Uber needs to be run out of town

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NorthReport
Uber needs to be run out of town

!!

NorthReport

They think they can show up anywhere, do whatever they want, remove a lot of cash from our communities, and don't have to abide by any laws we have.

NorthReport

But this actually is not necessarily a bad idea, as why should there be a hands-off policy on journalists as they work for vested interests with their own agendas, don't they?

Uber exec suggests digging up dirt on journalists

http://money.cnn.com/2014/11/18/media/buzzfeed-uber-dinner-journalists/i...

NorthReport

I quit: Miseries of an Uber driver

A terrible GPS system and crummy hourly rate while the company reaps huge profits? No more. I’m out

http://www.salon.com/2014/11/30/i_quit_miseries_of_an_uber_driver/

abnormal

While "Uber" may not exactly qualify as the poster boy for "non-taxi" transport, the basic model is here to stay.  And the vested interests in the form of the existing taxi companies are going to lose.  As for the rest of us, all we can do in ensure that the new model is adequately monitored/regulated.

zerocarbs

Why does the left bother fighting battles it can't win? Especially when those battles involve protecting vested (and not particularly competant) interests? Marching to oblivion.

I don't use Uber, and they do seem to be bizarrely arrogant, but people that use cabs love them, including Matt Galloway from Toronto's Radio One.

The arguments against them are farcical - except maybe the bit about not taking disabled customers. In my own limited experience, I was heading off to do a photo shoot and the driver arbitrarily decided I was "moving", and just drove away. Another time, I called Becks to carry a visitor from Ireland back to her hotel in Mississauga. It was just off the 401. A no-brainer - up Black Creek Drive and then west on the 401. This highly trained professional went some other weird route, got lost, left her sitting in the cab while he asked the attendant at a gas station for directions - it took her two hours to get back to her hotel, and she was getting seriously worried that he may have had the wrong things on his mind. Very embarrassing for me because in Ireland, friends recommend reliable services.

And they are by-and-large horrible drivers if you ever get stuck behind one. Yeah sure, the U.K. London cabbies are in fact highy trained, but pretty much everywhere else it's just a protection racket.

Perks wrote an op-ed trashing Uber, and The Star shut down the comments because they were universally in disagreement with him.

 

Basement Dweller

zerocarbs,

I don't see "the left" fighting this battle. Most people know taxi companies are greedy vested interests.

Here in Metro Vancouver, taxis are widely known for bad driving and horrid customer service. Cabbies show their resentment when they have to go too far out of their way, or have to do a short trip driving a drunk home from the pub or whatever.

I don't care about Uber but the taxi companies could use a good scare.

abnormal

Basement Dweller wrote:

I don't care about Uber but the taxi companies could use a good scare.

It's not "a scare".  Regardlesss of whether or not Uber, the company, survives the model will exist and it's something the existing taxi companies will have to learn to deal with.

abnormal

BTW, it's probably worth looking at what the market thinks of them

http://www.theblaze.com/the-wire/29773339/uber-raises-1-2-billion-valued...

 

Basement Dweller

So far, the regulators have kept them from functioning here in BC.

Basement Dweller

I can see how that could change soon. Those who have the gold make the rules.

abnormal

Basement Dweller wrote:

So far, the regulators have kept them from functioning here in BC.

I expect it's just a matter of time before someone figures out a way around the existing regs.

Unionist

CAUTION: Some potential triggers in article re violence and sexual assault.

[url=http://qz.com/307771/a-rape-in-an-uber-is-further-proof-that-staying-out... rape in an Uber is further proof that staying out late just isn’t safe for Delhi’s women[/url]

 

abnormal

Unionist wrote:

CAUTION: Some potential triggers in article re violence and sexual assault.

[url=http://qz.com/307771/a-rape-in-an-uber-is-further-proof-that-staying-out... rape in an Uber is further proof that staying out late just isn’t safe for Delhi’s women[/url]

Are you saying that assaults in India constitute a valid reason for protecting the existing taxi firm oligarchy in Canada?  

As bad as this may be, it does not constitute a reason to ban Uber in Canada.  It does constitute a reason to ensure that whatever regs are in place work.  [The current ones don't do a lot ...]

 

wage zombie

Uber is about market comsolidation.  It is the Walmart (or Amazon) of taxi service.  It is a race to the bottom.

