Thursday, July 30, 2015

John Wayne Airport Rules for TNC Drivers

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department Airport Police Services and Airport Operations Personnel administer and enforce the provisions of the Airport Rules and Regulations. 

It is the driver's responsibility to know them.

Best practice when picking up a rider is wait at the IHOP parking lot across the street from the airport and wait for your ride request. When you get a request call the passenger and ask for the column number they are next to. If there is no column number it is a good indication they are at the departures.  Ask if they are upstairs and if they are request that they walk downstairs and text you with the column number. 

Every column at the arrivals section has a number for riders to notify their drivers.  This makes it very quick and easy.

Posted at:

http://www.ocair.com/aboutjwa/rulesandregulations/



TNC drivers # 1 big mistake

I take an Uber or a Lyft to work about 4 times a week and often get new drivers.

Many new drivers have one thing in common, they hold their cell phones while driving. Some like to place their phones on their knees or between their legs while they drive.

Holding cell phones while driving is against the law in some states, and drivers could get pulled over. 

The best solution is to have cell phones mounted and set so drivers can operated them, for the most part, hands free.

Some ride share companies send new drivers a windshield mounts, a suction cup that attaches to glass with universal type of holder. These never seem to work for me. 

What works best for me are the mounts that attach to an A/C vent and hold the device within arms reach from the steering wheel.

I got mine at Radio Shack but they are available at Fry's, Best Buy, Wall-mart and  Amazon.com.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Uber Driver Turns Away Blind Passenger

Note to fellow TNC drivers- Large service dogs are usually trained ride on the floor of the back seat of cars.

My wife and I both drive for ride share apps and we keep a blanket in the trunk of the car for service dogs.


Source: NBC

 Uber Driver Turns Away Blind Passenger  
A blind Wisconsin man claims a driver affiliate with the car service Uber denied him a ride because he uses a service dog.

David Tolmie said his Uber driver turned him away last Thursday because the driver did not want the dog, Divit, to scratch his leather seats, NBC station WMTV reported.

Tolmie told the station that it was his first time using the car service. He said he made sure to check the ride-sharing website to ensure that it follows Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards before requesting a ride. He had planned to take Divit to the veterinarian.

"It clearly states that they've educated all of their drivers that service dogs are allowed in all vehicles," Tolmie told the station.

Related: Uber, Lyft Face Questions From Massachusetts Over Disability Access

In a statement to NBC News, Uber said all drivers with the company are expected to comply with ADA requirements.

"We provide our driver community with information on best practices for accommodating riders with disabilities. Our Code of Conduct specifically prohibits any type of discrimination in serving riders with disabilities," Uber said. "Uber also requires driver partners to accommodate service animals in compliance with accessibility laws."

An Uber spokeswoman also noted that they have been praised by the National Federation of the Blind in the past.

Uber told NBC News that the driver has since been deactivated and that the company does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.

The station reported that after Tolmie was turned away, he purportedly informed the driver of the law. But the driver allegedly disregarded Tolmie and left. He then allegedly canceled Tolmie's ride, charging him a cancellation fee.

"It was very shocking," Tolmie said. "I can't say I've ever... I mean, it's clear discrimination."

Tolmie, who has been with his seeing eye dog for nearly six years, has filed a complaint with the Equal Opportunities Commission and the City of Madison.

Tolmie did not respond to requests for comment from NBC News.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Uber as a Millennial Teaching Tool - by Rush Limbaugh

Source: Rush Limbaugh radio program July 27, 2015

RUSH:  Okay, I'll just give you an example of de Blasio and this Uber business.  I'm telling you this is just a forerunner, just a little tease because you've got city governments all over this country trying to shut Uber down and they're all liberal government.  I want to quote de Blasio.  This is the new mayor New York City, and this guy has unwittingly just -- in his own words -- explained why liberalism is at odds with the US Constitution.  Ready?  "The people..." This is what he said:

"The people of our cities do not like the notion of those who are particularly wealthy and powerful dictating the terms to a government elected by the people.  As a multibillion-dollar company, Uber thinks it can dictate to government."  He's got it 180 degrees out of phase.  Uber is American citizens!  Uber is a couple of entrepreneurs who thought they had a new way of beating what happened to be taxi cartels in major cities, and they came up with a way to provide people a better way of getting around in automobiles at much less money.

So the mayor of New York comes along and says, 'The people of our cities don't like the notion of those who are particularly wealthy and powerful dictating the terms to a government elected by the people."  The United States Constitution does not limit Uber.  The United States Constitution limits Bill de Blasio.  The US Constitution is written specifically to limit the power of government over people, and this guy is making it patently obvious why liberals are at odds with the US Constitution.

This is what's the teachable moment for young Millennials and low-information voters who happen to love Uber.  They think Uber is a "progressive" company because they use smartphones and high-tech to do their business.  They just naturally assume that Uber is a bunch of leftists -- and personally, they may be.  I have no idea.  But they're being targeted to be put out of business by liberal city governments.  And once this is explained to them, you can see the light go off.

I've had a bunch of people who teach college kids tell me this.  They explain this Uber situation to them, and they love Uber.  A lot of people love Uber.  In fact, that's where de Blasio was wrong because the problem is what people don't like when they found out it's happening is politicians taking things away from them that they like and are voting for with their pocketbooks, and forcing them to spend is more money than necessary to satisfy some cabal that exists between government and, in this case, a taxi cartel in New York City.

