• An uncertain future for workers
    https://www.axios.com/future-of-work-gig-workers-technology-detroit-ad62cdc2-13e8-4e78-b057-9e82c8f

    DETROIT, Mich. — There’s no better symbol of what the American worker’s life used to look like than Detroit : A stable, lifelong career at a booming factory, a union membership and a pension. The big picture : Workers’ lives in the future won’t look like that. Already, new technologies and the gig economy are breaking down those very forces of stability that defined jobs over the last century — and the future of workers hangs in the balance. That great upending was the theme at the Fulcrum (...)

    #Amazon #Lyft #Postmates #Uber #algorithme #robotique #conditions #GigEconomy #travail

  • Coronavirus Exposes Workers to the Risks of the Gig Economy | WIRED
    https://www.wired.com/story/coronavirus-exposes-workers-risks-gig-economy

    Drivers for Uber and Lyft in Seattle say demand for rides has plummeted, and they have few workplace benefits to fall back on. For the past nine years, Mandolin Noir has taken care of other people’s pets around Seattle, often working through companies like Rover and Wag. The work is steady ; she visits the dogs when their owners are at work, and checks in on the cats when owners travel out of town. But in the past week, she’s faced a cascade of cancelations. Her clients who work for Amazon (...)

    #Facebook #Lyft #Trover #Uber #GigEconomy #santé #travail

    ##santé

  • Coronavirus Outbreak : What Happens to the Gig Economy ? - The Atlantic
    https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2020/02/coronavirus-gig-economy/607204

    The shadow of the new coronavirus finally reached American shores this week, as markets jittered downward and new cases crept up. The scope of any outbreak here is not clear, but experts suspect that the virus will become widespread. While the disease, known as COVID-19, is a global phenomenon, the response to it is necessarily local, and divvied up among more than 2,600 local health departments in the U.S. Municipal governments have prepared plans and local officials are on high alert, (...)

    #Amazon #Lyft #Uber #discrimination #conducteur·trice·s #santé #travail #GigEconomy

    ##santé

  • AB 5 is already changing how Uber works for California drivers and riders - Los Angeles Times
    https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/story/2020-02-03/uber-ab5-driver-app

    For years, Uber drivers have had a few requests. They’ve wanted to be able to see where passengers were going before agreeing to take them. They’ve wanted to know exactly how much Uber was keeping from each fare. Above all, they’ve wanted to make more money. Uber’s frequent response, when it deigned to respond at all : If we made these changes, Uber might not work as well, and that would hurt drivers and riders alike. But with a new California labor law making it harder for businesses to (...)

    #Lyft #Uber #procès #conditions #conducteur·trice·s #GigEconomy #travail

    https://ca-times.brightspotcdn.com/dims4/default/bfdd1c1/2147483647/strip/true/crop/2048x1075+0+146/resize/1200x630!/quality/90

  • Drivers Feel Abandoned by Uber and Lyft as Coronavirus Pandemic Emerges - VICE
    https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bvg5n4/drivers-feel-abandoned-by-uber-and-lyft-as-coronavirus-pandemic-emerges

    A lack of communication and Uber’s past method of tackling Covid-19 doesn’t inspire confidence. There have been countless warnings about how the continued spread of the coronavirus and the disease it causes, Covid-19, could dramatically affect daily life—shattering the stock market, changing our politics, and even disrupting typical patterns of employment. But what about gig workers, who are expected to always be on-call, and aren’t considered employees by their bosses ? Across popular Uber (...)

    #Lyft #Uber #conditions #conducteur·trice·s #GigEconomy #santé #travail

    ##santé

  • Données : poison et remède pour les travailleurs des plateformes ? | LINC
    https://linc.cnil.fr/donnees-poison-et-remede-pour-les-travailleurs-des-plateformes

    La poursuite des intérêts des plateformes, plus que de simples intermédiaires entre une offre et une demande de travail, peut se faire au détriment des conditions de travailleurs indépendants. A cet égard, les données personnelles collectées constituent à la fois une source d’aliénation et un levier de négociation managériale. Début novembre 2019, l’état du New Jersey réclame à l’application Uber la somme de 649 millions de dollars, l’équivalent des impôts sur le travail non payés, une première pour (...)

    #Deliveroo #OCDE #Airbnb #Lyft #Uber #UberEATS #algorithme #[fr]Règlement_Général_sur_la_Protection_des_Données_(RGPD)[en]General_Data_Protection_Regulation_(GDPR)[nl]General_Data_Protection_Regulation_(GDPR) #conditions #FoodTech #GigEconomy #notation #nourriture #profiling (...)

    ##[fr]Règlement_Général_sur_la_Protection_des_Données__RGPD_[en]General_Data_Protection_Regulation__GDPR_[nl]General_Data_Protection_Regulation__GDPR_ ##travail ##travailleurs ##CLAP

  • La bulle des trottinettes électriques est-elle en train d’éclater ? | korii.
    https://korii.slate.fr/biz/micro-mobilite-start-ups-trottinettes-electriques-lime-licenciements-ret

    Lime se prépare à licencier 14% de ses effectifs et à se retirer de douze villes. Uber ou Lyft ont peut-être servi d’exemple. Malgré l’hypercroissance, les géants du ride hailing peinent à convaincre les financiers de leur capacité à dégager des profits durables et se sont pris les pieds, en 2019, dans des introductions boursières calamiteuses. Le secteur des trottinettes électriques en libre-service s’est lui aussi développé à une vitesse ahurissante, chaque entreprise dépensant sans compter pour (...)

    #Bird #Lime #Lyft #Uber #trottinette #conditions #travail #domination #bénéfices

  • What Does California’s New Data Privacy Law Mean ? Nobody Agrees
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/29/technology/california-privacy-law.html

    The statute was meant to standardize how companies disclose their consumer data-mining practices. So far, not so much. Millions of people in California are now seeing notices on many of the apps and websites they use. “Do Not Sell My Personal Information,” the notices may say, or just “Do Not Sell My Info.” But what those messages mean depends on which company you ask. Stopping the sale of personal data is just one of the new rights that people in California may exercise under a state (...)

    #Apple #Google #Microsoft #T-Mobile #Amazon #Facebook #Lyft #Twitter #Uber #CaliforniaConsumerPrivacyAct-CCPA #data #marketing #profiling #publicité (...)

    ##publicité ##législation

  • Uber and Lyft finally admit they’re making traffic congestion worse in cities
    https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/6/20756945/uber-lyft-tnc-vmt-traffic-congestion-study-fehr-peers

    Ride-hailing accounts for up to 14 percent of vehicle miles traveled in some cities, according to a study commissioned by Uber and Lyft Uber and Lyft have long argued that ride-hailing apps have the potential to make cities better by easing traffic and reducing personal car ownership. And every time a study emerges that counters that narrative by exposing ride-hailing’s worsening effects on congestion, the two companies respond by casting doubt on the studies’ findings. Well, this time the (...)

