idiot"

    Sorry, but no. That's not just gooseshit, it's dangerous, Puritan gooseshit.

    No, employers have a right to ask (note I said ask) employees to abide by certain behavior or perform certain actions. When you're talking security and things like construction, there's an addition level of awareness one SHOULD have, as well as insurance discounts for drug testing. While I don't agree with drug testing, that's my personal belief, and I don't believe a company asking their employees not to is an unreasonable request. If it was unreasonable, no one would work for them.

    There's a reason the old labor slogan for the standard work day was "8 hours for work, 8 hours for sleep, 8 hours for what we will". The request is unreasonable because it's the company trying to control the employee's legal off-duty behavior.

    tinwhiskers on
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    So, San Antonio proposes some sensible regulations of drivers, and Uber responds by threatening to take their ball and go home. It's worth reading their letter to the city, just to see the argument they try to present.

    Really, a drug test is sensible regulation? I thought drug tests were dangerous, puritan gooseshit.
    schuss wrote: »
    schuss wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »

    To be fair, he signed a doc that said he wouldn't smoke when he signed on there, so this is a case of "don't be an idiot"

    Sorry, but no. That's not just gooseshit, it's dangerous, Puritan gooseshit.

    No, employers have a right to ask (note I said ask) employees to abide by certain behavior or perform certain actions. When you're talking security and things like construction, there's an addition level of awareness one SHOULD have, as well as insurance discounts for drug testing. While I don't agree with drug testing, that's my personal belief, and I don't believe a company asking their employees not to is an unreasonable request. If it was unreasonable, no one would work for them.

    There's a reason the old labor slogan for the standard work day was "8 hours for work, 8 hours for sleep, 8 hours for what we will". The request is unreasonable because it's the company trying to control the employee's legal off-duty behavior.

    One, that was about something completely different (the company had fired him for purchasing weed in WA after it had been legalized there, citing an agreement that he had signed prior to legalization that he would not use.) No drug testing was involved.

    Two, note the "legal off duty behavior" point. Last time I checked, TX had not legalized weed in any form.

    Three, of all the proposed regulations, the drug test is the least defensible, for a number of reasons.

    Four, Uber's proposal of solving intoxication issues through crowdsourcing isn't really any better.

    Five, tell me why the other regulations are unreasonable?

    AngelHedgie on
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    JuliusJulius Captain of Serenity on my shipRegistered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I was also ignoring the scheduled drug test requirement, because that gets into a whole tangential topic I don't feel like touching.

    Edit: I too am curious how these restrictions compare to those on current taxi drivers in the city. If they're the same? Meh. I have a hard time being outraged.

    Yeah if they're the same I can't really see a problem. Aside from the drug-test I don't see those requirements as unreasonable.

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    AstaerethAstaereth In the belly of the beastRegistered User regular
    A couple of those requirements are excessive--anything already covered by "has a valid license" shouldn't have to be repeated, I'm not crazy about the drug testing (although Uber's solution of "My driver was high so I gave him a bad review" is ludicrous), and while I have no problem with making sure drivers can read English (because of signs) I see no reason why they should have to speak it. But Uber is also being a bunch of whiny dickbags about the regulation proposals.

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    MortiousMortious The Nightmare Begins Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    The NZHerald had a Uber overview article today (there's a link at the bottom to the Washington Post, so they probably kribbed it)

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11372033

    Move to New Zealand
    It’s not a very important country most of the time
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Astaereth wrote: »
    A couple of those requirements are excessive--anything already covered by "has a valid license" shouldn't have to be repeated, I'm not crazy about the drug testing (although Uber's solution of "My driver was high so I gave him a bad review" is ludicrous), and while I have no problem with making sure drivers can read English (because of signs) I see no reason why they should have to speak it. But Uber is also being a bunch of whiny dickbags about the regulation proposals.

    There's a reason that CDLs exist, and they do require medical examinations.

