FRIDAY RIDESHARE ROUNDUP: An Uber and Lyft War of Words from the New York Times

By December 12, 2014April 10th, 20176 Comments


4 min read

    4 min read

    Looks like #Ubergate is finally starting to fade from our memories but that doesn’t mean there still wasn’t plenty to talk about this week.  Today, RSG contributor Jack Ross takes a look at all of the top stories from this week in rideshare.

    Let’s go to the videotape!


    The NY Times Takes A Careful, Critical Shot at Uber’s Blend of Sketchy Morality and Big Data Hoarding

    “We already regulate sensitive data, ranging from health records to financial information. We must update oversight for 21st-century data as well. When we’re picked up on a rainy street corner, it’s not enough to know where the car is going. We need to know where our data is going, and how it’s used.”

    The NY Times Takes A Soft, Condescending Shot at Lyft’s Overly Warm and Cuddly Branding

    “Lyft’s overall design just comes across as tacky,” says Nick Adler of Cashmere Agency. “There’s a line between playful and juvenile,” said some guy who used to work at Foursquare.

    The article continues: When Lyft started, for example, passengers were told to fist-bump their driver. They were also asked to sit in the front seat as you would with a friend and (gulp) have a conversation with the driver. I’m not sure which boutique hotel Mr. Zimmer stays in, but I can’t recall the last time I fist-bumped a concierge.

    Note: this writer makes an accurate assessment that Lyft is dropping the ball in relation to market share war with Uber because of its pink-and-balloon heavy product design, overly friendly “fistbumps” and “casual conversation.”

    That said, I really feel like I have to comment. I believe this is a very dangerous, slippery message. To in some way insinuate that the overly-friendliness of Lyft is a big problem, especially with the kind of crazy shit Uber is pulling, not to mention actively undercutting everyone in the market, is to marginalize the larger problems in this space (not to mention, feed right into the trying task regarding labor in the sharing-economy as non-peers). I hope I get this guy as a pax sometime, so I can attempt to have (gulp) a conversation.

    Lyft Beats Uber, According to 10 NYC Black-Car Drivers

    Fairly soft hitting, quote heavy look from NY Magazine (which, we’ve seen before a handful of times, no?) did deliver this gem:

    “One guy, I pick up on 44th Street and he says, ‘I’m going to fuckin’ Crown Heights. Fuck the app. I’ll pay you $60.'”

    Yeah, fuck the app.

    Apparently Uber Drivers are Operating Illegally in Portland—and Portland’s Suing

    It was the biggest city in the country to hold off on the service, which makes sense because the Oregon enclave is notorious for its kambucha and weirdness. Now, they are sticking to the Vancouver, WA drivers and everyone else popping up out of nowhere from Uber, with the city sticking their lawyers where their mouths are.

    Fascinating GeekWire Take About Why Uber Looks Good in The Long Run

    Think social movements matter? This guy does too, and makes an extremely compelling case for why Lyft, though it may not be the ultimate “winner” of the rideshare movement, is poised to actually change the game (and world) in a substantive way, thanks to their innovation, model, software, and overall mission.

    Like a whole world of cars with part-time drivers? Hey, it could happen (or at least, makes you think it could).

    Get Informed About Rideshare Insurance from Insuramatch

    A dive into the state insurance gaps, personal coverage and deductibles for TNCs (with a quote from RSG, to boot).

    NY Times Piece About Customers Flipping the Script on Reviews

    …with a boss cover shot of RSG, to boot.

    Wonder where you’re tips go?

    Now you don’t need to.

    World Says Uber’s Had a Bad Month … Uber Says We’re Worth $40 Billion, Bitches

    C.R.E.A.M. Get the money, dolla dolla billz y’all.

    (As long as this new TNC doesn’t throw a wrench into Travis Kalanick’s plans)

    Happy weekend, everyone. Safe driving out there!

    Drivers, what did you guys think about all of the rideshare news that broke this week?  Do you think things are looking up for the TNC’s

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    -Jack @ The Rideshare Guy

    Jack Ross

    Jack Ross

    Jack Ross is a freelance writer and editor based in Los Angeles. He started driving for Lyft in September 2013 and also drives for Uber and Sidecar.