Seattle City Council Passes Resolution to Consider Raising Uber and Lyft Rates

Comments

1
In before conservative trolls complaining about government interference in the free market
2
What about the POC that use Uber and Lyft cause it’s cheaper than cabs? Oh, that’s right...

So cabs have a monopoly on the taxi business. Along comes Uber and Lyft which provide a cheaper option than cabs (and better app technology). And now the Council wipes out that option.

I’m sure this won’t lead to a loss of driver jobs at Uber or Lyft. /sarcasm
3
The taxi system was complete shit. This is the stupidest city council ever.
4
jesus, it's like rental control, only worse in every possible way. This is what happens you stop asking for professional competence in government and would rather vote for someone because she made quippy jokes on a TV show 20 years ago.
5
@1, yeah you were first, but maybe it's expected. The City Clowncel loves the Mafia and it's unions and helps it at every chance. Much $$$ support. Big Money involved for Organized Crime with losses from Unions and the pensions. Corruption in real time.

By what Right does the City have a right to tell a business how much it should charge customers?
6
For people commenting on how this is stupid, go drive Uber for a full week and do the math. If all the company’s do what Uber does to its drivers, there would be civil war. If it was up to Uber, they would open up the borders and get drivers to do work for them cheap as possible. Uber drivers deserve better, they made this company into a 80 billion blood sucking giant who uses its consumers as political pawn to pit against its drivers.
7
@6, Don't like them? Then don't work for them. Not your choice for others.
8
I don't know how anyone in any amount of sanity can be against this. What the city wants Uber to charge, uber already did FOUR YEARS AGO. We all know how much the cost of living in Seattle has gone up, while uber and lyft cut wages over the last 4 years.
9
@2 Low income and the disabled receive taxi vouchers. That's a false narrative brought on by Uber. Better wages now.
10
@8, Again, no one is forcing you, Don't work for them. Don't use them. None of anyone's business, especially the city council.
11
@9, "Better wages now." What is stopping you from paying Uber or Lyft double now?
12
Don't forget that Uber's "cheaper option" is subsidized by venture capital funds, who ate last year's $4.5B loss. Once Uber goes public and has to make enough money to pay off all their investors, where do you think that new revenue is coming from?
13
@12, That is their business, not the City's.
14
Every driver that spoke at the council today asked them not to proceed with this. They only let about 25 people speak.
15
Maybe Uber will lose less money now...
@12: it won't be new revenue, it will be no longer having to pay drivers at all.
16
@13: a company driving competition out of business by taking large losses to set up a monopoly is, in fact, a matter of public interest.
17
The taxi industry had a monopoly for decades and what did it get us? Filthy cars, racist drivers and absurdly expensive fares. Ride sharing companies have completely changed the narrative. If my Uber or Lyft isn't up to cleanliness standards or if the driver is rude, I have an immediate feedback mechanism that actually works. Screw the cab industry. They brought this upon themselves.
18
@7,

This analogy is going to be a stretch, but what if slave owners said to abolitionists, "You don't like slavery? Then don't own slaves and don't buy products from slave owning businesses."

I think the idea is that Uber/Lyft aren't paying their employees fairly. Some people don't care and will gladly take advantage of it. Others want to force the company to change because it's the morally right thing to do.

Kind of like Apple. If people stopped gobbling up their products and demanded the company change the way it treats its labor, maybe Apple would do the right thing. Unfortunately, it seems too many people are perfectly content to own slave-created products.

Is government intervention the right thing? Maybe, maybe not, but apparently no one else is gonna do anything about it so it's the only thing at this point.
19
so nice of the council to continue sticking their noses into stuff that no one ever asked them to.
20
@18, Ok, but let's remember, unlike slavery, this is not forced labor. When the power of City Government sides with a private company's privately owned competition, not for reasons of law, but to level the competition, one must ask "by what Right?". And one must also ask what other forces and coercion is at play.
21
Last week in council a bunch of drivers spoke. One gave the council his tax return showing that after expenses he earned less than minimum wage. Frankly, Uber and Lyft are making a mockery of minimum wage laws in this city. Unless you believe there should be no minimum wage, then this law makes perfect sense. http://seattlechannel.org/FullCouncil?vi…
22
The driver speaks at 26:50 http://seattlechannel.org/FullCouncil?vi…
23
It's hard to paint a picture of Uber and Lyft by this one guy (who thinks that the city council is "one of the most significant political bodies in the country"). Never the less, he said he worked 40-50 hours per week and made $32,000 last year before expenses. Let's say if he worked 50 hours a week for 50 weeks or 2,500 hours a year, divide that into 32K and you get $12.80 an hour. That would be under min wage, if he worked that many hours and he said he didn't. He didn't say how many hours he worked last year, but I bet it was less than 2,500, so he might of made at least min wage.

I don't know what his expenses were last year nor did he say. Oil change 4 times a year and gas can add up. The kind of car has a lot to do with expenses and I know his tabs cost more. Any major repairs and new tires last year can really add up and chew into that 32K. Insurance can vary depending on the Company and your driving record. A lot of unknowns here. So I'm at a loss as to why this guy is still in this line of work when so many other people are happy with it and are making money, I mean there is no shortage of Ubers and Lyfts out there.
I will stand by for corrections.
24
@23, I also assumed he owned his car and was not making payments.
25
I put this estimate in the previous article. The math isn't that hard.

Gross income (per the article) is slightly over $1.00 per billable mile. Typical vehicle expenses are slightly more than 54¢ per mile (per the IRS).

Therefore the actual income after expenses for an Uber/Lyft driver is ~50¢ per billable mile.

Therefore, a driver would have to drive about 30 billable miles per hour to be earning $15 an hour. Consistently, on average, not just for the occasional peak trip. Non-billable miles earn zero, and are actually a net loss since they'd incur expenses whether they earn anything or not.

It seems highly unlikely that many drivers are consistently billing that kind of miles on average. Sure, they might beat that during peak billing, or a long trip from the airport or something, but that is offset by lots of time sitting around in heavy traffic, or driving any distance to pick up a fare (where you'd be racking up vehicle expenses and earning nothing), or sitting around picking your nose waiting for a fare. If either Uber/Lyft or drivers supplied actual miles driven per hour, I'm guessing it is substantially less than 30 on average.
26
I'm a senior citizen who has recently been using Lyft since my car died. A few years back (when I had car trouble), I had to rely on taxi's. They were HORRIBLE. Filthy cars, sketchy drivers, took forever to arrive and incredibly expensive. Too bad they have a lousy business model. Lyft has been a life saver for me and if rates double I will NOT be able to use them, or at least very little. And don't get me started on the bus system. (Try grocery shopping on the bus or taking a sick dog to the vet!)