New safety features, drivers get charged, and Uber gets a win. LegalRideshare breaks it down.
A step in the right direction on safety, a surprise ruling for Uber, and where have all the taxis gone in NYC? We’ve got it all and more in This Week in Rideshare!
Uber and Lyft are adding new safety features, but is it enough? CBS Chicago reported:
“We’re finding that rideshare drivers are victimized at a much higher rate than the general public,” said Bryant Greening of the law firm LegalRideshare.
Greening said his driver assault cases continue to climb. He applauds Uber’s announcement that they’re offering rewards for tips leading to arrests in Chicago carjackings, and Lyft’s announcement that they will require an extra layer of account verification from riders who use anonymous payment methods.
As NY rebounds from the pandemic, Taxis are no where to be found. NY Times reported:
There are about 6,000 cabs on the road currently, according to industry analysts. That represents fewer than half of the total pool of 13,500 medallions, the city-issued permits required to operate a yellow taxi. Some 5,700 of those that are not working were taken out of service indefinitely by owners who put them into storage voluntarily and returned the license plates.
A software glitch had drivers paying for their rides. CNN reported:
Kurt said he submitted a request in the driver app for a fare review but the company said his fare was calculated correctly. (Uber told CNN Business this was an automated response sent in error.) He called driver support, which indicated that agents were unavailable during the weekend. He sent a direct message to Uber Support on Twitter, which was met with generic responses.
As a last resort, he publicly tweeted out a screenshot of his earnings receipt, which went viral. Shortly after, someone from Uber’s support team called him directly to discuss what had happened.
“Due to a software bug, fares for certain trips booked through our new Reserve product were miscalculated. This was a terrible customer experience for drivers, and for that we apologize,” an Uber spokeswoman said in a statement to CNN Business. “We’ve ensured drivers have been paid in full for all affected trips, fixed the bug, and have put new safeguards in place.”
The ride-hail giants are getting heat for funding community groups who pushed their agenda. The Markup explains
The op-eds are one facet of a multimillion-dollar lobbying campaign aimed at fighting regulations that would require the companies to treat drivers and delivery workers as full-fledged employees. Over the past several months, news outlets have detailed political action committees set up by Uber and Lyft in New York and Illinois. The Markup found that the practice was even wider spread, occurring in other states and often involving alliances with local community groups.
According to public records obtained by The Markup, Lyft set up various types of political committees in Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington. Uber formed one super PAC in New York. Combined, the companies contributed a total of more than $3 million to the committees.
Uber got a win in the courts on Friday. Fox Business reported:
Uber Technologies Inc. can challenge a lawsuit alleging the company misclassified California drivers as independent contractors.
The court certified a class of more than 4,800 Uber drivers who allege they were wrongly classified as independent contractors under Assembly Bill 5, the state’s strict worker status rule.
Uber’s motion was granted to amend its reply to include Proposition 22, a ballot initiative approved by voters in November, which excludes ride-share and delivery drivers from the requirements of the Assembly bill.