Last month’s article left off with a promise to give you more on driverless cars. Unfortunately, I cannot do that this month – the reason being that I have decided to hold off until there is more substantive information regarding both driverless cars and who is doing what and when.

In the meantime, there is still plenty to report on regarding TNCs, especially Uber and Lyft.

The For-Hire Ground Transportation industry in the United States of America (represented by the TLPA and the NLA) have, for a long time, argued that the TNCs are ground transportation companies, and presented their arguments to both elected officials and appointed bodies, only to be turned away at the respective doors.

The European Court on the other hand has recently ruled that the TNCs are transportation companies, and not technology firms. This past September, the London Transit Authority dropped a bombshell by declaring it would not renew Uber’s five-year old license because the Silicon Valley corporation was not a “fit and proper” company to run a taxi service. Included in their reasoning was the fact that Uber had failed to report serious criminal offenses allegedly committed by its drivers. They also said Uber was not conducting rigorous background and medical checks on its operators.

In light of what has been occurring, the National Limousine Association (NLA) has recently become more vocal with regard to Uber issues. The Taxicab Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA) has also stepped up reporting TNC issues.

What is being reported more than anything else by the news media are the allegations lodged against Uber and Lyft by drivers, whistle blowers, and governmental agencies.

Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s new Chief Executive Officer (who succeeded Travis Kalanik), declared he would fight the London ban. He admitted the company “got things wrong” and acknowledged that the company must also change. Despite Khosrowshahi’s statement, criminal acts continue to be reported around the world by Uber and Lyft drivers. There also continues to be many alleged criminal acts committed by management.

The following is just a “short list” of criminal acts allegedly committed by both companies recently:

1. Uber driver admitted dumping woman’s body in the woods

2. Lyft fined after hiring driver with felony convictions

3. Colorado PUC recommends $9 million fine against Uber for hiring dozens of Uber drivers with criminal records

4. Uber uses secret software program to evade police

5. British diplomat murdered in Beirut was strangled “with a ligature by Uber driver who dumped her at roadside”

6. Orlando Uber driver charged with sexual assault of passenger

7. Police claim Uber driver assaulted fare in car

8. Police charge Lyft driver for assaulting two passengers

9. Uber driver charged with raping 16-year old passenger

10. Jacksonville native says Lyft driver held her hostage

The 10 incidents listed about were taken from various international publications.

The following is taken from Business Insider, as reported by Julie Bort.

With its SoftBank deal, Uber may have invited a tiger into the hen house

Just recently, SoftBank became one of Uber’s largest investors. The checks were barely cut ($9.3 billion) when Uber’s new board member from SoftBank hinted that SoftBank was ready to throw its weight around and influence the direction of the company. The problem is, SoftBank appears to want to make changes that are advantageous for SoftBank, rather than Uber.

Rajeev Misra, Uber’s new board member from SoftBank, told the Financial Times that the company would hit profitability faster if it left certain international markets and focused on others. He wants Uber to concentrate on growing its business in the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Australia.

On this note, Mike Isaac of the New York Times tweeted, “the ink is not even dry on the SoftBank deal and SoftBank’s Rajeev Misra’s goes on the record telling Uber how to run its business. Amazing. The shitshow is just beginning.”

TLC NEWS: LaGuardia Airport Moves FHV Terminals C & D Hold Lot (this industry notice #18-01, dated January 4, 2018 is for information purposes only).

Best Wishes to all. See you next month…

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Article by Victor Dizengoff

Victor Dizengoff is a retired industry icon and a founder of the New York Black Car industry.

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