In this week’s roundup with senior RSG contributor Paula Lemar, Lyft reboots its EV service, driver scams expand to DoorDash and other delivery services, and Uber takes on Amazon.
Lyft Re-Launches EV Service, Starting With Business Travelers
Topic Originally Seen on TechCrunch
Lyft is re-launching a feature that will allow riders to request an electric or hybrid vehicle for their next pickup. The service, Lyft Green, will initially only be available to business travelers in select cities when it begins April 17.
Lyft originally launched Lyft Green in 2019 in Seattle, with plans to scale across other cities, but rolled it back in 2021. A spokesperson told TechCrunch the service was “initially a bit ahead of its time” and that Lyft didn’t see a lot of demand.
Now riders have had more exposure to EVs and are more excited about them, so the expansion is Lyft’s first step toward broadly offering the option again in the market, the company said.
The re-launch comes a week after Uber expanded its Comfort Electric option, which allows riders to choose a luxury electric vehicle like a Tesla or Audi, to 14 new cities.
Comfort Electric is currently available in 40 cities, and Uber also has a more budget-friendly version called Uber Green, where riders can request a hybrid or less flashy EV….
I’ll save my opinion for the next article, where Lyft then expands its EV service to new markets below.
Lyft Expands its EV and Hybrid Booking Option to 14 More US Markets
Topic Originally Seen on The Verge
Green mode, a Lyft ridehailing option that lets travelers specifically request a hybrid or fully electric vehicle, is expanding to 14 new US markets starting April 17th.
These areas include San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Boston, New York City, Chicago, San Diego, Washington, DC, Austin, Denver, Orange County, Sacramento, and Phoenix.
Riders will need a business profile to use the Green mode feature, which is available to anyone with a work email address.
Lyft spokesperson CJ Macklin said this restriction is meant to allow the company to test the ridehailing option with a smaller selection of its users and that the plan is to make it more widely available over time….
This news is coming very soon after Uber announced similar expansions of their similar offerings, which is very much like Lyft.
I can’t even count how many times Uber has announced something, and then a week or two later, Lyft follows suit.
When you compare the two companies, there are very few differences these days. Back when they were both getting traction, there were clear differences between the two, giving the drivers an actual opportunity to have a favorite.
While there still may be favoritism among drivers, there’s very little to differentiate between the two rideshare platforms.
Meanwhile, Lyft’s new CEO hit the road as a Lyft driver, likely a PR stunt to show drivers he understands what it’s like to be in their shoes.
Omaha DoorDash Driver Loses $1,100 Paycheck to Scammers
The pandemic got people used to ordering food and other items delivered to their door.
So DoorDash drivers stay busy and can make good money. That also makes them a target for scams.
Two weeks ago near 147th and Maple, Andrew Dempsey started dashing toward a bigger payday. He says he Dashes about 10 hours a day.
But Andrew got a call that an order had been canceled.
“The scammer is telling you say ‘hey that order you are going on has been discontinued but you are going to receive full compensation for the delivery,’” Andrew said.
And the caller told Andrew to click a link which a veteran dasher says was a rookie mistake….
NEVER CLICK ON A LINK SENT BY SOMEONE UNVERIFIED.
Ugh, I hate to see so many people scammed, but we need to be smarter about this, folks. When an order is canceled, people don’t call the driver about it. The platform just sends a push notification and removes it from the queue.
These platforms aren’t going to reach out directly to a driver with a phone call unless it’s to call the driver back who initiated the call/problem in the first place.
We see scams all the time. This delivery driver was lucky that DoorDash reimbursed them for their missing money. $1,100 is nothing to sneeze at. But that might not always be the case.
Protect your money and protect yourself. Be aware of scams in your area and what to look for. Never give out your information or change your information in the app because of what someone calls and tells you to do.
Uber Is Taking on Amazon With a Groundbreaking New Service
Topic Originally Seen on TheStreet
The size of the U.S. prescription drug market stands at about $344 billion, according to Statista. That’s approximately $134.90 per American with the market growing by 4.36% on an annual basis.
Given those numbers and the high level of dependency prescription drug consumers place on getting those medications on time, it’s surprising that no consumer delivery and transport company has stepped up to offer nationwide same-day doorstep drug delivery services.
Uber aims to end that trend with the rollout of its new same-day prescription drug delivery service….
It’s another move that seems to just make sense. Uber is stretching its delivery services to include more and more in order to compete with DoorDash and other delivery services. Both Uber and DoorDash are offering grocery delivery, restaurant and food delivery, and now Uber is expanding to prescription drug delivery.
It’s a pain in the butt to have to go to a pharmacy just to pick up prescription medication, especially if you have a monthly subscription that needs filled regularly.
But also, who hasn’t been in the situation where you’re on your way home from the doctor/hospital and your prescription isn’t ready for pick up yet? You’re miserable, so you just go home and plan to go out again later. But of course, you feel miserable, so you don’t want to go out again later either. It’s not a fun situation to be in.
Having same-day prescription delivery services is a huge thing these days. It would help so many people. I applaud Uber for getting in on this. I think it’ll serve them well.
U.S. Agency Says Uber Should Face Claims that Driver Ratings are Biased
Topic Originally Seen on Reuters
The U.S. agency that enforces workplace discrimination laws has urged a federal appeals court to revive a lawsuit alleging that Uber Technologies Inc’s (UBER.N) system allowing passengers to rate drivers is racially discriminatory.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a “friend-of-the-court” brief this week backing an appeal by Thomas Liu, an Asian-American who drove for Uber in San Diego, California, and claims the five-star rating system improperly relies on passenger evaluations that can be biased.
A federal judge in San Francisco last year said Liu could not prove that Uber’s system had a discriminatory impact on non-white drivers, citing a lack of statistical evidence, and dismissed his proposed class action….
I can see it. I can see how the ratings are biased. And I don’t think Uber can really use the rating system as a means for determining a driver’s status on their platform. It’s pretty well known that if you have a low enough rating as a driver, you’ll get kicked off the platform.
But what if you’re a person of color in a predominantly white community where there’s known racism and bias against people like you? Your ratings could suffer simply because of the biases of the passengers, and it has nothing to do with your actual driving ability/safety/cleanliness of the vehicle/etc.
Most drivers have at least one 1-star rating under their belts. It’s inevitable. But also, most drivers are also scratching their heads as to why.
Some passengers will just take it upon themselves to give a low rating based on their own mood instead of basing it on any actual wrongdoing on the part of the driver.