Anyway, that's just it is forerunner of it.  But I think it's just classic. If young people can be made to understand that it is government that is supposed to be limited, government reach, it's what the US Constitution's all about, and that's not taught. You know what's taught about the US Constitution today?  You know what's taught about it?  It's taught that it doesn't go far enough.  It's taught that the Constitution needs to be changed, amended, reanalyzed, because it doesn't grant government enough power.

This Uber example is a way of illustrating the folly and the fallacy of that.
BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:Here's Steven in Dallas.  He's an Uber driver.  Steven, great to have you on the program.  Hello.

CALLER:  Wow.  It's an honor, Rush.  Longtime listener, first-time caller, retired military.  I drive for Uber here in Dallas.  You know, we talk about these towns that have really kind of closed down Uber, and I think it's gotta be, you know, money under the table. Because anybody that's used Uber not only swears by it, but do not absolutely want to go back to the cab companies.  I think the cab companies here in Dallas in particular, if they were terrible, they'd be an improvement.  The service that I provide as an Uber driver is unmatched by any cabdriver here in Dallas. So we have municipalities here in Texas that have closed Uber done.  San Antonio is one of those instances.  But the cities that have embraced Uber are creating a service.

RUSH:  I know people love it and swear by it.  It's just that I'm too famous to be able to use Uber.  I can't. You know, it's one of the many problems of fame is you can't do all kinds of things that other people can.  I just can't do it.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Now, back to this Uber story 'cause all I did on that was give you the de Blasio quote, and this story is rich.  The Wall Street Journal: "Progressive New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Socialist Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo found common cause on a shared threat while attending a recent climate-change conference at the Vatican."  Stop and think of this: Here these two socialist wackos are at a climate change conference at the Vatican and they get all fired up about Uber.

"'The people of our cities don't like the notion of those who are particularly wealthy and powerful dictating the terms to a government elected by the people,' Mr. de Blasio declared. 'As a multibillion-dollar company, Uber thinks it can dictate to government.'"  Mr. de Blasio, you've got it all wrong. The people in New York and elsewhere see your association with the taxi cartel as exactly what you are claiming: "particularly wealthy and powerful dictating the terms to a government."

But the big point for me here is, "What what de Blasio is actually saying..."

Here it is.  That's right.  Talking Points Memo.  "DOJ:  No, We Were Not Asked to Launch a Criminal Probe into Hillary Clinton's E-mails."  This is what it is.  This is exactly what I saw.  The date of this thing is Friday. It's late Friday when this thing hit.  They were not asked to launch a criminal probe into Clinton's e-mails.  The story was that these two inspectors general did and demanded and wanted, and that story ran all weekend.  Okay.  So now you know that I did see it.

But the point about this de Blasio thing is, this is rich, because here he obviously believes that government is the center of everybody's life and that citizens don't like anybody dictating to government what government has.  No! (summarized) "If there's gonna be any dictating, the government's gonna be doing it.  Not the people.  The people don't get to tell government what to do."  That's how screwed up this guy is.  But that's what modern day liberalism is.  This is what they all believe.

Constitution shmonstitution, balderdash.  There is dictating! The government gets to dictate.  People elect the government to tell other people what they can and can't do.  It's not the other way around.  It's not governed by and for the American people or what have you.  But as the Journal writes (it's an L. Gordon Crovitz piece), "But before Mr. de Blasio could return from Rome, he learned that people really don't like when politicians try to take away their favorite app for getting around the government's taxi cartel.

"The mayor was forced to drop his plan to limit Uber to a 1% annual increase in cars, far below the current rate.  It's hard to see why Mr. de Blasio thought that would be good politics. Two million New Yorkers have downloaded the Uber app onto their mobile devices -- a quarter of the city's population and more than twice the number of citizens who voted for Mr. de Blasio." So more people have the Uber app than voted for this clown. "But it's easy to understand why he views Uber as an ideological threat.

"A tipping point is in sight where big-government politicians can no longer deprive consumers of new choice made possible by technology -- whether for car rides, car sharing or home rentals. Mr. de Blasio's experience should encourage other politicians to sign up for innovation."  This is so, so on point.  Technology does hold the key to overrunning these libs.  What's fascinating about this, folks...

If you look at, say, Millennials as a group that you would want to teach and open their eyes about the perils of big government, the problems of big government -- and how big government impairs them and limits their freedom -- this is it. This is the story. This is the case.  Uber.  Because they love Uber.  Now, most of them probably think Uber is a nice, progressive liberal company because it's young and hip just like they are.  And they don't understand government going after it.

All they know is that Uber is there when they want it.  Uber gets 'em where they wanted to go, they get to use their phone to get it all done. It's just whenever they want to do it, they don't have to stand around and wait for a cab that's dirty being driven by somebody they can't understand and may stink in there. They don't have to put up with any of that, and they can be in touch with the driver. He can say, "I'm five minutes away. Meet me wherever. You be at the corner." It's simple, it really, really works.

