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Think Before You App – 5 Things To Know About Uber & Lyft

Professional drivers have existed as long as there have been methods of transport. From chariots transporting soldiers in ancient times to covered wagons traversing the Oregon trail towards a new home, there has always been a market for chauffeured transportation.

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Uber You’re on Alert – Leading Labor Advocacy Group Partners with National Limousine Association

For years, drivers who work for ride-hail app companies like Uber and Lyft have been coming forward with claims of poor working conditions, including one driver who gave the infamous quote regarding being treated “only a little better than slaves.”

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Uber: no plans to adjust $900 fare for driving couple to concert

A Milwaukee man and woman say they were charged almost $900 for their Uber ride to a concert.

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How Uber’s Tax Calculation May Have Cost Drivers Hundreds of Millions

Drivers’ trip receipts contain signs that the ride-hailing service deducted hundreds of millions of dollars from drivers’ earnings in New York to pay state taxes.

READ MORE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES

Uber Founder Travis Kalanick Resigns as CEO

Travis Kalanick stepped down Tuesday as chief executive of Uber, the ride-hailing service that he helped found in 2009 and built into a transportation colossus, after a shareholder revolt made it untenable for him to stay on at the company.

READ MORE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES

National Limousine Association Joins Forces with Jobs With Justice

The National Limousine Association’s Ride Responsibly™ initiative  and Jobs With Justice have joined forces in the fight for workers’ rights.  This partnership’s efforts will specifically focus on the lapses in legal protections that have proliferated as the nation’s ground transportation industry evolves. Both organizations share the belief that men and women are entitled to a voice in their workplaces and the economy and their wellbeing is intrinsically connected to the country’s economic wellbeing. However, within today’s ground transportation industry, as the profit model has changed and new technology has come into play, working people have become an ancillary concern.

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National Limousine Association: Uber’s Upheaval Paves Way for Increased Focus on Industry Standards

It is the belief of the National Limousine Association that the staffing and cultural turbulence occurring at Uber, culminating with CEO Travis Kalanick’s announced leave of absence, offer an opportunity to ignite new conversations about workers’ rights, safety and privacy standards. Over the past several months, a confluence of negative events clearly indicate that the systemic issues that plague the organization at the driver level, are also prevalent within the corporate rungs. It is the National Limousine Association’s hope, that through improved leadership, all ride-haling applications (e.g. Lyft, Uber) will take steps to establish the company as an upstanding member of the ground transportation community, adhering to the standards and regulations by which the rest of the industry steadfastly abides.

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Why is my Lyft driver breathing into an ignition interlock device?

Over the past year, dozens of ride-hailing patrons have posted on social media and online message boards about similar experiences involving rides with drivers using portable breath-test devices. Issued by cities and states, the devices are meant to ensure that convicted drunk drivers, often chronic offenders, don’t drink and drive.

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Ride Hail Apps: Not Nearly as Safe as You Think

Are we turning into a society that values convenience over safety? Have you ever made a questionable decision in the name of shaving a few minutes off your arrival time? Perhaps we need to collectively reevaluate the services we use to ensure they are up to a minimum standard, or risk negative yet predictable repercussions of skipping the due diligence part.

For starters, what do you know about the car you are getting into?

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Surge Pricing Algorithm, Revealed

“Is the way Uber changes its prices fair? And, maybe more importantly, does it actually work? Researchers just reverse engineered the app to find the answers.”

Most people who use Uber know they may pay more for a ride on a rainy winter evening than on a sunny summer’s day. Uber’s use of dynamic surge pricing—its practice of charging more when demand for rides is higher than the supply of cars—is now famous (or infamous, if you are someone who paid hundreds of dollars for a New Year’s Eve lift.) Other industries, even Disney’s theme parks, are copying the model. And the entire selling point of would-be competitor ride hailing companies is that they’re surcharge-free.

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Uber data leak exposes driver licenses, Social Security numbers

“Just a few months after Uber hired a new chief security officer away from Facebook, a data leak in the company’s new app for its “driver-partners” exposed the drivers’ licenses, Social Security numbers, and other personal information of an unknown number of those same not-quite-employees.”

