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Austin #SlowDown (Feb 13 & Feb 14)

Ziggy

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #61
Appreciate the effort you are putting into this.

I think one of the best ways to stomp out Ubers effort would be to do what we can to get the fingerprint bill passed. That would slow the influx of newbies who drive and quit so full timers aren't treated like they're disposable.
Agreed. We had only 86 drivers fill out a statement that got automatically sent to all city council members ... hopefully, we can relaunch that campaign and get some juice behind it from local nonprofits and LEOs ... before Uber/Lyft release their misinformation propaganda machine.
 

KalianATX

Active Member
Agreed. We had only 86 drivers fill out a statement that got automatically sent to all city council members ... hopefully, we can relaunch that campaign and get some juice behind it from local nonprofits and LEOs ... before Uber/Lyft release their misinformation propaganda machine.
Yea seriously. Apparently Uber has a team of PR and Lobbyists on payroll. I found out from another lobbyist from another industry.

Theyre the ones that are behind the petitions "to keep rideshare in Austin (anti-fingerprinting)" and the petition to recall Ann Kitchen.

Fighting a $65 billion dollar corporation is going to be tough. I dont think any driver protest in any major market has made any dent in ubers effort to exploit drivers.

But who knows maybe we can start something here :smiles:
 

driver_dude

Well-Known Member
MTS said:

"I think we all knew you'd be out there to collect. Some of us were hoping you just faded away and took your exploits with you."

Thanks for staying home so the full-timers could make some money during the surges. We don't need any more PT newbies hanging around on SoCo, adding to the traffic congestion downtown, and/or hanging around the Circle K or staging on airport property, creating a hazard and a nuisance - we've got that all covered. LoL!
 

Ziggy

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #64
Was this crap going on at 2am on Friday night/Saturday morning? I have never had trouble finding a ride home, but it took forever and I did something I've never done before -- I put in dual rides on both Lyft and Uber. Even with both requests in, it took me 30 mins to get a ride.
Probably not on Friday night; but definitely all day Saturday & Sunday.

Bear in mind, there wouldn't have been a SlowDown, if Uber/Lyft treated the drivers fairly. Reducing fares 5 times in the past 12 months while also increasing the Uber/Lyft commission is not treating the drivers fairly. Uber X was reduced from $2.50/mi in Jan 2015 to $1/mi in Feb 2016; additionally, Uber has increased the booking % fee that they levy on the drivers. And to add insult to injury, Uber & Lyft increased their respective "Safe Ride Fee" to passengers at the same time they were reducing fares .. so most passengers thought they were paying the same (especially on short trips); when in reality, drivers do not get any portion of the "Safe Ride Fee". Moreover, Uber just lost 2 Class Action Suits that determined that the "Safe Ride Fee" was defrauding passengers (source); Class Action Suits for the same thing are pending against Lyft. Not to mention, there are 13 other Class Action Suits pending against Uber & Lyft.

Hopefully, Austinites will see past the Uber/Lyft propaganda and realize that Uber drivers (nationwide) are being exploited, while the companies get rich. Uber & Lyft have both suckered their drivers into subprime loans for cars ... with recent fare cuts and booking fee increases many drivers are barely able to cover their car payments & gas, let alone rent and other basic living expenses.

So, while we understand your frustration in getting a ride this weekend ... please understand ours; because while Uber/Lyft spokespersons have told the media that fare cuts are temporary, not a single fare has ever been increased after it was decreased.

Bottom line, drivers nationwide are fighting for survival and the only leverage we have, albeit small, is to take the day off to see if we can trigger enough public outrage that drivers are making far less than minimum wage; and underpaid drivers are unsafe as they have to work significantly more hours in 2016 to cover their expenses than they did in 2015. There are drivers in Austin and nationwide who regularly work 80+ hours/week ... just in order to cover their basic needs.

SlowDown efforts took place in dozens of cities this past week and they will continue to take place until Uber/Lyft give drivers a fair fare.
BTW - Tip is not included, so tip your driver ... $5 might be the difference between your driver getting 8 hours of nightly sleep or driving until he can't keep his eyes open.
 

