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Uber vs. Lyft?
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jducoeur
h/t to [personal profile] drwex for pointing out this article.  (tl;dr: when taxi drivers held a strike to protest Trump's policies, Uber went and dropped their prices to fill in the void.)

On the one hand, I wouldn't necessarily condemn Uber if it was *just* this incident, and I'm enough of a businessman to sympathize with the desire to grab market share when there's an opportunity.  That said, Uber has shown an exceptional degree of anti-social bull-headedness even by the standards of corporate America -- they've consistently been assholes at the corporate level -- and their CEO joined one of Trump's advisory boards, which doesn't exactly endear them to me.

And on top of that, Lyft (their biggest competitor) is apparently responding by donating a million bucks to the ACLU.

It's time to start making clear to corporate America that we *are* paying attention, and we *are* going to punish them where it counts -- in the balance sheet.  The right wing has been using this tactic pretty effectively over the years, and we should be playing the game, hard.  So I think I'm likely to join the #deleteuber movement.

Which brings us to the question: I haven't used Lyft.  Is there *any* reason not to just delete the Uber app and switch?

(NB: I actually still use old-fashioned taxis a fair amount, in part because I sympathize with the poor bastards who spent a fortune on a medallion whose value has crashed.  Green/Yellow Cab is doing a fair job of being somewhat competitive, and I commend their app to folks who live in this neck of the woods.  But in some circumstances the modern ride-hailing services are just more convenient, as well as usually cheaper, and I don't really have any principled objection to them...)

This was originally posted via DreamWidth, at http://jducoeur.dreamwidth.org/1562335.html, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. Feel free to comment either here or there.

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I don't know if Lyft covers 100% of the territory that Uber covers. So you might want to keep the Uber app in case you visit a place that Lyft doesn't serve.

For rides here in Boston you might also want to consider our locally based alternative, Fasten.

I don't use either, but my friends who use both say there's very little practical difference. One other nice thing about lyft is that it give the user the ability to tip directly in the app, which is theoretically good for the drivers.

One other note: I've chatted with a number of taxi drivers about Uper/Lyft and they've told me that many of them drive taxis as their "day job" then switch over to being a Uber/Lyft driver when their shift ends. Given that, and the fact that the medallion is often owned by the company, not the driver, I don't know if there's much to be gained by sticking with taxis over rideshares.

One other nice thing about lyft is that it give the user the ability to tip directly in the app, which is theoretically good for the drivers.

Ah, useful to know -- that's something I've specifically missed in the Uber app.

Given that, and the fact that the medallion is often owned by the company, not the driver, I don't know if there's much to be gained by sticking with taxis over rideshares.

Good point. I'm curious how well the two options effectively pay compared to each other, hour-for-hour...

(Deleted comment)
Yep -- I figure it's largely the same drivers. The only real question is whether there are any downsides to Lyft as a service; so far, I don't know of any...

I avoid Uber, Lyft, and all their ilk just because it strikes me as so unfair that they don't have to purchase medallions.

I can sympathize with that, but honestly I think this is a case where the regulations are wildly out of date -- the medallion system never made a *lot* of sense, and it causes far more harm than good at this point.

(But keep in mind that I'm moderately anti-guild as a matter of general philosophy, so there may be a deeper disagreement here.)

cabs went on strike. people still needed ot get places. Uber dropped prices, so that peopel didnt have to pay through the nose because of hte strike. i think that is actually a good thing. Now if htey RAISED prices cause they were he only game in town that would be shitty/...

If it was purely a business consideration, I'd agree. But the political dimension here is quite real, and I think shouldn't be ignored, especially as the administration has started turning conspicuously fascist even faster than I had expected.

So IMO punishing corporations for pro-Trump activities seems like a fine and measured way to indirectly apply pressure. (And rewarding them for counterbalancing activities likewise.) It's entirely legal and ethical, and in some ways probably more effective than any public protest. It simply turns support for or opposition to the administration into a cost of doing business; the economist in me rather likes that.

This is admittedly an edge case, but the fact that Uber's CEO has apparently been cozying up to Trump pushes it over the line for me. And like I said, Uber have so *consistently* been pushing the bounds of both legality and taste that I can't say I regret making an example of them. I *might* relent eventually -- I gather that Uber is getting the message and changing their tune -- but they still seem like a good example to make...

I've used Lyft over Uber from the get-go, precisely because I've found Uber's business practices and politics to be strictly more icky than Lyft's. So far, so good; haven't noticed any real difference having ridden Uber with other folks who summoned them. As noted largely the same driver pool.

Edited at 2017-02-01 10:17 pm (UTC)

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