Uber and Lyft may need to train CA drivers

It looks like Uber and Lyft may need to provide defensive training for their California drivers every two years based on a new mandate. Also in the news this week – drivers weigh in on Lyft’s new upfront information sharing feature. Keep reading for more in this week’s roundup with senior RSG contributor Paula Lemar.

Uber, Lyft Drivers Could Face New California Training Mandate (Bloomberg Law)

Summary: Once-and-done training would end for Uber Technologies Inc., Lyft Inc., and other ride-share drivers under legislation headed to California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Ride-share companies would have to pay for defensive driving and how-to-deal-with-unruly-passengers training for each driver every two years. The businesses also would have to make sure vehicles get safety inspections every 12 months or 50,000 miles under a bill (AB 2716) passed Wednesday.

Uber and Lyft account for 99% of the ride-shares in the state. The requirements would start July 1, 2023.

The California Public Utilities Commission already requires driver training, though in practice those programs require a driver to watch a safety video, according to a legislative analysis.

“Existing regulations do not provide adequate specificity on what must be included in the training. Likewise, there is no requirement that training be ongoing. This bill would address both issues,” the analysis said.

Training courses would have to include road safety and defensive driving; distracted driving including appropriate use, mounting, and view of mobile devices; passenger de-escalation, including managing intoxicated, unruly, or violent passengers and unaccompanied minors; and complying with vehicle inspection requirements….

My Take: This kind of training should have been automatically included in the onboarding process from the beginning. It has always baffled me a bit that anyone can become an Uber or Lyft driver without any training whatsoever. I mean, yeah, they have to have so many years of driving experience and not have a bunch of tickets on their record and such, but really almost anyone could qualify and then they are thrown to the wolves to fend for themselves. Bring on the training is what I say!

Up Front Pricing SUX (Reddit)


On Reddit, a person posted that they think the Lyft upfront pricing sucks. Basically, they were finally able to see how far from the passenger they were and how long the trip would be once they got there. The results proved they weren’t going to make much money in the long run because Lyft doesn’t pay their drivers for the time and distance to pick up a passenger. 

My Take: We shared this on Facebook, and RSG readers had a lot to say about it as well:

Jeremy said, “It is great for seeing the destination and earnings but you tend to start being choosy and may pick less rides. I have this thing where if I choose further pick ups then it may lead me to a great ride and I stay busy. Now I can choose and may not get the rides I want and mentally messes with me because you can see the distance.”

Ed stated something surprising: “The weird thing is that upfront pricing/destination only works in my area if there’s no bonus attached.”

If that is the case, that is a very strange caveat to the upfront offering.

While Danielle said there’s a very specific reason why she doesn’t like this change: “I don’t like it because I noticed that if I accept a ride and they change to a round trip after I already accept the ride then you don’t get paid for the change just what you accept when you took the ride. But the rider gets charged more. This has happened to me several times.”

And a handful said that they like it simply because it makes it easier for them to decide if they want to accept the ride or not.

Google’s Waze is shutting down its carpooling service (The Verge)

Summary: Google-owned navigation service Waze is shutting down its six-year-old carpooling service, citing shifting commuting patterns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting in September, the company will begin the process of winding down its carpooling service, which had been available in the US, Brazil, and Israel. Waze said it will explore other ways it can help serve the 150 million customers worldwide that use its navigation app.

“While Waze was predominantly a commuting app pre-COVID, today the proportion of errands and travel drives have surpassed commutes,” the company said in a statement provided to The Verge. “This means we have an opportunity to find even more impactful ways to bring together a global community to share real-time insights and help each other outsmart traffic — this is what has always made Waze truly special.”…

My Take: Overall this doesn’t surprise me. I was never fully comfortable with the concept of basically blind carpooling. There weren’t really any protections put in place for the drivers or the passengers. Plus the “pay” was minimal. Typically a dollar or two.

Also in the news…

DoorDash hit by data breach linked to Twilio hackers (TechCrunch)

Thoughts: It would be nice if DoorDash would say actual numbers of how many accounts were compromised. But, just to be safe, I think I’ll be changing my password, just to err on the side of caution.

Meet the Bird ‘Fleet Managers’ Who Hunt and Release E-Scooters in Downtown Los Angeles (dot.LA)

Thoughts: Harry is quoted in this fun article about e-scooters in LA. Check it out!

Uber and Lyft Drivers’ Complaints Are a Startup Opportunity (Bloomberg)

Thoughts: Harry is quoted in this one too, and our readers shared their insight on RSG’s Facebook page. People are excited that other startups are making a run against Uber and Lyft.

Is Lyft’s upfront pricing and destination information available in your market? Share your experience with it in the comments section! 

-Paula @ RSG