Tag Archives: uber

Uber Bill HB 1389 Florida examined

UBER’s HB 1389 IS BIASED AND flawed:

 

Florida State senate’s new bill HB 1389 is filled with flaws and does not address public safety, public interests, and is aimed in advancing interests of venture funded Uber that wants to operate on their own terms. So I will begin by brief introduction of the bill, examining the bill and question some issues that require questioning and cross examination.

First the bill wants to void county government  control (taxi  and limousine Commissions, and take on the role of county governments. In another words, the state creates, amends, modifies, and enforces all  rules as they see fit for each and every county within state of Florida for the Limousine industry. This no similar as if the  federal government marched in and took control of state motor vehicle department and decide to make ONE Universal set of motor vehicular rule for all states- and even tell you that the federal government is responsible for all audits and enforcements. This is exactly what the state senate of Florida wants to do.

My first question is that do residents of Miami desire the same rules for their transportation as ones who reside in Orange County? My next question can the state government micro manage and handle consumer complaints for every county within the state of Florida? Now let us further examine the vaguely written bill.

The bill cites that limousines should be made on a pre-arrangement without specifying how far in advance shall reservation be made. The prearrangment rules were made to separate taxis from limousines, because shady operators wore limo outfit while operating a  taxis without paying for taxi permits and registering and licensing of a taxicab. Most counties taxi and livery commissions have  made prearrangemt rules 30minutes to an hour, and set minimum fares to resolve these conflicts. So what is a an advance reservation time? Bill 1389 being vaguely written seem to a disadvantage for legitimate taxi transportation companies and be in support of Uber which has been offering on demand transportation with 2minute eta, 8 minute eta’s.

 

In addiition, Bill 1389 fails to protect consumers from overcharges and abuses of price gouging, whereas the county commissions have set strict and clear language about overcharges. The bill vaguely writes about fare calculations to be on basis of distance and time and flat rates where necessary. The bill does not outline  devices are to be used for chauffeured cars. County commissions clearly did not allow metering instruments in chauffeured limousines to separate conflicts of interest.

The bill being vaguely written seems more intentional and in best interest of Uber.

Uber fares are being measured similar to taxis metering, and has undercut taxi rates on the UberX service. In addition, Uber has been abusing customers by price gouging them at busier times.

So the Florida Senate  needs to clarify the advance time to make a reservation just as the county taxi commissions have done. In addition, they shall set fare minimums and establish a clear policy on price gouging and overcharges. Does the state intend on a universal one size fits all minimum reservation time for all?

The bill then goes onto states that all vehicles shall be no older than ten years in service. Well this seems to be more of a taxi service, because anyone who is operating a car that old can compete with taxis.

The bill goes onto minimizing the liability insurance requirements, and replace a commercial for hire vehicle policy to a personal auto liability coverages and driver/owner of car may purchase supplemental umbrella insurance policy. Again, these rules do not mirror chauffeured luxury limousine industry. Rather it is pretty much more of a taxi disguised in a limo outfit.

This is exactly why Uber wants deregulation at state level so they can operate private driver owned cars on UberX, These private cars on UberX do not have to pay for permits, commercial for hire vehicle insuarnce policies, drug tests, and all the other costs that associated with for hire vehicle. Given them having these advantages, they can undercut taxis and operate outside rules and regulations. With taxis becoming almost extinct, then UBER can price gouge when hey want, how they want and whenever they want.

Will consumers file price gouging, driver and ompany complaints with state? Can state handle every counties needs in a timely manner as the county taxi and limo commissions do? Does the one size fits all work for all Florida? Bill 1389 should not be ratifies because it is written poorly and does not work in best interest of public, laborers, and industry.

Uber has always claimed that the industry in anti technology and does not want competition. Well why did Uber sabotage another mobile car service ordering app in November 2013 in New York by ordering cars and then canceling rides?

New Jersey Uber Driver Says He Gets ‘Short-Changed In Virtually Every Way Possible’

New Jersey Changed In Virtually Every Way Possible’

david-fagin

N.J., resident David Fagin tells us that much of this progress may be coming at the expense of Uber’s drivers, particularly in Northern Jersey, where it borders New York City. Due to New York City’s requirement for those providing for hire services to be licensed in accordance with NYC licensing  Taxi regulations has led to an excess of unlicensed for hire drivers and unlicensed for hire vehicles in New Jersey  — and  saturating unlicensed unregulated driver in New Jersey than the Big Apple.

Fagin says, works against Jersey Uber drivers, especially if they have to ferry passengers into New York. They’re banned from picking up fares on the way back and can get their vehicles impounded by New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission for operating unlicensed for hire vehicle and unlicensed for hire driver — and so to lose valuable driving time while stuck in traffic at the Hudson river crossings. “To drive for Uber in New Jersey is to be short-changed in virtually every way possible by an unfair and under-developed system in immediate need of revisions,” he says.  New York City TLC should allow us to pickup passengers in New York City to transport them back to New Jersey.