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    DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    Astaereth wrote: »
    A couple of those requirements are excessive--anything already covered by "has a valid license" shouldn't have to be repeated, I'm not crazy about the drug testing (although Uber's solution of "My driver was high so I gave him a bad review" is ludicrous), and while I have no problem with making sure drivers can read English (because of signs) I see no reason why they should have to speak it. But Uber is also being a bunch of whiny dickbags about the regulation proposals.

    There's a reason that CDLs exist, and they do require medical examinations.

    CDLs are for trucks and buses, not Toyota Camrys. A quick googling shows that they aren't required for livery drivers in Texas. San Antonio may be different, but it's a silly requirement.

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    DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    Im guessing that the literacy test has more to do with Furriners, than "Basic safety".

    http://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/Residency-rule-for-newly-arrived-cabbies-still-4742005.php#/0

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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    So, San Antonio proposes some sensible regulations of drivers, and Uber responds by threatening to take their ball and go home. It's worth reading their letter to the city, just to see the argument they try to present.

    Really, a drug test is sensible regulation? I thought drug tests were dangerous, puritan gooseshit.
    schuss wrote: »
    schuss wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »

    To be fair, he signed a doc that said he wouldn't smoke when he signed on there, so this is a case of "don't be an idiot"

    Sorry, but no. That's not just gooseshit, it's dangerous, Puritan gooseshit.

    No, employers have a right to ask (note I said ask) employees to abide by certain behavior or perform certain actions. When you're talking security and things like construction, there's an addition level of awareness one SHOULD have, as well as insurance discounts for drug testing. While I don't agree with drug testing, that's my personal belief, and I don't believe a company asking their employees not to is an unreasonable request. If it was unreasonable, no one would work for them.

    There's a reason the old labor slogan for the standard work day was "8 hours for work, 8 hours for sleep, 8 hours for what we will". The request is unreasonable because it's the company trying to control the employee's legal off-duty behavior.

    One, that was about something completely different (the company had fired him for purchasing weed in WA after it had been legalized there, citing an agreement that he had signed prior to legalization that he would not use.) No drug testing was involved.

    Two, note the "legal off duty behavior" point. Last time I checked, TX had not legalized weed in any form.

    Three, of all the proposed regulations, the drug test is the least defensible, for a number of reasons.

    Four, Uber's proposal of solving intoxication issues through crowdsourcing isn't really any better.

    Five, tell me why the other regulations are unreasonable?

    It's neat that you now support government-mandated English fluency tests, Hedge. Trying to get the illegals to "self-deport"? What other areas of employment should they be applied to?

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    tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    Astaereth wrote: »
    A couple of those requirements are excessive--anything already covered by "has a valid license" shouldn't have to be repeated, I'm not crazy about the drug testing (although Uber's solution of "My driver was high so I gave him a bad review" is ludicrous), and while I have no problem with making sure drivers can read English (because of signs) I see no reason why they should have to speak it. But Uber is also being a bunch of whiny dickbags about the regulation proposals.

    Most states DMVs will give you the written test for your license in multiple languages.

    Also You don't need to actually read English to read road signs. I got thru Quebec fine without a lick of French. If the gps said to take Nord Godemiché, that's what I took, don't really need to know that means North Dildo.

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    tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    So, San Antonio proposes some sensible regulations of drivers, and Uber responds by threatening to take their ball and go home. It's worth reading their letter to the city, just to see the argument they try to present.

    Really, a drug test is sensible regulation? I thought drug tests were dangerous, puritan gooseshit.
    schuss wrote: »
    schuss wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »

    To be fair, he signed a doc that said he wouldn't smoke when he signed on there, so this is a case of "don't be an idiot"

    Sorry, but no. That's not just gooseshit, it's dangerous, Puritan gooseshit.

    No, employers have a right to ask (note I said ask) employees to abide by certain behavior or perform certain actions. When you're talking security and things like construction, there's an addition level of awareness one SHOULD have, as well as insurance discounts for drug testing. While I don't agree with drug testing, that's my personal belief, and I don't believe a company asking their employees not to is an unreasonable request. If it was unreasonable, no one would work for them.

    There's a reason the old labor slogan for the standard work day was "8 hours for work, 8 hours for sleep, 8 hours for what we will". The request is unreasonable because it's the company trying to control the employee's legal off-duty behavior.

