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."

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Lyft takes on Uber's black luxury car services by launching Lyft Lux

From a May 24, 2017 article by LA Times:

Five years ago when Uber was known for its luxury black cars, Lyft launched its peer-to-peer ride-hailing service, turning regular vehicles into taxis.

Now, Uber is synonymous with peer-to-peer ride-hailing, and Lyft is launching its own luxury black car service, Lyft Lux and Lux SUV.

The service, available Thursday in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, New York and Chicago, is a step up from the “Premier” offering Lyft debuted last year that allowed passengers to book rides from drivers with vehicles from higher-end makers such as BMW and Audi. Using Lyft Lux, passengers will be able to book a black car or luxury black SUV from the Lyft app.

Pricing will vary by market, but drivers can expect to earn around three to five times the fare of ordinary Lyft rides, and nearly double the fare of Lyft Premier rides, according to Lyft. 
To drive for Lyft Lux or Lux SUV, drivers have to have one of several dozen vehicles that qualify for the service, such as a Tesla Model X, a Porsche Cayenne, a Rolls Royce Ghost or a number of models from Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac and BMW.

While it may seem counterintuitive to launch a high-end service at a time when rides are getting cheaper, business experts said it makes sense for Lyft to diversify its offerings.

Having a higher-end service gives Lyft another front on which to compete, according to Evan Rawley, an associate professor at Columbia Business School who studies Uber and Lyft.

In the cutthroat ride-hailing business, where both Uber and Lyft have spent millions of dollars in driver and passenger subsidies to undercut each other, if Uber lowers the fares for its UberX service, Lyft can fight back by lowering the fares on its Premier and Lux services, Rawley said.

The other reason for Lyft to diversify its business is simply that it can.

“They’ve already got the network out there, so the more rides they can get for their drivers, the more drivers will be willing to work for them,” Rawley said. “It hasn’t been a huge part of the market by revenue, but it’s a profitable part of the market. It’s a niche product with high margins.”

If you would like to drive for Lyft please click on this link to take advantage of sign in bonus:




A committee of 14 execs will run Uber during CEO Travis Kalanick's leave of absence

From a June 15, 2017 article by Business Insider:

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is taking a leave of absence from the company, and in his place Uber will be run by a committee of 14 execs, Uber confirmed to Yahoo Finance.

Kalanick will take a leave of absence to "work on myself" and to deal with a recent family tragedy, according to an email he sent to the company. When Kalanick comes back, he will be stripped of some duties, and Uber's board will appoint an independent chair to "limit his influence," Bloomberg reported. There is no return date set for Kalanick, however.

Kalanick's leave of absence comes after the conclusion of an investigation by former Attorney General Eric Holder into Uber's toxic workplace culture. The report didn't recommend that Kalanick step away from the company, but Uber's board discussed it with Kalanick during an emergency board meeting on Sunday. The report, however, did recommend that Kalanick's responsibilities be reviewed and reallocated.

During Kalanick's leave of absence, Uber will be run by 14 of his direct reports, excluding his right-hand man Emil Michael, who resigned from Uber on Monday. The committee includes several execs who some observers thought might face discipline following the Holder report, including Ryan Graves, Uber's first CEO and a board member, who oversaw the HR department, and CTO Thuan Pham, who former engineer Susan Fowler said she reported incidents of sexual harassment to.

Still, they are on the list, along will 12 others.

Here are the people who will run Uber, according to Yahoo Finance:

Andrew Macdonald, Regional GM, Latin America and Asia-Pacific
Pierre Dimitri Gore-Coty, Regional GM
Rachel Holt, Regional GM, US and Canada
Daniel Graf, VP of Product Management
David Richter, SVP of Business
Eric Meyhofer, Head of Advanced Technologies Group
Frances Frei, SVP of Leadership & Strategy
Jeff Holden, Chief Product Officer
Jill Hazelbaker, SVP of Policy & Communications
Joe Sullivan, Chief Security Officer
Liane Hornsey, Chief Human Resources Officer
Ryan Graves, SVP of Operations
Salle Yoo, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary
Thuan Pham, Chief Technology Officer

Friday, May 19, 2017

Great News for 3 Row Suv Owners

If you own a vehicle capable of transporting 6 or more passengers, Lyft needs you!