And Uber will be more capable of launching self-driving cars than any localtaxi company.

TiradeFaction

abnormal wrote:
And the vested interests in the form of the existing taxi companies are going to lose. 

Agreed, but not for the reasons I suspect you think so. It's not impossible to effectively regulate companies like Uber out of the playing field (Seoul did it) but it likely won't happen on any wide scale sense this side of the world because as Basement Dweller stated, those with money basically run the show out here and it looks like companies like Uber are getting the financial advantage, which basically means they will be able to bribe, erm..I mean "lobby" (especially in the states) for favourable regulations.

Regarding the Left on this issue, let's keep in mind this is just another capitalist vs capitalist situation before we start taking sides on this. Not that I think Uber should be celebrated (far from it), but we need to be careful before we end up defending the old taxi cab companies.

Unionist

abnormal wrote:

Unionist wrote:

CAUTION: Some potential triggers in article re violence and sexual assault.

[url=http://qz.com/307771/a-rape-in-an-uber-is-further-proof-that-staying-out... rape in an Uber is further proof that staying out late just isn’t safe for Delhi’s women[/url]

Are you saying that assaults in India constitute a valid reason for protecting the existing taxi firm oligarchy in Canada? 

No - how did you get that?

Quote:
As bad as this may be, it does not constitute a reason to ban Uber in Canada.  It does constitute a reason to ensure that whatever regs are in place work.  [The current ones don't do a lot ...]

I agree.

TiradeFaction wrote:
Regarding the Left on this issue, let's keep in mind this is just another capitalist vs capitalist situation before we start taking sides on this. Not that I think Uber should be celebrated (far from it), but we need to be careful before we end up defending the old taxi cab companies.

I agree.

Seems I'm agreeing with everyone.

 

voice of the damned

Tirade wrote:

It's not impossible to effectively regulate companies like Uber out of the playing field (Seoul did it)

As of Nov. 18 2014, Seoul taxi drivers were still protesting the presence of Uber in the local market.

http://tinyurl.com/k5zu44l

As far as I can make out, Uber is technically in violation of local laws, but the national communications regulators have refused to ban the app.

TiradeFaction

voice of the damned wrote:

Tirade wrote:

It's not impossible to effectively regulate companies like Uber out of the playing field (Seoul did it)

As of Nov. 18 2014, Seoul taxi drivers were still protesting the presence of Uber in the local market.

http://tinyurl.com/k5zu44l

As far as I can make out, Uber is technically in violation of local laws, but the national communications regulators have refused to ban the app.

Yeah, it seems there have been more recent developments I haven't been aware of. I'll admit I haven't kept a super close eye on this (or done in depth research), but it seems Seoul isn't letting up. And from what I can tell a bill has been submitted by a member of their ruling party in the national legislature (doesn't mean it will pass of course). Will be interesting to see how this turns out,. I stand by my original point (which maybe Seoul isn't the perfect example, yet), even if I could have apparently used better examples as apparently some other cities that have the authority to nip Uber in the bud already have, at least from what I've been reading.

Basement Dweller
PrairieDemocrat15

I heard experts on CBC Radio state Uber is poised to be the next Amazon. That will be great for people, right? Another

abnormal

I'm still of the opinion that the genie is out of the bottle and the Uber business model, or at least a variant on it, is here to stay.  Uber itself may not survive but somebody else will eventually crop up in its place.

 

josh

Basement Dweller wrote:

Trigger warning:

This time it's closer to home.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/uber-driver-from-boston-accused-of-sexua...


Uber is Fubar.

Another example of the race to the bottom. Almost literally.

mersh

josh wrote:
Basement Dweller wrote:

Trigger warning:

This time it's closer to home.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/uber-driver-from-boston-accused-of-sexua...

Uber is Fubar. Another example of the race to the bottom. Almost literally.

 

Parasitic capitalism dressed up as innovation

voice of the damned

Uber Korea cuts off ride share service...

voice of the damned
Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I remember "ride boards" from University.  If you (say) attended Laurentian, but you lived in (say) Hamilton, you could either check the ride board to see if someone was driving to Hamilton for Thanksgiving, and negotiate a ride with them, or you could post that you were looking for a ride to Hamilton for Thanksgiving, and hope that someone who was driving there would connect with you.