And here come big-government mayors trying to shut it down. With that story in the right teacher's hands, a whole bunch of people can be shown what they have not been taught elsewhere in school: What big government liberalism does to individual liberty and freedom.  Think about this: "Uber has become a wedge issue. The Conservative mayor of London, Boris Johnson, took the opposite approach from Mr. de Blasio.

"'You are dealing with a huge economic force which is consumer choice, and the taxi trade needs to recognize that,' he said recently. He told a gathering of taxi drivers in London: 'I'm afraid it is a tragic fact that there are now more than a million people in this city who have the Uber app.' When cabbies objected that Uber drivers were undercutting their prices, Mr. Johnson replied: 'Yes, they are. It's called the free market,'" and that's and that's what competition does.

Competition lowers prices for the consumer while giving them more choice, and liberal big city mayors want to deny that choice and keep prices high because they are in bed with the existing taxi cartel.  "Presidential candidates are divided as well. Hillary Clinton implicitly criticized Uber in her campaign speech on economic policy, saying the 'so-called "gig economy"' is 'raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like.'"

Now, the "gig economy" is another way of talking about independent contractors.  Your job is a series of gigs rather than being an employee, and the government wants you to be an employee.  You know why they want you to be an employee?  Because then they get to withhold your taxes from you. They get to withhold your Social Security, and they get to demand that you have health care.  When you're an employee, they have total control over most of your money.  When you're an independent contractor, they don't.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Here you go.  Here you go.  Marco Rubio has a chapter in his presidential campaign book called "American Dreams," and the chapter in his campaign book is called, "An America Safe for Uber."  He describes, explaining to a college class that he taught, how Miami had banned Uber cars.  "As my progressive young students listened to me explain why government was preventing them from using their cell phones to get home from the bars on Saturday night, I could see their minds change.  Before I knew it, I was talking to a bunch of 20- and 21-year-old anti-government activists."

So, it's a big deal.  Government endorsed cartels, like New York City has with the cab industry.  You know what the price of a medallion is to have a cab? They limit the number of cabs in the city, obviously. And they limit... That's part of the protection scheme. They limit the number of medallions, and there's not one medallion per cab.  A medallion owner could have a fleet of 20 cabs. It just depends on who's able to make what deal.  But there is a finite, total number of cabs that gets increased every year based on a formula so forth, but they're in bed with the city government. It's protectionism, and they try to keep competitors out, protect the prices of the cabs, the fares.

And Gordon Crovitz with the Wall Street Journal says these "government-enforced cartels are the ones that fall faster and harder to disruptive innovation than most businesses. When change comes, it's more dramatic than in industries that already have competition."  But if you have a business that is protected by government -- city government, state government, town council, federal government, whatever -- then you don't face competition.  And if you do face competition, it's really hard on the competitors.

It's made nearly impossible.  So you do not learn the rigors, and when change comes along that they can't control, and this kind of technologically driven innovative change in the hands of millions of people, a government like de Blasio, he can try, but he can't stop anything.  He's gonna be overpowered by the numbers.  And those people, those cartels fall faster and harder because the change is dramatic and they're not prepared to deal with it.  "The fate of taxis is a warning to other regulated industries that new technologies always give customers more choice and better price.

"Citizens can always make choice to vote for candidates who embrace innovation" and those who don't.

END TRANSCRIPT

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bill protects new travel options for California state workers


Bill protects new travel options for California state workers

AB 229 shields use of services such as Uber, Airbnb for state business
Internet group says ‘sharing economy’ aligns with state cost-saving policies

Source: Sacramento Bee

BY JON ORTIZ
jortiz@sacbee.com
California law would catch up with the “sharing economy” under terms of a bill that requires state government allow ride-sharing services and Airbnb-type rentals for state business.

While nothing prohibits the state from reimbursing employees for those expenses, the advent of web-based alternatives to taxis, car rentals and hotel rooms is not specifically addressed anywhere in the law or labor contracts.

For example, state rules and labor agreements say that employees must stay in “commercial lodging establishments” for the state to pick up the tab.

The measure written by Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang, R-Diamond Bar, says departments couldn’t refuse reimbursement for short-term room rentals or rides on services including Lyft and Uber. (Currently, the state doesn’t require receipts for rides that cost less than $10.)

The Internet Association, whose members include ride-sharing, web retailers and search engine mammoth Google, “recognizes the value of the emerging sharing economy and how it could be used to reduce state costs relating to travel.”

The Senate Governmental Organization Committee approved the measure earlier this month, 11-1 with one member not voting. The lone dissent: Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, whose family owns a taxi company.



Thursday, July 23, 2015

Notice to Riders about Lyft Line and Uber Pool

A recent incident at 1:45 in the morning in the San Francisco Bay area might want to make you consider requesting a private ride instead of sharing your ride with other passengers.


Source: CBS - San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – A Bay Area couple said their experience with Lyft became a nightmare when they were attacked by two men sharing a ride with them in San Francisco early Wednesday morning.

The couple, who asked not to be identified, told KPIX 5 that the incident took place about a quarter to two in the morning. They were near the corner of 15th Street and Valencia when the two men in the SUV with them became crude.

“They just were talking really derogatorily about women and about dating apps and their co-workers and just saying really nasty things that were not comfortable,” the woman told KPIX 5.
When the couple asked the men to stop, things exploded.

