LA Laker has humble beginnings as Dasher

It was a busy week in rideshare news, ranging from Uber Eats moving toward driverless deliveries, DoorDash testing drone deliveries in Australia, Lyft suffering after a large dip in the market, an LA Laker who worked as a Dasher until he hit his big break and more. Keep reading to catch up on this week’s roundup with senior RSG contributor Paula Lemar. 

Investors dump Lyft on rising fears of Uber taking market share (Reuters)

Summary: Lyft Inc (LYFT.O) shares sank 20% to near record lows on Tuesday after a miss on active rider growth fanned fears that bigger rival Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) was eating into its market share.

More than a dozen analysts slashed their price targets on Lyft by as much as $23 after third-quarter results. In stark contrast, investors had last week cheered Uber’s results and bumper holiday-quarter forecast.

“We believe Uber has done a much better job at rebuilding driver supply, likely leaving Lyft with a structurally smaller share of the market than it had pre-pandemic,” Atlantic Equities analyst James Cordwell said….

My Take: In my opinion, Uber has always been the top dog in this field, with Lyft taking a backseat. It’s not uncommon for Uber to make a change to their platform and a few weeks later for Lyft to follow suit.

In this case, Uber has done more to diversify itself and create more and better offerings than Lyft. Uber has food and package delivery services on top of their original rideshare services. Lyft seems to have banked on rideshare and hasn’t expanded far beyond that original reach.

In this market, you need to offer the world and hope you’re touted as the best. Having one focus is fine, but only if you blow the competition out of the water. Lyft hasn’t done that.

As Bobby on RSG’s Facebook page mentioned, “They pay [poorly]. They should be better off with what they charge customers. I’m going to drive Uber only. I’m more profitable on their platform.”

And that is the experience that several other drivers have found as well.

From DoorDash driver to Lakers’ sharpshooter, Matt Ryan is making a name for himself (ESPN)

Summary: Matt Ryan hit the biggest shot of the Los Angeles Lakers’ season for free.

Well, kind of….

Rather than hit the town after hitting the shot, the 25-year-old Ryan hitched a ride from a team staffer back to the extended-stay hotel he’s bunking in near the Lakers’ practice facility until he finds a place to live. He doesn’t even have a car in L.A.

“I’m definitely not splurging on anything this year,” Ryan said. “Maybe in the next couple years.”

The pennywise psyche fits with Ryan’s humble origin story. While waiting for his big break with an NBA team, he worked as a delivery driver for DoorDash and logged morning shifts at his grandfather’s business run out of a graveyard in his hometown of White Plains, New York, during the pandemic….

My Take: I think it’s refreshing to see someone go from DoorDash driver to LA Laker. It shows that people who make it big sometimes have more humble beginnings. And it’s awesome that he’s being cautious as well. Anything can happen between now and when he receives his first deposit. I feel like we usually hear about guys like this spending money they don’t have yet and getting into financial trouble. It’s refreshing to see someone who knows how to pinch pennies and live conservatively.

I hope he continues to remember where he came from and that others are in the same boat he was once in. Good luck to him during this season!

Your next Uber ride could be in a San Francisco taxicab (San Francisco Chronicle)

Summary: Your next Uber ride could be a taxicab.

San Francisco taxicabs that use the Flywheel Technologies app will be hailable via Uber starting today, The Chronicle has learned. Hansu Kim, Flywheel president, said some 750 cabs use its app, and that the vast majority of drivers have opted in to accepting Uber rides.

“Most of the taxicabs in San Francisco will be serving Uber-booked rides,” he said.

For San Francisco passengers, the price and experience, including seeing ride costs in advance, will be identical to regular bookings through UberX. They will be notified if they’re matched with a taxi and can request a different car or cancel the ride….

My Take: It doesn’t surprise me that taxi drivers are willing to pick up Uber riders alongside their standard fares. In my opinion, they get the best of both worlds. They can pick up guaranteed rides through Uber or their own platform and pick up curbside. This opens up the door for all possibilities for them to maximize their earnings potential.

This change would probably prompt me to become a taxi driver instead of an Uber driver. It just makes sense from a financial standpoint. Why wouldn’t you, when you can open up your business to accept even more fares? You’d be more likely to stay busy throughout the day and night.

Win-win for taxi drivers.

Also in the news…

Uber Eats Deliveries to be Served by Driverless EVs in US Markets (Intelligent Living)

Thoughts: According to our friend Gabe Ets-Hokin, “San Francisco after 9pm is a traffic jam of Waymo, Zoox and Cruise cars.” These driverless vehicles get into sticky predicaments they can’t find their way out of without a human driver behind the wheel, causing issues around town.

DoorDash is piloting drone deliveries with Wing in Australia (Engadget)

Thoughts: We’ve known for a while that drone deliveries are a possible future. But for DoorDash to start actively testing this is a big step in that direction, making it possible this future is not far off.

Uber features a new Driver and Courier Learning Center playlist on YouTube (YouTube)

Thoughts: Check out this playlist! It’s got tips and tricks for drivers and couriers. This is the kind of thing I wanted when I first started so I could see the basics before hitting the road. If you’re wondering how upfront fares work, check out this video from Uber’s new playlist on how upfront fares are calculated:

Do you think Lyft is in trouble or will they pull through for a while longer? 

-Paula @ RSG