MTS

Well-Known Member
We are planning on running this weekly until SXSW ... however, it's discouraging to the drivers who stayed offline for the "greater good" and then other drivers went out to milk the surge. Bear in mind, rate cuts did not affect Lux drivers ... yet 50+ lux drivers opted to support the folks that did suffer from rate cuts.

The SlowDown only works if all (or most) drivers stay offline ... during SlowDown periods.
We have a major Golf tournament the 3rd week of March out in my neighborhood at the Austin Country Club. Expecting 50-70,000 spectators daily. You know they are not all going to drive to the course.
Could make a major impact at that event as well.
Might be even more noticeable if we all wait for surges in the 6-7x range and we all turn the app at the same time. Lol
 
Probably not on Friday night; but definitely all day Saturday & Sunday.

Bear in mind, there wouldn't have been a SlowDown, if Uber/Lyft treated the drivers fairly. Reducing fares 5 times in the past 12 months while also increasing the Uber/Lyft commission is not treating the drivers fairly. Uber X was reduced from $2.50/mi in Jan 2015 to $1/mi in Feb 2016; additionally, Uber has increased the booking % fee that they levy on the drivers. And to add insult to injury, Uber & Lyft increased their respective "Safe Ride Fee" to passengers at the same time they were reducing fares .. so most passengers thought they were paying the same (especially on short trips); when in reality, drivers do not get any portion of the "Safe Ride Fee". Moreover, Uber just lost 2 Class Action Suits that determined that the "Safe Ride Fee" was defrauding passengers (source); Class Action Suits for the same thing are pending against Lyft. Not to mention, there are 13 other Class Action Suits pending against Uber & Lyft.

Hopefully, Austinites will see past the Uber/Lyft propaganda and realize that Uber drivers (nationwide) are being exploited, while the companies get rich. Uber & Lyft have both suckered their drivers into subprime loans for cars ... with recent fare cuts and booking fee increases many drivers are barely able to cover their car payments & gas, let alone rent and other basic living expenses.

So, while we understand your frustration in getting a ride this weekend ... please understand ours; because while Uber/Lyft spokespersons have told the media that fare cuts are temporary, not a single fare has ever been increased after it was decreased.

Bottom line, drivers nationwide are fighting for survival and the only leverage we have, albeit small, is to take the day off to see if we can trigger enough public outrage that drivers are making far less than minimum wage; and underpaid drivers are unsafe as they have to work significantly more hours in 2016 to cover their expenses than they did in 2015. There are drivers in Austin and nationwide who regularly work 80+ hours/week ... just in order to cover their basic needs.

SlowDown efforts took place in dozens of cities this past week and they will continue to take place until Uber/Lyft give drivers a fair fare.
BTW - Tip is not included, so tip your driver ... $5 might be the difference between your driver getting 8 hours of nightly sleep or driving until he can't keep his eyes open.

Sorry, but I don't feel bad for the drivers. I take good care of each driver and I expect the same level of service -- not to be @@@@ed around waiting. On both platforms, I've only once left less than five stars and I tip every ride. Even with the ride the other night, I tipped $5 on the app and $10 cash. That's even including a longer route than usual and having to wait forever to get the ride.

Most drivers that pick you up are good people, but there are a lot of shitty drivers who don't show up and try to cancel charge you. Hell, I've had one where I was waiting outside with no driver insight, but my ride was going. He was driving around and charging me for a BS ride, and that's the only time I've left less that 5 stars.

 

driver_dude

Well-Known Member
KalianATX said:

"I think one of the best ways to stomp out Ubers effort would be to do what we can to get the fingerprint bill passed."

The best way to "stomp out" other drivers and "thin the herd" would be for the city to enforce mandatory drug testing of all drivers at the driver's expense. This is the only logical course of action IF the issue really is passenger safety. That would probably reduce the driver pool by at least 98%. LoL!
 