    #Lyft #Uber #écologie #VTC

  • 3 045 agressions sexuelles, 9 meurtres : Uber rend public un bilan terrifiant
    https://www.numerama.com/politique/577842-3-045-agressions-sexuelles-9-meurtres-uber-rend-public-un-bilan-ter

    Alors que le mouvement « Uber c’est over » prend de l’ampleur, l’entreprise de VTC a publié son premier rapport sur la sécurité. Le nombre d’agressions sexuelles, viols ou meurtres est important. Pour la première fois, Uber a rendu public ce jeudi 5 décembre son rapport sur la sécurité des courses effectuées aux États-Unis. Le document, qui couvre l’année 2018 et une partie de 2017, révèle l’ampleur des agressions subies. Agressions sexuelles, viols et meurtres Le rapport fait ainsi état de 3 045 agressions (...)

    #Lyft #Uber #harcèlement #viol #conducteur·trice·s

    //c1.lestechnophiles.com/www.numerama.com/content/uploads/2019/11/uber-chauffeur.jpg

  • Uber and Lyft drivers more likely to cancel on LGBT passengers
    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/10/01/uber-lyft-drivers-cancel-lgbt-passengers-journeys

    A new study has proved LGBT+ people routinely face discrimination from Uber and Lyft drivers, who cancel their journeys almost twice as frequently as with straight passengers. The study “When Transparency Fails : Bias and Financial Incentives in Ridesharing Platforms” revealed that LGBT+ people and black people were the most likely groups to be cancelled on. Professors Chris Parker and Jorge Meija conducted the study by creating passenger profiles with a picture of a rainbow flag, (...)

    #Uber #Lyft #discrimination #LGBT #conditions #conducteur·trice·s #surveillance

  • La Californie requalifie en salariés les chauffeurs d’Uber et Lyft
    https://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-services/tourisme-transport/la-californie-requalifie-les-chauffeurs-duber-et-lyft-en-salaries-1130705

    La loi, qui met fin au statut de travailleur indépendant pour les entreprises de la « gig economy », menace le coeur du modèle économique des VTC. Selon la banque Morgan Stanley, le statut de salarié des chauffeurs va augmenter les coûts des deux applis leader de 35 %. L’Etat où Uber, Lyft, Instacart, Doordash et la majorité des applications de la « gig economy » sont nées vient d’abattre l’un des piliers de leur ascension et de jeter le doute sur leur avenir. Après l’Assemblée le mois dernier, le Sénat (...)

    #Lyft #Uber #procès #travail #VTC

  • En Californie, victoire décisive pour les chauffeurs d’Uber
    https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2019/09/11/en-californie-victoire-decisive-pour-les-chauffeurs-d-uber_1750725

    En approuvant un texte requalifiant les chauffeurs et livreurs indépendants des plateformes de VTC en employés, le Sénat du Golden State ouvre la voie à une remise en cause radicale de l’économie des services à la demande de l’ère numérique. L’économie des plateformes en mode ubérisée a-t-elle vécu ? En adoptant mardi soir un projet de loi ouvrant la voie à la requalification en salariés des travailleurs indépendants de la « Gig Economy » comme on l’appelle dans les pays anglo-saxons, le Parlement de (...)

    #Lyft #Uber #procès #travail #VTC

  • Uber And Lyft Take A Lot More From Drivers Than They Say
    https://jalopnik.com/uber-and-lyft-take-a-lot-more-from-drivers-than-they-sa-1837450373


    Das Magain Jalopnik hat in einer längeren Untersuchung die erste, einzige und beste Untersuchung der Fahrerverdienste bei Uber durchgeführt. Dieser Artikel beschreibt die Ergebnisse.

    Dhruv Mehrotra, Aaron Gordon, 26.8.2019 - In July, an Uber driver we’ll call Dave—his name has been changed here to protect his identity—picked up a fare in a trendy neighborhood of a major U.S. metropolitan area. It was rush hour and surge pricing was in effect due to increased demand, meaning that Dave would be paid almost twice the regular fare.

    Even though the trip was only five miles, it lasted for more than half an hour because his passengers scheduled a stop at Taco Bell for dinner. Dave knew sitting at the restaurant waiting for his fares to get a Doritos Cheesy Gordita Crunch or whatever would cost him money; he was earning only 21 cents a minute when the meter was running, compared to 60 cents per mile. With surge pricing in effect, it would be far more lucrative to keep moving and picking up new fares than sitting in a parking lot.

    But Dave, who was granted anonymity out of fear of being deactivated by the ride-hail giant for speaking to the press, had no real choice but to wait. The passenger had requested the stop through the app, so refusing to make it would have been contentious both with the customer and with Uber. The exact number varies by city, but drivers must maintain a high rating in order to work on their platform. And there’s widespread belief among drivers that the Uber algorithm punishes drivers for cancelling trips.

    Ultimately, the rider paid $65 for the half-hour trip, according to a receipt viewed by Jalopnik. But Dave made only $15 (the fares have been rounded to anonymize the transaction).

    Uber kept the rest, meaning the multibillion-dollar corporation kept more than 75 percent of the fare, more than triple the average so-called “take-rate” it claims in financial reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    Had he known in advance how much he would have been paid for the ride relative to what the rider paid, Dave said he never would have accepted the fare.

    “This is robbery,” Dave told Jalopnik over email. “This business is out of control.”

    Dave is far from alone in his frustrations. Uber and Lyft have slashed driver pay in recent years and now take a larger portion of each fare, far larger than the companies publicly report, based on data collected by Jalopnik. And the new Surge or Prime Time pricing structure widely adopted by both companies undermines a key legal argument both companies make to classify drivers as independent contractors.

    Jalopnik asked drivers to send us fare receipts showing a breakdown of how much the rider paid for the trip, how much of that fare Uber or Lyft kept, and what the driver earned. (https://jalopnik.com/we-think-uber-and-lyfts-new-surge-fares-screw-drivers-a-1835952856)

    Link: We Think Uber and Lyft’s New Surge Fares Screw Drivers and Riders. Help Us Prove It. https://jalopnik.com/we-think-uber-and-lyfts-new-surge-fares-screw-drivers-a-1835952856

    Link: Uber changed how its surge pricing works last year. Not for riders, but for drivers. The changes… https://jalopnik.com/we-think-uber-and-lyfts-new-surge-fares-screw-drivers-a-1835952856

    In total, we received 14,756 fares. These came from two sources: the web form where drivers could submit fares individually, and via email where some drivers sent us all their fares from a given time period.

    Of all the fares Jalopnik examined, Uber kept 35 percent of the revenue, while Lyft kept 38 percent. These numbers are roughly in line with a previous study by Lawrence Mishel at the Economic Policy Institute which concluded Uber’s take rate to be roughly one-third, or 33 percent. (https://www.epi.org/publication/uber-and-the-labor-market-uber-drivers-compensation-wages-and-the-scale-of-uber)

    Of the drivers who emailed us breakdowns for all of their fares in a given time period—ranging from a few months to more than a year—Uber kept, on average, 29.6 percent. Lyft pocketed 34.5 percent.

    Those take rates are 10.6 percent and 8.5 percent higher than Uber and Lyft’s publicly reported figures, respectively.


