Why I won't use Uber (or Lyft)

Another Uber Driver

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www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-uber-lyft-perspec-0628-20160627-story.html

In part, it's because I can. As a white woman who lives and works north of the Loop, I have far more transportation choices than many other Chicagoans — and I have never felt the sting of being denied a ride because of how I looked or where I needed to go. I appreciate that Uber, Lyft and whatever innovative system comes next are making it easier for people throughout the city to get around — and to earn some quick cash. But I see trouble down the road for any city that falls too quickly for the sharing-economy promise. So until Chicago evens out the playing field for all ride-for-hire businesses, and until Uber and Lyft show a greater investment in their drivers, I'll wait as long as it takes for the next cab.

I don't buy the "Uber is safer" argument.Unless someone I know is driving the car, any ride for hire — via taxi, Uber, Lyft or CTA bus — involves getting into a vehicle with a stranger at the wheel. Odds are high that I'll get from Point A to Point B without incident in any of those options.

Could Chicago's laws use some updating? Definitely, but not in the direction the City Council just took. Slapping tight regulations on Uber and Lyft is a backward move. Instead, it's time the city eliminated the medallion system and adopted one simpler set of safety-focused, competition-friendly rules for all ride-for-hire businesses.

I don't believe Uber and Lyft are creating jobs. The so-called sharing economy changes the way people work and do business, but don't be fooled into thinking it creates jobs. Uber — now valued at around $60 billion — is a private company that operates in about 450 cities around the world and has just a couple thousand actual employees. In the U.S. alone, Uber has more than 160,000 drivers — literally the engine that drives Uber business — and none are employees with any traditional benefits or job security. Who's going to cash in if Uber goes public? Definitely some of Uber's high-profile investors, like Mayor Rahm Emanuel's brother, Ari, and celeb Ashton Kutcher, and definitely not most of the Uber drivers.

I don't believe Uber and Lyft are creating jobs. The so-called sharing economy changes the way people work and do business, but don't be fooled into thinking it creates jobs. Uber — now valued at around $60 billion — is a private company that operates in about 450 cities around the world and has just a couple thousand actual employees. In the U.S. alone, Uber has more than 160,000 drivers — literally the engine that drives Uber business — and none are employees with any traditional benefits or job security. Who's going to cash in if Uber goes public? Definitely some of Uber's high-profile investors, like Mayor Rahm Emanuel's brother, Ari, and celeb Ashton Kutcher, and definitely not most of the Uber drivers.

Uber and Lyft drivers are on a dead-end road. I can see the temptation of becoming a driver. Drive around when you want to and make some extra cash with your car. Great! But the hidden costs of becoming a driver should make anyone suspicious. Gas, auto repairs, interior maintenance, insurance, your time. Those are all real costs. Deduct them from the amount you earn after Uber or Lyft takes its cut and see if it's worth it. If it is, go for it. But I've met too many people who say they've tried driving and quit because the math doesn't work in their favor.

The business model behind a company like Uber demands that it recruit as many drivers as possible so that it can provide immediate service to its customers. But that means a saturated market with thousands of drivers scrambling for fares. Add in variable pricing — with fares set by Uber — and drivers are less able to count on earning enough to make the work worth their time. Plus, Uber and Lyft have both confirmed they're in the race to adopt driverless cars. Driverless. That means — even if it's a long way off — no more drivers.

It can be a risky investment for drivers. Realizing it needed more and more drivers to build its current business, Uber launched an auto-leasing program a few years ago so that people without cars could still join their ranks. Uber partners with local auto dealerships willing to accept financing through Uber — often to credit-challenged drivers, at not-the-best terms.

Suddenly, people otherwise unable to get a car are lured in by the idea of leasing a brand-new (or almost new) car through Uber. How will they make payments? Easy! Uber deducts the money from the driver's weekly payout.

Trouble comes when a driver hits some snag — an illness or car accident — and can't earn enough from driving to cover the car payments, not to mention all the other costs of having a car. Still on the hook for payments to Uber, a now-former driver can end up deep in debt and carless in a flash.

I do see some good. Uber is making a big deal about how it benefits riders and neighborhoods that have been underserved by taxis. Despite laws against the practice, taxi drivers have notoriously avoided Chicago's South and West sides for decades, creating "transportation deserts" that disproportionately affect the city's minority neighborhoods. A colleague who lives on the Far South Side says that now, because of Uber, she can finally get a ride when she needs one.

Competition might succeed where laws have failed — but only if Uber and Lyft take care of their drivers. If they don't, this bubble of expanded transportation will burst.

For now, I'll stick with taxis.
 
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painfreepc

Well-Known Member
I still have a presence on the internet,

I still get occasional calls from people looking for a taxi,

I tell them about Uber and Lyft to them they don't want to hear it,

They don't want to sign up online,

They don't want to use credit card,
online,

They don't want to get hit with a mystery Fare, they want to know the exact cost to the penny,

They don't want to an unknown car are an unknown driver picking them up,

I have no intentions of ever booking any of these trips,

I have no desire to get the deactivated or get caught up in some Sting operation,

It's got me seriously thinking about going back to Taxi are getting my TCP..