We have a major Golf tournament the 3rd week of March out in my neighborhood at the Austin Country Club. Expecting 50-70,000 spectators daily. You know they are not all going to drive to the course.
Could make a major impact at that event as well.
Might be even more noticeable if we all wait for surges in the 6-7x range and we all turn the app at the same time. Lol
I'll be out at the WGC Match Play and I will probably take a cab home. Again, I am fair, but I am not stupid and won't be @@@@ed over. With an event like that, I have no problem waiting around a bit, drinking a few more beers and/or finding a different way home.
 
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Nate R

Well-Known Member
ATXBigMouth it isn't about if you take care of the driver, it is all about not being exploited by the company we drive for. If you didn't appreciate having to wait for a ride then maybe you should join in the with the chorus of drivers who are trying to tell TNCs we need changes. Uber loves to call the drivers 'Partners', but this "partnership" is pretty lopsided. Here's a pretty comprehesive list of issues that drivers feel need to be addressed to make this a fair partnership and sadly it is you, the rider, that suffers as much as the drivers do when TNCs do this stuff.


WHAT DRIVERS WANT FROM UBER:

UberX RATES LIFTED TO TAXI LEVEL FARES
UBER’S XL/SELECT/LUX FARE % CUT DROPPED FROM 28% TO 20%
UberX FARE % CUT DROPPED FROM 20% TO 15%
SAFE RIDER FEE ELIMINATED OR DECREASED TO $1
TIPPING OPTION ON UBER APP
REMOVE 3 TRIP REJECTION PENALTIES
5 STAR RATING SYSTEMS REMOVED
 

MTS

Well-Known Member
I'll be out at the WGC Match Play and I will probably take a cab home. Again, I am fair, but I am not stupid and won't be ****ed over. With an event like that, I have no problem waiting around a bit, drinking a few more beers and/or finding a different way home.
Don't misunderstand, the issue is NOT with the pax's. For the most part, that's the only reason I drive. I have met some really nice people, both Austinites and tourists. However, the partners have to drive for a profit. We are not Uber volunteers.
There will be drivers on the road, but you can't expect them to drive for free after Uber takes their cut.
Until they set realistic rates and re- evaluate their percentage cut, they will have to contend with the disruptions nationwide.
 

Jay Dean

Well-Known Member
ATXBigMouth it isn't about if you take care of the driver, it is all about not being exploited by the company we drive for. If you didn't appreciate having to wait for a ride then maybe you should join in the with the chorus of drivers who are trying to tell TNCs we need changes. Uber loves to call the drivers 'Partners', but this "partnership" is pretty lopsided. Here's a pretty comprehesive list of issues that drivers feel need to be addressed to make this a fair partnership and sadly it is you, the rider, that suffers as much as the drivers do when TNCs do this stuff.


WHAT DRIVERS WANT FROM UBER:

UberX RATES LIFTED TO TAXI LEVEL FARES
UBER’S XL/SELECT/LUX FARE % CUT DROPPED FROM 28% TO 20%
UberX FARE % CUT DROPPED FROM 20% TO 15%
SAFE RIDER FEE ELIMINATED OR DECREASED TO $1
TIPPING OPTION ON UBER APP
REMOVE 3 TRIP REJECTION PENALTIES
5 STAR RATING SYSTEMS REMOVED
It's been a good solid few weeks of not driving for uber and I think what you have listed is about the minimum it would take for me to drive for UberX again..I am a guy that needs money badly also, it's saying a lot for me to not drive lol, imagine how long it takes for people that don't need money to stop driving under the current conditions, its become downright unrealistic to drive UberX for anyone on any level of income..
 

Jay Dean

Well-Known Member
I mean I guess there are people out there that really want to be faux cab drivers, lol I do this for money to get by, I think the hobbyists are what TNC's want...which is just weird kinda like a HAM radio culture/club lol no offense to HAM radio peeps
 

Ziggy

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #74
Sorry, but I don't feel bad for the drivers. I take good care of each driver and I expect the same level of service -- not to be ****ed around waiting. On both platforms, I've only once left less than five stars and I tip every ride. Even with the ride the other night, I tipped $5 on the app and $10 cash. That's even including a longer route than usual and having to wait forever to get the ride.

