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- Today I’ll be chatting with David Zipper, a writer for CityLab on urban mobility and technology
- Also a Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Taubman Center for State and Local Government
- We’ll be talking about destination discrimination, what it is, the impact of it and more
Intro to David Zipper
- David Zipper’s perspective on cities and urban mobility is rooted in his experience in city hall, venture capitalism, policy research and more
- He advises numerous startups, mayors and transit agencies
- His writing has been published in The Atlantic, Slate, Newsweek and more
- He focuses on the relationship between transit and ride hail services
Uber’s Changes in California
- Before Uber’s recent changes to passenger destination information, drivers never knew where their passengers were going until the minute they picked passengers up
- Pain point for drivers
- When Uber got started, it was a big deal that there wouldn’t be discrimination based on destination (which can be tied to race, too)
- This change could potentially be huge
- What is to say drivers won’t refuse trips based on where the destination is?
- The potential for this change is that drivers could decline trips that take them to a less desirable location
- This isn’t a hypothetical – we have seen Uber direct drivers to certain wealthier areas (demand)
- Impacts the mobility network (from a policy standpoint)
How to Encourage Equity in Rideshare
- Balance between ‘carrot and stick’ approach
- Could be an opportunity for state to regulate these approaches
- Uber is encouraging drivers to be more like independent contractors – does this make this discussion more difficult?
Balancing Regulation with Independent Contractor Status
- Uber seems to be pursuing an independent contractor status for their drivers
- Is Uber just a marketplace connecting drivers and riders?
- Regulators in California are probably looking at these announcements carefully and may need to dig for more information
- Thanks to David for coming on this episode and sharing his thoughts with me on destination discrimination.
- It’s a tricky issue and I’m curious to see how regulators will work with ridesharing companies, particularly in California and other states pursuing legislation similar to AB5, in the future.
- Did Uber Just Enable Discrimination by Destination?
- Uber Community Guidelines
- To California drivers: keeping you in the driver’s seat (Uber Blog)
- Uber Finally Lets Drivers See Where Passengers Are Going!
- Are Rideshare Drivers Actually Racist?
- California Agency Is Hiding Uber and Lyft Accident Reports (San Francisco Public Press)
- @DavidZipper on Twitter
-Harry @ RSG