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  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: getaway cars, Lime, LimePod, ride sharing,   

    Follow that Lime! 

    Follow that Lime!

    When you first hear the concept of LimePod it sounds like a great alternative to other rideshare platforms and public transportation. With the Lime app, you can unlock a car called a LimePod for $1.00 that you can drive around town for $.40 a minute. Right now, the program is only available in the Seattle area but if history is any indicator it will soon be coming to other cities as Lime has their motorized scooters for use in many locations. However, it seems that Seattle can’t have nice things as the LimePods are being used for illegal actions.

    According to reports from King County in Washington State, the LimePods are allegedly being used as getaway vehicles in porch and mail thefts. In order to use a LimePod, a user has to submit a copy of their driver’s license before they can use the service but if someone were to gain access to a stolen phone it wouldn’t take much to bypass security measures if that phone’s LimePod account had already been approved.

    Sadly, this seems to be a recurring trend as even rental scooters have been used as getaway vehicles in even such crimes like bank robbery. When someone comes up with an idea to help those around them there are always those who will look to take advantage of that assistance. Unfortunately, for a platform like LimePod to truly work without hiccups, it seems that even more stringent security measures are needed.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ride sharing, ,   

    Can Uber and Lyft survive strike? 

    Can Uber and Lyft survive strike?

    It appears that the gig economy is about to face a major milestone in its relatively short history. While some cities and taxi unions have opposed the invasion of ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, now it’s the ridesharing drivers themselves that are fighting back against the companies. On May 8th, Uber is set to issue its IPO. Some estimates put Uber’s valuation at between $80 billion and $90 billion. Meanwhile, many of their drivers earn less than minimum wage and plan to do something about it.

    On the same day that Uber goes public many Lyft and Uber drivers plan to go on strike for 24 hours in eight cities. Those cities are Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. These are all major cities that depend a lot on not only public transportation but also ridesharing services. Even just for one day, the strike has the potential to put a very inconvenient dent in a lot of people’s commute. This could get a lot of support for Uber and Lyft drivers.

    The drivers are demanding

    • higher wages
    • clearer policies on wages, tips, how fares are shared and disciplinary action
    • employee benefits such as health care, disability payments and holiday pay
    • recognition and representation for drivers in Uber’s management structure

    It will be interesting to see how Uber and Lyft react not only to the announcement of the strike but the strike itself. One of the problems with the current economy is that employees in most industries have fewer protections than there have been in the past. This makes the gig economy attractive to many looking to supplement their current income. That means that there are scores of people looking to replace the striking Uber and Lyft drivers if those companies decide to retaliate. While it would be a major PR disaster for those companies, they’ve become such a convenience that it may blow over.

     
  • Geebo 11:54 am on November 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ride sharing,   

    Uber and Lyft surpass taxis in at least one category, discrimination 

    Uber and Lyft surpasses taxis in at least one category, discrimination

    Ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft have been taking a bite out of the taxi industry for some time now and with good reason. They’re cheaper, they’re more convenient, and by most anecdotal evidence, the drivers are more friendly and helpful. Now according to a study by major universities, Uber and Lyft have embraced a practice that the taxi industry made infamous, and that’s discrimination against minorities and women.

    The study found that an inordinate number of Uber and Lyft drivers would cancel rides if the user requesting the ride either appeared black or had an African-American sounding name. The way the apps work are, the drivers accept the ride request first then receive the users information including name and picture. It’s at that point that drivers have been allegedly cancelling the rides.

    The ride sharing drivers have also allegedly embraced another practice that has been known to plague the taxi industry. The report claims that when the drivers pick up female passengers, they’ll take longer routes to the destination in order to inflate rates.

    While these ride sharing apps have been heralded as the new way of doing things, it’s starting to appear like the more things change the more they stay the same.

     
  • Geebo 10:28 am on September 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ride sharing,   

    Google set to take on Uber and will probably win 

    Google set to take on Uber and will probably win

    Google has recently made public their own plans to start a ride sharing service not too dissimilar from Uber. Rather than have a fleet of drivers, the Google program will have volunteers who will drive people going in the same direction as them, so it’s more like a hitchhiking program than a ride sharing program, but it still cuts into Uber’s market share and reportedly at a lower price.

    Normally, this would be a good thing as competition usually breeds innovation, that’s not always the case when it comes to the search giant, they usually have a more of a scorched earth policy. Think of all the products that Google got into late in the game like search, email and maps. They took these products that many others had been doing for years, perfected them, and crushed the competition. No one uses Altavista or Mapquest anymore, and when Gmail users see that one of their friends still uses Yahoo mail they tend to roll their eyes at the address.

    While Google’s proposed program might vary differently from Uber’s it could only be a matter of time before Google perfects the ride sharing experience and Uber becomes the butt of tech based humor, much like MySpace became after the dawn of Facebook.

     
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