    One, that was about something completely different (the company had fired him for purchasing weed in WA after it had been legalized there, citing an agreement that he had signed prior to legalization that he would not use.) No drug testing was involved.

    Two, note the "legal off duty behavior" point. Last time I checked, TX had not legalized weed in any form.

    Three, of all the proposed regulations, the drug test is the least defensible, for a number of reasons.

    Four, Uber's proposal of solving intoxication issues through crowdsourcing isn't really any better.

    Five, tell me why the other regulations are unreasonable?

    1, not much of a difference in the effect on the employee.
    2, not legal in WA, see Federal Supremacy
    3, K so they aren't all reasonable.
    4, two bad ideas better than one now?
    5, English test.

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    JuliusJulius Captain of Serenity on my shipRegistered User regular
    Astaereth wrote: »
    A couple of those requirements are excessive--anything already covered by "has a valid license" shouldn't have to be repeated, I'm not crazy about the drug testing (although Uber's solution of "My driver was high so I gave him a bad review" is ludicrous), and while I have no problem with making sure drivers can read English (because of signs) I see no reason why they should have to speak it. But Uber is also being a bunch of whiny dickbags about the regulation proposals.

    I'd say requiring that someone speak English is more reasonable than requiring them to read English. I can see being able to communicate with passengers as a valid goal.

    Of course if these aren't requirements for normal taxi-drivers this is unfair.

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    DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    edited December 2014
    http://blog.uber.com/nyc-uberpool-launch-dec-12-2014

    This is pretty cool. Cant wait to give it a try.
    HOW TO POOL

    uberPOOL relies on the same convenient, safe, and reliable Uber ride you know and love.

    Request: Select uberX and toggle on uberPOOL. Set your pick up location and destination.
    Ride: You may be matched with another rider traveling along a similar route.
    Relax: Sit back and save—if matched you’ll pay up to 50% less!
    THE DETAILS

    WHEN: uberPOOL is available 24/7, starting today

    WHERE: The 5 boroughs

    WHO: Each request may have a maximum of 2 riders per pickup. You will be matched with one other requester, for up to 4 riders total.

    COST: When sharing your ride, you’ll save anywhere from 20 – 50% depending on the route. When unmatched, you’ll pay the normal uberX rate.

    Deebaser on
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    syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    Regular cabs tried pulling that in NYC at one point where cabs stopped at specific places and ran to a set of specific places and offered a reduced fare... Always seemed dumb, like a small, more expensive bus.

    Using software to line up people heading to a similar destination, especially if each uber passenger can say how many people are with them, seems really smart.

    SW-4158-3990-6116
    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    syndalis wrote: »
    Regular cabs tried pulling that in NYC at one point where cabs stopped at specific places and ran to a set of specific places and offered a reduced fare... Always seemed dumb, like a small, more expensive bus.

    Using software to line up people heading to a similar destination, especially if each uber passenger can say how many people are with them, seems really smart.

    Well yeah, that's what Uber has been doing. Applying 21st century solutions to the problems of taxi/livery service. Solutions that existing players either couldn't or wouldn't apply. And, arguably, it required disregard for regulation to make it happen (either because poor regulation didn't allow it, or artificially precluded new players in the market).

    The question is now we get from here to a point where we apply the minimum useful regulations without destroying the advances.

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    SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited December 2014
    Uber news from the Netherlands:
    Uberpop is now officially against the law, and will remain so for a long time. Uber lost their appeal on the short judicial track, their only hope now is a long judicial track.
    They still went ahead and opened it up in Rotterdam the same week. The inspection downloaded the app and fined the first 3 riders to show up after they did not have a proper license. €1500 each, and importantly, they will be taken to court, ending with a criminal record which would actually preclude them from a taxi license for 5 years. (Among other things) Uber has said they will pay the fines, but obviously they cannot do anything about the record.
    The court is also considering a demand from the department of justice of an escalating fine for the company because of flagrant disregard of the law. For now it's only €5000/instance, which the DoJ feels is not enough with the money behind Uber.
    There is some rightwing pressure to change the rules for taxis, but the hopes seem slim. Some revision may apply to the fact that taxis have a certified meter (which is expensive, and a government granted monopoly), but I very much doubt the current coalition government buys into 'rating in apps are just as good as police screening of the driver and their insurance and garage screening of the automobile'