    Graphic: Jim Cooke — G/O Media

    In regulatory filings, Uber has reported its so-called “take-rate” is actually going down, from 21.7 percent in 2018 to 19 percent in the second quarter of 2019 (Uber declined to offer U.S.-only figures for a more direct comparison to Jalopnik’s findings).

    Business Insider has previously reported Lyft’s take rate for 2018 was 26.8 percent, although Lyft claimed it does not publicly share their take rates and declined to do so with Jalopnik.

    When asked for comment, Uber and Lyft disputed Jalopnik’s findings as flawed and not representative of their overall business. But neither company agreed to Jalopnik’s request to provide statistically significant data sets of anonymized fares for independent verification, continuing their longstanding pattern of data secrecy. (https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2019/08/uber-drivers-lawsuit-personal-data-ride-hailing-gig-economy/594232

    The findings “support the argument that their business model is built on large scale labor exploitation.”

    Trips like the $65 Taco Bell run only highlight inequities between the multibillion dollar companies and drivers earning at or below minimum wage. When asked about that fare, an Uber spokesman acknowledged, “For all the pain points new surge helped solve, it has its challenges: top among them is the fact that drivers may earn comparatively less on longer surged trips, even if they earn surge more frequently.”

    The spokesman added that “To better serve drivers, we often increase surge payments on longer trips with added amounts that vary based on the length of a trip. Drivers are able to see this additional amount on their trip receipt after the trip is over.” Dave received no such increase.

    Trips like Dave’s also expose inconsistencies in the very logic under which these companies operate. Drivers like Dave are technically independent contractors, but they have no control over many aspects of their work life, including the price of their own services.

    “This is really fascinating and troubling,” said Sandeep Vaheesan, legal director of the Open Markets Institute, a nonprofit studying corporate concentration and monopoly power, when briefed on Jalopnik’s findings. Vaheesan went on to say the findings “support the argument that their business model is built on large scale labor exploitation.”

    “This is, as far as I know, the most convincing data that we have at the individual driver level about the share that Uber takes of every driver’s gross earnings,” said Marshall Steinbaum, an economist at the University of Utah who studies labor markets, “and in that respect it moves the ball a lot forward in terms of understanding how these labor markets work.”

    He added that “if their [Uber and Lyft’s] response is this is not representative of all the drivers, it is representative of other people who have tried to verify their claims and found them wanting.”

    To be sure, Jalopnik’s data set is not perfect. The sample of 14,756 fares is a tiny fraction of the millions of trips Uber and Lyft complete each day in the U.S. alone; it would be impossible for any independent researcher to get their hands on an adequate data set without Uber and Lyft’s cooperation (or, in theory, more nefarious methods such as hacking or data breaches).

    And there is almost certainly some degree of selection bias in Jalopnik’s data acquired via the web form toward drivers who are unhappy with their share and would therefore be more likely to take the time to submit their fare. Along those lines, the fares Jalopnik received through the web form were disproportionately from outside of Uber and Lyft’s major metropolitan markets and during surge times, indicating a possible selection bias in our findings.

    “While 8,926 fares is a large increase from the 175 you had before,” (https://jalopnik.com/we-think-uber-and-lyfts-new-surge-fares-screw-drivers-a-1835952856) an Uber spokesman said, “it is still not a statistically representative sample, given Uber completes approximately 15 million trips per day around the world.”

    But there are also reasons to believe our findings are more representative of the individual driver experience than Uber and Lyft would care to admit. Even the complete fare records Jalopnik received showed a higher take rate than previously reported (https://www.businessinsider.com/uber-lyft-strike-why-take-rate-is-so-important-2019-5). And these drivers, Steinbaum observed, may present a selection bias in the other direction.

    By keeping diligent records, “they’re probably the savviest drivers and therefore the ones that the companies are least able to fleece, so to speak, so you might be getting an underestimate of their take from them.”

    Lyft disputed this as well. A spokesman told Jalopnik, “Even if the investigation looked at every ride for a handful of drivers, the sample pool of drivers needs to accurately reflected [sic] a cross section of all Lyft drivers, and not just a specific subset (i.e., did that sample size have enough diversity to say it represents the average experience for Lyft drivers across the board).”

    In regulatory filings, court cases, and their terms of service, Uber and Lyft claim to merely be facilitators between the rider and driver, not a transportation service. They claim their actual customers are drivers (https://jalopnik.com/uber-s-twisted-logic-means-this-isnt-a-strike-its-a-bo-1834598838). And drivers pay Uber and Lyft a cut of their earnings for connecting them with their customers, the riders. This echoes a common Silicon Valley refrain: they are just technology companies, and therefore should not be subject to the regulations of the industries they are disrupting.
    Article preview thumbnail

    Link: Uber’s Twisted Logic Means This Isn’t a Strike. It’s a Boycott https://jalopnik.com/uber-s-twisted-logic-means-this-isnt-a-strike-its-a-bo-1834598838

    Link: Today, many Uber and Lyft drivers in major cities across the country are striking to protest their… https://jalopnik.com/uber-s-twisted-logic-means-this-isnt-a-strike-its-a-bo-1834598838

    But in recent years, in efforts to stem the tide of their multi-billion dollar losses, both ride-hail companies have separated what riders pay from what drivers earn, moving away from a strict percentage-based commission.

    Using what it calls Upfront Pricing, first instituted in 2016, Uber tells riders exactly how much they will pay before the trip begins based on their own algorithm’s prediction (as is often the case, Lyft instituted the same policy shortly after Uber). It then compensates drivers based on the trip’s actual time and distance.

    According to both companies, the change to Upfront Pricing was made in response to rider and driver feedback; riders didn’t want to be surprised with a higher bill, and drivers wanted to be compensated for the work they actually performed.

    This common-sense policy has potentially profound legal implications. In practice, Upfront Pricing decouples the rider’s payment from the driver’s earnings; one price is set before the ride based on an estimate, the other after the ride is completed based on reality.

    This change is most evident with how Uber and Lyft now handle high-demand periods. Along with the move to Upfront Pricing, both companies also changed the way their high-demand pricing model, often known as Surge or Prime Time works (Lyft has since changed the brand name to Personal Power Zones for drivers).

    Instead of drivers receiving a multiplier on their earnings, as Dave did for the Taco Bell run, most now get a flat fee bonus, typically only a few dollars per ride. Uber and Lyft will sometimes kick the drivers a couple extra bucks if the surge is particularly high or the ride especially long, but there seems to be little rhyme or reason for when this happens. Riders, meanwhile, still pay the multiplier, meaning riders are often paying far more than drivers are earning on those rides.

    “It shows that they are a firm that is charging consumers and then making decisions with that money, including how to pay a labor force.”

    An Uber spokesman explained this dynamic to Jalopnik as follows: “While driver- and rider-side surge are both tied to real-time imbalances in supply and demand, what a rider pays in surge and what a driver earns from surge on a given trip isn’t always the same. This is due, in part, to the fact that new driver surge is based on the driver’s location, not the rider’s. What this means is that a driver may receive surge on a trip even if the rider doesn’t pay anything extra.”