I'm sure it didn't do any favours for Greyhound's bottom line, but I don't recall that these ride boards needed to be run out of town.  If Grehound didn't like it, they were certainly free to compete, either in terms of cost, convenience, or both.

wage zombie

Allo Stop.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Montreal cabbies play vigilante with UberX drivers

Quote:
On Friday afternoon, one taxi driver requested a lift from the app, and upon arrival, him and some of his colleagues surrounded the vehicle and called the police, hoping for a fine and for the car to be towed.

That's not really vigilantism, but whatevs.  Journos like the provocative words, I guess.

Quote:
However, the cabbies were disappointed that the UberX driver did not receive a ticket.

Quote:
While legal elsewhere, Montreal's Mayor Denis Coderre has previously stated that in his view, the app violates the law.

Is there a bylaw that would prohibit Uber in that jurisdiction?  If not, maybe that's why police had no law under which to issue a ticket.

abnormal

Didn't want to start a new thread on the topic of Uber but ...

http://www.dailydot.com/technology/safe-uber-kiosks-breathalyzers/?fb=ss...

Quote:
Breathalyzer test will call you a free Uber if you're too drunk to drive

As dangerous as getting in an Uber vehicle can be for its riders, it’s still better than getting behind the wheel of a car while drunk. The Canadian branch of the company is offering up its services for free to keep people from taking to the road while impaired.

Uber set up a prototype kiosk in Toronto dubbed “Uber Safe.” The black box dispenses a disposable straw for a potential rider to blow into. After blowing for six seconds to allow the kiosk to get a reading, it then calculates their blood alcohol content, just like a standard breathalyzer.

If the kiosk determines the user to be over the legal limit, it presents them with an option on screen to hail a driver, who will pick them up at the kiosk location.

etc...

includes video.

Sean in Ottawa

abnormal wrote:

Didn't want to start a new thread on the topic of Uber but ...

http://www.dailydot.com/technology/safe-uber-kiosks-breathalyzers/?fb=ss...

Quote:
Breathalyzer test will call you a free Uber if you're too drunk to drive

As dangerous as getting in an Uber vehicle can be for its riders, it’s still better than getting behind the wheel of a car while drunk. The Canadian branch of the company is offering up its services for free to keep people from taking to the road while impaired.

Uber set up a prototype kiosk in Toronto dubbed “Uber Safe.” The black box dispenses a disposable straw for a potential rider to blow into. After blowing for six seconds to allow the kiosk to get a reading, it then calculates their blood alcohol content, just like a standard breathalyzer.

If the kiosk determines the user to be over the legal limit, it presents them with an option on screen to hail a driver, who will pick them up at the kiosk location.

etc...

includes video.

Perhaps it should call a cab.

I think there might also be a service from taxis for those who have drunk too much but do not have a credit card or cash.

Perhaps this should be billed to the drinking establishment. These establishments could then have the right to make sure the patrons have either credit card room to pay a taxi, a ride, in walking distance, or cash to get home before serving them more than one single drink.

Nobody should get in a car drunk without another way home. Those serving the drinks should know this. this is not about the rights of the driver but of everyone else on the road.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Perhaps this should be billed to the drinking establishment. These establishments could then have the right to make sure the patrons have either credit card room to pay a taxi, a ride, in walking distance, or cash to get home before serving them more than one single drink.

So, a free ride home, charged to the bar, and all I have to do is run out of money?

I can spend $20 on beers, and get a $25 taxi ride home?

abnormal

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Nobody should get in a car drunk without another way home. Those serving the drinks should know this. this is not about the rights of the driver but of everyone else on the road.

Bars have been sued over letting people drive drunk.  There's something called Dram Shop Law that makes the bar responsible if anyone is injured because they served alcohol to someone that was visibly drunk (the rules vary drastically as you move around).  As you can appreciate it's very difficult for a bar to police this sort of thing - among other things they have no way to tell how much someone has had to drink before they come into the bar and I'm sure we all know people that can drink impossible amounts of alcohol but still appear fine. 

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Perhaps this should be billed to the drinking establishment. These establishments could then have the right to make sure the patrons have either credit card room to pay a taxi, a ride, in walking distance, or cash to get home before serving them more than one single drink.

So, a free ride home, charged to the bar, and all I have to do is run out of money?

I can spend $20 on beers, and get a $25 taxi ride home?

