Monday, May 9, 2016

Lyft & Uber take their bat, ball & glove and go home.

I read this morning that Lyft and Uber are at least temporarily suspending operations in Austin, Texas because the voters did not overturn what the two companies deem unfair rules. According to USA Today Lyft stated they "want to stay in the city," but Austin's rules "don't allow true ridesharing to operate." Both companies said the new rules make it hard to follow their business models. Aw gee.

I have never used either but I know many like the service. But let's face it, neither is a true ride-sharing program. Ride-sharing is when Joe Blow is heading downtown and he gives someone a ride, maybe in exchange for gas money. Plain and simply Lyft and Uber are businesses. Their drivers are not helping out someone who needs to go in the same general direction. Lyft and Uber dispatch a car to pick up a rider and take them to a destination. So get over yourselves Lyft and Uber you are defacto taxi companies. The biggest difference is your drivers do not cruise the streets looking for a fare - you dispatch your drivers.

I'm all for competition but it must be fair and equal. If a taxi company has to jump through specific hoops so should Lyft, Uber and anyone else. One of the things Austin now requires are fingerprinting of drivers. That is too onerous? Lyft and Uber want greater self-regulation. Trust us we'll always do the right thing. Sure.

I'm not saying government regulation is perfect. I worked for a regulatory agency and I know how screwed up they can be. But I also know that business does a very poor job of self-regulating.

So you know what Lyft and Uber? If your business model requires that you not be regulated please take all your toys and go home. Come back when you're ready to play by the rules. In other words go f**k yourself.

1 comment:

Bill Haskins said...

We LOVE Uber. Been using it since the app inception about 5 years ago. Especially wonderful living here in Pacifica; 15 minutes to SFO, 20-25 minutes to great restaurants and destinations in Downtown SF. Much less expensive than a cab. Especially with the cost of parking Downtown. But, I agree. I want all companies to, at least, have that minimum requirement of background checks including fingerprinting. Do we really have privacy in this society anymore anyway? Drivers need to be held to a higher standard while carrying strangers to and from destinations.