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    DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited December 2014


    in case it gets deleted:

    @Uber_Sydney "We are all concerned with events in CBD. Fares have increased to encourage more drivers to come online & pick up passengers in the area." 6:35pm · 14 Dec 2014

    edit: allegedly, they are charging $100AUS minimum to transport passengers in the Sydney area.

    Dehumanized on
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    DragonPupDragonPup Registered User regular
    http://mashable.com/2014/12/14/uber-sydney-surge-pricing/#:eyJzIjoidCIsImkiOiJfazEyaTRzNWVvdG13anBvNSJ9

    They are at least at 4x surge pricing. And it's intentional. Complete scumbags.

    "I was there, I was there, the day Horus slew the Emperor." -Cpt Garviel Loken

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    programjunkieprogramjunkie Registered User regular
    DragonPup wrote: »
    http://mashable.com/2014/12/14/uber-sydney-surge-pricing/#:eyJzIjoidCIsImkiOiJfazEyaTRzNWVvdG13anBvNSJ9

    They are at least at 4x surge pricing. And it's intentional. Complete scumbags.

    "Price gouging" is perfectly alright when we're talking about supplies acquired and supplied because of a disaster, rather than gaining unreasonable profit for supplies acquired at and intended to be sold at normal rates. To prevent it is to go out of your way to prevent supplies from being delivered where they are needed most. As Uber is just labor done at the time of request with no stockpile possible, it's entirely reasonable for them to charge a disaster premium. That, and their logic that high payouts drives more supply is as sound as ever.

    People get mad at the fact someone at Uber has taken an economics class.

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    redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    DragonPup wrote: »
    http://mashable.com/2014/12/14/uber-sydney-surge-pricing/#:eyJzIjoidCIsImkiOiJfazEyaTRzNWVvdG13anBvNSJ9

    They are at least at 4x surge pricing. And it's intentional. Complete scumbags.

    "Price gouging" is perfectly alright when we're talking about supplies acquired and supplied because of a disaster, rather than gaining unreasonable profit for supplies acquired at and intended to be sold at normal rates. To prevent it is to go out of your way to prevent supplies from being delivered where they are needed most. As Uber is just labor done at the time of request with no stockpile possible, it's entirely reasonable for them to charge a disaster premium. That, and their logic that high payouts drives more supply is as sound as ever.

    People get mad at the fact someone at Uber has taken an economics class.

    Presumably enough people were paying it to use up all the supply, and I have a lot more empathy for people complaining about price gouging when the something other than them being inconvenienced for a few hours is occurring.

    They moistly come out at night, moistly.
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    DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    They've since released two more statements and are now offering free rides

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/bradesposito/ubersyd

    edit: corrected post and added link. phone posting oopsie

    Dehumanized on
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    DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    DragonPup wrote: »
    http://mashable.com/2014/12/14/uber-sydney-surge-pricing/#:eyJzIjoidCIsImkiOiJfazEyaTRzNWVvdG13anBvNSJ9

    They are at least at 4x surge pricing. And it's intentional. Complete scumbags.

    If I were a driver, I would stay the fuck away from that scene unless I was getting PAID. Drivers don't owe you shit.

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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    Deebaser wrote: »
    DragonPup wrote: »
    http://mashable.com/2014/12/14/uber-sydney-surge-pricing/#:eyJzIjoidCIsImkiOiJfazEyaTRzNWVvdG13anBvNSJ9

    They are at least at 4x surge pricing. And it's intentional. Complete scumbags.

    If I were a driver, I would stay the fuck away from that scene unless I was getting PAID. Drivers don't owe you shit.

    Pretty much, yeah. First off, I've seen surges way over 4x before, and that was just because of PAX, a Sounders game, and a light drizzle (may have also been a Mariners game). It happens. Second, what is the alternative? Either those who can afford a ride get a ride, or it becomes a lottery, but much as with PAX badges everybody ain't getting rides.

