How Uber and Lyft Reduce Taxi Cab Racism

Comments

1
You think so? I would think since many times these ride share accounts link to social media - with photos and profiles - it would increase biases?
2
Even if that is true, you are forgetting that Uber and Lyft are for those of a certain class - those who have a smart phone and have the money to use such services. I am white, but I am disabled and don't have a smart phone and can't use Uber or Lyft (and wouldn't anyway since I believe the "sharing" economy is a bunch of BS that is all about rich people wanting to not have to follow rules or pay taxes, make money, and not have to deal with the consequences of anything bad that happens when their "employees" and/or "customers" experience problems (rapes, robberies, stolen wages, damages, etc.). I am just as likely to be passed by a taxi due to my mobility aids and required assistance, even though I am white. And I have no other choices in a last minute situation (ACCESS or paratransit has to be scheduled at least a day in advance) unless someone I know is able to drive me where I need to go. And another question I have (since I no longer live in Seattle) - are you able to hail cabs in Seattle now? When I lived there 2002-2007, you had to call a cab, one could not be hailed. To be fair, even as a disabled person I have successfully managed to get a cab in Seattle twice (in the years between 2011 and 2013), without calling, once outside of Neumo's where the cab was parked at the gas station and once on the street by Pike Place Market when my able bodied friend stopped the cab and got it for me. At least 3X I've been in New York since becoming disabled and was able to successfully hail a cab every time I was there (at least 6 times). I was traveling with non-disabled people, though, who did the managing of my mobility aids - the taxi drivers did not. I experienced more hassle and problems with taxi drivers hailed in NYC when I lived there (1998-2002) as an able bodied person, because I lived in Brooklyn and taxi drivers would often refuse to go to Brooklyn (despite it being against the law to do so). At least with a taxi, I had taxi court where I could file a complaint against a driver (who had a medallion number) and get some justice when mistreated. Uber and Lyft offer no such process.
3
Charles, don't support the "sharing" PR. "Sharing", my ass.
4
Hey Charles, I'm sorry you had a hard time hailing a cab in Vancouver. If it makes you feel better (and I know it probably doesn't), the cab drivers in Vancouver drive like bats out of hell anyway. I've had safer experiences with tuk tuk drivers in Asia.

Every time I hear someone complain about Uber or Lyft, I plug Flywheel as an alternative. It really is a lot better. Like Uber or Lyft, Flywheel is a hailing app (so the driver can't see the color of your skin) that you can use to pay for your trip. Unlike Uber or Lyft, it uses actual cab drivers, who are all vetted, licensed and insured. Plus, there is no surge pricing.

Unfortunately, Flywheel isn't in Vancouver. But I use it in Seattle all the time.

5
I'm surprised you of all people use ridesharing services. Their entire business model is based on exploitation. Their workers have no rights (drivers can be frozen out of the app without warning or reason) and must assume all expenses and liabilities themselves.

In SF ridesharing has taken an environmental toll as well – we spent years making our entire cab fleet go hybrid, only to have cabs swamped out by ridesharers who are completely unregulated. On top of that we have a shit-ton more drivers on the road because people are coming in from outside the city looking for people to drive around - and these are people who would have taken the bus or just walked if it weren't for the over-abundance of drivers offering chauffeur service for the same price a bus ticket.
6
I'm brown guy in Seattle who has been using Uber for 3 years and loves it. They are always on time know where they are going, polite and their cars don't smell. Its pretty awsome.
7
@6 and Uber in particular is run by Objectivists.
8
Anybody in New York tried Juno? The CEO I don't believe can be quite as idealistic as he sounds in interviews, but it seems like a legit contrast for the drivers (employees).
9
@1 - i believe the only personal information a driver is privy to before accepting the ride is your first name and initial—is that correct Uber drivers? One could still certainly insert racism into that limited information, however.