Most drivers that pick you up are good people, but there are a lot of shitty drivers who don't show up and try to cancel charge you. Hell, I've had one where I was waiting outside with no driver insight, but my ride was going. He was driving around and charging me for a BS ride, and that's the only time I've left less that 5 stars.
Agreed ... there are a lot of drivers that should not be driving; part of the reason the "professional" (full time) drivers want the city to implement fingerprints & driver registration. I appreciate the fact that you take care of your drivers; kudos ... but you are the exception, rather than the rule. Fundamentally, our disagreement is not with passengers; but rather with Uber & Lyft ... every few months, Uber & Lyft lowers the fares citing "lower fares = more earnings" and "lower fares are just temporary" ... fares have never increased after Uber/Lyft lowered them, the only thing that has increased has been the booking % fee that Uber/Lyft is charging the drivers ... essentially taking money out of our pocket twice.
 
Agreed ... there are a lot of drivers that should not be driving; part of the reason the "professional" (full time) drivers want the city to implement fingerprints & driver registration. I appreciate the fact that you take care of your drivers; kudos ... but you are the exception, rather than the rule. Fundamentally, our disagreement is not with passengers; but rather with Uber & Lyft ... every few months, Uber & Lyft lowers the fares citing "lower fares = more earnings" and "lower fares are just temporary" ... fares have never increased after Uber/Lyft lowered them, the only thing that has increased has been the booking % fee that Uber/Lyft is charging the drivers ... essentially taking money out of our pocket twice.
What if the fingerprint stuff passes the upcoming public vote, and both Uber and Lyft leave Austin? If that passes there is no doubt they would both instantly leave, but would probably come back later down the road. Them leaving isn't going to help anyone. Outside of that, my biggest issue is that I can't stand big government. The city of Austin already has their hands in just about every aspect of our every day lives.

You have to let the free market work itself out in all aspects. I guess that even means me waiting for my ride the other night. You have to do what you have to do and I have to do what I have to do -- if these companies lose business/money -- things will change. Like you all have said, drivers will quit, quality will go down and that will lower the rider experience. The riders & drivers will eventually demand better. When that demand is made, things will change for the better or new business will fill the void.

There was a time when I would use Uber when I had cash to tip and take Lyft when I needed to use my card to tip. Now, I pretty much strictly use Lyft. The current Uber reminds me of Wal-Mart in regards to trashiness and bad customer service from the company itself. It takes them a long time to respond to things and when they do, their response doesn't make sense. At least Wal-Mart is ran lean, mean and profitable -- you can't say the same for Uber. You'll always have a customer for Ross, JC Penny, Dillards, Saks, Bespoke, etc. I know time is important to a lot of you all, but the market will eventually have a solution for all.
 

Ziggy

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #76
What if the fingerprint stuff passes the upcoming public vote, and both Uber and Lyft leave Austin? If that passes there is no doubt they would both instantly leave, but would probably come back later down the road.
I doubt that Uber will leave ... as Uber does fingerprints in NYC, Houston, Columbus and other cities too. Lyft only does fingerprints in NYC. *the recent Class Action Suit against Uber/Lyft for safety issues ... may sway people to vote for fingerprints.
my biggest issue is that I can't stand big government. The city of Austin already has their hands in just about every aspect of our every day lives.
I'm not a fan of big government either ... though left to their own scrutiny Uber is unlikely to perform adequate background checks on their drivers (as evidenced by recent judgements against them). Bear in mind, Uber operated in Austin for over a year without permission .... drivers had their cars impounded and points added to their TX licenses.

Uber Customer Service has gone downhill in the past several months, probably because they closed all domestic customer service centers and moved the CSR functions to the Philippines and other places like India ... presumably to save a few sheckles.