    Similarly, a Lyft spokesman said, “Lyft continues to pass the rider Prime Time onto the drivers, via PPZs, at the same rate in aggregate. There are differences on a ride-level but these differences cut in both directions,” in that sometimes drivers earn an usually higher or lower percentage of the fare.

    In other words, Uber and Lyft say they are taking all the surge charges riders pay and spreading the proceeds among all the drivers in the area, whether their particular passenger pays a surge fare or not (both companies deny they merely pocket the difference).

    This, according to Wayne State University law professor Sanjuka Paul, who has written extensively on the ride-hailing industry, is a new wrinkle in the independent contractor debate, because it doesn’t align with the arguments the companies make that they merely facilitate interactions between two independent actors in a market.

    “The economic reality is they, Uber and Lyft, are collecting the fare from the consumer and then making a capital firm decision which, in this case, doesn’t sound like a very bad decision— actually making quite a sensible decision,” she said. “But it shows that they are a firm that is charging consumers and then making decisions with that money, including how to pay a labor force.”

    Or, as Steinbaum put it, “what they’re doing is exactly what employers do with their workers.”

    In addition, the companies can, and have, changed the base time-and-distance rates drivers earn whenever they want. And there have been many pay cuts.

    In recent years, driver forums have been flooded with angry comments about hastily announced pay cuts in markets around the country. This, despite drivers already making near (or sometimes below https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/mar/22/uber-lyft-ipo-drivers-unionize-low-pay-expenses) minimum wage. These cuts have led to some drivers who spoke with Jalopnik on the condition of anonymity curtailing their own hours, or exiting the ride-hail business entirely, because it’s no longer worth their time after accounting for expenses like fuel, insurance, and car payments.

    Uber and Lyft both deny that driver earnings have declined. “While not every driver has the same experience,” an Uber spokesman wrote to Jalopnik, “that’s not what we see when we look at trends in drivers’ average hourly earnings over the last couple of years, which have increased.”

    A Lyft spokesman told Jalopnik the number of drivers on their platform is increasing and that driver earnings increased over the past two years. The company claims drivers make “more than $30 per booked hour nationally,” although that figure only accounts for the time from when a driver accepts a ride request to when the passenger is dropped off and does not include expenses.

    Some drivers didn’t even realize the extent of the changes in the company’s take rates, both for high-demand trips specifically and across the board, until they compiled their records to send to Jalopnik. One driver, who has been working for Uber in Texas for three years, sent us almost 500 surge fares.

    “Kind of depressing to know that Uber used to take 20 percent when I started and now gets on average 31 percent, with some fares up to 50 percent,” he said.

    A former full-time driver from Iowa said that prior to the pay cuts that ultimately slashed his per-mile rate more than half, he estimates about 30 percent of the fares he picked up were, after Uber and Lyft’s cut, not worth his time. After those changes, from 2018 onward, he says the number of undesirable fares is now closer to 70 or 80 percent, which is why he stopped driving full-time.

    (It’s tricky to compare ride-hail take rates with the taxi industry in any meaningful way, where drivers are on the hook for fixed expenses such as dispatching services, leasing the taxi and/or paying off the cost of a medallion. Taxi drivers have to pay those fees regardless of how much money they earn. In fact, many taxi drivers switched to ride-hailing because percentage-based commissions—along with the hefty sign-up bonuses Uber and Lyft once offered—sounded like a better deal.)

    The drivers’ frustrations with pay cuts and Uber and Lyft’s rising take rates are compounded by other inequities of the ride-hail industry.

    Uber and Lyft argue that drivers are not employees, but independent contractors, since they are allowed to set their own schedules. Both companies lean heavily on this arrangement in advertisements and promotions to recruit drivers, using phrases like “be your own boss” (http://ourweekly.com/news/2015/may/07/becoming-your-own-boss-uber) to describe the arrangement.

    But the reality is much more complicated. In fact, drivers don’t have the power to make many of the decisions that typically come with self-employment. Chief among them is the ability to set prices—or even negotiate—for the services they provide.

    In driver agreements, both companies state that drivers accept their new rates simply by continuing to drive for the company. In other words, the only recourse drivers have to a pay cut is to quit; a familiar arrangement for any employee, but not for anyone who is their “own boss,” and thus would not have income determined by another company’s ever-changing set of rules.

    “It’s really crazy how companies have carte blanche to deprive us of our rights through contract,” Vaheesan wrote in a follow-up email after Jalopnik showed him the contract language. “Courts and Congress have basically accepted this regime as normal.”

    Furthermore, drivers have the option to decline or cancel rides, but there is widespread belief among drivers that if they do it too often, they risk being put in “timeouts” where they receive no requests at all for a certain amount of time, a phenomenon that is frequently documented in driver forums and blogs.
    Drivers don’t have the power to make many of the decisions that typically come with self-employment. Chief among them is the ability to set prices—or even negotiate—for the services they provide.

    Both companies deny they punish drivers in any way for declining rides, but Lyft acknowledged some incentives are only available to drivers with high ride acceptance rates.

    In another bid to increase revenue, Uber is rolling out Comfort Mode (https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/9/20686640/uber-comfort-extra-legroom-quiet-mode-temperature-air-conditioning-ac), which provides riders amenities such as a car with extra legroom, the option to set a desired temperature, or request the driver to be quiet for an extra fee (drivers for Comfort rides get a few cents extra added to their mile-and-time rates).

    Uber says this is merely a request to the driver rather than a requirement, but riders are unlikely to be pleased if a driver refuses to comply with a request they paid extra for. Should a driver not follow the instructions, it is likely they would at the very least receive a lower rating.

    Taken together, rather than being their own bosses, drivers often feel as if they are being governed by algorithms, as Alex Rosenblat wrote in her deeply reported book Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work. (https://www.amazon.com/Uberland-Algorithms-Rewriting-Rules-Work/dp/0520298578) This algorithmic “boss,” which sets pay rates in opaque ways and governs work rules through carrot-and-stick arrangements, not only removes any accountability but results in drivers having to guess what the algorithm wants. In her book, Rosenblat wrote:

    An algorithmic manager enacts its policies, penalizes drivers for behaving in a manner unlike what Uber “suggests,” and incentivizes them to work at particular places in particular times…When I ask drivers if they are their own boss, they usually pause and remark that it’s sort of true, and that they set their own schedule. But an app-employer provides a type of experience that differs from human interactions, and it can be challenging to identify the fault lines of autonomy and control within its automated system.

    In an interview for this story, Rosenblat, who spoke to hundreds of drivers researching her book, added that drivers had different reactions to rides where they thought they didn’t get a fair cut.

    “Some drivers were pissed, and they would say, if I’m an independent contractor you should give me the information I need to make an informed choice,” Rosenblat said. “But other drivers rationalize taking bad fares with the idea that taking a bad one is kind of like karma… If you only take a passenger a couple of blocks on this ride, you might get compensated for a better ride later.”

    Rosenblat added that the karmic realignment theory is a direct result of the lack of transparency from the ride-hail giants. She characterized it as a “magical thinking [drivers] wouldn’t have to resort to if Uber and Lyft gave them the actual facilities to make informed decisions, or to better understand how they might be treated, or rewarded and penalized, for their work performance with valuable or less valuable dispatches.”