Right now in Los Angeles they are paying a $600 sign in bonus after 400 rides in 60 days. That is only 30 rides a week!

You can make big bucks picking families up at airports or theme parks.

Lyft Plus rides pay 3 to 5 times the rate plus driving time.

Find out if you qualify at: THIS LINK

Friday, April 7, 2017

UPDATE to LONG BEACH Airport - LYFT now permitted

Just got a text message that LYFT has entered into an agreement with Long Beach Airport.

There is a holding area where divers displaying the proper trade dress may wait for rides.  Follow signs for TNC Hold Lot.

All passengers may only board cars at Island Curbside only. Drivers are to drive to the left side of the island in front of the terminal where passengers are waiting for them.

I would suggest CALLING the passenger first to make sure they are in the rider pick up area because drivers are not allowed to wait for passengers who are still waiting for their bags.

Passengers requesting Lyft and Lyft Line. Drivers may accept the ride and request no further ride requests by going off line. Informing the passenger that you did this to get them to t
heir destinations in a timely manner, may result in higher tips.


Lyft LINE is the Lyft's solution to Uber Pool.

Recently, Long Beach was redistricted by LYFT as part of LA County, and riders can now share a car with other riders going in the same (approximate) direction.

Advantage of sharing your ride is you save a whole 50 cents.

Disadvantages of sharing your ride is:
1 You never know the condition of the person getting into the car, They could be drunk, malodorous, or obnoxious.

2 Expect delays in getting to your destination if you are going a long way. I have driven Line and Pools where there were multiple pick ups on the way to the farthest destination.

3 There may not be enough room in the trunk for everybody's baggage if requesting a LINE at airports, cruise line terminals or train stations.

Drivers should explain this to riders and promote regular Lyft over LINE rides.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

UBER: Long Beach Airport Instructions for Drivers

On April 5, 2017 Long Beach Airport (LGB) opens up the rider platform to Uber X and Pool.

Drivers can check this link for instructions.


There is a holding area where divers displaying the proper trade dress may wait for rides.  Follow signs for TNC Hold Lot.

All passengers may only board cars at Island Curbside only. Drivers are to drive to the left side of the island in front of the terminal where passengers are waiting for them.

I would suggest CALLING the passenger first to make sure they are in the rider pick up area because drivers are not allowed to wait for passengers who are still waiting for their bags.

Both Uber X and UBER POOL are being allowed at LGB but the Uber website suggest that passengers with only one bag use those platforms. If they have too many bags to fit in the trunk suggest they cancel the ride and request Uber XL.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Long Beach Airport to allow Uber, Lyft to pick up passengers

Source: Long Beach Press Telegram 

Long Beach Airport to allow Uber, Lyft to pick up passengers — for a fee
Uber and other smartphone-based ride-share services will be coming soon to Long Beach Airport.
By Courtney Tompkins, Long Beach Press Telegram

Long Beach Airport will begin allowing Uber and Lyft drivers for a fee.

Long Beach Airport is preparing to roll out a pilot program that will allow smartphone-based ride-share services like Uber or Lyft to pick passengers up curbside.

The move would bring Long Beach in line with airports across the country that already allow access, including Los Angeles International Airport and John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana.

Representatives from cab, limousine, car rental and ride-share companies turned out for a community meeting about the program on Wednesday that turned heated as drivers from Uber and Lyft told members of the traditional transportation industry that times were changing and they needed to get on board.

Those comments came in response to calls from cab and limo companies to regulate the transportation providers equally amid concerns that adding so-called transportation network companies, or TNCs, like Uber or Lyft would create an “uneven playing field.”

Airport Director Jess Romo said the industry is regulated at the federal and state level – although, he said, the airport could create additional requirements in their agreements with TNCs.

