Smitten Kitten (SmittenKitten)

Ride Scholar from Washington DC

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Posts by SmittenKitten

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Comments by SmittenKitten

    {{ ratingSum }}
     1 month ago in  Rideshare Lawsuit

    The criteria to determine if you are an employee or a contractor is outlined by IRS. However, this is often argued as the terms are somewhat subjective. 

    • Does the company control or have the right to control what the worker does and how the worker does the job?
    • Does the company control the business aspects of the worker’s job?  These include arrangements like how the worker is paid, whether expenses are reimbursed, and who provides tools and supplies.
    • Is there a written contract or employee benefits such as a pension plan, insurance, or vacation pay?
    • Will the relationship continue and is the work a key aspect of the business?

    https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/independent-contractor-self-employed-or-employee



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     1 month ago in  The shutdown is turning prison guards into Uber drivers

    This is a super interesting topic. We are at a juncture where this "gig" of driving rideshares will be defined as either a "on the side thing" vs. "a profession." I honestly don't think anyone really knows.

    Uber always wanted it to be purely a contractor gig. You do it whenever you can. It's "RIDE-share", like a carpool, where normal people driver other normal people.  It was purely a side-gig, and that's how all the drivers are still considered as "independent contractors" with no benefits

    Then there is an opposing force where some entities and people want these workers to be employees. Reverting this new industry back to what it was before of having normal workers and often on full time basis. Regulators and professional drivers seem to prefer this option.

    I personally want the concept of "gig-economy" to thrive and not let this end as "an industry that slightly improved due to new technology (smartphones)"


  • I believe there’s a difference between public transportation and cars owned by independent contractors. An inside of a taxi or bus would be public, but an Uber vehicle is an individual’s  car, which I believe qualifies it as “public.”

    Then again, if we want to talk about the legality of recording someone, we need to be discussing the expectation of privacy, not so much whether it’s called public vs. private. 

    That’s for recording someone. In terms of sharing with others? I have no idea. Doesn’t the driver own the pic he takes legally in a public place? So can’t he share that with others in any way he likes? (Outside of defamation.)


    {{ ratingSum }}
     3 months ago in  What's the dumbest Uber for XYZ idea you have ever heard?

    {{ ratingSum }}
     3 months ago in  About payments

    Yeah, in some cities Uber accepts cash. The app gives you "cash" as a payment option, and the driver is instructed to accept cash at the end of the trip. Uber's portion of the fare will be automatically deducted from the driver's pay.

    https://ride.guru/lounge/p/cash-vs-credit-card



  • Here's a good articlef for the riders.  It's tips on how to identify and finding your driver. 

    https://ride.guru/lounge/p/how-do-i-know-if-the-uber-driver-is-who-he-says-he-is


  • as RedANT mentions above, this was a man who was pretending to be an Uber driver. .so yeah, of course it was premeditated. LOL  and that also explain why he thought he can get away.


  • Touché. My apologies.

    You are right, this guy was impersonating a driver, meaning he probably drove up to bar and picked up someone already waiting for an Uber. I can see that working pretty well.

    What makes this story interesting is that this wouldn't have happened in a traditional taxi service where the cars were well marked. (or bright yellow)


  • Probably the latter.

    Completely premeditated though. TWO.  and probably used Uber with this goal in mind.

    I'd like to know how many other rides he had given. That context matters.


    {{ ratingSum }}
     5 months ago in  Pay backs for bad behavior, being a jerk to your Uber driver

    No, Uber doesn’t official state that 4.6 is a cutoff. It’s a number many drivers observed so that’s what’s been communicated around. 

    The cutoff is different from market to market. I heard the average driver ratings are higher in newer markets and smaller cities for example. (So higher cutoff?)


  • Couldn't agree more. Of course Uber is liable for the people they partner with.  Partners, contractors, employees...Let's not get confused by the semantics here.  


  • Where to wait during downtimes is something every driver needs to eventually figure out for each local market.  This is a sign of you beoming a veteran driver!  It's the rite of passage. :)

    So, basically the question is where to wait during those slow times like mid-mornings and mid-afternoons.  You have to think about how society works and who your target should be doing those times.  Working people are at work, and students are at school.  So who is out?

    • Seniors and retirees
    • Housewives or caregivers
    • Tourists
    • People who aren't working, running errands, going to doctors', etc.

    So, What destinations are popular during the days.  They are very different from busier times.  so, try these places.

    • Hospitals
    • Grocery stores
    • Strip malls, car dealerships, etc. (every town/city has these roads)
    • Senior centers

    Notice that downtown business districts and transportation hubs are relatively empty during the day.  So, make sure to try out all these locations, and see if you have a better ping rate!  Good luck!


