Taxis, Uber, Lyft, etc.

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xandrex
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Re: Uber(x), Lyft, and Ridesharing.

Postby xandrex » July 20th, 2014, 12:21 am

VAStationDude wrote:A multi-billion dollar tech company pushing into town illegally and undercutting working class immigrants that are subject to strict regulation really really bothers me. It should bother anyone who even feigns concern for the plight of the disadvantaged.

I've never understood why carrying cash is such a big deal. One slim card in my wallet and a weekly trip to one of hundreds of ATMs in the city keeps my wallet well stocked. Paying for $3 purchases with plastic really cuts into small businesses' bottom lines.
For what it's worth, my last Uber was with a former cabbie who was very clearly a first generation American. I asked him which he preferred. He said he vastly preferred Uber. He said he actually got to pick his hours (meaning he could spend time with his family) and the generally well-behaved customers.

I worry about the plight of the disadvantaged (a significant chunk of my work experience specifically in the nonprofit world working with said communities), but to say that reinventing a frankly inefficient and annoying system of getting from point A to point B is not caring about the poor is disingenuous. Are cabbies really any worse off using one flawed system over a new system in town? Should we be bothered by people who use Amazon instead of buying their goods at the downtown Target (a store that as a former employee I can attest to being overwhelmingly staffed by first-generation immigrants and generally poor/disadvantaged people)?

I would go to ATMs more often if we had a system similar to the UK, where every ATM is fee free for other UK bank users. But it's not. And I hate carrying around a bunch of change (a huge pet peeve I had about the time I spent in the UK...a very bulky wallet). My father is a small business owner so I certainly know that fees can cut into the bottom line of a business. At the same time, the fee is generally built in to the price of goods, plus it's not like handling cash is some fee-free system. It has to be stored, counted, brought to the bank (which is time and transportation costs), etc. There's always loss from miscounting, dollars getting misplaced, or--in the past--less than honorable employees. Sure, he pays a fee for goods paid by card, but it automatically gets safely deposited into the business's bank account every day. Guaranteed.

tabletop
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Re: Uber(x), Lyft, and Ridesharing.

Postby tabletop » July 20th, 2014, 8:20 am

How difficult is it to call a cab, tell them where you are, wait for them, get in the car, go home? Sounds brilliant to me! I'm sure your upset about a bad experience you've had with a cab company in the past, but it's a tough business, dealing with difficult, often intoxicated people in a dangerous environment. Could've been when you called you were in a place like downtown that's hard to get to because of police or traffic or frequented by taxis. Maybe the dispatcher didn't like you for some reason (a past experience perhaps that got saved to their phone) and earned you and your friends a long bid time in the hopes you'd flag some poor sap off the street who'd have to listen to you babel on about how hard and anoying it is to count money and bring it to the bank when the taxi driver might not go home after paying his lease and gas from driving for 12+ hours with enough money to buy himself a 12 pack of beer. Yeah, spare the hard working cabbies your trouble. Please, use uber.

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Nathan
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Re: Uber(x), Lyft, and Ridesharing.

Postby Nathan » July 20th, 2014, 8:30 am

I'm sorry, and I understand that these are jobs for groups of people, but when sectors innovate, that is for the betterment of the system. The cab companies can choose to compete with their new competitors or not. What happened to the people who cleaned horse stables when cars became popular, what happened to anyone working in an industry that became obsolete? You go out and find a new trade or adapt with the technology. That's just progressive society, it's not my responsibility to use a terrible service when a better one is available. I don't eat at a crappy dirty restaurant because I feel bad for an employee there, that's just not how it works, I only make so much money too, and I'm going to spend it where I'm getting good value. Companies that can't provide good value go out of business, end of story, business is not a charity.

grant1simons2
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Re: Uber(x), Lyft, and Ridesharing.

Postby grant1simons2 » July 20th, 2014, 8:34 am

I'm sorry but where in all of this did we decide that everyone is going to ditch the cab system and use uber and all?

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Anondson
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Uber(x), Lyft, and Ridesharing.

Postby Anondson » July 20th, 2014, 9:56 am

Nathan wrote:it's not my responsibility to use a terrible service when a better one is available.
Minnesota and Minneapolis have luckily been less prone to, and more able to shed, regulatory capture than other many other areas of the country ... though we could improve some yet. It is not uncommon for poor businesses to get regulations piled up purely to keep out competition in the name of "benefiting the consumer and worker". (That is not saying every regulation is negative either.)

ncd
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Re: Uber(x), Lyft, and Ridesharing.

Postby ncd » July 20th, 2014, 11:37 am

It's funny to me how contradictory the anti-Uber comments always end up being...