His comments were similar to many we’ve heard from other Uber drivers.  the folks on UberX, the cheapest of Uber’s services. Professional drivers trying to earn a full-time living have grumbled that the money is not as good as licensed  taxi cabs and licensed  livery cab service.

Josh Mohrer, general manager for Uber NY//NJ, declined to address Fagin’s claims specifically. He gave us this statement:

Since launching in November, drivers have been flocking to uberX in NJ as a flexible and lucrative way to make income without having taxi and livery insurance and plates. In the weeks and months ahead, we will continue to deliver that option to even more NJ riders and drivers – expanding the service throughout the state.

Uber and Lyft face Scrutiny

By Susan Rose:

Last year when we published our first article on Uber, the media (outside our industry) was almost unanimously positive about the smartphone app.  Back then I said it was going to take a person or people getting hurt—or worse, killed—to really thrust Uber into the regulators’ crosshairs. Sadly, it did happen, and now Uber is currently facing some serious questions.

My prediction came true simply because of the laws of nature. After all, why are taxis and limousines so heavily regulated in the first place? It’s for the same reason that California will require a fifth door on a limousine—passenger safety was called into question. Fight it, and you run the risk of excoriation from a safety-sensitive public. Uber is starting to feel some of that pressure for the first time.

It’s probably become part of your conversation as well. Just to be clear, Uber offers several levels of service: Black, SUV, UberX, and Taxi. Black and SUV are meant to act like upscale taxi services, but are the two that compete most directly with our industry. Uber Taxi and UberX, its lower-cost ridesharing service, are in far fewer cities than the first two, but drivers use their personal vehicles and are less regulated than any of the apps. Other companies like Lyft and Sidecar compete for rideshares as well.

It’s important to note that while Uber may be in the spotlight due to the New Year’s Eve pedestrian death, the majority of the regulators have shifted their attention away from services like Uber Black to ridesharing apps like UberX, Lyft, and Sidecar. While our industry hasn’t let up on the fight, it’s clear that the focus has been redirected to the more contentious, less insured, and woefully unregulated rideshares.

Where Are We Now?

Trevor Johnson, director of The San Francisco Cab Drivers Association probably said it best in The New York Times: “Uber may be the next Amazon, but Amazon doesn’t have the same potential capability to leave a trail of bodies in the street.” Johnson is, of course, referring to the death of 6-year-old Sofia Liu who was hit in a San Francisco crosswalk by Uber “freelancer” Syed Muzaffar on New Year’s Eve. The driver was promptly removed from active service with Uber and the company distanced itself immediately from the case. The problem is, the California Public Utilities Commission created a new category for these apps called “transportation network companies” or TNCs. Uber and others were required to comply within 45 days of the September ruling, which included $1 million insurance policies on drivers, background checks with fingerprinting, and thorough vehicle inspections. Uber is fighting the classification and has vowed to fight any responsibility in the wrongful death lawsuit as well. Sadly, after Liu’s death (and injuries to some family members), it was reported that Muzaffar had a record of reckless driving in Florida. It later was revealed that Uber was lax on conducting background checks, especially through the tougher Live Scan fingerprint checks that are also run through FBI databases for a more thorough and up-to-date record. In January, Uber extended its background check nationwide.

cd-0314-uber-rideshare-lyft-apps-article See a full list of international cities and the latest information here: chauffeurdriven.com/apps
Matthew Daus, president of the International Association of Transportation Regulators (IATR) and former head of the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission, has some theories about where things are heading with Uber. With Google as one of its biggest investors (through Google Ventures), Daus says that it’s all about collecting data, which the massive search engine/all-around technology giant craves. “Google wants the data, while Uber wants to sneak in and deregulate the industry so that it can get its [initial public offering]. Once that happens, they’ll turn around and say, ‘Of course we need regulation.’ That will lead to increased prices.” That would mean driving some out of the industry altogether while possibly devaluing the pricey taxi medallions. (Others speculate that the Uber-Google relationship will lead to a platform for autonomous vehicles, which Google is investing in.)
That IPO could mean big—and I do mean BIG—paper. If you live in or around Silicon Valley, you already know that Uber is the hottest thing going. The investors just keep piling on, so there are high hopes for the company’s upward trajectory. Uber’s most current valuation is $3.5 billion (yes, with a “b”), but there are many who feel that is highly undervalued. Some estimates say Uber could be $100 billion within 5 years. An IPO would keep the cash following.