A driver spotted the leak after he tried to upload a document through the new app, telling Motherboard he was able to see “a lot of taxi certification forms and livery drivers licenses and W-9 forms with Social Security numbers for taxi cab companies.” Uber is said to have fixed the leak after it was reported.

READ MORE AT GIGAOM.COM

Uber’s fight to dismiss a lawsuit over an alleged rape shows it won’t take responsibility for its drivers

“Uber has asked a US court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an alleged rape victim in the Indian capital New Delhi, Reuters reports. The company says it should not be held legally responsible for the driver’s acts.

The passenger in the case, who reported that she was raped and beaten after hailing an Uber ride in early December, sued the service in US federal court in January, claiming its safety procedures were insufficient.”

READ MORE AT THENEXTWEB.COM

Uber Hires A Security Chief From FaceBook

“Uber said Thursday it had hired Joe Sullivan to be its first chief security officer, luring him from Facebook, where he held the same position for more than half of the social network’s existence. The appointment is a coup for Uber, as Mr. Sullivan is a veteran of the security industry. “This is a chance to help build the culture of a young and growing organization, and to continue building upon the safety and security initiatives that are the backbone of Uber’s success,” Mr. Sullivan, 46, said in a statement. The new hire underlines how Uber is fast becoming a prime recruiter in talent-starved Silicon Valley, where young tech companies are willing to pay higher salaries and offer greater perks to win over the best minds in the field.”

READ MORE AT NYTIMES.COM

Uber And Lyft May Have To Submit Even More Data To The Taxi And Limousine Commission

“The trip records Uber fought hard to keep out of the hands of New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission may require a bit more detail if a piece of legislation New York City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez is introducing Tuesday goes through.

Rodriguez, the chairman of the NYC Council’s transportation committee, wants all livery, black car, and taxi companies to also include the fare for each trip as well as whether the ride was in response to a request for a wheelchair accessible car.”

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NYC Taxi Industry to Propose Cap on Uber

“New York City’s taxi industry is gearing up to propose a cap on so-called black cars as the number of Uber cars outpaces yellow taxis for the first time.The proposed cap, which is still being drafted, seeks to halt the growth of livery cabs, also known as black cars, until city officials can study the impact their growth is having on traffic, parking and pollution, said Tweeps Phillips, executive director of Committee for Taxi Safety, an industry group.The planned cap comes on the heels of new data showing that the number of Uber cars in NYC has outpaced yellow taxis for the first time. There are 14,088 cars, including luxury SUVs, affiliated with Uber in the city’s five boroughs, compared with 13,587 yellow cabs, according to the The Taxi and Limousine Commission.”

READ MORE AT USATODAY.COM

Bill to Regulate Uber, Lyft Moves Forward in NJ Assembly

“A bill to regulate ride sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, in the same manner as taxis, by requiring driver background checks, insurance and vehicle inspections, cleared an assembly panel Thursday after rallies in support of the legislation by cab drivers and against it by Uber drivers.

“All we ask for is a fair playing field and we believe this bill does that,” said Lionel Leach, president of CWA Local 1039, which represents 300 tax drivers. “It’s not perfect, but it creates a fair playing ground for our drivers and Uber.”

READ MORE AT NJ.COM

Prom Night or Prom Nightmare

“We want to make sure you’re dancing the night away instead of fighting overcharges or scrambling because your ride never showed. Check out these BBB tips before hiring your next limo service.

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Kid-Friendly Uber Alternative Gets $9.6 Million

“These days, parents are capitalizing on the sharing economy: they’re sending their kids off to activities in Ubers or Lyfts. But soon, families may feel more comfortable using a service called Shuddle. Shuddle is like Uber, but it specifically targets families who want extra assurance that their kids — or elderly parents — will be driven to and from activities or appointments safely. The startup, which launched in October 2014 in San Francisco, announced $9.6 million in new financing on Wednesday.”

