Uber annoys riders, a bombshell by a former employee and Lyft blames drivers. LegalRideshare breaks it down.
Cash is flowing, whistles are blowing, and ads are annoying. It’s all here in This Week in Rideshare.
Is Uber turning the corner to profitability? The Guardian adds:
The San Francisco-based ride-hailing giant squealed into “free cash flow”, as it puts it, in the last quarter, after racking up $23bn (£20bn) in losses in its first heady decade or so. On Tuesday, investors will see if it can repeat the trick in its third-quarter results.
But the past year has seen a steady decline. For many, the simple act of going out and spending is a pre-Covid, pre-crisis habit — and with a scarcity of drivers, rocketing fuel costs and boring old stuff such as employment law weighing on Uber, the kind of loss-leading fares that attracted a generation of users can’t be sustained.
Uber is testing push ads…and people aren’t thrilled. TechCrunch reported:
Uber recently launched its new advertising division and in-app ads. Apparently, those ads aren’t staying within the app.
Instead, ads from other companies are being sent out as push notifications, much to the chagrin of some Uber users. Over the weekend, people turned to Twitter to complain about the notifications, sharing screenshots of ads, including one particularly popular one from Peloton that Uber had sent out. One of the primary complaints: notifications are being sent out when users aren’t engaging with the app.
Lyft is bringing back subscriptions…with a discount. TechCrunch adds:
Ride-hail giant Lyft has relaunched Lyft Pink, its monthly subscription plan, at half of its previous price. At $9.99 per month or $99 per year, the new membership offers perks like free priority pickups and a discount of “at least” 5% on Preferred, Lux and XL rides…
Members will also receive three free cancellations per month, a free monthly bike or scooter unlock, free Sixt car rental upgrades, roadside assistance for your own car up to four times per year and Grubhub+ discounts.
Previously, Lyft Pink provided members with discounts on all rides. The company said, on average, members saved $29 per month on rides, excluding the cost of membership. So really they saved $19 on rides on average.
Top drivers enrolled in Lyft Rewards, the ride-hail company’s rewards program for drivers, will now also have access to a free monthly Lyft Pink membership, the company said.
A former Uber employee just said the quiet part out loud. Reuters reported:
Mark MacGann, the whistleblower behind the so-called Uber Files, said on Wednesday that the ride-hailing company seemed to be taking steps toward improving its work culture, but that its business model was still “absolutely” unsustainable.
MacGann, who led Uber’s lobbying efforts to win over governments, identified himself as the source who leaked the more than 124,000 company files.
MacGann said he decided to speak out because he believed Uber knowingly flouted laws and misled people about the benefits to drivers of the company’s gig-economy model.
Lyft just laid off 700 employees and they’re blaming drivers as the reason. Gizmodo reported:
The company’s two co-founders, John Zimmer and Logan Green, sent the memo to staff Wednesday confirming earlier reports by The Wall Street Journal suggesting the company would part ways with 13% of its workforce. Fears over an impending recession and increasing rideshare insurance were cited among several reasons for the layoffs. The founders claimed they, “worked hard” to bring down costs over the summer but ultimately to no avail.