    {{ ratingSum }}
     6 months ago in  My Uber app will not allow me to schedule AM or PM

    Yeah, I just went to check to make sure.  This is what Lyft says: 

    "We predict what Prime Time will be at the time you schedule your ride. When you confirm your ride request, Prime Time is locked at that rate. Even if Prime Time is higher or lower at the actual pickup time, your Prime Time amount is the same as the original estimate."

    Does booking in advance or scheduling ahead guarantee my fare on Uber and Lyft?

    Lyft - Scheduled rides for passengers


    {{ ratingSum }}
     6 months ago in  My Uber app will not allow me to schedule AM or PM

    I thought Lyft did guarantee the price, as they try to consider the surge into it.  They only allow you to book it 7 days in advance too.


    {{ ratingSum }}
     6 months ago in  Lyft charge different fares same route?

    It may ease discrimination on gender and such, but Uber still knows your pickup location so they can charge different prices around that.  

    but it's a good start.


    {{ ratingSum }}
     6 months ago in  Lyft charge different fares same route?

    I wonder if SEC or FCC will step in and mandate that they must post their rates.  I suppose they can get around that by saying they can quote anyone anything.

    However, that can lead to discrimination if they are charging different rates to different people.  Uber may have to open up their data to authorities and regulators.  For all we know they are charging more certain demographics, colors, gender, etc.


  • That claim sounds nice and all, but they will still do whatever they want to.  That's what it means they ignore the authorities and regulations.

    They have bukus of money.  If they get busted or whatever, they can afford it.  Uber knew their service will spread like wildfire and had billions of investor dollars.  They knew they can do whatever they did.  They did their risk cost analysis and consciously made the choices they did.

    The scooter companies will do the same thing.


    {{ ratingSum }}
     6 months ago in  Do Uber and Lyft operate in Vancouver bc?

    No, they do not.

    Vancouver doesn't have Uber or Lyft yet.   There's a feud over this.  Here's an article from June.

    'Unfathomable': Vancouver tourism industry lashes out against absence of Uber

    Excerpt

    "Members of British Columbia's tourism industry are speaking out against the BC NDP for failing to deliver on a promise to bring app-based ride-hailing services to the province in time for this year's travel season.

    "People come and go, 'OK, can I have my Lyft or my Uber?' and then turn on their app and there's no cars," said Ian Tostenson, a spokesperson for Ridesharing Now. The coalition is aimed at lobbying the provincial government to create a framework that would allow companies such as Uber and Lyft to operate alongside the taxi industry.

    Before forming government last summer, the BC NDP promised it would pass legislation regulating app-based ride-hailing services in the province before the end of 2017.


  • Vancouver doesn't have Uber or Lyft yet.   There's a feud over this.  Here's an article from June.

    'Unfathomable': Vancouver tourism industry lashes out against absence of Uber

    Excerpt

    "Members of British Columbia's tourism industry are speaking out against the BC NDP for failing to deliver on a promise to bring app-based ride-hailing services to the province in time for this year's travel season.

    "People come and go, 'OK, can I have my Lyft or my Uber?' and then turn on their app and there's no cars," said Ian Tostenson, a spokesperson for Ridesharing Now. The coalition is aimed at lobbying the provincial government to create a framework that would allow companies such as Uber and Lyft to operate alongside the taxi industry.

    Before forming government last summer, the BC NDP promised it would pass legislation regulating app-based ride-hailing services in the province before the end of 2017.


    {{ ratingSum }}
     6 months ago in  LAS to mgm grand?

Featured Answers by SmittenKitten

  • As I read these responses, I think the answer depends on a few things:

    a) How busy the night is.  Yes, drivers do make money while driving and when the vehicle is moving.  So, if it's a busy night, they'd rather be doing that.  Some are saying, "it's better than making $0.00", but that logic only works if there aren't other passengers out there.

    b) Whether the driver drives an UberX, UberXL, UberBlack, or UberSUV.  The per minute fee is quite different between these services.  In Boston, UberX makes $0.21/minute ($12.6/hr), UberXL $0.35/minute ($21/hr), UberBlack $0.45/minute ($27/hr), and UberSUV $0.50/minute ($30/hr).  UberX drivers would be at a disadvantage and perhaps be grumpy, but UberSUV guys probably don't mind nearly as much.

    c) Location probably matters.  The per minute fee is also different from city to city.  For example, Boston UberX drivers get paid $0.21/minute but those in San Diego make $0.15/minute.  That's a big difference.  You may argue that there is a cost of living adjustment, but $0.15/minute is $9 per hour before Uber takes its cut. 


  • There's a given volume of people who need to get from A to B.  That number does not change drastically regardless of the transportation options available.  Prices and rate do affect *which* (not "whether") options are chosen by the consumers, and Uber wants to make sure they are the option.

    For those reasons, I can clearly state that Uber is doing this for selfish reasons, and how the veracity of this statement "lower prices = higher earnings" is heavily questioned.