READ MORE AT CNNMONEY.COM

Has Lyft Actually Overachieved In the War Against Uber

“News emerged last week that ride-hailing service Lyft raised $530 million in Series E funding. This number may pale in comparison to the billions that Uber has raised so far in 2015 but it’s still nothing to scoff at. In fact, this recent round of investment brings Lyft’s valuation up to a whopping $2.5 billion.”

READ MORE AT FORBES.COM

Parents are using Uber to shuttle their kids home, even though it’s not allowed

“In the wake of a number of reports of passenger sexual assault — both domestically and abroad — at the hands of Uber drivers, safety is a factor parents need to consider. But the parents who the Post spoke with say that since the whole process is done through the Uber app on parents’ phones, there’s a feeling of security about tracking your child on the GPS and watching as they go from place to place”

READ MORE AT BUSINESSINSIDER.COM

Uber driver may have unwittingly aided robbery getaway

“An Uber driver may have been unwittingly used as a getaway driver after a city robbery, law-enforcement sources said Thursday. Police said three men jumped into the Uber car early in the afternoon in upper Manhattan or possibly The Bronx and that shots were fired from the black car as it traveled from the Triboro Bridge and headed toward Kennedy Airport.”

READ MORE AT NYPOST.COM

Are Taxis Safer Than Uber?

“Another Uber driver arrested for sexual assault. That was one of the headlines when a Boston woman reported her driver “indecently touched her several times” last month, according to the Boston Police Department. Such incidents seem frighteningly common now. In the past year alone, there have been several high- profile reports of drivers attacking passengers of ridesharing services like Uber. In the United States, there were assaults reported in Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Oklahoma, Los Angeles, and Orlando.”

READ MORE AT THEATLANTIC.COM

Why drivers are winning the labor war between Uber and Lyft

“Uber has long been the leading rideshare service for part-time drivers who want to earn a little cash on the side. But motivated by the possibility of more pay and better benefits, some drivers have begun working openly for multiple services. Some drivers I’ve spoken to acknowledge the practice is common among their peers, though not all do it. Regardless, the result is a new chapter in the quiet war among Uber, Lyft and others over a vital resource for their businesses — labor — with drivers reaping the benefits.”

READ MORE AT WASHINGTONPOST.COM

Cabbies call for investigation of Uber data breach

“A taxi driver group on Tuesday called for a probe of a data breach at Uber that may have affected as many as 50,000 drivers last spring. The group said it was “dismayed” that Uber disclosed the May 2014 breach only last week — more than five months after the ride-hailing app maker learned of the issue last September.”

READ MORE AT NYPOST.COM

Bills Seeking to Regulate Uber and Lyft Advance

“The Georgia House Tuesday acted on two separate bills that would place new regulations on Uber and other smartphone-based, ridesharing companies. House Bill 190 would require drivers to maintain insurance coverage of up to $1 million from the moment they commit to picking up a rider. The Georgia House overwhelmingly approved the bill, despite objections from Uber and Lyft.”

READ MORE AT WABE.DUPAUL.PUBLICBROADCASTING.NET

Uber says policy changes still not enough to stay in SA

“The proposed changes to the city’s vehicle-for-hire ordinance that the council is set to vote on Thursday will not persuade Uber to continue operating in San Antonio, the ride-hailing company said Wednesday. The changes would significantly ease regulations adopted by the council in December, but Uber said Wednesday that the regulations would still be too onerous.”

READ MORE AT MYSANANTONIO.COM

Uber Partners With Breathometer To Suggest Drunken-Driving Alternatives

“A new partnership between Uber and smartphone breathalyzer startup Breathometer lets users who might have had a few too many call an Uber directly from the Breathometer app. That makes the breathalyzer company the latest in a string of selected partners who are allowed to integrate directly with Uber’s app.”