    I do think one thing Uber could do if they wanted to at least help their PR regarding surge pricing is increase driver cut. Since Uber's expenses during a surge don't go up significantly, there's no reason they need to make 4x (or whatever multiple) of the base fare...they could easily double driver share for everything above 2x, which would A) maybe make at least some people find it less abusive and B) actually further the supposed goal of getting more drivers on the road during such conditions.

    EDIT: Ah, looks like Uber did also move to a 100% driver share during this particular emergency. It's my understanding this is abnormal, though, and really they should marginally bump driver share during any surge, even just routine ones.

    mcdermott on
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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote: »
    DragonPup wrote: »
    http://mashable.com/2014/12/14/uber-sydney-surge-pricing/#:eyJzIjoidCIsImkiOiJfazEyaTRzNWVvdG13anBvNSJ9

    They are at least at 4x surge pricing. And it's intentional. Complete scumbags.

    If I were a driver, I would stay the fuck away from that scene unless I was getting PAID. Drivers don't owe you shit.

    Even if you have a yellow cab no one can legally obligate you to drive to a place for a pickup

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    tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    Either 1:
    The situation in the area was truly dangerous, in which case Uber should have just blacked out the entire area. No need to send a bunch of extra civilians into a dangerous area. Let the cops drive people out in APCs(Aussie cops have those right?), or do an organized evacuation with buses or w/e.

    or 2:
    The area wasn't that dangerous, and it was just people being stupid and panicky. In which case there is no legitimate time-critical need for the rides, so charge what you will. If someone had to stay in their office building a mile away from the cafe an extra hour so what.

    tinwhiskers on
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    Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator Mod Emeritus
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Deebaser wrote: »
    DragonPup wrote: »
    http://mashable.com/2014/12/14/uber-sydney-surge-pricing/#:eyJzIjoidCIsImkiOiJfazEyaTRzNWVvdG13anBvNSJ9

    They are at least at 4x surge pricing. And it's intentional. Complete scumbags.

    If I were a driver, I would stay the fuck away from that scene unless I was getting PAID. Drivers don't owe you shit.

    Pretty much, yeah. First off, I've seen surges way over 4x before, and that was just because of PAX, a Sounders game, and a light drizzle (may have also been a Mariners game). It happens. Second, what is the alternative? Either those who can afford a ride get a ride, or it becomes a lottery, but much as with PAX badges everybody ain't getting rides.

    I do think one thing Uber could do if they wanted to at least help their PR regarding surge pricing is increase driver cut. Since Uber's expenses during a surge don't go up significantly, there's no reason they need to make 4x (or whatever multiple) of the base fare...they could easily double driver share for everything above 2x, which would A) maybe make at least some people find it less abusive and B) actually further the supposed goal of getting more drivers on the road during such conditions.

    EDIT: Ah, looks like Uber did also move to a 100% driver share during this particular emergency. It's my understanding this is abnormal, though, and really they should marginally bump driver share during any surge, even just routine ones.

    i don't really think that this particular complaint is really earnest. there are certainly legitimate criticisms of uber's business model that they'd be wise to address, but "uber's percentage take during surge" strikes me as a complaint made just out of reflexive criticism from people who already hate the company.

    which doesn't mean that it's a bad idea, it just means that i don't think it would particularly offer them any benefit from critics.

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    DaimarDaimar A Million Feet Tall of Awesome Registered User regular
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/taxi-drivers-fight-introduction-of-uber-in-edmonton-1.2919054

    Looks like they managed to start up in Edmonton and from this article it seems like becoming legal to drive isn't a huge hurdle

    "However, the drivers don’t hold taxi licences from the city of Edmonton, which makes the cabs illegal

    In order to get a licence, drivers must present a clean driver’s abstract, pass a police background check and have completed a defensive driving course in the last five years. They also need to have class 1, 2, or 4 licences.

    The cars also have to undergo annual inspections and have appropriate insurance."

