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Uber in Waterloo Region
#31
I saw a notice from them that they were running an infosession of sorts for potential drivers this weekend.
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#32
(07-17-2015, 12:00 PM)MidTowner Wrote: This quote by the company's representative was of particular interest to me, of the drivers: "They've [sic] very vested in providing good service. ... The incentive for crime is far lower." What's he suggesting of taxi drivers? I didn't know this was of particular concern to anybody...my impression was always that crime against taxi drivers was more frequent than crimes perpetrated by them.

There's been quite the stir recently about taxi drivers in Waterloo Region sexually assaulting passengers - and continuing to drive. Anecdotally, a non-trivial number of taxi drivers are pretty creepy to women, so the assaults are not exactly out of nowhere. Due to the rating system, it's a lot more difficult to keep driving for Uber as a person who makes passengers uncomfortable than it has been for local taxi companies.
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#33
(07-17-2015, 12:31 PM)mpd618 Wrote: There's been quite the stir recently about taxi drivers in Waterloo Region sexually assaulting passengers - and continuing to drive. Anecdotally, a non-trivial number of taxi drivers are pretty creepy to women, so the assaults are not exactly out of nowhere. Due to the rating system, it's a lot more difficult to keep driving for Uber as a person who makes passengers uncomfortable than it has been for local taxi companies.

Thank you for that; I hadn't noticed that story.
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#34
Based on a Toronto Star "Uber vs Taxi" test. You can find some interesting facts and detail in the article. 

Uber vs. taxi: Which is faster for Pan Am travel in Toronto?

Cost alone
#Uber vs. #Taxi: Travel in Toronto? | Toronto Star |  
Uber: w/tip $41.67 40.52 km
Beck Taxi w/tip $67.50 28.61 km
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#35
Uber doesn't allow tips
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#36
Also this article about taxi pooling: Star reporter tests UberPool commute for a week 

UberPool costs one half of the normal UberX fare, providing there are two passengers to pool. It also entitles the Uber vehicle to use HOV lanes.

Here's a breakdown of how an UberX fare gets split. 

Quote:On Friday morning, my 23 minute, 8.6 kilometre UberX ride cost $14.61. Of that, $1 goes towards Uber’s safe rides fee, which goes towards covering Uber’s background checks, motor vehicle inspection, driver safety education and insurance, said Susie Heath, Uber Canada’s spokeswoman. Of the remaining $13.61 fare, Uber takes 20 per cent. That means the driver pockets about $11, excluding gas, depreciation and insurance.

Note that $1 goes for "Uber’s background checks, motor vehicle inspection, driver safety education and insurance." It would be interesting to learn more about the latter two components, especially insurance. In the past Uber has been coy about that, claiming their coverage is "proprietary." But surely riders should know how much coverage they have in the event of a collision, especially a serious one.
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#37
(07-18-2015, 01:37 PM)Canard Wrote: Uber doesn't allow tips

tip notation in article simply allowed readers to compare apples to apples so w/tip in was their method ... 

yes no tipping on UBER
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#38
On the subject of the potential for an unpleasant one way or another, what's to stop a passenger from doing something to the driver? Sure, we keep hearing about the rating system that protects drivers and passengers. What's to stop someone from having a fake/duplicate account? Take a enough 'regular' rides to get a good rating, and then make a move and disappear, start a new account and begin all over again. If I were a writer for a police procedural, that would definitely be a storyline.
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#39
(07-20-2015, 11:37 AM)nms Wrote: On the subject of the potential for an unpleasant one way or another, what's to stop a passenger from doing something to the driver?

Nothing. What's to stop them from doing the same to a taxi driver? In fact it happens. Taxi drivers get robbed for their money. (In Uber's case that motive is less likely because all transactions are by credit card.)


Quote:What's to stop someone from having a fake/duplicate account? 

In the case of drivers, presumably the driver's license and insurance which are difficult to fake/duplicate.

In the case of riders, the credit card which presumably has to be in the name of the account holder.

But these are all potential problems. Let's see what sort of problems actually develop with Uber before we "fix" "problems" that may prove unlikely to arise. 

Here's another situation: Uber settles wrongful death lawsuit in San Francisco crash 
Quote:Ride service Uber has reached a tentative settlement in a lawsuit brought by the family of a 6-year-old girl who died in a San Francisco car accident, according to court filings.


The girl, Sofia Liu, died after she, her younger brother and their mother were hit by a car in a San Francisco cross-walk on New Year's Eve in 2013. At the time of the crash, the driver was logged on to the Uber X smartphone app and was available to provide rides, the lawsuit said.

As I understand it the Uber driver wasn't actually driving an Uber passenger. He was simply logged in to the app. What's interesting is that nevertheless Uber settled, i.e. their insurance seems to have covered him.
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#40
(07-17-2015, 12:00 PM)MidTowner Wrote: From The Record: Uber optimistic region will have service ‘soon’

Whatever 'soon' means.

This quote by the company's representative was of particular interest to me, of the drivers: "They've [sic] very vested in providing good service. ... The incentive for crime is far lower." What's he suggesting of taxi drivers? I didn't know this was of particular concern to anybody...my impression was always that crime against taxi drivers was more frequent than crimes perpetrated by them.