READ MORE AT FORBES.COM

Taxi drivers take part in ‘day of action’ after Uber gets city license 

“The blast of dozens of taxi horns rose above the normal downtown cacophony Tuesday morning — as cabbies protested the ride-sharing giant Uber.Dozens of cabbies, their hazard lights flashing, cruised downtown and ignored potential fares during a planned four-hour protest near City Hall, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Peter Enger, a cab driver for 10 years, said he hopes the protest “sparks a conversation” about how ride-share services are devastating his industry — and the need to create what cabbies say should be a level playing field.”

READ MORE AT MYFOXCHICAGO.COM

Facing Demand, Uber Expands Funding Round by $1 Billion

“Facing overwhelming demand from institutional investors, Uber has expanded its Series E round of venture financing by $1 billion, according to documents filed Wednesday with the Delaware secretary of state, bringing the total capacity for the round up to $2.8 billion.”

READ MORE AT NEWYORKTIMES.COM

Posh L.A. Prep School Demands Students Stop Uber-ing Home

“Uber and Lyft not only have become popular along L.A.’s private prep circuit this school year, they’ve also stirred contention among moms. “There are so many moms Uber-ing their kids home from school,” says a high-profile wife of an A-list producer, “but I just don’t think it’s safe.”

READ MORE AT HOLLYWOODREPORTER.COM

Uber To Deliver Paczki On Fat Tuesday

“Metro Detroiters looking to avoid the lines at local bakeries on Fat Tuesday can order their paczki on-demand from Uber. The on-demand car service is branching out into pastry delivery for one-day only to bring the pre-lent, fried, Polish treat to customers. “Why wait in line for hours or risk getting hit with a sold-out sign,” Uber asked in a release. “Simply tap your Uber app and have delicious fried and filled pastries delivered in minutes.” This is the latest unique promotion offered by Uber.”

READ MORE AT DETROIT.CBSLOCAL.COM

New York Fashion Week 2015: Uber Partners With Shopping App ‘Spring’ To Deliver Free Gift Bags Worth $400

“New York Fashion Week kicks off today and if you’re not invited to the A-list parties or runway shows that doesn’t mean you can’t get some insider deals. Uber has partnered up with mobile shopping app Spring to give its users a treat: a NYFW gift bag with goodies from renowned designers. According to Uber’s blog, the bags will be “filled with exclusive items from your favorite designers and brands including Opening Ceremony, Rebecca Minkoff, and Philip Lim.”

READ MORE AT IDIGITALTIMES.COM

Boston lawmaker proposes tighter Uber ride rules

“Even as Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration studies new regulations to control ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, a Boston, Mass., legislator has proposed new legislation to tighten controls on ride services. Democratic Rep. Nick Collins, in the wake of the second major confirmed incident of assault in an Uber ride-sharing vehicle in the last four months, announced legislation yesterday to toughen controls on ride-sharing services. Police have reported that a total of four other complaints have occurred since December, one of them major, and three of them attempts.”

READ MORE AT EXAMINER.COM

The incredibly simple way to find your ‘secret’ Uber passenger rating

“If you’ve ever used the ride-sharing service Uber, then you have an Uber passenger rating. In the same way that passengers rate drivers from one to five stars (one star meaning poor service and five stars meaning you were very satisfied with the ride), every Uber customer gets assigned a score.”

READ MORE AT BUSINESSINSIDER.COM

Men Are Using Uber’s Lost-And-Found Feature To Harass Female Drivers

“Several women have also complained that a feature created to protect drivers, the anonymized number Uber provides to passengers, opens them up to harassment from passengers because they are not deactivated weeks later.”

READ MORE AT EWALLSTREETER.COM

Will Uber and Lyft make your job obsolete?

“In San Francisco, one federal district judge speculated that the ride-sharing company Uber may have to treat its drivers as employees rather than independent contractors. In another courtroom in the same city, a different judge, hearing a lawsuit brought by drivers for Uber’s rival, Lyft, opined that U.S. employment laws actually may not cover the drivers as employees. Neither court has yet issued a final decision, but when they do, both judges will be right. Work — both its structure and its very nature — is undergoing rapid change in our country.”

READ MORE CNN.COM