I, for one, drive UberLux ... car gets washed/cleaned daily ... as do most of the other Lux cars that I know. Most of the Lux drivers are full-time; the rest at >50% time. Many of the Lux drivers are former limo or cab drivers ... we all know the city inside and out. This is not our first rodeo ... we've been driving professionally before Uber was a figment of someone's imagination; and we'll be driving long after it disappears.

Driver displeasure with Uber is not limited to Austin (see Los Angeles Unavailable); there were also #SlowDown efforts in NYC, several cities in NJ, FL, CA and more.
 

driver_dude

Well-Known Member
ATXBigMouth said:

"drivers will quit, quality will go down and that will lower the rider experience."


The only way this will work is if there are CHEAP fares, quick service, and many part-time drivers, every day, available on a moment's notice. The low fares and the thousands of drivers for a quick pickup, are features built into the design - it's not a flaw.

Uber and Lyft are NOT designed for professional drivers steering luxury cars trying to make a living. The vested interests want to turn ride-sharing into another taxi or cab company, with the government setting the rates and making all the rules - mandatory drug testing.

Limit the competition by any means of control and enforcement. Follow the money.

Everyone in Austin knows you can't make a lot of money being a driver or working in the private service sector. People who ride around in fancy luxury cars are a perfect example of the people living in a Potemkin village.

I mean, spectators wanting a short ride in a car to Home Slice to watch a marathon? LoL!
 

Jay Dean

Well-Known Member
What if the fingerprint stuff passes the upcoming public vote, and both Uber and Lyft leave Austin? If that passes there is no doubt they would both instantly leave, but would probably come back later down the road. Them leaving isn't going to help anyone. Outside of that, my biggest issue is that I can't stand big government. The city of Austin already has their hands in just about every aspect of our every day lives.

You have to let the free market work itself out in all aspects. I guess that even means me waiting for my ride the other night. You have to do what you have to do and I have to do what I have to do -- if these companies lose business/money -- things will change. Like you all have said, drivers will quit, quality will go down and that will lower the rider experience. The riders & drivers will eventually demand better. When that demand is made, things will change for the better or new business will fill the void.

There was a time when I would use Uber when I had cash to tip and take Lyft when I needed to use my card to tip. Now, I pretty much strictly use Lyft. The current Uber reminds me of Wal-Mart in regards to trashiness and bad customer service from the company itself. It takes them a long time to respond to things and when they do, their response doesn't make sense. At least Wal-Mart is ran lean, mean and profitable -- you can't say the same for Uber. You'll always have a customer for Ross, JC Penny, Dillards, Saks, Bespoke, etc. I know time is important to a lot of you all, but the market will eventually have a solution for all.
It's funny you say that cause I think of Uber as Walmart and Lyft as Trader Joes ..both cheap but there is just that level of person that goes into a trader joes lol
 
ATXBigMouth said:

"drivers will quit, quality will go down and that will lower the rider experience."


The only way this will work is if there are CHEAP fares, quick service, and many part-time drivers, every day, available on a moment's notice. The low fares and the thousands of drivers for a quick pickup, are features built into the design - it's not a flaw.

Uber and Lyft are NOT designed for professional drivers steering luxury cars trying to make a living. The vested interests want to turn ride-sharing into another taxi or cab company, with the government setting the rates and making all the rules - mandatory drug testing.

Limit the competition by any means of control and enforcement. Follow the money.

Everyone in Austin knows you can't make a lot of money being a driver or working in the private service sector. People who ride around in fancy luxury cars are a perfect example of the people living in a Potemkin village.

I mean, spectators wanting a short ride in a car to Home Slice to watch a marathon? LoL!

I actually agree with a lot of what you've said. As you've seen above, I don't like price controls nor many other governmental efforts to meddle in private business. I also agree that a lot of drivers have made by choices with their vehicles and some other decisions. With all that said, Uber and Lyft don't have to be cheap. The biggest thing for most of us was convenience -- you could grab a ride in a few minutes. Also, the drivers were friendly, the vehicles were nice and it was affordable. When the service becomes out right trashy, which it will with severe price cuts, I'll use the Hail-A-Cab app or whatever new service pops up.
 
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