Did not read the article, but perhaps he was saying the incentive for crime (against) is lower, with the elimination of cash on board.
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#41
(07-20-2015, 12:20 PM)ookpik Wrote: As I understand it the Uber driver wasn't actually driving an Uber passenger. He was simply logged in to the app. What's interesting is that nevertheless Uber settled, i.e. their insurance seems to have covered him.

Is that the case that their insurance covered him? Does Uber self-insure, or do they have a real insurance provider? The details of the case and settlement are often kept confidential as a term of the settlement- in this case it says at the request of the plaintiff, but likely both parties would be interested in confidentiality. And a settlement does not mean that the company accepts liability. At this stage, they might be willing to settle cases like this to avoid added publicity.

It seems like a no-brainer that, if you are killed by a driver employed by a company to drive, the company shares in the negligence and liability. But this company insists that they don't employ their drivers, but rather they are "independent operators" (or whatever terminology), so who knows how liability is shared.
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#42
(07-21-2015, 08:43 AM)MidTowner Wrote: Does Uber self-insure, or do they have a real insurance provider?
From what I've read in the media Uber insists it provides its drivers with coverage that the drivers' own personal auto insurance doesn't cover. They haven't revealed the details, i.e. of the coverage or who actually provides it (self-insured or through some blanket policy) on the grounds that this is proprietary to them. 

[As an aside I can't see how they can continue to treat this as confidential in the long term. It will have to come out as governments move in to regulate Uber and similar services.]

Quote:And a settlement does not mean that the company accepts liability. At this stage, they might be willing to settle cases like this to avoid added publicity.
Of course. None of this is unique to Uber. It's standard in liabilty cases. While details were sketchy my reason for posting this article was to show that Uber did pay even when the driver was merely logged into their app but didn't actually have an Uber passenger in the vehicle.

Quote:It seems like a no-brainer that, if you are killed by a driver employed by a company to drive, the company shares in the negligence and liability. But this company insists that they don't employ their drivers, but rather they are "independent operators" (or whatever terminology), so who knows how liability is shared.

All drivers must carry at least personal auto insurance. Those policies explicitly exclude commercial, for-pay usage. Since the driver was logged in the Uber app and thus willing to accept paying passengers I'd think most insurers would use that to deny coverage. But in this case there was a settlement. So either the driver's insurer couldn't use that argument or Uber paid (or some combination.) The point is that the plaintiff got paid regardless.

Again, this is an evolving area. It will eventually get sorted out as more cases come up and get resolved. The same thing happened and is evolving with the Internet itself, e.g. taxation, privacy, intellectual property, hacking, etc.

----

On a different tangent...

I can understand why taxi company owners and taxi medallion owners might be against Uber. After all Uber could cost them a lucrative business.

But why aren't taxi drivers abandoning conventional taxi companies and joining Uber in droves? People who drive for Uber report making good money. So you'd think existing taxi drivers would abandon their tyrannical masters and opt for what's supposed to be more lucrative. And yet the media keeps publishing sob stories about taxi drivers who stand to lose their livelihoods in an Uber-dominated world.

What am I missing?
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#43
(07-21-2015, 01:08 PM)ookpik Wrote: Of course. None of this is unique to Uber. It's standard in liabilty cases. While details were sketchy my reason for posting this article was to show that Uber did pay even when the driver was merely logged into their app but didn't actually have an Uber passenger in the vehicle.

I think I don't know enough about their system to understand the distinction. If he was logged in to the app, he was looking for a fare, right? So he's working, even though he may not have a passenger at that exact moment.

As for your other question about taxi drivers switching in droves and why they are not, it's a good one. From what I've read, many drivers are doing it for side income, so maybe it's not suitable as a full-time job.
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#44
(07-21-2015, 01:08 PM)ookpik Wrote: On a different tangent...

I can understand why taxi company owners and taxi medallion owners might be against Uber. After all Uber could cost them a lucrative business.

But why aren't taxi drivers abandoning conventional taxi companies and joining Uber in droves? People who drive for Uber report making good money. So you'd think existing taxi drivers would abandon their tyrannical masters and opt for what's supposed to be more lucrative. And yet the media keeps publishing sob stories about taxi drivers who stand to lose their livelihoods in an Uber-dominated world.

What am I missing?

I don't think Uber actually pays that well. It is certainly variable. But there are certainly taxi drivers who jump ship and drive to Uber. I think a lot of taxi drivers here don't own their taxis (and I understand that this varies depending on the city).
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#45
(07-21-2015, 02:34 PM)MidTowner Wrote: I think I don't know enough about their system to understand the distinction. If he was logged in to the app, he was looking for a fare, right? So he's working, even though he may not have a passenger at that exact moment.
Exactly. So if he was working his personal auto insurance would not be in force. Thus my inference that Uber paid. Whether they did it out of their own pocket (self insured) or through their insurer isn't stated. But either way Uber stood behind the driver.

This is important because at least in Ontario insurers have emphasized that drivers need commercial insurance and Uber responded that they don't because Uber carries some unspecified proprietary insurance.

Here's an article I just found via Google: Crash leaves Toronto UberX driver confused about insurance. It seems the Star has been covering this issue for the past several months. Google on "toronto star uber insurance."
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