We start off our weekly round-up with RSG contributor Paula Lemar covering Lyft making drastic moves to remain in play by cutting their employee workforce by over a thousand people, or about one-quarter of their base.
Plus, despite the safety precautions the platforms all claim to have set in place to protect drivers, we are still hearing endless stories of violence against drivers.
How can Uber and Lyft fix these issues?
Lyft to Cut 1,072 Employees or 26% of its Workforce
Ride-hailing app Lyft will lay off 1,072 employees, roughly 26% of its corporate workforce, and won’t hire for an additional 250 positions, the company said in an SEC filing Thursday.
The news comes a week after a memo from new Lyft CEO David Risher confirmed that the company would trim its head count.
Lyft shares were largely flat on the news. The company has around 4,000 employees and had already implemented a 13% head count reduction in November 2022.
Risher’s tenure as CEO started earlier in April. He has emphasized a need to streamline operations and get back to “better meeting the needs of riders and drivers” in employee communications and public messaging….
We’re watching Lyft very closely right now, as are many others. Holding our breaths, almost, to see if they will prevail or fail.
In this latest development, I don’t think anyone is necessarily surprised at the employee slashing, but maybe a bit surprised at the numbers.
A quarter of their workforce is being let go. Will it be enough for Lyft to go on? Are they in danger of bankruptcy or being bought out by another company?
Sheriff: Uber Eats Driver Slain, Dismembered Making Delivery
Topic Originally Seen on AP News
A Florida man is charged with murder and other offenses in the slaying and dismemberment of an Uber Eats driver who had brought food to the assailant’s house, authorities said Tuesday.
Oscar Solis Jr., 30, is charged with killing the driver during a delivery Wednesday at a home in Holiday, Florida, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said at a news conference. The remains were found at the house in trash bags and a cooler, which also contained a receipt with Solis’ name on it, according to a police affidavit.
“This was a horrific crime of passion,” Nocco told reporters. “This was demonic. What he did was demonic.”…
I don’t know that I have anything I can really say about this. It could have been literally anyone. It sounds like this would have happened no matter who the delivery driver was. I can’t even comprehend how sick and wrong this whole situation was.
Here’s what some commenters on Reddit had to say:
One said, “We should start being able to see passenger/customer photos. Sometimes u should judge a book by its cover. Also would come in handy when they pop up at the car window and give us a heart attack.”
A responder replied, “Okay so what does a person who looks like they’re going to murder somebody look like? Honestly, they don’t have a look at them. I have no clue what … you’re even talking about. Ever heard of Ted Bundy?”
Others argued that there is a look and a gut feeling to go along with it that most would listen to in order to avoid this kind of situation, and seeing the image up front would help with that.
More still argue that since the customers can see our faces on our profile, we should be able to see theirs. And more specifically in this instance, seeing an MS-13 tattoo would be an automatic clue. Though some argued the suspect’s father was actually the one on the order, not the attacker himself.
When Your Boss is an Algorithm
Two brothers who drive for Uber recently conducted an experiment. They opened their Uber apps while sitting in the same room, and tested which brother could earn more money to do the same work.
In a video published on The Rideshare Guy YouTube channel, the brothers recorded themselves looking for rides on the app. They found that Uber showed them nearly identical jobs, but offered to pay one of them a little better. The siblings could only guess why. Had Uber’s algorithm somehow calculated their worth differently?
University of California College of the Law professor Veena Dubal says that’s exactly what’s going on. In a recent paper, she says rideshare apps promote “algorithmic wage discrimination” by personalizing wages for each driver based on data they gather from them. The algorithms are proprietary, so workers have no way of knowing how their data is being used, Dubal says….
RSG’s Sergio Avedian tested out accepting every ride in his article: I Let the Uber Algorithm Boss Me Around: Here’s What Happened.
Long story short, he did not like his experience. He’d much rather nitpick and find the rides that suit his needs, as well as finding the best times for the surge and other bonuses to boost his earnings.
Is our worth determined by the algorithm? How do we fight that?
Do everything you can to turn the tables to suit your needs instead of following the “rules” the platforms set for you. Put yourself in charge as much as you’re able.
Uber Drivers Lay Out 4 Reasons They Think Tipping Has Been Getting Worse — and Why Events Like Taylor Swift Concerts Seem to Make Riders More Generous
Topic Originally Seen On Business Insider
Ben, a 42-year-old Dallas Uber driver, told Insider his tips were getting smaller.
Many gig workers reported generous tips early in the pandemic but say customers have tightened up.
Ben and other drivers have some theories about why riders aren’t as generous as they used to be.
Ben, a full-time Uber and Uber Eats driver for five years, said he’d worked as many as 90 hours in one week to make ends meet. He said smaller customer tips had made this increasingly difficult to accomplish.
“Tipping has been getting worse every year,” he told Insider….
RSG’s Sergio Avedian is quoted in this article as saying that tips in general are down since the beginning of the pandemic.
He also mentions that the increase in the cost of rides might be a driving factor in lower tip rates from passengers.
The passengers are already shelling out more money for their rides than they used to, so they might not have the “spare change” to give their drivers an adequate tip…or any tip at all.
Personally, I was recently on a trip with a handful of friends, and one of the only things that kept our Uber rides affordable was the fact we were splitting them evenly among all of us.
If I just had to order an Uber to go from the airport to my friend’s house at $30-$60 a pop (yes, that is the range I saw within 20 minutes of waiting for bags to arrive at baggage claim before placing the order for the ride), I might not have been able to tip as well as we did as a group.
Add to that just general inflation for everything, and people’s budgets are tighter than ever.