I got a friend who has one of those beautiful black luxury Suburbans,

he has a TCP, he already driving Uber black but he is an older gentleman and he is getting tired of driving,

He's offered to let me drive it for about $500 a week I am giving some thought to doing it..
 
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TwoFiddyMile

Well-Known Member
The author lost me when she advocated abolition of medallions.
To do that, Chitown would have to buy back every medallion at market price.
 

Ca$h4

Well-Known Member
The author lost me when she advocated abolition of medallions.
To do that, Chitown would have to buy back every medallion at market price.
It's easy for the any city to buy back the medallions, but the Banks (because they make lots of money giving loans to medallion buyers) don't want you to know how easy it is.
The city just issues Revenue Bonds to buy all the medallions, then they lease the Taxis to Fleet operators until the lease revenues pay off the bonds, about 10 years. Then, the city can retire medallions, since the city (taxpayers) now own them. Didn't cost the city anything. THIS IS LOCAL FINANCING AND THE BANKS HAVE NOTHING TO SAY. If Trump gets rid of the Federal Reserve as some right and left wingers want, then, most financing will be done locally, saving local taxes, city borrowing costs, and the negative effects of Bankers in general.
 
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ATX 22

Well-Known Member
It's easy for the any city to buy back the medallions, but the Banks (because they make lots of money giving loans to medallion buyers) don't want you to know how easy it is.
The city just issues Revenue Bonds to buy all the medallions, then they lease the Taxis to Fleet operators until the lease revenues pay off the bonds, about 10 years. Then, the city can retire medallions, since the city (taxpayers) now own them. Didn't cost the city anything. THIS IS LOCAL FINANCING AND THE BANKS HAVE NOTHING TO SAY. If Trump gets rid of the Federal Reserve as some right and left wingers want, then, most financing will be done locally, saving local taxes, city borrowing costs, and the negative effects of Bankers in general.
The last President that wanted to shut down the Federal Reserve was assassinated.
 

ChortlingCrison

Well-Known Member
The author lost me when she advocated abolition of medallions.
To do that, Chitown would have to buy back every medallion at market price.
I never really understood why medallions were rediculously expensive. Im just glad when I drove in NY, that I only head to lease a car. I would never even think of trying to finance one of them. They sound like a big rippoff.
 

FAC

Well-Known Member
Admittedly I'm ignorant to what exactly a medallion is. Does the drive buy/lease them? Does the cab company? What are they exactly? Would someone be kind enough to enlighten me?
 

LA Cabbie

Well-Known Member
Admittedly I'm ignorant to what exactly a medallion is. Does the drive buy/lease them? Does the cab company? What are they exactly? Would someone be kind enough to enlighten me?
I know la, taxi medallions are owned by an individual. They are not leased only bought. Most lease drivers don't buy them because they are just too expensive. The very few drivers who wish to purchase a medallion burrow from friends and some from banks. Medallions for the city of Los Angeles are no more than $80 k. But business here is no where as good as in say New York or Chicago. If you want to live comfortably as a medallion owner then you need to buy several of them and get someone like me to rent the cab.
 

FAC

Well-Known Member
I know la, taxi medallions are owned by an individual. They are not leased only bought. Most lease drivers don't buy them because they are just too expensive. The very few drivers who wish to purchase a medallion burrow from friends and some from banks. Medallions for the city of Los Angeles are no more than $80 k. But business here is no where as good as in say New York or Chicago. If you want to live comfortably as a medallion owner then you need to buy several of them and get someone like me to rent the cab.
I'm still confused to what they are. Can just anyone with 80k buy one? Or do you have to be affiliated with a taxi company? Is it the laminated license with driver picture I see when I take a cab? Do municipalities restrict which medallion owners can go where such as an airport pickup? Do cities limit the number of medallions issued? Do they have to be renewed each year?
 

painfreepc

Well-Known Member
I'm still confused to what they are. Can just anyone with 80k buy one? Or do you have to be affiliated with a taxi company? Is it the laminated license with driver picture I see when I take a cab? Do municipalities restrict which medallion owners can go where such as an airport pickup? Do cities limit the number of medallions issued? Do they have to be renewed each year?
Okay where I drove taxi in San Bernardino Riverside it don't really have a medallion system that being said, I will try to explain it to you the way I understand it works, I may not be 100% correct you can take my information I gave you and then go Google the rest and good luck with that because it's not very clear even on the internet what The Medallion is,

first major misconception is that you have and then I hear from a lot of people here is you think is one Medallion per car that is not the case,

The Medallion is like a City license that allows the Medallion owner to operate a certain number of vehicles, how many vehicles I do not know,

