Weekly Round-Up: Armed Uber Passenger in Custody

Things don’t always go smoothly in an Uber ride. And sometimes, the driver is in immediate danger. After a long standoff, an armed Uber passenger has been taken into custody. It calls to question: how safe are ridesharing and delivery services?

Meanwhile new features in Uber allow taxi drivers to join and EV drivers to have a peace of mind on battery life.

Join RSG Contributor Paula Lemar as she discusses the latest stories in the gig economy.

Armed Uber Passenger Taken Into Custody After Hours-Long Standoff


Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department arrested an armed Uber passenger after a standoff in L.A.’s Mount Washington neighborhood that lasted over three hours.

Armed Uber Standoff
Armed Uber Standoff.

According to LAPD officials, the original call came out around 7:35 a.m. Wednesday in the 4500 block of Marmion Way near Museum Drive.

An Uber driver contacted LAPD to report a passenger in the vehicle with a gun, police said.

My Take

Most rides are not dangerous. Most are average, run-of-the-mill trips that no one thinks twice about after the fact. This one is what happens when it goes really, really wrong.

Luckily, the driver did make it out of the situation and made it to safety. I honestly don’t even know what I would do in that situation, and I hope I am never in it. I hope no driver ever has to experience something like this.

Thank goodness it ended without injury.

London’s Famed Black Cabs Will Be Listed On Uber’s App In Big Win For The Ridehail Company


Uber notched another win in its effort to win over the beleaguered taxi industry, announcing a plan to start listing London’s famed black cabbies in its app.

London's famous black cabs can now join Uber
London's famous black cabs can now join Uber.

The service won’t roll out until early 2024, but some London cabbies have already begun to sign up. Uber says all 15,000 of London’s cab drivers “will now have the opportunity” to sign up for Uber trip referrals.

The company recently brokered deals with taxi fleet owners in New York City, Paris, Rome, and Los Angeles to list drivers in its app.

Next to New York’s yellow cabs, the black cabbies of London are arguably the most iconic taxis in the world. Not only is this a symbolic victory for Uber, but also it could help build trust with taxi owners who may still be wary of Uber’s motives.

My Take

Uber continues to prove that Uber and taxis can get along as long as the taxis do what Uber wants.

It doesn’t surprise me that taxi drivers are unsure of Uber’s motives or what their future with the taxi industry may look like. It’s always scary when any kind of merger happens.

Hopefully this will turn out to be a good move that will bring more work to the drivers of the black cabbies of London.

How Safe Are Some Food Delivery Drivers Behind the Wheel?



With delivery apps, it’s easier than ever to get your favorite food delivered to your door. However, some food delivery drivers have not driven.

Inside Edition’s investigative team found over 1,000 civil lawsuits filed since 2016 alleging that delivery drivers for DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats caused accidents.

One delivery app driver, Todd Burton, slammed into and killed a woman while she was crossing an intersection. He made 1,000 deliveries between the incident and before he pleaded guilty.

Another driver, Andrew Burgher, was charged with killing Silvia Velasco while under the influence and making a delivery. Burgher pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub say their apps do not encourage unsafe driving, and they perform thorough and periodic background checks on all drivers.

DoorDash also says they have started a new program allowing drivers to earn a regular wage without worrying about the number of deliveries they make.

My Take

Check out Harry’s thoughts on this on LinkedIn as well as in the video above. Share your thoughts in the comments!

In my opinion, when these platforms offer low pay, it hurts the drivers and makes them potentially more dangerous on the road.

They are trying to make a living without working extremely long days in their vehicles. Their incentive is to drive as quickly as possible to make up for slow restaurants or traffic or anything else that slows down their ability to complete deliveries.

If they were paid enough money to begin with, maybe there would be fewer accidents because the drivers wouldn’t need to take risks on the road in order to make enough money for the day.

Granted, some people are just bad drivers, but this kind of information doesn’t really surprise me with the environment that these platforms have created for delivery drivers.

Smartcar And Uber Partner To Eliminate EV Range Anxiety


Smartcar is excited to announce that they’re partnering with Uber to make it easier for electric vehicle drivers to take on trips without any range anxiety.

With Smartcar’s connected car platform, eligible EV drivers on Uber can ensure that they’re only assigned rides within their remaining battery range.

This feature aims to create a comfortable and convenient experience for both drivers and riders using EVs on the Uber app. At launch, the feature will be available to drivers of select makes and models, with plans to expand.

My Take

We follow EV news on our EV Facebook page; check it out to keep informed on all things EV for Uber and Lyft drivers.

This news is definitely exciting and a move in the right direction. I’ve said several times that drivers need incentives to drive EVs on the Uber platform. This kind of move will help drivers who are anxious about EVs.

I know one sticking point for myself is getting stranded with a drained battery and no way to get back home to charge in time.

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