  • Here's the driver edition:

    Before:

    After:


    {{ ratingSum }}
     8 months ago in  What does the tipping screen look like in the Uber app?

    Here you go.  two screens  You first are prompted to leave a review, and then upon doing so, the tipping page opens.

    BTW, there used to be a "$0" option and someone told me there used to be a "No tip" option too.  It looks like they updated that though.  Perhaps the drivers didn't like it.


  • The fact remains that Uber is in bed with all the law makers in NYC, so I doubt anything too negative will happen to Uber.  Any measures that will be put into place will likely benefit Uber as they do have influence over this decision.

    For all we know, this "change" was proposed by Uber.  They too knew the sharp rise of rideshares would become a problem.

    For example, thy will 

    • Limit the number of rideshares to exactly the # Uber wants on the road, after they carefully analyze the demand.
    • Put some rules or emasures in place to "limit" the number of competitor driver apps in NYC, say make it more difficult to drive for multiple.

    {{ ratingSum }}
     7 months ago in  How is Uber fighting back against Cleaning Fees Scams?

    Uber and Lyft both analyze the photo you submit, by putting them through an automated scan.  They supposedly check for various properties of the photo to look for inconsistencies and associate a credibility score to it.  They check for information such as when the photo was taken, what camera was used, etc. (more on that later)

    Before you ask what exactly Uber checks (which no one except Uber knows), let me interest you on something you probably didn't know.

    Your images that you take on your smartphones or digita cameras store various properties in its metadata.  There are many fields that you probably didn't know you were sharing when you send your files around.

    Are you scared yet?

    Yeah, you should be scared because this applies to any photo you share with anyone. (but since this is a ridesahre forum, I should stick to what Uber cares about.)

    I was going to post a full list of metadata properties that you can identify, but that's a pretty lengthy list.  I will pickup a few things below:

    - Timestamp

    - Date Created/Date Modified (If different, the image was "editted")

    - GPS Location, such as lat/long and even altitude.

    - What camera or smartphone was used

    - Flash on/off

    - Exposure

    - Camera Lens

    - Resolution, etc.

    So how do they verify?

    Since I don't work for Uber, I don't know exactly what they check.  However, if I were one of their engineers, and I had to catch crooks, I would look for the following:

    - Was the photo taken on a different day then when the rider occured?

    - Was the photo ever modified or editted?

    - Was the photo taken on a different smartphone than the one driver uses? If so, why?

    - Does the photo match up with any other photos submitted by other passengers?

    - Does the photo match up with the car that the driver drives?

    Why so secretive about this process?

    Well, it's because none of these things will *prove* that the photo is not authentic or that the incident didn't happen.  If the file was modified or if the pic was taken by a different camera than the smartphone the driver conveniently had in his hand, you would start to doubt the authenticity.

    This is why Uber won't tell you exactly why you are being denied the cleaning fees or that you don't have credibility.  

    I hope I have adequatey answers how Uber *must* be fighting back against this cleaning fees fraud.  They do it because they can, and it isn't that hard.


  • Vancouver doesn't have Uber or Lyft yet.   There's a feud over this.  Here's an article from June.

    'Unfathomable': Vancouver tourism industry lashes out against absence of Uber

    Excerpt

    "Members of British Columbia's tourism industry are speaking out against the BC NDP for failing to deliver on a promise to bring app-based ride-hailing services to the province in time for this year's travel season.

    "People come and go, 'OK, can I have my Lyft or my Uber?' and then turn on their app and there's no cars," said Ian Tostenson, a spokesperson for Ridesharing Now. The coalition is aimed at lobbying the provincial government to create a framework that would allow companies such as Uber and Lyft to operate alongside the taxi industry.

    Before forming government last summer, the BC NDP promised it would pass legislation regulating app-based ride-hailing services in the province before the end of 2017.


  • Where to wait during downtimes is something every driver needs to eventually figure out for each local market.  This is a sign of you beoming a veteran driver!  It's the rite of passage. :)

    So, basically the question is where to wait during those slow times like mid-mornings and mid-afternoons.  You have to think about how society works and who your target should be doing those times.  Working people are at work, and students are at school.  So who is out?

    • Seniors and retirees
    • Housewives or caregivers
    • Tourists
    • People who aren't working, running errands, going to doctors', etc.

    So, What destinations are popular during the days.  They are very different from busier times.  so, try these places.

    • Hospitals
    • Grocery stores
    • Strip malls, car dealerships, etc. (every town/city has these roads)
    • Senior centers

    Notice that downtown business districts and transportation hubs are relatively empty during the day.  So, make sure to try out all these locations, and see if you have a better ping rate!  Good luck!


  • Here's a good articlef for the riders.  It's tips on how to identify and finding your driver. 

    https://ride.guru/lounge/p/how-do-i-know-if-the-uber-driver-is-who-he-says-he-is