For the sake of argument let's say the Medallion is allowed to have 4 or 10 or 20 cars it could be way less than that it could be way more than that I do not know,

The Medallion owners need not be a taxi driver in fact it's possible he may never stepped foot inside of a taxi office,

Medallion system or not taxi companies work under the same model that being the taxi driver is the customer of the taxi company and our taxi Medallion owner,

The Medallion owner and taxi customers need not give a damn about the public, their revenue comes from the taxi drivers,

If a medallion owner and our taxi company is leasing 10 taxis to 10 drivers at $550 per week that's $5,500 per week or $22,000 plus per month,

And it may be way more than that because the car may be running two shifts day and night,

And remember because the taxi driver is the customer of the taxi company or Medallion owner and not the taxi Rider that revenue is consistent The Medallion owner taxi company collects the same amount of money rather a driver does one trip 10 trips or a hundred trips it makes no difference they still collect the same amount of lease,

And many of the taxi companies will take fees for the drivers running credit cards and corporate accounts the taxi companies I work for Riverside and San Bernardino would take 10% of all credit card charges,

A taxi company I drove for in Pomona California for one year,
would charge $100 per day, $80 per night for a 12 hour shift plus $0.10 per mile,

Let's add that up, if the car is running 6 days a week times two shifts that's $1,080 per week plus the $0.10 per mile,

The driver would have no way of knowing how much a corporate account was actually paying, there was a an account I did for years that I know for a fact was paying the taxi company $2.20 a mile but the taxi company was paying us drivers $1.80 per mile,

For a few years I own my own Crown Vic, I will pay the taxi company a lease and then sublease car for a 12 hour shift to another driver so basically I was driving for nearly free, not really free ias all the maintenance was my responsibility..
 
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Another Uber Driver

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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20
Some jurisdictions may allow more than one vehicle under a medallion, but for Boston and New York, it is one vehicle per medallion. The medallion is the licence for the vehicle. It might have different name in some jurisdictions, but, basically, a medallion is a licence to have a taxicab on the street. Some jurisdictions do permit the renting of the medallion, some do not. In some jurisdictions, the medallion is transferable, in some it is not. The rules on ownership and use of medallions vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

In the District of Columbia, the DCTC licence number is the equivalent of a medallion (DCTC is the D.C. Taxicab Commission, but, that agency recently received a new name). DCTC licences are non-transferable. It is, however, possible to circumvent some of the rules and rent out your DCTC number. What happens is that the vehicle is registered in your name. You let a contract to a driver to provide the vehicle, cover all costs associated with it and the like. Smarter contractees will put "hold harmless" clauses into the agreement and specific language that holds the contractor responsible for nastycam and parking summonses. Smarter contractors will have a Contractor's Lien on the title to the vehicle. The DCTC is aware of this practice, but, for now, if has chosen not to become involved with it. Considering what runs this city, that is surprising.

For some time, the DCTC was not issuing any new licences for vehicles. It is, now, but only for pure electrics or accessibles.

New York, Chicago and Boston limit the number of available medallions. In theory and on paper, D.C. does not limit the number of DCTC licences (the equivalent of a medallion), but, in practice, there is a moratorium, except for pure electrics and accessibles.

Some jurisdictions do restrict who or what can pick up there, some do not. Here, as it is a tri-state area, there was an agreement signed in 1947 that covered various types of transportation across state lines. It allows taxis licenced in one jurisdiction to pick up in another under certain conditions. It has come to the point where some cab companies honour that agreement more in its breach than its keeping.

The airports here do have some restrictions. National Airport is, in theory, open. To work the line, you must secure a licence for the driver, but not the vehicle. There are conditions under which a cab whose driver is not licenced by the Airports Authority can pick up there, but, often, it depends on the mood of the WMAA Police who is watching the whole thing. In theory, Dulles Airport has an oligopoly. The cabs operate under one color scheme, but the company is owned by a consortium. The WMAA picks three companies to make up the consortium. In theory, there is a process, but, in reality, whoever is willing to pay the most to members of the local Virginia Congressional Delegation is picked. Friendship Airport has a monopoly. I know little about it, but it would not surprise me if the franchise operator there must pay large amounts of money to corrupt Maryland politicians.*

Off-airport cabs can pick up at Dulles and Friendship, but under certain conditions.


The laminated thing with the photograph that you see is a Hack Licence. The jurisdictions issue those to the drivers. Few jurisdictions limit those. For a while, there was a moratorium here on the issuance of hack licences, but the DCTC lifted that one some time back. They did tell the new licencees that they could not own, they would have to rent. That has changed somewhat in that the new licencee can own if he can secure financing for an accessible or pure electric. The government does have a grant programme for accessibles, but that covers only part of the cost. The driver must either put up the balance or secure financing for it. The government programme does have an element that assists the driver in securing financing.













*I apologise for being redundant. I posted "corrupt" politicians.
 
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