    A full-time veteran driver from New Orleans told Jalopnik that she somewhat subscribes to the karmic realignment theory on the take rates, although recent cuts have changed her attitude a bit. She has seen her earnings drop roughly 20 percent this year due to a combination of factors, including an expanding of the driver pool as a result of the companies allowing older vehicles than prior years. As a result, she is considering a job change, even though an occasional health issue makes the flexible hours of ride-hailing especially appealing.

    Even though she prefers driving to her previous jobs in the service industry, she said she has come to believe Uber and Lyft’s take rates ought to be capped, perhaps at 25 or 30 percent, and said she would get behind a driver organizing campaign to make the profession more sustainable.

    But for now, she still avoids looking at individual fare breakdowns. “It just annoys me,” she said, “and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

    –----

    Discussion, Community (492)
    Sort by: Popular

    BigRed91
    Dhruv Mehrotra
    8/26/19 12:18pm

    So this is an at-will gig where you pick your own hours, have no barrier to entry besides owning a car, have no interview process, and can quit whenever you want with no repercussions and you make $30/hour. What exactly are people complaining about?

    If you don’t like it, go get an actual job and quit driving. Hell, get your CDL and go be a delivery driver. Clearly drivers are willing to work for the pay here since the companies are having no issue covering demand (financial issues aside). If you have an issue with the way they do business, don’t drive for them and don’t use their services.
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    Give Me Tacos or Give Me Death
    BigRed91
    8/26/19 12:36pm

    I can’t comment on the average hourly wage an Uber/Lyft driver makes because it almost certainly varies with geography.

    But the entire time you’re driving, you’re burning fuel, wearing out tires and such. Those cost money. They could PROBABLY be deducted from one’s taxes, but I’m not sure the average person knows if that’s true, or keeps their receipts, or has an accountant who can answer the question with any authority.

    So the real wage is almost certainly going to be considerably lower.
    94
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    eviligloo
    BigRed91
    8/26/19 12:37pm

    I drove for Uber for 6 months in a major market. I never saw the $30 they claim. Actual take home after expenses was closer to $12-$17/hr depending on when it was. Tipping was almost nonexistent.

    How would you come up with a number of $30/hr? Well you would have to ignore all the expenses the driver incurs (taxes, insurance, gas, etc) plus disregard all of the idle time waiting for the next time you are paired up with a driver. There is an airport lot near me where drivers sit for over 2 hours waiting for a single fare (and you don’t know if they are going 40 minutes away or 2 minutes away when you finally DO get it because they don’t tell you in advance). I guarantee none of that time was factored into their calculation.

    I killed an hour just waiting in a lot making $0 once. I’ll never sit in an airport lot again.
    146
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    Cash Rewards
    BigRed91
    8/26/19 12:37pm

    You’re right in a lot of what you’re saying, but when I put off cdl school to do this gig because they say they only take 20% or so, then stiff me another 10-15%, then I’ve wasted time and money because they lied about how they do business. That’s shitty
    89
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    Big Block I-4
    BigRed91
    8/26/19 12:40pm

    You don’t make $30/hr. That is only if you are constantly booked, if you do 6-10 min. trips over three hours you will make $30 in a hour of work time, but it will have taken you 3 hours to work an hour. Their $30/hr booked rate is a useless stat unless you can work non-stop, which is impossible since you are never dropping off and picking people up at the exact same time a place ride after ride after ride.
    147
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    Show more replies in this thread
    Revson
    Dhruv Mehrotra
    8/26/19 12:25pm

    So the companies are ripping off drivers and still losing a metric shit ton of cash. It seems nobody is making any money in this scheme except the investors and executives, ohhhhhhhhhh.
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    For Sweden
    Revson
    8/26/19 12:58pm

    How are the investors making money?
    Illustration for comment
    27
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    Left Lane is for Passing
    Revson
    8/26/19 1:06pm

    They are the only ones loosing money. Drivers get paid, passenger get cheaper than should be rides.
    13
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    krhodes1
    Revson
    8/26/19 1:07pm

    I really don’t get how they lose as much money as they do, unless they are heating their buildings by burning $100 bills.

    Somebody is making money here, but it is neither the drivers nor the investors.
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    For Sweden
    Left Lane is for Passing
    8/26/19 1:11pm

    “Billionaires are going bankrupt subsidizing my Uber ride and that is bad.”

    -Jalopnik
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    Show more replies in this thread
    Harry
    Dhruv Mehrotra
    8/26/19 12:35pm

    This is a lot of words dedicated to a fundamentally broken statistical analysis of a non-random survey of an insignificant sample size and some anecdotal stories.
    67
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    Nytmare
    Harry
    8/26/19 1:52pm

    Well go ahead and do an article on the data you wish you had, so you can compare it to the article Jalopnik did on the data they do have, and then we’ll see whose article is better.
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    ZHP Sparky, the 5th
    Harry
    8/26/19 1:58pm

    What alternative are you suggesting? The rideshare companies are notorious for keeping their ridership data close to the vest...so that leaves you needing to try gathering what you can from the drivers.

    If you’re willing to fund a larger and more scientific study perhaps you should reach out to the author?

    Or are you suggest some form of regulatory filing requirement for ridership data? Excellent idea, I’m sure Uber and Lyft will be thrilled!
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    Sean Bond
    Harry
    8/26/19 2:04pm

    I don’t want to say “well, they got your click,” but aside from the informational aspect of this piece (and it does give some insight into Uber/Lyft even if it’s not an incredibly significant sample size), they also are getting traffic on the piece (no pun intended), even by people who don’t think the story matters. So, mission accomplished.
    5
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    Patrick
    Harry
    8/26/19 2:40pm

    Your comment is entirely anecdotal.
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    Hayden Lorell
    Dhruv Mehrotra
    8/26/19 12:10pm

    Uber and Lyft ripping off drivers?
    Illustration for comment

    Seriously, I started to notice these discrepancies within 3 months of driving for Lyft.

    I did it at the time because my contract job was up, and I was in-between jobs looking for new work. I’m happy I didn’t have to do it for more than the year that I did do it. While it’s a fun and amusing side-gig, driving people around, it’s by no means sustainable with the current structure.

    It was good, quick cash to help me in a rough spot but truly this was never meant to be long term. I don’t see a [regulated] situation where it is any more sustainable than a cab business. In which case, cab companies are you listening?

    If you upgrade to digital dispatching, payment, ride-hailing, etc. on a universal system, and maybe vacuumed a fucking cab more than once a year, you could easily overtake these apps.

    Because as a driver? Fuck these guys. But as a rider? What the fuck is a better option when public transit is a joke, cabs are....cabs, and owning a vehicle is nothing but a headache in urban areas.
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    ZHP Sparky, the 5th
    Hayden Lorell
    8/26/19 2:00pm

    OK that’s a very reasonable take, but I object to your statement that “this was never meant to be long term”.

    Sure, that’s the companies’ PR spin on things – but the reality is they need rivers to stay with them for as long as possible, and to drive as many hours as they can entice them in to.

