Weekly Round-Up: Waymo Is Open For Paid Trips

Robotaxis are officially open for making money now. What does this mean for rideshare drivers and passengers?

Plus, Massachusetts is taking Uber and Lyft to trial, a new rideshare company is now in Minneapolis, and learn how an Uber driver in Newark, NJ, earned $45 per hour last week.

Join RSG Contributor Paula Lemar as she breaks down the top headlines in this week’s rideshare news.

Waymo Says Its Robotaxis Are Now Making 50,000 Paid Trips Every Week


If you’ve been seeing more Waymo robotaxis recently in Phoenix, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, that’s because more and more people are hailing one for a ride.

The Alphabet-owned company has announced on Twitter/X that it’s now serving more than 50,000 paid trips every week across three cities. Waymo One operates 24/7 in parts of those cities.

If the company is getting 50,000 rides a week, that means it receives an average of 300 bookings every hour or five bookings every minute. Waymo has revealed, as well, that it’s had over one million rider-only trips across four cities, including Austin, where it’s currently offering limited rides to select members of the public.

Waymo Says Its Robotaxis Are Now Making 50,000 Paid Trips Every Week

In its announcement, Waymo credited its “safe and deliberate approach” to scaling its program to reach the milestone.

“We see people from all walks of life use our service to travel carefree, gain independence, reclaim their commute, and more. Fully autonomous ride-hailing is a reality and a preferred mobility option for people navigating their cities every day,” Waymo added.

My Take

The Rideshare Guy himself, Harry Campbell, has some great insights into what will happen to rideshare driver jobs now that self-driving cars are here. Check out all he has to say and more in his book.

Personally, I do think it’ll still be a while before these kinds of rides will be the norm. I was recently in Phoenix and saw a handful of Waymo vehicles and my friends and I all agreed we were not ready to be driven around town in a driverless vehicle.

People tend to be scared of the unknown, and a driverless vehicle, for the time being, is still an unknown.

And the simple fact that it’s only currently available in 4 cities where extensive testing and dry runs have happened before going live. It’ll be a long time, in my opinion, before it will be regularly, widely available across the country.

Massachusetts Takes Uber, Lyft To Trial Over Whether Drivers Are Employees


Massachusetts’ attorney general took Uber Technologies and Lyft to trial on Monday over allegations that the ride-share companies are misclassifying thousands of drivers in the state as independent contractors to avoid treating them as more costly employees.

The non-jury trial in Boston comes amid broader legal and political battles in the Democratic-led state and elsewhere nationally over the status of drivers for app-based companies whose services fuel the U.S. gig worker economy.

Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell, a Democrat, is asking a judge to conclude that drivers for Uber and Lyft are employees under state law and therefore entitled to benefits such as a minimum wage, overtime and earned sick time.

My Take

Massachusetts has been fighting Uber and Lyft for years over driver classification and pay. The argument being made against Uber and Lyft is one that drivers have also pointed out for years. The platforms of Uber, Lyft, and other gig work platforms have more control over their drivers than a contract position would imply in other instances.

For example, Uber or Lyft drivers cannot charge their own rates, and they are at the mercy of the algorithm when it comes to assignments.

If more states like Washington, New York, Minnesota and Massachusetts continue to fight back against Uber and Lyft’s policies and classifications, perhaps change will happen across the board for drivers.

Granted, not all drivers want to be afforded the benefits of an employee, especially if it means giving up their flexibility, which is a part of the gig economy that most drivers insist upon. It is one of the highest reasons for continuing with this line of work.

On the other hand, classifying a driver as an employee versus an independent contractor does not necessarily mean that the platforms would have to force drivers to drive during a certain time period, forgoing flexibility. The platforms could still give that flexibility while offering other benefits.

New Rideshare Company Now Offering Service In Minneapolis



My Take

It’s great that other, lesser known, rideshare companies are stepping up to fill the gap of Uber and Lyft who are threatening to leave Minneapolis as of July 1. But, are riders going to be accepting of the change?

Uber and Lyft have been active in Minneapolis for a decade. Those are big shoes to fill. It’s encouraging that the drivers seem to be excited about the new company, but now riders have to get comfy with the idea of not having Uber and Lyft around as well.

Will this competition help encourage Uber and Lyft to stay in July? Or will they bail out of the Twin Cities as they have been threatening to over a guaranteed minimum for driver pay?

Uber Driver Earned $45 per Hour Last Week in Newark, NJ


This Uber driver earned $45 per hour (before expenses) last week in Newark, NJ according to the Solo app. By using these strategies, he earned 3X more than the average driver. Watch the video to see more tips and download the Solo app using the link in our bio! . . . . . . #Uber #lyft #rideshare #sidehustles #gigeconomy

♬ original sound – The Rideshare Guy

My Take

It’s encouraging to see that some drivers are still able to make bank on rideshare apps. With the pay seeming to decrease more and more over the years, it’s nice to see that if you follow basic tips, you can still earn a decent wage. Of course, this always depends on the market, demand, and the kinds of trips you’re willing to make.

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