StevenL-NYU

Ride Apprentice

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Posts by StevenL-NYU

Comments by StevenL-NYU

  • Many drivers have, because you are mostly right. However, you are forgetting that not everyone has a choice.  There are requirements to being a Uber driver that not everyone has...which is to own your own personal vehicle.

    There is also an illusion that drivers make more money off of Uber (and other rideshares) but that isn't always the case. It entirely depends on how much work you get and you have to consider for all of your own expenses...like your car!

    With Uber, how much work you get is dependent on where you work and when you work. If you work for established taxi companies with a foothold in the market, you can expect a steady stream of dispatch...at least with some stability. 

    So to summarize:

    - no, not every driver has a choice

    - the pay may not be better on Uber


  • In order to drive for Uber and Lyft, you have to register your personal car with them. They take note of car's model, make, year, license plate, etc. With leased taxicabs, you wouldn't be able to provide these. They are supposed to be personal vehicles and must be approved.

    There are rental services with rideshares, but they have official relationships with Uber and Lyft. There's usually even a different payment plan where the costs of vehicles are deducted. You can't just rent a car on your own (or even borrow one from someone) and expect to be able to drive.

    Also, if you are in a big city, one of the biggest advantages of driving a taxi is being able to be "hailed" by people on the curbs, legally. They can raise their hands and you can pick them up. Believe it or not, that requires special permits (usually shown in the form of a medallion). It doesn't hurt to supplement the workload by also picking up Uber/Lyft customers, but that shouldn't be your primary target. again in big cities.

    How fun would that be though. 


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     1 month ago in  Are we allowed to temp check riders?

    Nope, it's a free country. You can ask the riders anything you want. Whether they comply is the other question.  I think you can make your own rules as to which would get in the car. like if they decline, you say NO.  If you are okay with that, no one is stopping you.


  • Umm, what about all other ways of getting around?  Taxis, buses, and public transportation.

    There used to be a world before Uber came alone. I mean, that's not even that long ago...


  • I agree with you, Smitten. Tell us on an Indiegogo page they will Uber "better" seems like they have no plans.  Everyone wants "better."  We need to know why their approach is "different."

    There are million people out there who wants a better Uber. Why should we give them our support/money?


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     1 year ago in  Would you join a union for drivers only? Such as RDU?

    Sure. The involvement is voluntary and they do not ask for commitment, so...

    Most in NYC join the IDG even to get more information off of their mailing list.


  • This isn’t a full shift but I once had my first customer of the day throw up in my car. It didn’t take me that long to clean it but after such an incident, I usually wrap up and go home. (Also for the smell.)

    Yes, first one of the shift. It usually happens towards the end of the night, but not this one.  


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     1 year ago in  What's a typical passenger rating for Uber? Is 4.50 good?

    Amen to that.  This has been a problem forever from cabbies though, especially those from small towns. 

    The thing is, we are forced into a impasse here.  The drivers are often praised and encouraged to speak and be friendly to the customers. It's possible they can be dinged with low ratings for being unfriendly. So drivers want to know the user preference.

    We just hope that the Quiet Mode (currently only on UberBlacks) will be a success and be extended to UberXs.

    https://ride.guru/lounge/p/uber-blacksuv-drivers-thoughts-on-the-new-quiet-mode


  • That may or may not be true. 

    Heck, they dictate how long and where to work right now in NYC


  • I don’t think Uber would restrict any of these things. Maybe a few. 

    It doesn’t mean you will lose all control. Come on


  • The vote seems to be split on this one. I’m for being an employee to protect the full time drivers. Two arguments  

    1) I think people who want ultimate flexibility are part-time or occasional drivers. I feel the full time drivers need the help, and frankly the full time drivers are enough to cover the existing demand. Let’s bring taxing back to the professional drivers. I don’t think we need more SUPPLY. This industry has existed for thousands of years and it’s been fine. 