    They wouldn't need a limited quantity taxi plate (which are all owned by three companies in the city), just a bit of due diligence. From this thread it seems like one of the friendlier environments to get set up as long as the drivers are willing to do so.

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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
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    FoefallerFoefaller Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    California says that, no matter how much Uber believes otherwise, at least one of its drivers is an employee, not an independent contractor.
    In what could be an explosive decision, the California Labor Commission has found that a driver for Uber in San Francisco is an employee of the company. That’s from a ruling filed in state court on Tuesday and first reported by Reuters. It’s pretty damning. “Defendants hold themselves out as nothing more than a neutral technological platform, designed simply to enable drivers and passengers to transact the business of transportation,” the commission writes. “The reality, however, is that Defendants are involved in every aspect of the operation.”

    Foefaller on
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Foefaller wrote: »
    California says that, no matter how much Uber believes otherwise, at least one of its drivers is an employee, not an independent contractor.
    In what could be an explosive decision, the California Labor Commission has found that a driver for Uber in San Francisco is an employee of the company. That’s from a ruling filed in state court on Tuesday and first reported by Reuters. It’s pretty damning. “Defendants hold themselves out as nothing more than a neutral technological platform, designed simply to enable drivers and passengers to transact the business of transportation,” the commission writes. “The reality, however, is that Defendants are involved in every aspect of the operation.”

    Yeah, it's really hard for them to argue that the drivers are independent contractors considering the strict rules they have for them - things like maintaining a 4.7 rating, or requiring a 90+% fare acceptance rate.

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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Foefaller wrote: »
    California says that, no matter how much Uber believes otherwise, at least one of its drivers is an employee, not an independent contractor.
    In what could be an explosive decision, the California Labor Commission has found that a driver for Uber in San Francisco is an employee of the company. That’s from a ruling filed in state court on Tuesday and first reported by Reuters. It’s pretty damning. “Defendants hold themselves out as nothing more than a neutral technological platform, designed simply to enable drivers and passengers to transact the business of transportation,” the commission writes. “The reality, however, is that Defendants are involved in every aspect of the operation.”

    Yeah, it's really hard for them to argue that the drivers are independent contractors considering the strict rules they have for them - things like maintaining a 4.7 rating, or requiring a 90+% fare acceptance rate.

    Yeah, I'm generally fairly pro-uber (despite their issues) but I agree at a certain point if you place too many restrictions on independent contractors the line between that and employee gets blurred or crossed.

    The acceptance rate requirement in particular seems like an issue to me.

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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Slate has a good breakdown of the CA ruling and its impact. (TL;DR: Uber's business model is built on shifting overhead from the company to the drivers. Forcing them to shoulder those burdens could seriously undercut their viability.)

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
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    Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus now arrives the hour of actionRegistered User regular
    Slate has a good breakdown of the CA ruling and its impact. (TL;DR: Uber's business model is built on shifting overhead from the company to the drivers. Forcing them to shoulder those burdens could seriously undercut their viability.)
    It's a good piece. The "sharing economy" is such bullshit; it's like making miners pay for their picks.

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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Honestly the overhead argument falls flat to me. The IRS already gives us a decent framework for estimating the cost of operating a motor vehicle (which the driver retains whether they drive or not, and presumably uses personally). It's approximately $0.56 per mile. And that's fairly legit, including costs of maintenance, gas, additional insurance, etc.

    Uber drivers /are/ compensated for mileage driven. Last I checked the per-mile fare is like $1.35, and the driver keeps...80%? That's in addition to the per-minute fare (unlike most licensed taxis Uber charges both for the whole trip, though the combined fare is often still cheaper).

    The main concern I have is benefits...particularly when drivers are working full time or more. But reimbursement for expenses, I'd expect, would simply lead to a (justified) reduction in the driver cut of per-mile expenses.

    Things like bridge tolls (which were also at issue) are tricky. I'd think that the documentation burden wouldn't be worth it, and maintaining that as part of the per-mile rate makes more sense, unless a driver is doing a much greater number of tolled runs.