“He says to me, ‘You need to control your woman.’ And since it’s not 1850, I took offense to that,” the man said.

“Before I knew it, he was just throwing punches, he hit me in the head like five or six times,” the woman said.

Her boyfriend has knot on his forehead from the punches. She said the driver didn’t stop the ride until she yelled for help. That’s when the two men took off and San Francisco police was called.

“There was little they could do because they just didn’t have the data that Lyft just has, who these people were, what their address is, what their phone number is,” the man said.

According to the couple, the driver tried and failed to get ahold of Lyft.

“They should know what to do if things arise. There should be protocol if the cops need to be called,” the woman said. “I mean, the driver just stood there like a deer in the headlights.”

Two hours later, safely home, the couple said Lyft called with an offer for $5 and a restaurant certificate.

That’s when the couple took to their laptops and lit up Lyft on social media, and Lyft got back to them…with a better explanation, but little help.

“‘Incidents like this help us how to do better in the future,’ which basically sounded to me like, we have to figure out how unsafe people are before we figure out how to make them safe,” the woman said.

Both said they’ll never ride Lyft again.

“They always talk about fist bumps, but I guess we didn’t expect that one,” the man said.
“I just hope that nobody else has to experience this,” the woman said.

The SFPD said they are investigating and are working with Lyft to find the two men involved.
In an email to CBS San Francisco Thursday, Lyft spokeswoman Paige Thelen said “We take all matters involving safety extremely seriously and we immediately disabled the passenger’s account upon receiving this report. Our Trust and Safety team has been in touch with the victims and will continue to be available to help in any way we can, as well as support the authorities in the ongoing investigation.”

How To Get An Uber Airport Ride

Some airports allow pick ups, some do not. Know the rules of the airports you work at.

This is a very informative video for both drivers and riders by The Rideshare Guy.


Can I Uber or Lyft after I land? It's complicated. Here's your airport cheat sheet

Source: LA TIMES



By BRIAN SUMERS Uber Travel Los Angeles International Airport Dulles International Airport London Heathrow Airport O'Hare International Airport BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport

If all goes as planned, travelers soon may be able to summon ride-share providers such as UberX and Lyft to take them home after they deplane at Los Angeles International Airport.

For passengers, that’s great news—at least, financially speaking. A cab from LAX to downtown can cost $50 or more without tip.

Ride-share market leaders Uber and Lyft charge closer to $30 for the same trip, except during periods of high demand when they cost more, sometimes considerably more, a phenomenon Uber calls “surge pricing.”

But ride sharing, becoming an an issue in the presidential campaign along with other sharing economy issues, is not such great news for cab drivers and taxi companies, which now have a near-monopoly at LAX, van-shared rides aside.

The change could occur as soon as September.

For now, drivers can drop off passengers anywhere at LAX, but they can’t pick up passengers.

Under current LAX rules, only professional taxi and livery drivers can collect passengers for money.

Uber does have a business segment that dispatches professional drivers, but that service is more expensive than UberX.

But what about elsewhere? Here’s a quick guide for airports in the Southland, elsewhere in the U.S. and a few overseas. Below the chart are details from each of those airports that explain why the rules and regulations are as they are.

For the rest of the article and an airport guide click here.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

JUDGE RULES CAB COMPANIES CAN SUE UBER FOR SAFETY ADS

Source: ABC NEWS
http://abc7news.com/business/judge-rules-cab-companies-can-sue-uber-for-safety-ads/861633/

Saturday, July 18, 2015 10:17AM
SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal judge has ruled California taxicab companies can sue competitor Uber over advertising statements that it offers the safest rides on the road.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports taxicab companies accused the ride-hailing company of false advertising for stating in ads and online postings that its background checks were the most thorough and its services the safest in the business. The statements implied, and sometimes explicitly declared, that conventional taxis were less safe.

Taxi companies say their review of prospective drivers is far more thorough. They say they use fingerprint checks and government criminal records that Uber does not employ and require their drivers to take a driver safety course and a written exam.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar of San Francisco rejected Uber's attempt to dismiss the suit Friday and said much of it could proceed.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Keep ridesharing at California airports – Support transportation choice.

Keep ridesharing at California airports – Support transportation choice.

I support the authorization of ridesharing platforms such as Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar at major airports throughout our state, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Sonoma, and John Wayne.
Airport parking and traffic congestion are big problems, and convenient, sustainable ridesharing options can reduce congestion while helping the environment.
As a frequent business traveler, I travel several times a month in and out of LAX and other California airports – but right now, I don’t have quick, affordable options to get me to and from the airport when I’m trying to catch a flight or arriving home late at night.
I use ridesharing apps in LA and cities throughout the state to travel between meetings and appointments on busy days. And I encourage my college-age daughters to use these platforms to request safe rides home, because they have rigorous safety and accountability standards and are approved throughout California under CPUC rules.
Major California airports are dragging their feet when it comes to approving ridesharing or resisting it altogether, and travelers like me are paying the price. California residents and visitors alike deserve to have access to convenient, affordable ridesharing options at our airports, just as we do throughout the rest of the state.
San Francisco, Denver, and Nashville International airports recently announced permits approving ridesharing platforms for airport pickups and dropoffs. Other California airports should agree to the same.