    2) The nay sayers AND Uber are saying we will lose all flexibility and paint the picture that we will be working 9-5 like at office jobs. This isn’t true. Look at the taxi industry. Hell, many of us all used to be taxi drivers. Being a taxi driver does have flexibility and you can work the days and times you want. (When you work, you may need to commit to a window, but that isn’t a bad thing. That keeps us committed and it’s easier to control the supply on the road. (Instead of Uber doing all kinds of shady things to do this.)


  • That is hilarious. They should have started with a very small area to make sure they have good saturation first.

    Maybe they need to work out the kinks? or is it the economics just don't make sense with their business model?  Probably the latter.


  • Strong argument. Especially when you mention how Uber's been openly developing ways to identify drunk drivers.  They definitely know exactly what the drivers are doing.

    They got their hand slapped for spying on riders (celebrities, remember?), but with the drivers I think it's all fair game. 


  • We all have to remember that this industry existed before Uber came along. It was called taxis and it was a successful and profitable business that can operate in all different sizes.  

    Now that the process and the apps are built, there is no reason Uber cannot focus on executing its operations with efficiency and start paying everyone involved. The innovation is supposed to bring efficiency and scalability, not the other way around. 

    Uber is investing in crazy technologies of the future, and also self-driving cars.  I’m not saying that’s bad but the people who are paying for it are the drivers and it saddens me to see how this all played out. 


  • In New York, there is the Independent Drivers Guild.  45,000 strong, so they say.  https://www.facebook.com/DrivingGuild/

    I am not a part of it. I should support these causes, but I am just struggling to make a living.


  • I was thinking the same thing. Many drivers say that if someone chooses to not wear the seat belt it's their prerogative, but if they become a human projectile, he can affect everyone around.  ...including my poor windshield.


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     1 year ago in  Why can a rider rate me who has never entered my car?

    Well, to answer your question, the "passenger" can rate you as long as the trip has started. The  moment you swiped to "pick up", it became an official trip and whoever requested the service can rate you.

    I get it that it was an honest mistake. 1-Star is always harsh, but you have to look at it from the user's perspective. He (or she) requested a ride, was tracking you on the phone. The car arrives, no one is there for him, but it says it picked up someone and it kept going. He is left outside, not sure what to do, and got charged to boot. In that state of mind, I don't think anyone would rate higher than a 1-star.


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     1 year ago in  Commercial Rideshare Insurance

    I have a liability coverage and umbrella policy for my driving. I have an LLC in my name for my driving income. Yes, I do drive "off the app" when people call me. I hand out business cards, say when I pick up people from the airport, and I have them call me to take them back. I've been doing this since my taxi days.

    I called The Hartford insurance and asked for a business liability insurance, and they issued it. It's less than $200 a year. Maybe $160 or 180?


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     2 years ago in  Is Uber eats worth it for drivers?

    Me too.  I can see Uber doing it too.  I would cancel every one of those requests.

    I think we are safe though. There have to be enough restaurants participating in order for Uber to need more drivers. If they pull such a move, it'd be when there is a huge surge in demand.


  • Yes, but not to the level you'd think. Most drivers, at least from what I know, maybe use two apps. They can be signed up for multiple, but really just two. Here are the reasons:

    1) Maintenance of the accounts: Paperwork, background checks, etc. can be a pain. You'd think it isn't, but it is.

    2) You don't need it. If you have three apps, it doesn't mean you get three times as many ride requests. When it's busy, it is busy. When it isn't, it isn't busy no matter which apps you have going on your phone.

    3) In most markets, there aren't thay many options. Uber and Lyft - pretty much it. There are only selected cities (the largest ones) where there is a third player

    4) Streak bonuses. Riders have no idea of this, but there are loyalty bonuses with these rideshare companies. You get bonuses from completing X number of riders a week, for example. So you want to stick with one app as much as possible. Maybe have one more as a back up, but you really don't need more than that.

    Yes, there are apps that enable you (or at least attempt to enable you) to manage multiple but none of them work that great.


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