Tag: lyft

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with communications expert and cofounder of South & Hill Strategies Lizzy Guyton about what the research on the profiles and preferences of rideshare drivers tells us about the industry, and the possible effects of designating independent contractors as employees.


Uber and Lyft Drivers to Mayor Jenny Durkan of Seattle: We Don’t Want Your Stinkin’ Wage Standard!


It seems that, in her efforts to improve the lives of poor, overworked, and underpaid ride-share drivers, Mayor Durkan has proposed “wage standards” that the companies will be required to pay all their gig-economy drivers.  She reasons that those drivers are probably not earning enough, and are incurring many extra expenses brought on by (government-mandated) Coronavirus protective equipment and procedures, so their employers (See California AB5) must be mandated to pay them more.

Well, in response to that, a group of drivers called Drive Forward (called a rideshare coalition) had this to say:

California Knifes the Gig Economy


(Sacramento, Aug. 29) Car displaying Uber and Lyft fliers advocating California unionize the gig economy.

California state legislators embarked last week on the single most important regulatory misadventure this country has seen in many decades, seeking to redefine the obscure but critical legal distinction between an employee and an independent contractor. The employment relationship today is subject to massive regulation that is inapplicable to the independent contractor, who pretty much works on his or her own.

Like it or not, the employee receives many statutory protections, including the right to receive minimum wages and overtime, to join a union, to receive worker’s compensation benefits and unemployment insurance, and to receive paid family and sick leave. None of that mandated protection comes without significant costs. It has been estimated that reclassification of Uber and Lyft drivers as employees in California alone will cost the two companies an average of $3,625 per driver per year for a combined annual bill of nearly $800 million per year. Nonetheless, in 2018, the California Supreme Court in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court forged ahead with such a reform by unanimously holding that drivers who worked for a firm that supplied nationwide courier and delivery services should be classified by law as employees and not as independent contractors.

Chicago Wants to Tax Lyft and Uber to Help Public Transit. Hmmm…


Chicago likes to think of itself as a “Silicon Prairie” hub of tech startups. And in a recent report on US “startup communities” and their readiness to capitalize on “next-wave startups,” the city ranked 14th. (Boston and the Bay Area were tops.)

So OK, but hardly impressive given both Chicago’s size and proximity to two elite universities, Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Clearly city officials there, like their counterparts around the country, hope a winning bid for Amazon’s second headquarters might catapult them into the top tier.

Yet given all that, why on earth would Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel propose a tax on ride-hailing companies like Lyft and Uber? Seems sort of anti-tech. I mean, I get the basic reason: It’s a way of raising revenue for the city’s public transit system. But more broadly, the tax might be an effort to help bolster public transit in the face of a competitive threat from ride sharing companies. It’s becoming an evermore common story: Public transit problems boost Uber and Lyft, to the detriment of public transit.

Fast Cars and Freedom


shutterstock_152358593Rob Long — who makes his living thinking about new ways to make people watch TV shows — had great post yesterday on the disruption going on in the television world. Specifically, on how Netflix, the mother of all disruptors, is facing disruption from overseas expansion.

Television viewers are empowered now. Where once we had to schedule our time around the shows we wanted to watch, television now fits into our schedules. DVRs and on-demand streaming options are now the order of the day. My young sons look at the days when I had to get up on Saturday morning (and only on Saturday morning) to watch cartoons the way I once looked at the days when dairy products were delivered door-to-door.

We are entering an new age of personal empowerment. If I want to order something from Amazon, it usually shows up on my doorstep within two days through my Amazon Prime membership. If I need a lift, I call Lfyt or Uber. If I want to know if the hotel I’m staying in is dicey, I have Trip Advisor (and if it turns out that hotel is not right for me, AirBnB is able to provide an alternative place to rest for the the night).

Member Post


Item: Seattle passes law letting Uber, Lyft drivers unionize My first reaction was that both companies should say “goodbye Seattle, enjoy your taxi rides”. However, that’s unlikely – Seattle is a city that’s far too “techie”/”hipster” for either company to be able to bail out. Also, there would be an awful backlash in the court […]

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Six Things Your Uber Driver Wants You to Know


As I’ve alluded to in other comments, I’ve been a driver for Uber since mid-August, with almost 300 trips under my belt. I’m having more fun doing this gig than I thought I would, as the Uber demographic tends to be younger, smarter, and more outgoing than the population in general. Instead of what I expected — passengers sitting stoically, staring at the back of my head — most of my passengers are interesting and fun to talk to.

The Libertarian Podcast: Uber, Lyft, and the Future of Independent Contractors


The left, increasingly unwilling to tolerate any social arrangements not tailored to the exact specifications of the state, has recently set its sights on dramatically narrowing businesses’ abilities to classify workers as independent contractors. In this week’s episode of The Libertarian Podcast, Professor Epstein looks at how a pair of California lawsuits against car services Uber and Lyft are advancing that goal — and what it might mean for the broader economy. Come for the legal and economic analysis, stay to hear Richard try his hardest to restrain his contempt at the mention of Robert Reich’s name.

Let’s Support Uber, Lyft, and Free Markets


Ride share companies like Uber and Lyft offer customers added choices in transportation. Unfortunately in big cities like Atlanta, governments have erected barriers to entering the taxi business by requiring taxi drivers purchase expensive “medallions” and limiting how many taxis can operate in their cities. These regulations artificially raise prices and stifle innovation.

In some cities around America, government officials have even threatened Uber and Lyft drivers with arrest, and had their cars impounded. Here in Atlanta, taxi medallion owners have sued Uber drivers trying to prevent them from being in business.