No-- the bar should stop serving if you are running out of money -- did you miss that part of my post?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
No-- the bar should stop serving if you are running out of money -- did you miss that part of my post?

No, I didn't.  But how exactly does the bar know how much is in my bank account?  Would I have to divulge that to them before I can have a cold one?

What if I pay for my first beer with a $50 -- I should be fine, right?  Except they can't know that I owe my buddy $20, and after six beers and paying him back, I'm drunk and broke.  Now what?

What if I have $20 left, but a cab ride home would be $30?  Even *I* might not know how much a taxi to my home is going to cost -- it's not like I can just Google that.

More to the point, though, why is managing my finances so that I have enough for a cab ride home someone else's responsibility?

And I'm not saying any of this because I want to see lots more drunky drivers on the road.  I just don't see that the answer is to pass both legal and financial responsibility for someone off on Sam the bartender.

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
No-- the bar should stop serving if you are running out of money -- did you miss that part of my post?

No, I didn't.  But how exactly does the bar know how much is in my bank account?  Would I have to divulge that to them before I can have a cold one?

What if I pay for my first beer with a $50 -- I should be fine, right?  Except they can't know that I owe my buddy $20, and after six beers and paying him back, I'm drunk and broke.  Now what?

What if I have $20 left, but a cab ride home would be $30?  Even *I* might not know how much a taxi to my home is going to cost -- it's not like I can just Google that.

More to the point, though, why is managing my finances so that I have enough for a cab ride home someone else's responsibility?

And I'm not saying any of this because I want to see lots more drunky drivers on the road.  I just don't see that the answer is to pass both legal and financial responsibility for someone off on Sam the bartender.

None of these things is impossible. It is not unreasonable to require having a person serving alcohol ask how the person is getting home before serving them beyond their limit. Some will have a ride or live walking distance or within range of a bus and they can say so.

When you are talking about after hours of transit of any rides for a person who is alone with a car in the parking lot -- yes they can do a pre-authorization on a credit card show some cash or another technological function can be set up. It is quite possible to work out a system to provide a similar function for a bank -- not to say what is in the account but to verify that they have access to funds to pay a taxi. They can estimate the amount they need. The drinking establishment does not have to know the exact amount -- in fact you don't need to know the exact amount when you get in a cab. The public safety issue is that the person has the means to get home-- it is your problem if you get somewhere and can't pay the cab.

Your comment about giving away the money you have is not the point here. The point is that at the time you are being served the drink you have the means to get home. It does not make this absolute or foolproof but it is based on the idea that at the time of being served you have another option than driving. If you don't, then you shold not get that drink. If this prevented the majority of people from getting a drink who drove to a bar and planned to drive home and have already had their limit and did not have any alternative then this is of value.

There are technological options for all of this that do not involve any unreasonable breach of privacy.

The result would be that the person serving take some reasonable steps to verify that the person they are serving beyond their driving limit has the means to get home other than driving. The asking alone has educational value and serves a purpose even if a small minority will lie.

This in most cases is very simple and the social benefit is massive.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

This feels a bit like a solution in search of a problem.

With ATMs everywhere and cabs with mobile Interac, I doubt there are all that many people who:

a) drove their car to a bar -- a bar that they couldn't reasonably walk home from

b) spent all the money left in their bank account

c) now have no choice but to drive drunk in order to get home

I expect that most people who decide to get behind the wheel after a few drinks do actually have access to sufficient funds for a cab (or bus fare), or either $0.50 or a cellphone to call a friend/family member for a lift.  Driving drunk is probably drunk drivers' FIRST choice, not their last, desperate plan.  For lots of unfortunate reasons -- none of which this really addresses.

abnormal
Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

The idea that you can legally sell, buy and consume weed, but cannot deliver it, is practially Canadian.  Gotta show your disapproval somehow.

josh

In what could prove to be a precedent-setting ruling for the sharing economy, California’s Labor Commission has ruled that an Uber driver should be classified as an employee, not an independent contractor.

