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Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver II: How we doing?

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  • goforit,

    What is being talked about is not intercity travel but travel within a city.

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    It's competing with a bus. Gut feeling is that the numbers don't stack up. Yes it would be great for the owner of the car, but none of the other passengers. They would have to charge a lot less to outcompete a bus service.

    I'd guess similar economics are part of why carpooling doesn't already trump buses. But we'll see.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • goforit,

    True, buses operated on a fixed service route at a set time, its up to the user to meet those conditions, using cars it is just hit and miss so why bother

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • goforit, in reply to BenWilson,

    I’d guess similar economics are part of why carpooling doesn’t already trump buses. But we’ll see.

    Under the new regs the maxium you can earn under this pooling thing with one pax on board will only be 36 cents per Km

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • goforit,

    There is no time and base fee factor.

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to goforit,

    Under the new regs the maxium you can earn under this pooling thing with one pax on board will only be 36 cents per Km

    Yup, the concept is not "earning", I think, but "saving'. So the maximum you can save from one passenger is 36c/km. With 3 passengers, presumably you save 56c/km. It costs more than that to run a small passenger vehicle, so it's not earning, it's mitigated loss.

    So if you're doing a 10km trip to the city (and back) every day, you could get maybe $11.20/day back in cost-sharing reimbursement for fully loading your car with other passengers. Since it's saving, I presume there is no tax to pay.

    So given an hour commuting daily, you can "make" $11.20/hour for the trouble of picking up and dropping off 3-6 people (they might be different people on the way home) all of whom have to be in your car for an hour. Quite possibly complete random strangers. Presumably they will rate you on your service. For them, the commute will also cost $11.20, which is incredibly cheap for a door to door service giving them 20km of riding. You'd think they'd automatically give you a high rating. But, of course, the Uber experience tells us otherwise. In fact, they would judge you arbitrarily harshly, possibly even more harshly than they would judge someone getting "paid" a lot more for the same thing.

    I'm not counting all the ticket clipping for Uber in this. There never ever has been any justification for them taking a percentage of driver fares, since longer rides cost them nothing more than shorter ones. But if they're the only people in the market, they can (and will) rip it as hard as they can get away with.

    Hopefully they won't be the only ones in the market, though.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • goforit,

    The concept of car pooling is good if it works and stays within the regulations, but when reading Ubers intentions around this it only a way of using there non compliant drivers and as we know they are already using non compilant drivers in the commerical sector.
    Uber says there drivers only work 10 hours or under which backs up there pooling scheme but the truth is at 75% of them work full time,. Do I need to say the rest?

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to goforit,

    Ubers intentions around this it only a way of using there non compliant drivers and as we know they are already using non compilant drivers in the commerical sector.

    The guy used in the link Sacha gave above, who appeared in a televized interview in which Uber announced its amazing carpooling service tells me that he actually never has used the feature to actually commute, despite it having been in place for many months now. All it is is the ability of drivers to set a preferred destination twice a day. The rider still pays full fare, so it's not carpooling at all. The rider is actually unaware of anything different.

    Which is why it won't actually be used for commuting. Commuting during rush hour involves riding during the worst surges of the day - the Uber will be as expensive as a normal taxi. Nice for the driver, who is getting both a trip to somewhere they want to go, and being paid above the odds for it. But not so good for the rider. Which is why it's not getting used.

    Also amusing in the television interview: You can clearly see that the car is non compliant, it doesn't have the necessary stickers in the window, and when he does his staged trip for the camera, the P Endorsement is nowhere in sight.

    But we still get a rare interview with Richard Menzies claiming that this service has big uptake in other cities. Of course it does, it's a feature for the drivers, they might as well have a go. Whether they actually get any real use out of it is unknown. It's been operating here for months anyway, and no driver I know of has found any joy from it. Even the guy in the featured article has told us that. I really don't see this feature saving us from Auckland's transport woes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • goforit,

    If one read between the lines I think the hidden message Uber is giving is, Business as usual when the bill in front of Parliament is made law.

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • goforit,

    Hi Ben, I see you are mentioned in dispatches. good luck.

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • goforit, in reply to goforit,

    Are you sure you are puting this in front of the correct court, A Judicial Review of Uber's terms and conditions I would have thought would have been the first step, maybe you already have. Also you are drawing a long bow stating Uber drivers are entitled to a livable income when in fact no Uber drivers are entitled to any income at all in this counrty as Uber and its drivers are operating an unlicensed Taxi Service.

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • oga,

    It didn't take very long to escalate to serious assault. On a 55-year-old Uber driver, no less. It's kinda scary, this mix of ignoring local laws and legal taxi drivers willing to use violence, with the spectre of the cartels hovering in the background.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to goforit,

    Nothing is certain about any legal challenge. We have very limited resources. I don't think the dispute is about the right to an income. It's about due process in changing terms and conditions. I don't want to go into too much more about the particular case, speculating at length about what Uber will do, or how we will approach it.

    If you know a whole lot about the angles of attack that could be leveraged, and what the taxi industry has already tried please feel free to make all that plain. You can either air it here in an open forum for all the world, including Uber, to see, or you can contact me in private. We certainly can use any help given in good faith.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • goforit, in reply to BenWilson,

    Looks like you are getting the usual run a round the NZTA are very good at. Once you get pass the run a round the next reply is :"the reveiw will take care of your questions" . When you finally get someone to talk usually off the record the answer becomes "we have been directed from well above to leave Uber alone".
    I wonder if the IRD are going to leave Uber alone as now GST definally applies to Uber services. Has your day in court happened yet?

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to goforit,

    Has your day in court happened yet?

    Mid November for the first dispute.

    When you finally get someone to talk usually off the record the answer becomes “we have been directed from well above to leave Uber alone”.

    The anonymity of whoever "well above" is will not last. These people are officials, and the OIA does not permit them to keep hidden if they are making official calls. But I don't think we've even reached that point yet. Currently even understanding what the process even is, by which the government actually does anything about compliance, is taking some doing. It's spread across multiple government agencies, and the coordination and tracking of the effectiveness of it just doesn't seem to exist.

    Gut feeling at this stage is that the fines are simply being paid, rather than frustrated in courts. The total amounts aren't serious enough to deter Uber. Not even close.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

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