    Grandmas trying to make knitting money and college kids in between classes aren’t going to make up the ridership volume they’re looking for in the large markets they’re trying to dominate.
    11
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    Sean Bond
    Hayden Lorell
    8/26/19 2:07pm

    Yeah, it really sucks because in some ways, Lyft and Uber have revolutionized people getting around (especially in metro areas). It’s so much more convenient than it used to be, response time is insane (4 minutes is about as long as I typically have to wait around my neighborhood), and in general the whole user experience is great for riders.

    But for drivers, and for traffic (and yes, for cabbies), it just blows.
    12
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    Hayden Lorell
    ZHP Sparky, the 5th
    8/26/19 2:41pm

    My argument to that would be that these “driver incentives” that they use for new drivers are just made up through this price gouging, especially when the driver is out of that probationary period and they’re no longer entitled to driving incentives. I would argue they absolutely can deal with constant driver turnover as it’s not like they have anything invested in the drivers besides giving them a free LED “pill” (after they’ve done over 250 rides). As long as they keep getting desperate people, with or without 4 wheels, who need money, they will keep this shit up.
    4
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    lonememe
    ZHP Sparky, the 5th
    8/26/19 2:59pm

    I look at it like when I worked retail during college at REI and tried to make a living off of it afterward. As a society, we honestly don’t really need the benefits offered by having full-time long-term employees in areas like retail and cab driving, and companies are recognizing this and moving away from it. This isn’t to say I agree with this practice, as I wish we do still had knowledgable long-term full-timers in specialized retail, but I think this is what’s going on:

    Think of the retail experience prior to the internet. You were going to a store to talk to someone with experience and knowledge (albeit biased) in a field you were less familiar with and had less information available to you about. The long-term full-time retail worker would have been to trade shows and the like to increase their product knowledge, on top of years in the field working with those products. Now that we have review blogs/vlogs, and product reviews on product pages, we kind of don’t need them except for the few specific items that are body fit specific. We can find out more seemingly unbiased information online than they can tell us in-store, so what’s the incentive to keeping them around as they become more expensive for a company to retain? I just don’t think there is one from a business perspective, which is a monetary one, but I wish they’d rethink that since I think there is a less tangible benefit felt by customers in terms of trust and what not.

    Same goes for driver professions. Prior to everyone having GPS on their phone, who was the best source of navigation in a local area? AAA and cab drivers. Well, cab drivers got greedy and people got smart and saw they were being ripped off considering the information is now widely available in your handheld devices. I experienced this in London too when my company booked a black cab from city back to Heathrow. Not exaggerating, it was 3 times more expensive than the Uber I took from Heathrow to the city and there was absolutely zero advantage that I could discern. The black cab driver didn’t say squat to us that would indicate they gleaned something from their supposedly rigorous knowledge test they have to take, and it was just a really typical taxi when it comes down to it.

    I don’t know, it’s just my .02 but I think that’s why we’re seeing these companies try to make it hard to stick around. They just don’t want us to.

    #Uber #Lyft #USA #Ausbeutung #surge_pricing

  • A California Bill Could Transform the Lives of Gig Workers. Silicon Valley Wants Labor’s Help To Stop It.
    https://theintercept.com/2019/07/18/uber-lyft-california-gig-economy-labor-unions

    A bill with potentially huge implications for the so-called gig economy is making its way through the California state legislature this summer, laying bare cleavages within the labor movement. Companies like Uber and Lyft are seeking a workaround to the legislation, which would classify their drivers as employees rather than independent contractors, opening the door to a host of employment benefits. Some prominent labor unions, meanwhile, have been in talks with Silicon Valley, even as they (...)

    #Lyft #Uber #travail #législation

  • 08.06.2019: Uber steht drüber (Tageszeitung junge Welt)
    https://www.jungewelt.de/artikel/356328.konkurrenz-auf-der-stra%C3%9Fe-uber-steht-dr%C3%BCber.html

    90 Prozent der Berliner Taxifahrer verdingen sich weit unterhalb der Niedriglohnschwelle. US-Fahrdienstleister treibt Preise in den Keller
    Von Ralf Wurzbacher

    Foto: #Taxifahrer protestieren am 21.2.2019vor dem Bundesverkehrsministerium gegen Uber in Berlin

    Mit der von ihm beabsichtigten Liberalisierung des Beförderungsgewerbes will #Bundesverkehrsminister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) für einen »fairen« Wettbewerb auf der Straße sorgen. Wie »fair« es schon heute zugeht – ohne komplette Marktöffnung für Fahrdienstleister wie #Uber, #Moia oder #Lyft –, lässt sich am Beispiel Berlin zeigen. Nach Zahlen der #Bundesagentur_für_Arbeit (BA) verdienen 90 Prozent aller vollzeitbeschäftigten Taxifahrerinnen und -fahrer ein Entgelt unterhalb der #Niedriglohnschwelle. Diese bei zwei Dritteln des mittleren Bruttolohns angesetzte Grenze lag 2017 bundesweit bei 2.139 Euro. Wer in der Hauptstadt in Festanstellung Menschen von A nach B kutschiert, muss sich dagegen mit im Schnitt 1.338 Euro monatlich begnügen – vor Abzug von Steuern und Sozialabgaben.

    Beschafft hat sich die Daten der gewerkschaftspolitische Sprecher der Bundestagsfraktion Die Linke, Pascal Meiser. In einer junge Welt vorliegenden Auswertung warnt er eindringlich vor Scheuers Vorhaben. Damit werde das Lohndumping in der Branche weiter vorangetrieben. Wer nicht wolle, dass immer mehr Taxifahrer beim Jobcenter aufstocken, der müsse die »gemeingefährlichen Pläne stoppen«. Vor zwei Jahren hatten 2.100 oder 36 Prozent der insgesamt 5.700 »Kutscher« in Vollzeit ergänzende Hartz-IV-Leistungen bezogen. Auch sonst ist Berlin der Hotspot in Sachen Taxiprekariat. Im Bundesmittel erhalten die Fahrer 330 Euro mehr im Monat als ihre Kollegen an der Spree. Selbst in Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt und Brandenburg wirft der Job rund 300 Euro mehr im Monat ab.

    Eine Mitschuld an der Misere trifft auch die Berliner Landesregierung. Schon vor einem Jahr hatten die städtischen Taxiunternehmer eine Erhöhung der Beförderungstarife um circa acht Prozent pro Kilometer bei der Verkehrsverwaltung beantragt. Allerdings lässt die zuständige Senatorin, Regine Günther, mit der Umsetzung auf sich warten. Auch deshalb demonstrierten am Donnerstag zum wiederholten Male Hunderte Taxifahrer vorm Dienstsitz der parteilosen Politikerin, die auf dem Ticket von Bündnis 90/Die Grünen das Umwelt- und Verkehrsressort führt. In einer Plenarsitzung des Abgeordnetenhauses am selben Tag bezeichnete sie die Forderungen als durchaus berechtigt und verwies auf eine abgeschlossene Wirtschaftlichkeitsprüfung. Wann die fällige Verordnung über eine neue Preisstruktur fertig sein wird, ließ sie allerdings offen.

