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This Week in Rideshare: Prop-22, Autonomous, and UberCheats

— February 19, 2021

Uber pitches to Europe, Lyft looks towards the future, and UberCheats gets yanked. LegalRideshare breaks it down.

Social dialog, hydrogen, and the unfortunate demise of UberCheats. Buckle up, it’s This Week in Rideshare.

MONDAY 2/15/21

Uber’s Prop-22 incentive has a new target: Europe. CNBC explains:

The U.S. ride-hailing giant shared a “white paper” with EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager, jobs commissioner Nicolas Schmit and other officials. It urged policymakers to implement reforms that protect drivers and couriers operating through an app, without reclassifying them as employees.

Uber said the EU could alternatively set new principles through a “European model of social dialogue” between platform workers, policy makers and industry representatives.

TUESDAY 2/16/21

Nearly a year into the pandemic and many drivers have one major complaint: Prop-22. Business Insider reported:

They said that Proposition 22 — an industry-backed law passed in California in November that classified rideshare and food delivery drivers as contractors, excluding them from certain labor protections and restricting the ability of local governments to regulate gig companies — is largely to blame.

“Eleven months into this pandemic and workers are still asking for the most basic life saving protections for themselves, their families and their communities,” Cherri Murphy, a Lyft driver and organizer with Gig Workers Rising, a co-organizer of the protest, said in a statement.


Lyft’s CEO shed some insight into the future of the company, which is partially focused on autonomy. Freightwaves explained:

Image of the Lyft Logo
Lyft Logo; image courtesy of Lyft via Wikimedia Commons,

On the Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT) earnings call Feb. 9, co-founder and CEO Logan Green spoke a bit about the future of transportation, a future he sees Lyft being perfectly situated to thrive in. He was talking about autonomous vehicles (AV) and business-to-business (B2B) deliveries.

“We believe the future of transportation is as-a-service, and we are the only company in North America that has a seamless multimodal transportation platform that can replace car ownership,” he said. “We expect autonomous vehicles to accelerate this transition. They will transform the ridesharing industry and their business.”

THURSDAY 2/18/21

Lyft drivers in Canada now have the option to rent hydrogen cars. Car and Driver explains:

For $200 a week you can get behind the wheel of a hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai, and then it’s up to you to hustle your way to profits.

The plan is being operated by Toyota’s Kinto Share program, which will charge eligible Lyft drivers $198 plus fees and taxes for seven days in a Mirai. Drivers can reserve a Mirai for up to a month at a time, and Kinto covers the insurance and scheduled maintenance, but not the fuel, for the rental during this time.

FRIDAY 2/19/21

Say goodbye to UberCheats. PCMag explains:

A tool that helped Uber drivers determine whether their pay was calculated fairly has been removed from the Chrome Web Store. UberCheats creator Armin Samii said the corporation claimed his extension violated the Uber trademark.

UberCheats was inspired by Samii’s own experience as an UberEats rider — when a delivery took him “up one of the steepest hills in Pittsburgh, about four miles total,” but only paid for one mile. “I was so frustrated,” he told Motherboard. “Not for the few dollars I missed out on, but because I knew Uber was getting away with sneakily underpaying thousands of drivers and delivery people everywhere.”

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