Big money and flashy, one-percenter names attached to Uber could have bigger consequences than just an endless pool of marketing dollars and expensive lobbyists. This means that regulators and politicians could be having a harder time standing up to the app. When your position relies on donors who have deep pockets, combined with an intense public love for the service, it becomes very difficult to say no. The taxi industry isn’t immune to this type of politicking, but there’s a new game in town and there’s more money than ever at stake. And for the record, we are not suggesting nefarious backroom deals are taking place (like Uber does in the next paragraph), but we’re also not stupid. Money and politics are the oldest friends in the world.

Uber has clearly joined the “if you can’t beat them, join them” club. For example, Uber’s Corey Owens blogged about his experience in Portland last summer in a post called “On Consumers, Competition & Collusion.” The blog read: [L]ast week I testified before the Portland Private-for-Hire Transportation Board of Review, which regulates taxis and limousines in the Rose City. I was asking this official government body to do away with rules that force sedans to wait 60 minutes before picking up the requesting passenger, that explicitly prohibit the use of cost-effective vehicles, and that artificially inflate prices for sedan transportation. I was requesting these changes of a regulatory body made up of taxi companies and their allies. The marriage between government and industry in Portland is hardly the only example. In Dallas, Yellow Taxi’s lawyer worked with city officials to organize a fruitless sting against Uber. In Colorado, Public Utilities Commission staff proposed anti-Uber regulations after a local taxi lobbyist wrote to them pleading for ‘rules changes’ to address the Uber ‘issue.’ In Missouri, the chairman of the Metropolitan St. Louis Taxicab Commission is a lobbyist who walks the halls of state government on behalf of the Commission, which is primarily made up of—you guessed it—taxi companies. This is regulation by the taxi industry for the taxi industry. Consumers’ interests are getting bulldozed by lobbyists, campaign contributions, and cronyism run amok.”

read the entire article at Chauffeur Driven:

How much is Marco Rubio paid as an Uber spokes person?

Florida State Senator Marco Rubio has stepped up efforts in representation for Uber, by making special trips to Washington, lobbying on behalf of Uber. How can Marco Rubio represent Uber considering that this rogue app has so many legal issues that require a resolve? Is Marco Rubio paid for lobbying on behalf of Uber? It makes no sense, how he can lobby for them knowing all the legal issues surrounding Uber.

Uber is a transportation broker, which does not own or operate, nor do they have any control on the vehicles that participate on their mobile app network.  Here are list of issues and loopholes that Uber should resolve prior to having Rubio speak on their behalf.

  1. Uber should end any and all price gouging practices- which they refer to surge pricing- and ensure users ethical business standards
  2. hire only drivers who pass a thorough criminal back round check- ensure rider safety
  3. routinely conduct drug tests on the drivers- ensure public safety
  4. inspect all cars operating on their network via an authorized and licensed  repair facility not visual inspections- ensure public safety
  5. Uber should not use the privately licensed vehicles to conduct point to point taxi services -UberX cars are not insured and licensed and registered as taxi or for hire car services
  6. Uber should resolve amicably  on outstanding lawsuits in San Francisco and Boston brought on by their former drivers who were cheated out of tips.
  7. Uber should apply for central dispatch base licenses in any municipality it wants to operate.
  8. Uber should NOT apply for central dispatch base licenses other than the name Uber Technologies. For example in New York City, they have held for hire vehicle base licenses under the names “Weitter LLC”,  “Schmeker LLC”, “Unter LLC”- this is one legal way of bypassing legal liability.
  9. Uber should carry liability insurance under their name ” Uber Technologies Inc”, not Raiser
  10. Uber should carry an insurance liability other than the insurance which is based in Bermuda and has offshore bank accounts and backed by Goldman Sachs, which has funded Uber.
  11. Uber should also settle the outstanding lawsuit against it for killing a 6 year old on New Years Eve in San Francisco, and injury others.
  12. Uber should not advertise as a taxi service if it is operating itself as a car service or a luxury limousine service.
  13. End  practice of sabotaging competitors mobile car hailing apps, ( as it has done in NYC with Gett)

Uber has other legal issues that it must resolve in Canada, France, China, and many US cities.

So the question is, how much money is Marco Rubio being paid to be the official Uber spokes person? After all, when examining Marco Rubio’s personal history of  using state credit card for personal expenses, having close ties with financial thugs. In addition, Rubio’s false claims about his families emigrating to US during Fidel Castro, whereas the records indicate that his family came 2 years prior to Castro taking over Cuba begin to raise an eyebrow on Marco Rubio.

The big question is Marco Rubio, how much money are you being paid when everyone knowing the legal issues surrounding Uber Technologies?

 

 

thatUber has encountered  criminal drivers, bypassing taxi licensing and regulations, and even not having insurance. Most recently, Uber claimed to have purchased A MILLION dollar insurance liability but withheld it’s so called liability insurance from public, until it was leaked. The