    Geballten Unmut zieht Günther vor allem durch ihre Untätigkeit beim Thema Uber auf sich. Der Share-Economy-Konzern, der in der Hauptstadt gegen Provision Mietwagenfahrten vermittelt, verstößt mit seinem Service weiterhin ungestraft gegen gesetzliche Regeln, die ihm das Beutemachen auf dem deutschen Markt bis dato noch erschweren. Seine Auftragnehmer müssen im Gegensatz zu Taxifahrern nach jeder Fahrt an ihren jeweiligen Hauptstandort zurückkehren. Allerdings fehlt es nicht nur in Berlin an den nötigen Kontrollen. In vielen Fällen würden deshalb die Vorgaben missachtet und warteten die Uber-Limousinen gut sichtbar an Taxiständen oder am Flughafen auf Kundschaft, beklagten die Demonstranten. Offenkundig sei das Landesamt für Bürger- und Ordnungsangelegenheiten unterbesetzt und könne seine Aufgaben nicht erfüllen.

    »Die Fahrer von Uber und Co. fühlen sich in Sicherheit – die Verwaltung schläft, schaut zu und unternimmt nichts. Berlin ist keine Bananenrepublik«, sagte Hermann Waldner, Vizepräsident des Bundesverbandes Taxi und Mietwagen, bei seiner Rede. Und weiter: »Wir wollen, dass Uber ganz aus der Stadt verschwindet.« Auch Leszek Nadolski, Chef der Berliner Taxiinnung, sieht für sein Gewerbe schwarz. »Wenn Uber weiter expandiert, sind die Taxis weg.« Den 8.241 Taxis in Berlin stünden mittlerweile 2.500 buchbare Mietwagen von rund 500 Anbietern gegenüber. Dazu kämen weitere über Vermittler zu buchende Mietwagen aus dem Umland und das innerstädtische BVG-Angebot »Berlkönig« mit 300 Fahrzeugen.

    Spätestens dann, wenn die Rückkehrpflicht fällt, würde das traditionelle Taxigewerbe unter dem Druck der Dumpingkonkurrenz in die Knie gehen und müssten sich die Fahrer noch billiger verkaufen, als sie es heute schon tun. Immerhin scheint sich Bundesminister Scheuer so bald nicht durchsetzen zu können, weshalb er sich genötigt sah, das Thema zum Gegenstand einer »Findungskommission« zu machen. Für die Branche taugt das nicht zur Beruhigung. Am Freitag kündigte der Bundesverband Taxi deutschlandweite Proteste für die kommenden Wochen an.

  • Uber et Lyft contribuent largement aux embouteillages à San Francisco
    https://usbeketrica.com/article/uber-lyft-contribuent-aux-embouteillages-san-francisco

    Entre 2010 et 2016, les retards dus aux embouteillages à San Francisco ont augmenté de 62%. Les trajets effectués par les chauffeurs des plateformes Uber et Lyft seraient directement responsables de plus de la moitié de ces ralentissements supplémentaires, selon une étude publiée par la revue Science Advances. Une circulation plus fluide, avec des citadins qui ne dépendent plus de leur voiture personnelle pour les trajets quotidiens. Tel est le futur proche de la mobilité urbaine promis par les (...)

    #Lyft #Uber #urbanisme

  • Do transportation network companies decrease or increase congestion ?
    https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/5/eaau2670

    Transportation network companies (TNCs) have grown rapidly in recent years. In 2016, TNCs were 15% of all intra-San Francisco vehicle trips, which is 12 times the number of taxi trips (1), while in New York in 2016, TNC ridership equaled that of yellow cab and doubled annually between 2014 and 2016 (2). TNCs are on-demand ride services where rides are arranged through a mobile app to connect the passenger with a driver, often a private individual driving their personal vehicle (3). The (...)

    #Lyft #Uber #urbanisme

  • Uber and Lyft increased traffic delays in San Francisco by 40 percent
    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2202011-uber-and-lyft-increased-traffic-delays-in-san-francisco-by-40-

    Uber and Lyft drivers are on strike to demand regulated fares and livable wages, in the lead-up to Uber’s initial public offering on the stock exchange on 10 May. Now there is some more bad news for these services : they haven’t lived up to claims of reducing traffic congestion. In San Francisco, rides through these two services increased traffic delays by 40 per cent over a six-year period, according to a new study. “We collected information on where and when exactly these trips occur and (...)

    #Lyft #Uber #urbanisme

  • Lyft and Other Gig-Economy Giants Cash In With IPOs Before Labor Laws Catch Up With Them
    https://theintercept.com/2019/04/01/lyft-ipo-gig-economy-labor-law

    Gig-economy companies Lyft, Uber, and Postmates are racing to file IPOs this year, a mad dash replete with ever-increasing multibillion-dollar valuations. But is the rush to start trading on the public markets also a sprint to evade compliance with current labor law ? Recent financial and lobbyist filings suggest that the gig-economy giants are hoping to get ahead of a wave of enforcement actions, new legislation, regulatory requirements, and lawsuits that could force these companies to (...)

    #Lyft #Uber #bénéfices #travail #Postmates

  • Malgré de lourdes pertes, Lyft, le grand rival d’Uber, réussit son entrée en Bourse
    http://siliconvalley.blog.lemonde.fr/2019/03/30/malgre-de-lourdes-pertes-lyft-le-grand-rival-duber-reussi

    Pour sa première séance de cotation sur le Nasdaq, Lyft a bondi de près de 9% vendredi 29 mars. Introduite à 72 dollars, son action a terminé la journée à 78,29 dollars, après avoir dépassé la barre des 88 dollars peu après le début des échanges. Cette introduction réussie représente une bonne nouvelle pour les autres entreprises de la Silicon Valley qui souhaitent également entrer en Bourse. A commencer par Uber, le grand rival de Lyft. Peu connu en dehors de ses frontières nationales, Lyft est le (...)

    #Lyft #Uber #bénéfices

  • « Uber, c’est une forme radicale de capitalisme de surveillance »
    https://usbeketrica.com/article/uber-c-est-une-forme-radicale-de-capitalisme-de-surveillance

    Pendant quatre ans, l’éthnographe américaine Alex Rosenblat a sillonné les routes avec des chauffeurs Uber. Elle rend compte de cette expérience dans Uberland (Presses universitaires de Californie, 2018), un livre dans lequel elle souligne comment l’entreprise californienne contribue à réécrire les règles du travail, brouillant les frontières entre entrepreneur, employé et client. Diplomée en sociologie, Alex Rosenblat est membre du centre de recherche new-yorkais Data & Society, qui entend (...)