@4 - Flywheel is the service I use as well—in part for reasons @5 states. but also for 90% of city trips I think it's superior to "ridesharing" alternatives. Plus taking an Uber makes me feel like a kook.
10
@5 Perhaps your bus tickets are overpriced?
11
@10, Any bus that isn't free is overpriced.
12
Has it ever occurred to you that taxicab driver who passes you by has no personal interest in your race or gender. Service requests are made by more means than a hand waved at them by a stranger on the street. Cab companied dispatch drivers to fulfill business requests received by telephone and communicated by radio or cell phone. Assuming you were disregarded because of your color is arrogance. It's more likely that these poorly paid private contractors (socialistically regulated by local government) are simply hurrying to serve someone who had already engaged their service before you haled them. Again I say your color has nothing to do with it. All that they are after is colored green, gold, or silver and your color doesn't change its in any way. Put your mind in the position of a cabby's, spending long hours alone on the street hoping for business to come your way (12 shifts, 5 to 7 days every week is standard in this I dustry) and you'll quickly realize that your passengers' color is very inconsequential to a person who is a cash-collectr on the street, alone and vulnerable. Often disreputable persons will call several companies in hopes of getting a quick response, leaving those arriving after the first to appear to have wasted time and gas without recompense Worse, this job ranks third behind police and firrworkers in terms of danger. Cabbies are murdered rrgularly in this country by nefarious scoundrels looking for some quick cash. So the next time a cabby passes you by please don't assume the tone of your skin had anything to do with it. Someone else has probably engaged that driver's service and he or she just hopes to get there in time to actually earn some green
Bill Pinson, former manager of Cab-Pool Taxis, Inc. of Richmond, Virginia
13
@8 waaait a minute, all that you put in about the dangerousness of taxi driving is supposed to help convince me they'd never take notice of race? Or is this mixing in your Plan B argument, that if they do notice race it's just for their own safety, not because they're Klansmen or anything?

Your Plan A argument is basically that taxi drivers are out for money, so why would they be racist. Works for landlords too, they're out for money. Lots of people out for money. Racism solved.
14
(Somebody must do "test hailers" of different races, like they do the test renters that nailed Trump's racist rental policies?)
15
@12. As a bourgeois white guy who never has trouble hailing a cab, I think Charles' interpretation of the passing cabs is much more likely correct than yours. Plus, about 10,000 black people have reported the same thing, so to dismiss the racial aspect seems willfully blind.
16
@12,15 - I agree with Pencil man, asserting cabbies don't avoid street hailers due to race doesn't match up with reality.

Also, cabs are "socialistically regulated" so that the market, you know, doesn't get flooded and destroy everybodys' ability to chase those green, green dolla bills. Imagine twice the number of cabbies on the street chasing the same # of greenbacks: Result? fare price drops and all cabbies suffer.

Oh wait.. That's what Lyft and Uber are doing...

@4 - Flywheel. I just went to download it, requires tons of access to stuff on your phone. Not only SMS, Location, and Phone, but also "Photo/Media/Files" (why?), Camera (?), "Bluetooth connection info" (?), "Wi-Fi connection info" (!), and "Device ID & call info" (!).

Too intrusive. Sounds like a cool app idea, but I'm not installing. (I also don't use Lyft or Uber).
17
I am a black male (Ethiopian background) and I've had zero issues getting a cab because of my race here. Maybe this type of discrimination is more common on the east coast or in the states but not here. Also you realize those "ride-share" also refuse trips...and there are many reports of that happening...or they just simply "deactivate" you (which could be based on discrimination...black people also generally have lower ratings than their white counterparts). Ultimately they provide the same service as cabs without any chance for real economic opportunity for the average driver (turns them into slaves essentially) so I'd never support them anyway from a socioeconomic perspective. It just is a way for them to exploit naive drivers. Everytime I hear sharing economy to describe companies like Lyft/Uber I just cringe at the extreme level of disingenuity.