Uber is bad because it is illegal, but it is totally fine for cabbies to illegally turn down.

Uber is bad because it won't serve the city equitably, but it is totally fine for cab companies to avoid sending drivers to areas with a lot of traffic.

Then, it usually turns to attacking the people who prefer Uber, "hipsters." (The HuffPo piece bordered on offensive). It seems like in the pro-cabbie mindset, cabbies can do no wrong and hipsters are awful, obnoxious, inconsiderate jerks who won't consider the fact that not inconveniencing themselves by using cash is ruining the cabbie's life.

Isn't it obvious that the reality lies somewhere in between? There are bad cabbies and there are bad patrons. Regulations are getting violated all the time and that needs to stop (and it will, with the new law, at least on the Uber-side). But if people aren't happy with their cab service, more competition is a good thing. People are *choosing* to use Uber for a reason. The cab companies are more than welcome to make changes to win those people back over. Or not. But banning competition doesn't seem like the solution.

xandrex
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Re: Uber(x), Lyft, and Ridesharing.

Postby xandrex » July 21st, 2014, 12:03 am

tabletop wrote:How difficult is it to call a cab, tell them where you are, wait for them, get in the car, go home? Sounds brilliant to me! I'm sure your upset about a bad experience you've had with a cab company in the past, but it's a tough business, dealing with difficult, often intoxicated people in a dangerous environment. Could've been when you called you were in a place like downtown that's hard to get to because of police or traffic or frequented by taxis. Maybe the dispatcher didn't like you for some reason (a past experience perhaps that got saved to their phone) and earned you and your friends a long bid time in the hopes you'd flag some poor sap off the street who'd have to listen to you babel on about how hard and anoying it is to count money and bring it to the bank when the taxi driver might not go home after paying his lease and gas from driving for 12+ hours with enough money to buy himself a 12 pack of beer. Yeah, spare the hard working cabbies your trouble. Please, use uber.
Believe it or not, I had never called that cab company before (or, for that matter, really had to call ever for a cab from any company). So it wasn't a case of me being some crappy customer. It was me reserving a service and them canceling. Plain and simple. And as someone who worked service and retail throughout my high school and college years, I always treat servers, cabbies, and cashiers courteously (including generous gratuity when they're a tipped employee).

The fact is, I wasn't burned by that one experience. It was cancellations, suddenly not being available, not taking payments as required by city ordinance (read: the law), etc. So I don't feel bad that a technology disrupted the cab industry's little bubble and provides the same service for cheaper while adding extra conveniences (no-hassle payment! easy tracking of the car! an intuitive rating system!)

This isn't about the drivers at the end of the day. The world you paint when you talk about Uber and other TNCs seems to be these cars run by robots; that they aren't driven by immigrants or people working hard to meet end's meet. That's just not the case. My last experience was a Somali man who was incredibly friendly (and noted my perfect customer rating ;) ) and talked about his move from being a cabbie to an Uber driver and how he made good money while being able to choose his own hours. He was able to take the day to see his family, then do some evening runs around town.

It's all about the system. It's forcing a slow-moving industry to finally start to reinvent itself. One of the big cab companies was just on MPR a week or so ago before the ordinance passed saying that they were likely to embrace a lot of the same technology. That's a good thing.

You can keep taking cabs. I'll hail my Uber, get one of those same hard-working people, and I bet dollars to donuts that my ride will be cheaper and I'll get home before your car even arrives.

mattaudio
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Re: Uber(x), Lyft, and Ridesharing.

Postby mattaudio » July 21st, 2014, 7:27 am

Now that this is legal, I wonder if drivers will realize they could possibly make more money driving for a TNC rather than a cab firm. Based on numbers provided in different news articles, I've run two back of the napkin calculations that suggest it should be unbelievably easy to earn more (especially more per hour) as a TNC driver than as a cab driver. Granted, the income and expenses reported by two cabbies were probably extremely tight because they were conveying how tough it is to make a living as a cabbie. But still, I'm curious.

I also heard a recording of our own Nate Hood discussing TNCs with the president of a cab company on a local radio station. It was actually really good, and there's a lot they agreed upon - primarily that we over-regulate and over-fee the taxi industry.

Chava
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Re: Uber(x), Lyft, and Ridesharing.

Postby Chava » July 21st, 2014, 10:43 am

How do licensed cab fees compare to the 20% Uberx fees? Additionally, were your numbers assuming a constant stream of requests?