    #Lyft #Uber #algorithme #travail #travailleurs #surveillance

  • Five Surprising Things in #lyft’s S-1
    https://hackernoon.com/five-surprising-things-in-lyfts-s-1-4a226114b5d9?source=rss----3a8144eab

    Like almost everyone else in tech, we were excited to see Lyft’s S-1 drop last Friday. The rideshare industry has fundamentally changed how millions of people (including us!) get around on a daily basis, which is an incredible accomplishment given that Lyft and Uber have been around for less than a decade. It’s rare to see a product reach near ubiquity over a relatively short period of time, and this feels like a unique opportunity to watch a transformational consumer tech company debut on the public market.Image from Lyft’s S-1.We’ll save you a page-by-page analysis of the S-1 — instead, we wanted to highlight five of the most surprising things we read and what they suggest about Lyft’s business. Given that there aren’t public comps in the rideshare business, we’ll likely learn more about (...)

    #venture-capital #ipo #hackernoon-top-story #lyft-s-1

  • Lyft Is Not Your Friend
    http://jacobinmag.com/2018/10/the-myth-of-the-woke-brand-uber-lyft-capitalism

    10.25.2018 BY MEAGAN DAY #UNITED_STATES #CAPITAL #CONJECTURES #LIBERALISM

    Lyft is the latest brand trying to build market share by posing as a “progressive” corporation. But the fight can’t be good corporations against bad ones — it’s working people against capitalism.
    In early 2017, liberals hit on a new strategy to resist the nascent Trump administration: #DeleteUber.

    It started when New York City’s taxi drivers refused to service JFK airport to protest Trump’s travel ban targeting Muslim-majority countries, and Uber was spotted leveraging the ensuing crisis for profit. Then Uber CEO Travis Kalanick came under fire for accepting an appointment to Trump’s economic advisory council. He announced his resignation from the council, but only weeks later a video leaked of Kalanick reprimanding a driver for his company.

    Amid various ensuing scandals, Kalanick stepped down as CEO of Uber, but by then millions of consumers had turned on the brand in protest, deleting the Uber app from their phone and opting instead for the rideshare giant’s rival Lyft.

    Lyft leaned in, eagerly branding itself as the progressive alternative to Uber by pledging a $1 million donation to the ACLU and trotting out celebrities to promote it as a company committed to “doing things for the right reasons.” Lyft, of course, operates on the same labor model as Uber — its drivers are not employees but independent contractors, and are therefore denied all the benefits and protections that workers receive under more ideal circumstances. Nevertheless, a new refrain rang out across liberaldom: “I don’t use Uber, I use Lyft.”

    What socialists understand that liberals don’t is that brands are corporate enterprises, and corporate enterprises are fundamentally motivated by the pursuit of profit — even in their ostentatious acts of charity and wokeness.

    Three surefire ways to maximize profit are: suppressing labor costs by paying workers as little as you can get away with, lobbying the state for deregulation and lower taxes, and opening new markets by finding new things to commodify and sell. Businesses will always pursue these avenues of profit maximization where they can. It’s not a matter of ethics but of market discipline: if they don’t, they run the risk of losing out to the competition and eventually capsizing.

    Sometimes corporations do things for publicity that make it seem like their interests are not fundamentally misaligned with those of the working-class majority, who rely on decent wages and well-funded public services. But those efforts are meant to sustain public confidence in a given corporation’s brand, which is occasionally necessary for keeping up profits, as Uber’s losses in 2017 demonstrate. When corporate profits come into direct conflict with active measures to improve people’s wellbeing, corporations will always select the former. Case in point: Lyft just donated $100k to the campaign against a ballot measure that would create a tax fund to house the homeless in San Francisco, where the company is based.

    Why did the progressive alternative to Uber do this? Well, because the company doesn’t want to pay higher taxes. Because high taxes imperil profits, and profits are the point. Another likely rationale is to build stronger bonds with pro-business advocacy groups in San Francisco, so that the company will have allies if the city decides to implement regulations against ride-sharing services, which is rumored to be a possibility.

    Lyft has already mastered the art of suppressing labor costs and opening new markets. Next on the wish list, low taxes and deregulation. It’s pretty formulaic when you get down to it.

    San Francisco is home to an estimated 7,500 homeless people. Proposition C would tap the large corporations that benefit from the city’s public infrastructure to double the city’s homelessness budget in an attempt to resolve the crisis. The corporations opposing Proposition C say that the move would imperil jobs. This is not an analysis, it’s a threat. What they’re saying is that if the city reaches too far into their pockets, they’ll take their business elsewhere, draining the region of jobs and revenue as punishment for government overreach. It’s a mobster’s insinuation: Nice economy, shame if something happened to it. Meanwhile thousands of people sleep in the streets, even though the money to shelter them is within the city’s borders.

    Of course, in every struggle over taxes and industry regulation there may be a few canny corporate outliers looking to ingratiate their brand to the public by bucking the trend. In the case of Proposition C, it’s Salesforce, whose CEO Marc Benioff has made a public display of support for the ballot measure. But before you rush to praise Benioff, consider that only two months ago he lauded Trump’s tax cuts for fueling “aggressive spending” and injecting life into the economy.

    You could spend your life as an engaged consumer hopping from brand to brand, as liberals often do, pledging allegiance to this one and protesting that one to the beat of the new cycle drum. You could delete Lyft from your phone the same way you did with Uber, and find another rideshare app that you deem more ethical, until that one inevitably disappoints you too.

    Or you could press pause, stop scrambling for some superior consumption choice to ease your conscience, and entertain the socialist notion that deep down all corporations are objectively the same. They all exist to maximize return on investment for the people who own them. They are all in competition with each other to plunder our commons most effectively, with the lowest overhead, which means compensating the least for employees’ work. And when the rubber meets the road, they will all prioritize private profits over the wellbeing of those who own no productive assets, which is the vast majority of the people on the planet. They will demonstrate these priorities on a case-by-case basis, and on a massive global scale so long as capitalism prevails.

    “We’re woke,” said Lyft CEO John Zimmerman at the height of the Uber scandal. It was horseshit — it always is. And until liberals stop believing than any brand can be truly “woke,” or can offer a genuine alternative to the predatory behavior they observe in other “unwoke” brands, they’ll be unable to mount a meaningful resistance to anything.

    Whether we want to ensure clean drinking water for the residents of Flint or to shelter the homeless of San Francisco, we have to draw clear battle lines that are up to the challenge. The fight can’t be good corporations against bad corporations. It has to be working people against capitalism.

    #USA #transport #disruption #Lyft

  • Gafams : et si la révolution venait de l’intérieur ?
    http://www.internetactu.net/a-lire-ailleurs/gafams-et-si-la-revolution-venait-de-linterieur

    Présenter de vraies excuses nécessite d’apporter une modification réelle à ce qui a provoqué le problème à l’origine de son remords. Mais pour les entreprises de technologie, présenter des excuses tient plutôt du stratagème pour ne rien faire. C’est ce que dit en substance Josh Constine (@joshconstine) sur TechCrunch, qui n’est pas vraiment la publication la plus critique de l’innovation. Les modèles commerciaux des entreprises sont souvent en conflit avec la façon dont nous souhaitons qu’elles agissent, (...)

    #Google #Airbnb #eBay #Facebook #GoogleSearch #Lyft #Uber #Dragonfly #drone #données #publicité #BigData #GAFAM #profiling #ProjectMaven #bénéfices #censure #militarisation (...)

    ##publicité ##domination
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