LETTER TO
President, Los Angeles Airport Board of Commissioners Sean O. Burton
Chair, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Robert H. Gleason
Chair, Mineta San Jose International Airport Commission AndrĂ©s Quintero
and 2 others
Chairman, Sonoma County Aviation Commission Marlon Young
Chair, Orange County Airport Commission David Bailey
Support transportation choice and reduce congestion at California airports – Approve ridesharing!


Sign the petition by clicking the link below:

https://www.change.org/p/keep-ridesharing-at-california-airports-support-transportation-choice-2?recruiter=344119948&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_page&utm_term=mob-xs-no_src-no_msg&sharecordion_display=control&fb_ref=Default

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Uber should be suspended in California and fined $7.3 million, judge says

Source:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-uber-suspended-20150715-story.html




Uber — plagued by problems with regulators, drivers and taxi unions around the world — took a big blow in its home state Wednesday when an administrative judge recommended that the ride-sharing giant be fined $7.3 million and be suspended from operating in California.
In her decision, chief administrative law judge Karen V. Clopton of the California Public Utilities Commission contended that Uber has not complied with state laws designed to ensure that drivers are doling out rides fairly to all passengers, regardless of where they live or who they are. She said Uber's months-long refusal to provide such data is in violation of the 2013 law that legalized ride-hailing firms.
Uber said it would appeal. Whether the fine and suspension are enforced will depend on the appeals process, which could take several months.
“They had a year to comply with these regulations, and didn't do it,” CPUC spokeswoman Constance Gordon said.
Uber competes with the taxi industry by contracting with drivers and connecting them with passengers through a smartphone app.
Clopton wrote that her proposed ban would remain in effect until Uber “complies fully with the outstanding requirements.”
The reporting requirements include the number of requests for rides from people with service animals or wheelchairs; how many such rides were completed; and other ride-logging information such as date, time, Zip Code and fare paid. For Uber, which has raised $5.9 billion in venture capital investment, a $7.3-million fine would amount to less than 1% of that. A suspension, however, is another matter.
In a prepared statement, an Uber spokeswoman called the decision “deeply disappointing.”
“We will appeal the decision as Uber has already provided substantial amounts of data to the California Public Utilities Commission, information we have provided elsewhere with no complaints,” spokeswoman Eva Behrend said. “Going further risks compromising the privacy of individual riders as well as driver-partners.”
The decision was applauded by Marilyn Golden, senior policy analyst at
the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund in Berkeley.
“This industry has done everything it can to avoid, dismiss and coerce themselves out of regulation, and this decision is welcome from that standpoint,” she said. “They've been scofflaws. They take every advantage and avoid every requirement.”
Juan Matute, associate director of the UCLA Lewis Center and the Institute of Transportation Studies, said though Uber plans to appeal, he expects the company to pay the fine and comply quickly with the ruling.
“The $7.3-million fine and the data they are asking to provide is not that significant in the grand scheme of things,” Matute said. “Especially in California, I think Uber wants to be seen as a team player because of the recent labor board decision and how that could affect their business. This would seem like a small consolation to improve their chance of success with other regulatory issues that could have a bigger impact on them.”
If the San Francisco company is suspended in its own backyard, it doesn't bode well for the litany of issues it faces worldwide. The company has faced repeated pushback from taxi operators and regulators as it has expanded into more than 300 cities across six continents. In an attempt to win over skeptical local authorities, the company has touted its potential to create jobs, reduce congestion and boost tax revenue.
With California as Uber's home market, Matute said the company is forced to take the fine and judgment seriously.
“It's not a market they would want to jeopardize their existence in over not handing over some spreadsheets,” he said.
Wednesday's decision was the latest run-in that Uber has had with government regulators. The company has become known for aggressively barreling into new regions without much consideration for existing rules and norms, and has subsequently faced widespread pushback.
Last month, hundreds of French taxi drivers took to the streets in a massive protest against Uber, blocking access to major airports and train stations, and attacking vehicles suspected of working for the popular car service, which they accuse of stealing their livelihoods. This month, Uber suspended its UberPop service in France following those riots.
Uber Chief Executive Travis Kalanick made the case in January that many taxis in Europe operate “off-grid” and that Uber could be a way to bring them into compliance with local safety regulations and tax obligations. 
The argument, however, does not appear to have swayed many European governments or taxi companies. More than a dozen lawsuits have been filed in recent months in countries across the continent, where some analysts say the company is in danger of being shut down or becoming so entangled in legislation as to be neutered.
As part of the 2013 law that legalized ride-hailing in California, companies are required to prepare an annual report with data about rides provided through the app.
Uber's 2014 report did not include hard numbers on customers who requested cars to accommodate service animals or wheelchairs, nor how often those requests were fulfilled, the judge said. The company also didn't provide raw numbers on requests for rides tabulated by ZIP Code, and how many of those rides were fulfilled, instead providing “aggregates, averages and percentages,” and a heat map showing which ZIP Codes generally saw the most requests.
Uber also failed to submit complete information on drivers who have been suspended or committed a violation, the judge said. The company did not provide the “cause of the incident reported,” or the amount paid out by any insurance company other than Uber's.
Michael Pachter, managing director of equities research at Wedbush Securities, said Uber should start complying now.
“No amount of bluster is going to get the CPUC off their case,” Pachter said. “You don't pick a fight with someone who can kick your butt. Uber needs to restrain its hubris.”

