After a long day of driving for Uber and Lyft, this fella decided to work out exactly how much money he'd be taking home after paying taxes and expenses on his income as an independent contractor. While there's certainly a number of tax loopholes and write-offs that he could be taking advantage of, it looks like, for most people, driving for Uber or Lyft isn't worth the time. Read the rest
Ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft have now both stated that they will no longer force victims of sexual assault into non-binding arbitration, as has been the practice of both firms until today. Read the rest
Leonard Steinberg, a longstanding New York City luxury property broker, claims that the existence of Uber and Lyft has blunted the premium that buyers were willing to pay to live in neighborhoods with good transit links, because they can afford rideshare cars and use the commute time to work, meaning that commutes are less of a factor in calculating the quality of life (because your day starts when you get into the car, not when you get to your desk).
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Every city where Uber and Lyft have found a foothold has also faced impossible congestion in the city center; Felix Salmon says this is because drivers are incentivized to come to the city-center despite the traffic (because that's where the fares are) and riders are incentivized to skip public transit when there are a lot of cars around to hail with their apps.
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Shakespeare wrote that "All the world's a stage." But for Oakland, California-based Ashel Eldridge, he's made his car his stage. Dubbed "The Lyft Rapper," he invites his passengers to choose a topic and style of song and he'll make up a song about it on the spot.
KQED Arts writes:
Elridge, who also goes by the emcee name Seasunz, says his mission is to elevate the consciousness of his community by helping people understand the forces that may be manipulating them.
His passengers say they’re startled at first when their Lyft driver begins rapping to them. But after the song, they admit the Lyft Rapper has turned a typically mundane trip into an unforgettable experience.
Here's his most recent video:
Yes, he has his passengers sign releases. And no, I don't believe he's sponsored in any way by Lyft. Read the rest
We already know Uber's been investing millions of dollars in the future of self-driving. Now Lyft is making similar moves, including a partnership with Boston-based nuTonomy, a self-driving car startup founded by an MIT guy. Read the rest
Uber and Lyft are only economically viable because they offload their cost of capital -- the investment and depreciation on cars and the cost of keeping a driver fed and healthy -- onto the drivers, who are only willing to accept such a bad deal because the labor market sucks. Read the rest
“The anti-Uber global alliance of ride-hailing companies has now officially taken shape,” writes Mike Isaac at the New York Times. Read the rest