Marco Soto of Long Beach Yellow Cab said the regulations the company and its drivers have to comply with are more extensive — and costly — than that of companies like Uber or Lyft. The differences include having to carry commercial insurance, having to provide access for the disabled, and requiring drivers to pass a drug screen and clear a fingerprint background check, all of which TNC drivers are not required to do.

Cab driver Bill Lanham, who has been driving in Long Beach for 27 years, said guys like him “are getting killed out there.”

A representative from See Jane Go, a female-only ride-share service, brushed off the claims and said the reason these companies have emerged is because the traditional industry was not meeting the needs of the consumer.

Drivers say they already pick up airport passengers who walk a quarter mile to Lakewood Boulevard rather than catching a ride from a taxi cab inside airport property.

Romo said the goal of the six-month pilot program is to gauge impacts associated with adding such services and iron out a policy that is fair to all parties.

“We need to find a balance,” he said.

The program is slated to begin on April 1, pending City Council approval in March.

If approved, the program would include a $3 fee for all pick-ups and drop-offs in addition to increased permit and application fees, which could double from $50 to $100 and $60 to $120, respectively.

Other airports in California, including Sacramento International, John Wayne Airport and LAX, charge a fee of between $1.35 and $4.06.

Permanent changes to the ground transportation policy could include incorporating the fee-based system for pick-ups and drop-offs and integration of a transponder system, similar to the FasTrak system used on toll roads.

Officials will continue accepting comments from the public through Feb. 10. Comments can be sent via email to

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Uber and Lyft Boycotts Over Trump Immigration Policies

Uber and Lyft Boycotts Over Trump Immigration Policies

Viral reports that people in the U.S. are deleting Uber and Lyft apps over the company's response to President Trumps immigration ban of immigrants from 7 Muslim nations. Determination: Real

Depending on where they stand with President Trump, Lyft and Uber clients are deleting their apps from one of the ride share services.
Uber customers were upset over surge charges that were imposed when taxis at JFK went on strike to protest an immigration pause, which President Trump enacted by Executive Order. This according to a Jan 30, 2017 article by CNBC. Rideshare apps automatically increase fees when there is a greater demand for services.
On Jan 29, 2016, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick sent this notice to drivers:
At Uber we've always believed in standing up for what's right. Today we need your help supporting drivers who may be impacted by President Trump's new immigration ban.

Drivers who are citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen and live in the US but have left the country, will not be able to return for 90 days. This means they won't be able to earn money and support their families during this period.

It's important that as a community we do everything we can to help these drivers. Here's what Uber will do:
•   Provide 24/7 legal support for drivers who are trying to get back into the country. Our lawyers and immigration experts will be on call 24/7 to help.
•   Compensate drivers for their lost earnings. This will help them support their families and put food on the table while they are banned from the US.
•   Urge the government to reinstate the right of US residents to travel—whatever their country of origin—immediately.
•   Create a $3 million legal defense fund to help drivers with immigration and translation services.
If you are a driver or a friend or family member of someone who has been affected, please contact us here.
Uber is a community. We're here to support each other. Please help Uber to help drivers who may be affected by this unjust and wrong immigration ban.
Uber Founder & CEO
Kalanick received additional criticism because he "was one of several tech executives named on Trump’s business advisory group, including Tesla’s Elon Musk and IBM’s Ginni Rometty." This according to a Jan. 30, 2017 article by Salon.

Lyft announced to drivers that they are standing against Trump and sending a $1 million donation to the ACLU:
We created Lyft to be a model for the type of community we want our world to be: diverse, inclusive, and safe.

This weekend, Trump closed the country's borders to refugees, immigrants, and even documented residents from around the world based on their country of origin. Banning people of a particular faith or creed, race or identity, sexuality or ethnicity, from entering the U.S. is antithetical to both Lyft's and our nation's core values. We stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community.

We know this directly impacts many of our community members, their families, and friends. We stand with you, and are donating $1,000,000 over the next four years to the ACLU to defend our constitution. We ask that you continue to be there for each other - and together, continue proving the power of community.
John & Logan
Lyft Co-Founders