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Warning: LAPD Uses Entrapment Against Uber Drivers

Source: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2015/07/13/only-on-2-uber-drivers-nabbed-in-lapd-sting-call-their-arrests-entrapment/

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Three drivers with Uber are speaking out after they were arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department in an undercover sting operation.
In an exclusive interview with CBS2’s Erica Nochlin, Roy Freeman, Michael Chadwick and Sid Lomeli say the way they were targeted was nothing short of entrapment. And they say it might scare new Uber drivers away.
All three of these drivers believe the “U” Uber logo in their windshield made them a target during what was supposed to be a typical Friday night on the job in Downtown L.A.
Each of the men said they were flagged down by a woman on the side of the road who was looking for a ride. The drivers explained they stopped to pick the customer up as they thought she could use the app right then and there if they pulled over.
However, the woman did not have the Uber app, and she insisted on having a ride.
The drivers went on to explain she was an undercover cop trying to catch “bandit cabs” who accept off the books rides for cash. Therefore, using the app to order the ride would have been okay.
Uber is a ride service that lets people call drivers using a mobile app on their cell phone via GPS. All payment is handled through the app.
“A lady vigorously waved me down,” Freeman said.
Chadwick interjected, “I almost thought she maybe needed help or something.”
“She said, ‘Uber?!’ according to Lomeli. “I said, ‘Yeah, Uber.'”
Lomeli said, “Then the girl opened my back door. She said, ‘Come on, I really need to go to this place. I really need to go, please.'”
Freeman said, “She said, ‘I have a friend across the street, let me wave her over.'”
“My door was open and, next thing I know, the cops are behind with the sirens on,” Chadwick said.
Police arrested all three drivers and impounded their vehicles.
A Los Angeles Department of Transportation spokesperson confirms the agency participates in these types of operations, along with the LAPD. He says Uber drivers, and many others — such as limo drivers for example — are subject to arrest if a ride isn’t pre-arranged.
“It’s not safe and it’s bad for business,” according to CBS2 legal analyst Steve Meister, who says even Uber drivers are considered bandit cabs if they stop for a passenger off the books. “There’s no accountability for the passenger. There’s no accountability for the driver. And so there has to be regulation in this business.”
But the drivers believe it was entrapment. They say they’ve never asked people before if they needed a ride, and pointed out they have near-perfect customer ratings.
Lomeli said he was made to feel like he was a criminal.
“Bluntly, I think it’s very cruel,” Chadwick said. “This could have been handled in a much better way. This is going to set me back bad.”
The men are going to try and get their vehicles back on Monday.
CBS2 contacted the LAPD for comment but no one familiar with these operations was available this weekend.
Uber was also contacted but didn’t respond in time for this report.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Uber Challenges Class Action Lawsuit in New Motion

Reprint from Time Magazine 

Source: http://time.com/3951354/uber-class-action-suit-motion/


The company's lawyers argue that the 160,000 Uber drivers in California have "little or nothing in common"

Uber filed a motion in a California court Thursday opposing a class action lawsuit against the company, marking the latest salvo in the increasingly pitched battle over how workers are treated in the multi-billion dollar on-demand economy.

The lawsuit filed in California’s Northern District Court alleges that Uber drivers in California should be classified as employees rather than independent contractors. Uber challenged the certification of the class in its motion, arguing that the more than 160,000 Uber drivers in the state have “little or nothing in common,” aside from having downloaded and used the Uber app “at some point over the past six years.”

The suit is one of several pending cases that could have profound implications for the on-demand economy, which includes some of the world’s hottest technology startups. Companies like six-year-old Uber, now valued at $50 billion, have been able scale fast in part because they classify many of their workers as independent contractors, which frees them from costly obligations like remitting payroll taxes and paying worker’s compensation and other duties that typically accompany an employer-employee relationship. Nor does the company reimburse drivers for expenses like gas and car maintenance, which the lawsuit alleges are owed to tens of thousands of drivers for years of work.

In its motion, Uber argues that a successful class action suit “could force Uber to restructure its entire business model.” It could also have a ripple effect across the burgeoning startup culture, leading other companies with similar structures to recalibrate. In addition to the case against Uber, lawsuits challenging the status of workers are pending against Lyft, Uber’s chief U.S. rival; Postmates, which offers on-demand delivery; Homejoy, which offers on-demand cleaning; and Instacart, an on-demand grocery shopping service.

The lawyers pursuing these cases believe that the companies are skirting labor laws by identifying themselves as technology platforms that connect willing workers with users who need services, rather than, say, a taxi service that employs drivers. “They’re claiming there’s something new and different because their services are provided through technology, through a smartphone,” Shannon Liss-Riordan, the lawyer for the plaintiffs in the suit against Uber, told TIME in an earlier interview. “But there’s nothing new about this.”