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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Slate has a good breakdown of the CA ruling and its impact. (TL;DR: Uber's business model is built on shifting overhead from the company to the drivers. Forcing them to shoulder those burdens could seriously undercut their viability.)
    It's a good piece. The "sharing economy" is such bullshit; it's like making miners pay for their picks.

    Given that the miners retain ownership of the picks, and the picks have substantial non-mining value, and the miners are already compensated in direct proportion to the wear and tear on their picks in excess of the amount set by the government, and...

    ...no, it's not really like that at all.

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    Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus now arrives the hour of actionRegistered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Given that the miners retain ownership of the picks, and the picks have substantial non-mining value, and the miners are already compensated in direct proportion to the wear and tear on their picks in excess of the amount set by the government, and...

    ...no, it's not really like that at all.
    What are you talking about? Do miners actually pay for their equipment in this day and age? That was a comparison of Uber's business model with the company system of the 1800s, where employees were forced to pay for the tools they needed on the job. It's not that accurate of a comparison- a better one would be of how farmworkers are paid- piece rate instead of wages.

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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Honestly the overhead argument falls flat to me. The IRS already gives us a decent framework for estimating the cost of operating a motor vehicle (which the driver retains whether they drive or not, and presumably uses personally). It's approximately $0.56 per mile. And that's fairly legit, including costs of maintenance, gas, additional insurance, etc.

    Uber drivers /are/ compensated for mileage driven. Last I checked the per-mile fare is like $1.35, and the driver keeps...80%? That's in addition to the per-minute fare (unlike most licensed taxis Uber charges both for the whole trip, though the combined fare is often still cheaper).

    The main concern I have is benefits...particularly when drivers are working full time or more. But reimbursement for expenses, I'd expect, would simply lead to a (justified) reduction in the driver cut of per-mile expenses.

    Things like bridge tolls (which were also at issue) are tricky. I'd think that the documentation burden wouldn't be worth it, and maintaining that as part of the per-mile rate makes more sense, unless a driver is doing a much greater number of tolled runs.

    First, it's worth pointing out that the IRS figure is for personal operation of a car. Commercial operation is higher (more wear and tear).

    Second, Uber has monkeyed with the per-mile rate in two ways. One, in areas where they are in competition with other online livery services, they have cut rates as part of a price war. Two, theyvethey've out and out cut the percentage to the driver (I believe it's 70% now.) Both have serious impact on the bottom line for drivers.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Given that the miners retain ownership of the picks, and the picks have substantial non-mining value, and the miners are already compensated in direct proportion to the wear and tear on their picks in excess of the amount set by the government, and...

    ...no, it's not really like that at all.
    What are you talking about? Do miners actually pay for their equipment in this day and age? That was a comparison of Uber's business model with the company system of the 1800s, where employees were forced to pay for the tools they needed on the job. It's not that accurate of a comparison- a better one would be of how farmworkers are paid- piece rate instead of wages.

    Well yeah that's what I was saying. I thought you were comparing it to miners buying tools, and I'm saying it's nothing like that at all because cars are in no way analogous. They may pay the overhead but they are also compensated directly per mile driven...and own he car (and receive benefit from that). Many or even most(?) would own a car regardless, depending on market.

    Cars have substantial non-Uber utility and resale value.

    Also I seem to recall mechanics owning/providing their own tools is not unusual. Which seemed odd to me. But this may still be a thing?

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    JuliusJulius Captain of Serenity on my shipRegistered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Honestly the overhead argument falls flat to me. The IRS already gives us a decent framework for estimating the cost of operating a motor vehicle (which the driver retains whether they drive or not, and presumably uses personally). It's approximately $0.56 per mile. And that's fairly legit, including costs of maintenance, gas, additional insurance, etc.

    Uber drivers /are/ compensated for mileage driven. Last I checked the per-mile fare is like $1.35, and the driver keeps...80%? That's in addition to the per-minute fare (unlike most licensed taxis Uber charges both for the whole trip, though the combined fare is often still cheaper).

    I think it's just an issue of not having it both ways. You got pay and you got compensation for using your own tools, combining the two is ok if you also don't restrict the drivers like Uber does. It's a combination of all the things.

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