Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Dealing with Snowflakes

As I was waiting for the next plane to land at Long Beach Airport I got a request for a pick down the street at a bar.
I accepted the ride and picked up the bar hoppers. We went from one bar to another in Los Alamitos.

The pax asked me if I was having a busy day, and I told him it was pretty mellow at the airport where I do most of my business. Somehow he mentioned that Obama landed there once in Air Force One and I told him who Bill Clinton blocked LAX for 2 1/2 hours to get a haircut. I also mentioned that President Bush used to land Air Force One at Los Alamitos air base.

Then he asked me what I thought of President Trump. I didn't lie and told him I liked him and I really like the positive change that was going on in the nation.

He pointed to a corner and told me that was his stop.
He ended the ride a mile and a half from the bar he was going to.

Some people are such snowflakes.

One star for him.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

ATTN: Drivers Servicing LAX

The LAX police are ticketing cars for waiting at the ride share pick up points at Los Angeles International Airport.  One driver pulled up and while he was on the telephone with the passenger a cop began to cite him, stating that he had been there for 8 or 9 minutes.

TNC Driver Derek Tucker Jr. had a dashcam with a time stamp running during the recording. The playback of the video to the officer saved him from getting cited.

He gave us his permission to post the video:

Monday, August 28, 2017

LAX PD Getting Wise to Uber Driver Tricks

Reports of Uber drivers pulling into the LAX staging lot and going off line to increase the surge rates have gotten the attention of LAX PD.

A driver told me that officers will pull into the lot and check vehicles for proper permit, trade dress, and that app is online and ready to get a ride request.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Uber App Airport Queue

Interesting false information on the Uber app at both Long Beach and LAX the other day.

While driving to the area the app said there was only one Uber in the lot. When I got to the lot, it was loaded with cars.

Although I did not go to the Jenny lot at LAX, that area is always full of Ubers and Lyft. The Lyft app said the lot was full. 

I waited at 96th and Airport and got a Lyft request in 10 minutes.

Moral of story: Don't believe what you see.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

UPDATE: LAX Staging Area & Pick Up Guide

Major change now at the LAX Staging Area Lot on Jenny. They close daily from 2AM to 5AM.

Also, please note that multiple trade dress (Uber/Lyft/Wingz, etc.) are not permitted at LAX. Drivers may be fined for fishing with more than one line in the water.

Staging area including outside of the TNC STAGING LOT:

Inside LAX:

Step by step pickups at LAX

Rider requests from LAX will only happen at the Designated TNC Airport Assignment Area (yellow area in the image above). You will not receive an airport request outside of this area (and may be issued a citation) if you're seen waiting on airport property.

There is a Staging Lot located at 96th St and Jenny Ave for you to park and wait, except nightly from 2am - 5am. There a few things to keep in mind while waiting for requests:

The Airport Assignment Area is "first in, first out"; upon entering the staging line, you will be placed in line for the next trip request

The Airport Assignment Area has a 30-minute time limit

If you do not receive a trip request in 30 minutes, exit the Airport Assignment Area and re-enter

If you leave the Airport Assignment Area or turn off your app, you will be placed at the back of the line

Once you accept a request you'll head to the upper departures level and meet them at a Ride Service Pickup sign

Ride Service Pickup signs are lettered from A-E, and are located throughout the terminals

Make sure you exit the Staging Lot by 2am each night. Unattended vehicles may be cited or towed.

While the Staging Lot is closed nightly from 2am - 5am, you are still eligible for LAX pickup requests while you are in the Airport Assignment Area at all times

Source: Uber Los Angeles

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Car Cleaning Tips

One of the biggest complaints riders have with TNC cars is that sometimes they are dirty. Our customer base likes using our services because our cars are supposed to be cleaner than taxi cabs. Sometimes we get lower ratings because we overlook cleanliness in our back seats.

After all, we are driving around town picking up slobs who track all sort of crap in our cars.

Here are some tips to help with keeping your car clean.

1 - Subscribe to a monthly car wash service.
Some car wash business offer a monthly rate ranging from $25 to $80 depending on the car wash and what services they provide.

2 - After every couple of rides step out of the car and stretch your legs. Walk around the car and check the back seat and floor mats. A lint roller in the trunk takes very little space and is great for tidying up the upholstery.

3 - Sometimes passengers leave body or food odors.  Keep a Febreze spray handy and spray the car interior before you take off to pick up the next passenger.  I have a Febreze vent deodorizer but giving the car an extra spray with the same scent in the back seat or floor mats really helps.

4 - One a month have the car professionally cleaned and detailed.

5 - Sometimes you get buffs along the car's body. Having some Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound and an old rag in a plastic bag in the trunk is just what the doctor ordered to rub out those buffs and scratches.

6 - People sometimes bring food into the car. This can really stink it up for the next rider. Rolling down the windows a bit to circulate the air and spraying the car afterwards my keep those five star ratings.

7 - You have the right to refuse service to people.. it is YOUR car. If you see someone sitting on the dirty ground waiting for a pick up, cancel the ride and keep driving.  You don't need that filth in your car.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

UBER NEWS: Hell May Be Freezing Over

From a June 20, 2017 article by CNBC 

Uber will now let riders tip drivers.

It's part of a 180-day plan to make driving "more flexible and less stressful."

The decision comes as Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who has objected to tipping, is on leave

Uber will now let riders tip drivers, addressing one of the most contentious features of its app amid turmoil within the company.

The ride-hailing start-up said Tuesday it would email drivers a 180-day plan to make driving "more flexible and less stressful." One of those features is tipping.

Riders in Seattle, Minneapolis and Houston will have the option as of Tuesday, the rest of the country will follow by the end of July, Uber said.

Other changes include paying drivers if their rider cancels after two minutes or more, and paying drivers who have to wait more than two minutes for their rider.

The decision comes as Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is on leave from the company.

Uber's former president, Jeff Jones, had been a proponent of tipping, which is already used by rival Lyft, Bloomberg News reported earlier this year. But Kalanick had a "principled" opposition to tipping, Bloomberg News said, arguing the practice tamps down wages. Jones has since left the company, citing in part the "approach to leadership."

 Imagine there's no Uber: Here's what experts think would happen next Imagine there's no Uber: Here's what experts think would happen next  

Kalanick, who is grieving the loss of his mother, also has said he is working on a new style of leadership during his absence. Uber has suffered a series of recent scandals, including an internal workplace culture investigation that ended in the dismissal of more than 20 employees.

Uber is also fighting legal battles over whether drivers should be classified as employees or independent contractors. Three New York Uber drivers were recently granted employee benefits by a judge, a ruling that could extend to "others similarly situated," according to Law360.

That's why it's important for Uber to revamp its image when it comes to how it treats workers, lawyers told CNBC last week.

While Uber headquarters might be undergoing a cultural makeover, the same protections won't necessarily extend to drivers if they are independent contractors, Brooke Schneider, an associate in the employment practice at Withers Bergman, told CNBC. That could stoke even more contention between executives and drivers, she said.

"I look at Uber as a workplace culture that has failed. So now we know, working at Uber is not always pleasant," said Kate Bischoff of tHRive Law & Consulting. "It's difficult, it seems to have this bro' culture. Each one of these individual cases now looks more credible. So yeah, if they are treating drivers poorly, there's a natural human response to take that seriously."