Uber is adamant that they are not a traditional employer. Its motion challenging the class certification emphasizes the variety among drivers, the different amounts and ways they use Uber’s app and the various terms of agreement they have with the company. The filing also included declarations of from about 400 drivers in the state, many of whom say they value the freedom of the current arrangement and don’t want anything to change. “I don’t want anyone to take away this flexibility by suing Uber,” writes an L.A.-based UberX driver named Janice Fry.

The company says a ruling against it could eliminate that independence. “As employees, drivers would drive set shifts, earn a fixed hourly wage, and lose the ability to drive using other ridesharing apps as well as the personal flexibility they most value,” Uber said in a statement.

For example, Uber emphasizes that many of its drivers also work for competing companies like Lyft and Sidecar, and sometimes have multiple companies apps on at once. In its motion, Uber claims the suit “would force drivers to pick one app over all others.”

Yet that would only be the case if Uber and its competitors required drivers to do so under a legal principle known as duty of loyalty, which gives companies the right to sue two-timing workers. The companies could instead lay out terms that allow employees to work for more than one ride-app outfit. “They could promise to waive that right,” says Sachin Pandya, a law professor who specializes in labor and employment at the University of Connecticut. “There’s no prosecutor going around charging workers for being disloyal.”

But certifying the drivers as employees could introduce other tricky questions. If an employee-driver is riding around with both Uber and Lyft apps on, for instance, which company would be on the hook for reimbursing them for gas? Which company would need to make sure they take legally required breaks?

To showcase the variety of situations that Uber drivers are in, the company states that there are 17 different terms of agreement that drivers have agreed to over time. They emphasize that while some drivers essentially work full-time, others use Uber to supplement income from a part-time job, or hire subcontractors. While some follow Uber’s “suggestions” on how to act or dress or comport themselves, others do not, they say. Drivers work when they want, where they want, as much as they want, being paid per job rather than being assured minimum wage and overtime. Drivers can choose to accept requests or contact Uber to ask for a fare to be lowered (if they made errors), they write.

Many of these details speak to arguments about control over a work environment that are key elements of arguments over employee status. How much control Uber has in writing, and in practice, can heavily weigh judges’ opinions about how workers should be classified. In a recent California Labor Commission ruling, for instance, a commissioner deemed an Uber driver to be an employee in part because Uber was “involved in every aspect of the operation.”

That ruling determined the status of only one driver, and Uber has appealed it. If the district court lawsuit is certified as a class action, it has the potential to affect far more workers. A hearing is scheduled for August.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Nevada Gears Up for Ride Shares



"Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft are recruiting drivers in Las Vegas in anticipation of their launch later this summer." This according to a July 8, 2015 article by the Las Vegas Sun.

The article said that Nevada Legislature passed two laws in May that cleared the way for the companies to commence operations in Nevada.

It appears that the Uber/Lyft ban in the Silver State is finally over and social media is abuzz with recruiting ads for drivers promising potential earnings of up to $35 an hour.

If you live in the Nevada and wish to take advantage of sign in bonuses feel free to use the promo codes below:



LYFT PROMO CODE TONY083870       https://www.lyft.com/drivers

UBER PROMO CODE  ROUHG              https://get.uber.com/drive/

Reading and Comprehension not mandatory at Lyft?

Over the last several days I have been trying to get a question answered at Lyft:

Why are they not permitting drivers from dropping off at Long Beach Airport (LGB) when the head of airport security at LGB says it is OK to do so?

The replies I get from reps there say it is OK to do so as well but when I dropped off a passenger at the Avis facility in the airport parking lot I got a warning notice.

Here is the standard response I got from LYFT and 6 "experts" at LYFT agree with the response.


Obviously, reading and comprehension are not a must at this ride share operation.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Dealing with riders who smell dog in your car


I am a dog owner, and have three very lovable canines in my house hold. Sometimes, we have to dive them someplace, like the beach, park or vet. 

I wash my car professionally, inside and out, at least 4 times a week but never the less, every once in a while I get a drunk passenger who smells dog in the car. 

I also keep Fabreeze in the glove box if I have a rider who brings in a smell into my vehicle. After dropping them off, I drive a block or two, pull over and give the back seat a quick spritz. 

When a passenger complains about a smell, I offer to roll down the windows. 

Once I had a rider go on and on about the dog smell after I picked up a rider with a service dog. After that experience that did not go too well I had to think of a way to control future situations.

Instead of going through a lengthy discussion I decided to say the truth. Lyft and Uber have a policy not to deny the transportation of service animals. Apologize for the inconvenience.

Additionally, I tell riders that if they do not like the smell in the car I would be happy to cancel the ride and they are free to request another car.

Cancelling the ride will not reflect on driver ratings, where the rider could give you a 1 star because he did not like the smell of the car.




Clean Car Means Higher Ratings

If you have clutter in your car or if it is dirty this may affect your ratings.

If that is important to you, clean your interior and wash your car.

Some local car wash establishments offer a monthly package for drivers. Talking to a manager could save you a lot of money in car cleaning expenses.

I try to wash the car every other day but if it rains or there is morning drizzle I will take it to the car wash about 11 when our local regular overcast marine layer burns off.

Just because the car is being washed does not mean you can not be productive. Take advantage of the break to get a meal or drink water while you catch up with your email or local news.