The ruling, made in March but which came to light after Uber filed an appeal on Tuesday evening, ordered the company to reimburse Barbara Ann Berwick, a former Uber driver, $4,152.20 in expenses and other costs for the period when Ms. Berwick worked as a driver.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/18/business/uber-contests-california-labor-ruling-that-says-drivers-should-be-employees.html

voice of the damned

The not-so progressive face of anti-uberism...

http://tinyurl.com/qyfx73l

Interestingly, Farage's observations kind of contradict those of a friend of mine in Edmonton, who thinks that Uber is popular because it allows people to select drivers of a particular race(usually white). Whereas according to Farage, in London the Uber drivers are all foreigners who can't speak proper English.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Remember when Quizno's first made the scene (in Canada, at least) and offered grilled subs, and people loved them?  The perfectly natural response of Subway and Mr. Sub was to start also offering grilled subs.

I find it funny that even as Uber has become a total lightning rod for existing cab companies, they seem content to just bemoan the effect that Uber will have on their bottom line, or to try to legislate Uber out of business.  Somehow, changing with the times doesn't seem to be on the table.

voice of the damned

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Remember when Quizno's first made the scene (in Canada, at least) and offered grilled subs, and people loved them?  The perfectly natural response of Subway and Mr. Sub was to start also offering grilled subs.

I find it funny that even as Uber has become a total lightning rod for existing cab companies, they seem content to just bemoan the effect that Uber will have on their bottom line, or to try to legislate Uber out of business.  Somehow, changing with the times doesn't seem to be on the table.

Well, I guess a difference would be that, rightly or wrongly, most governments have decided that the taxi industry should be subject to special obligations and protections, certainly more than what is imposed upon the sandwich-shop industry. And Uber is kind of flouting those, by cutting out the dispatcher, licensing fees, etc.

Of course, we can debate whether or not the taxi industry should be sujbect to those special obligations and protections, given that other industries are generally allowed a more laissiez-faire existence.

josh

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Remember when Quizno's first made the scene (in Canada, at least) and offered grilled subs, and people loved them?  The perfectly natural response of Subway and Mr. Sub was to start also offering grilled subs.

I find it funny that even as Uber has become a total lightning rod for existing cab companies, they seem content to just bemoan the effect that Uber will have on their bottom line, or to try to legislate Uber out of business.  Somehow, changing with the times doesn't seem to be on the table.

You mean less money and protection for the workers and flouting regulatory rules? That type of change?

abnormal

Regardless of whether you like it or not, the genie is out of the bottle and isn't going back in.  Shut down Uber and someone else will simply tweak the system in order to satisfy the regs and there we go.

 

josh

It should be under the same regulation as other transportation services

6079_Smith_W

@ josh:

But meeting regulations is not the only issue here:

http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/national-post-view-dismantle-t...

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
You mean less money and protection for the workers and flouting regulatory rules? That type of change?

Ya, I was thinking maybe they could get rid of seat belts and pass the savings on to customers.

Here's some other thoughts, though:  what if people could get a cab via an app?  That seems popular.  What if cabs were to take any fare, even if it's a less lucrative short trip?  Or the fare is two black dudes?

And what if there were some actual competition in the market?  Returning to submarine sandwiches for a second, there's no limit (other than the market) on how many sub shops can operate, and they don't all mysteriously have the same prices.

I guess I'm just thinking that the apparent popularity of Uber isn't just because customers prefer no regulation or whatever.  Uber seems to be onto something.

josh

Yeah, they're on to something. But it's nothing new. Paying the people who work for them as little as possible, while evading regulation by claiming they're not in the actual business that they're in. A real racket.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Paying the people who work for them as little as possible

Well, there's the nub.  When your business is non-competitive, who knows what your service is really worth?

Uber seems to be showing them what their service is really worth.

Rev Pesky

Mr. Magoo wrote:
... Uber seems to be onto something.

What they're onto is getting people to use their vehicles, and when those vehicle die, to find others with more vehicles. The problem the cab company has is they have to make enough money to replace a cab when it dies.

There is also the whole issue of liability insurance. Uber has said they'll provide insurance for when the vehicle is being used as a cab, but here in BC, a car is either a cab or it's not a cab. So a person using their vehicle as a cab is not insured unless their vehicle is insured as a cab with ICBC. Needkess to say, liability insurance for a cab is a lot higher than it is for a family car.

Uber's business model is finding desperate vehicle owners, letting them burn out their cars, and then finding more vehicle owners to do the same. And if those Uber drivers have an accident while they don't have a passenger in the car, too bad for them, and too bad for the person they ran into. No problem for Uber, there's lots more cars with owners in over their heads on payments.

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