I don’t use Uber, but my daughters do – regularly. The younger one, a journalist, often makes her 6 a. m. workday begin time by climbing into a good Uber car in Brooklyn on around 5: 30.
Do I need someone in authority to know something about the person driving her vehicle? You bet I do. And do I want that car to be insured 24/7? Also.
This doesn’t make me an old fogey, at least by New York City taxi standards. Now i’m very much in favor of deregulating the business, a procedure usually called “disruption” these days. Several cities could stand to have their particular current taxi systems disrupted.
But not all disruption is equally meritorious. The Mafia does business within a disruptive manner too, but I won’t invest in it if it ever chooses to go public.
A lot of high-profile startups these days are taking illegal shortcuts with the intention of “disruption. ” Airbnb will turn the apartment next door to yours into a hotel – a resort that doesn’t comply with zoning, safety, customer protection or tax laws, that is. (Do you think most Airbnb apartments have a sign on the door pointing the best way to the fire exits? I may. ) Not only do such arrangements create hazards to customers, they contend unfairly with businesses that do adhere to the law. And the company has confronted a host of legal challenges in various metropolitan areas in consequence. Airbnb will need to possibly evolve to address these concerns, or it will eventually fold.
Uber, along with the competitors like Lyft, will face a similar challenge in the next few years. Those people companies’ success has demonstrated there exists a real demand for their services. But as the law begins to catch up, Uber will have to prove that it can satisfy that demand within the legal platform of the areas where it operates.
Broward County, Florida, struck a sensible stability this spring. The county handed an ordinance allowing Uber to work as many cars as it pleases, and also to charge any fares it wants, in contrast to the regular taxicabs and their regulated meters. But the county furthermore required registration, fingerprinting and background record checks for Uber drivers, and day to day insurance for their vehicles. It sounds sensible to me.
Uber disagrees, however , which usually goes to show how exploitive Uber’s present business model is. The company has threatened to leave Broward County if the laws are not changed. It has already pulled out of locations including San Antonio, Anchorage, and Portland, Oregon due to disputes over its business operation.
In a similar vein, Ca regulators sided with an Uber car owner who said she was really an employee, though the company considered her, like all of its drivers, an independent contractor. Though the ruling only affects the driving force in question, it may open the door to other legal complaints by drivers who feel the company is treating all of them unfairly.
If Uber merely acted as an app-shaped bulletin board to get hailing cars, its position might have merit.
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But since the company also gathers all the customer fares (via cellphones), takes its cut and remits payment to the drivers, it acts no in different ways than the Yellow Cab company I use in Fort Lauderdale when I swipe my card through its in-car machine. While it’s understandable that will Uber might prefer to classify its drivers as independent contractors, this cannot simply choose to do so while ignoring the reality of the way in which it takes its workers to operate.
The differences in between Uber and traditional cabs are narrowing. I don’t have to wait on the street or call a dispatcher while i want a Yellow Cab in Fortification Lauderdale. I can hail a car through an app – just like Uber. But my Yellow Cab will have a registered driver and 24/7 insurance policy. The only distinction I can see is within the pricing, and I don’t think that makes a difference in determining the driver’s employment status.