Dec 8, 2016
commented on Uber’s Anti-Union Scare Campaign May Be Working
The bar for qualifying as a voting driver detailed in the proposed rules is incredibly low. 52 trips originating or ending in King County within 90 days of each other within the last year and having been signed up to drive for at least 90 days. In my experience that's about 11 hours of driving split over 3 months. It's pretty easy to see that Uber's concern is that they don't want to deal with a union at all (which is just shocking coming from a company whose end game is so nakedly exploiting an unregulated monopolistic market position /s) and that they want to be able to stack the vote with shills in the event that there is a vote for collective bargaining. In pursuit of that they're flooding their drivers with propaganda about being denied a vote.
Aug 28, 2015
updated his or her bio.
Aug 28, 2015
updated his or her location.
Apr 20, 2014
commented on The Sunday Morning News
I think it's telling that the TNCs filed the specific referendum petition that they did. They could have written it so that it only eliminated the caps, but they did not. They wrote it so that it overturns the entire thing so that they have no regulation at all. I can't help but think that their intention was therefore to avoid being regulated at all.
As a driver, I would like to see them stick around (I want to see if I make better money with a TNC for one thing, and even if I don't it would make a great backup for me in case the cab I drive breaks down or is otherwise unavailable for some reason), but I think they need to be brought into the regulatory structure both to ensure public safety (inspections, proper background checks, training, insurance) and to make the companies accountable to the city for how they treat their drivers.
Apr 18, 2014
commented on Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar File Referendum, Suspend City's Rideshare Ordinance
@39: They have voluntarily upped their insurance to something close to the commercial policies that taxis have to carry, but they are not currently regulated at all. Their argument seems to be that they don't need to be regulated, because innovation (or something). As a driver, I think that their drivers need to be subject to training and background check requirements. As an aside, I think that the required training for for-hire drivers (which under the now suspended new regulation would have been required of TNC drivers as well) is too weak, which is what leads to a lot of the problems with taxis as well (drivers that don't know the city well enough, don't speak english well enough, have poor driving skills, etc).
Personally I would also like to see the TNCs subject to regulation because so long as they are allowed to operate outside of the regulatory structure they are much more free to abuse their drivers. The regulations provide a lot of limitations on what taxi owners can impose on their drivers, and provide an avenue short of filing a lawsuit to address problems. Without that regulatory structure the power differential between the company and the drivers is even more lopsided. I personally think the caps are kind of a red herring, I don't feel like they're that important compared to bringing the TNCs into some kind of regulatory structure.
@40: That's blatantly untrue. There are WAAAAAY more than 4 people who own taxi licenses. Though there are quite a few individuals who own multiple sets of taxi plates, there are many many more than 4 owners. You may be conflating the taxi associations (Yellow, Orange, Farwest, Northend) with the owners, which is not how it works. The owners associate their cab with a given company, which provides dispatch services, marketing, and billing for a fee and requires the owner and any drivers leasing their cab to work within that association's rules. The owner still retains possession of their taxi and can take it to a different association if they're unhappy with the one they're with. Some of the associations (notably Yellow) also run co-op cabs, in which case the association handles the details of running the cab (maintenance, leasing to drivers, etc) and pays the owner for the use of the cab at a rate lower than what the owner would get for dealing with it themselves (essentially the owner takes less money than they would've gotten by dealing with it directly, but does not have to deal with the headaches involved at all). However the association does not gain actual ownership of the cab, that still belongs to the person who owns the plates.