What Happens when a LYFT Driver Drops Off at Long Beach Airport

In late June 2015 Lyft sent out a notice regarding restrictions at airports. Long Beach Airport was on the section of the list where drivers could not drop off or pick up. In other words, drivers may not enter the area with LYFT app in driver mode.

Yesterday I picked up a Carnival Cruise passenger and took them to the Avis office at Long Beach Airport. I did not think there would be a problem because Avis was nowhere near the terminal.

When I ended my ride I immediately got a notice from Lyft that took me to this warning page:



The Help Center link in the email shows Long Beach as Drop Offs OK and no pickups permitted.

https://www.lyft.com/drive/help/article/1796992?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=ExactTarget&utm_campaign=81972591


When I contacted LYFT after taking a look at the list I got a reply saying that Long Beach Airport drop offs were permitted. 



Hope they fix the app because after three violations they could terminate the driver.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

How Uber Rates Their Drivers


Very informative video was found on this site: http://ubereastcoast.squarespace.com/qis-x/

Uber's explanation of how the drivers are rated and what must be done to maintain a 5 star rating is also on that page:

Watch this video to learn how Uber calculates your Average Rating. You'll also learn some tips to keep high ratings, as well as what happens if your rating drops too low.

THE RATINGS SYSTEM IS FAIR

No system is perfect. But this is the best way that we have right now to maintain Uber's high quality across the country and around the world. The Ratings System is a big reason why riders keep requesting Uber more and more: that means more money for partners like you!

WHAT ABOUT LATE NIGHT DRIVING VERSUS DAYTIME?

We understand that the average rider on Monday morning isn't the same as a rider on Friday night. One of Uber's biggest goals is to cut down on drunk driving, but sometimes drunk passengers can be difficult. We understand this, which is why we always put ratings in context. A low rating on a Friday or Saturday night for a driver who gets 5 stars at all other times tells us that the rider was probably not sober. So when we evaluate a driver's rating, we always look at the big picture and combine the average rating with rider comments and feedback so we see the whole story.

WHAT ABOUT SURGE?

We also understand that some riders get upset about surge. Sometimes they rate drivers poorly not because of bad service, but because of high surge. That's why we adjust low ratings from trips with high surge.

RATINGS ARE ANONYMOUS

In order to ensure honest feedback, riders will never know which specific driver gave them each rating. Same goes for the ratings riders give you. So please rate riders honestly! We take the ratings that you give riders seriously and will not hesitate to ban a rider from Uber if they threaten a driver or make you feel very uncomfortable. But in order to do so, we need to hear from partners: both by rating riders and sending us an email.


Sidecar

Uber and Lyft drivers.
Why fish with two hooks when you can catch more fish with three?



Sidecar is an app just like Lyft and Uber but it benefits the drivers more than the other apps out there.
Sidecar sets the rate but the drivers decide the surge price. If you want to charge more than the set rate there is a price multiplier on the app that activates after your 15th ride. You can charge up to 3.1 times the posted rate.



If you are up late and feel you deserve 2 or 3 times the set rate you are free to set it.

When you get your ride request, it tells you your destination as well as how much you can expect to get paid for the ride. Accepting a ride has never been easier!

Riders can pick you if you from the other drivers in your area. Drivers can block unruly passengers.


Also, the app has another great feature. Drivers can set their pick up area. No more driving 15 miles for a rider who is eventually going to cancel you.

In LA and Long Beach there are few drivers with a growing amount of riders. Many of the riders are former Lyft and Uber users who had problems with the apps and got canceled. These Sidecar riders are more polite and well behaved because they know they are on the last house on the block and need the service.

Sign up is easy.
Use your inspection papers from Lyft or Uber.

$100 sign in bonus!!

Drive with @Sidecar, make money on your own terms. 

Just sign up at http://www.side.cr/drivers/TONY1369 to get $100 in cash when you give your 10th ride!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

LYFT Glow Mustache - Illegal in California?

I was pricking up a rider at John Wayne Airport, where it is permissible by law, and once everyone was in the car there was a that familiar tap tap tap on my driver side window.

I was informed by a member of the Orange County Sheriff's Dept. that the glowing Lyft mustache on my dash was illegal. I got off with a warning, took it off the dash and went on my way.

After waiting a day for an official word from LYFT, I decided to investigate this myself.



According to the California Legal Code page at: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov, the deputy was correct:

24003.  No vehicle shall be equipped with any lamp or illuminating
device not required or permitted in this code, nor shall any lamp or
illuminating device be mounted inside a vehicle unless specifically
permitted by this code. This section does not apply to:
   (a) Interior lamps such as door, brake and instrument lamps, and
map, dash, and dome lamps designed and used for the purpose of
illuminating the interior of the vehicle.
   (b) Lamps needed in the operation or utilization of those vehicles
mentioned in Section 25801, or vehicles used by public utilities in
the repair or maintenance of their service, or used only for the
illumination of cargo space of a vehicle while loading or unloading.
   (c) Warning lamps mounted inside an authorized emergency vehicle
and meeting requirements established by the department.


Drivers may keep the stache on the dash but should not operate the light function while operating the vehicle.

Since the light is used to help riders located the driver's car it may or may not be permitted by law to switch it on once you arrived to the pick up location as you tap ARRIVED on the app. Once the riders are in the car switch off the glow stache and commence the ride.