By my accounts, you're taking home about 40% of fares after Uber fees, gas an taxes(as sole proprietor).

acs
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Re: Car Sharing

Postby acs » March 18th, 2015, 8:32 am

Über hints it could leave Minnesota if insurance bill passes

I'm pretty sure this is just posturing by the company, but damn, the prospect of losing Uber (and likely Lyft) would be a huge blow to our cities. What real city doesn't have ride sharing?

mattaudio
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Re: Car Sharing

Postby mattaudio » March 18th, 2015, 8:39 am

The article says Uber dropped San Antonio.

Chava
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Re: Car Sharing

Postby Chava » March 18th, 2015, 11:05 am

I'm getting confused.

Is this thread about car sharing like zipcar, car2go, etc, or "ride sharing," aka taxis by another name services; uber/uberx/lyft? We seem to lumping them all together, and they are not the same.

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Re: Uber hits the Twin Cities

Postby mulad » March 18th, 2015, 1:33 pm

Thanks Chava -- I've dug up an old thread that's a bit more appropriate.

xandrex
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Re: Taxis, Uber, Lyft, etc.

Postby xandrex » March 19th, 2015, 10:07 pm

I really hope they don't leave. Uber has been a game changer in my transportation use (and social life).

grant1simons2
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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby grant1simons2 » March 27th, 2015, 1:40 pm

Looks like Uber is going to stay. Uber and insurance companies struck a deal

http://www.startribune.com/politics/sta ... 18031.html

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mister.shoes
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Re: Uber(x), Lyft, and Ridesharing.

Postby mister.shoes » August 25th, 2015, 9:43 am

Zombie topic resurrection for a funny and relevant tweet.

https://twitter.com/JackSmithIV/status/ ... 7640793088
The problem with being an introvert online is that no one knows you're just hanging out and listening.

xandrex
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Re: Taxis, Uber, Lyft, etc.

Postby xandrex » August 25th, 2015, 2:28 pm

Since this thread is resurrected (and the topic came up with the Car2Go fiasco), I’m curious what people think of this report: http://www.startribune.com/new-data-sho ... 320845871/

The data shows that a small percentage of car share drivers avoid the Northside. That’s obviously not great, but there was an awful lot of blowback from people in social justice circles pretty much calling it a disaster that 3 percent of UberX drivers, who far outnumber just about any service other than yellow cabs, pass on Northside rides. And someone from Neighborhoods Organization for Change said he has to wait 8-10 minutes for a ride to arrive.

But this just strikes me as an odd complaint. Cabs frequently deny rides when they hear where you’re going, who you’re with, or how you’re paying. If you’re in the “wrong" area of town, they sometimes won’t pick you up (usually through repeated delays of service). And you’ll never get a cab in 8-10 minutes. Hell, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had an Uber arrive in the NOC guy’s quoted “2-5 minute” range and it’s only when they just happen to be down the street. Uptown, Northeast, or anywhere really not downtown just don’t offer that level of service.

I’m not saying don’t make the service better. But pretty much everywhere north of Broadway and south of Lake has a typical 8-10 minute service. It seems like a density issue more so than a “Northside is scary” one.

EOst
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Re: Taxis, Uber, Lyft, etc.

Postby EOst » August 25th, 2015, 2:35 pm

xandrex wrote:Cabs frequently deny rides when they hear where you’re going, who you’re with, or how you’re paying. If you’re in the “wrong" area of town, they sometimes won’t pick you up (usually through repeated delays of service).
All of which, by the way, is illegal. http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/www/gro ... 260293.pdf

xandrex
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Re: Taxis, Uber, Lyft, etc.

Postby xandrex » August 25th, 2015, 3:04 pm

EOst wrote:All of which, by the way, is illegal. http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/www/gro ... 260293.pdf
Indeed. There are all sorts of issues with the cab companies/drivers, which is why I've been quite happy to not use them. My good:bad experiences are probably 1:1 in a cab.

My real quibble is...how does the 3 percent denial rate compare to the rest of the city? I've had Uber canceled on me multiple times in a row in Uptown, far Northeast, downtown, etc. And is one guy saying he thinks it takes 2-5 minutes when he's [downtown] (he didn't specify, he just said "elsewhere") vs. the 8-10 minutes in North (a much more typical wait time for probably the majority of Uber users) a sign that the Northside is facing issues with Uber? I'm just not that convinced, at least with the data presented thus far.

acs
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Re: Taxis, Uber, Lyft, etc.

Postby acs » August 25th, 2015, 3:23 pm

A 3% cancel rate is low, yes, and I do think this is a tad overblown but I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the claims of NoMi residents regarding bias/racism/fear/whatever. From this thread giving the inside take on Metro Transit operators they also seem to be worried about assaults on routes 5, 19, 22. Coincidence?

https://forum.streets.mn/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=3884


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