It is no secret that taxi drivers are not a big fan of Uber drivers. There have been stories all over the internet about how cabbies have been screwed because they bought some medallion for like a million dollars that are now barely worth the price of the metal because of what Uber did to their industry. I even gave a ride to a former taxi driver who refused to take Uber but his brother called one for him and that was his only ride home.I felt bad for the guy because he sounded like a really nice guy with a good head on his shoulders. He had a fleet of three cabs that he’d rent out to drivers and was likely doing really well for himself. With the rise of Uber came the fall of tiny cab companies and even some larger ones. It’s a sad situation for all involved – except for Travis Kalanick who is officially part of the 3 comma club after selling over a billion dollars worth of his Uber shares recently.
(side note – Picture Travis as Russ Hanneman from Silicon Valley. Now that’s all you’ll see when you watch that show)
That leads me to my main story which is a video that has been circulating the internet a little (at least in the rideshare world) of Uber drivers being “exposed” as they accept rides for cash which is illegal because of insurance reasons. I’m not a lawyer, but it’s illegal because driving someone around for money requires the protection of a livery license or the insurance that rideshare companies provide. I’d guess that means all those people driving their friends around for gas money are screwed if caught? Again, I’m not sure on the legal aspect of it, I just know you’re not supposed to accept rides for cash just like you’re not supposed to jaywalk. Rules and rules, and I’m sure if the crossing guard industry had enough bitter people out of work due to crossing signs, they would create videos similar to this…
Some dudes ran around begging Uber drivers to give them off-the-clock rides to some place for around $100 or so and feel they scored a jackpot when they hit on the drivers who accepted. Now, if you actually watch the video, you’ll see that a few of the drivers seemed really apprehensive about it but felt bad because the guy was stranded without a phone in the cold. Does that make it alright to break the “law”? I’ll say no, but I’m also not going to be angry at the guy for taking a $100 for a ride somewhere. If you’ll notice, they all quoted around the same price because they went by the app estimate or previous experience when they could have tried to rob the guy out of 2-3x as much because of how desperate he appeared.
Here is where it gets interesting, not at all surprising, and actually a bit sad. When they flashed their logo for Ride Safe World at the beginning of the video, I thought I would need to do some serious digging to see who these people were just so I can understand their motive behind the video. Are they really concerned about people “riding safe” or are they a few butthurt taxi drivers looking to bust balls. It turned out to be the latter which was confirmed by their profiles at the website. Here is the list of experience for the contributors to this site… (names redacted because I don’t want to deal with bullshit)
- xxxxx spent three years working as a cab driver for green cab of Madison from 2013 to 2015. This eventually put him on a collision course with Uber and Lyft.
In early 2014 xxxxx began advocating for taxi companies and the victims of rideshare companies. In 2015 xxxxx quit the taxi industry to focus on ending the fraud and suffering caused by fraudulent rideshare companies and other “gig” economy scams.
- xxxxx is a driver with ‘city cab’ in Dover Delaware, USA
- xxxxx is A driver with Yellow cab of Green Bay Wisconsin
- xxxxx hails from Syracuse New York. A local Taxi Driver and Owner of blahblahblah
That’s right, folks. Four for four here. Every person listed on their “about us” page is a current or former taxi driver with the main dude even admitting he was on a collision course with Uber and Lyft.
I’m not quite sure what their end game is here with videos like this. Perhaps they plan on exposing every single Uber driver in the country to get everyone fired which will bring the taxi industry back? I would think they could spend more time trying to expose the taxi drivers that give their industry a bad name which encourages people to use cheaper services like Uber, but I’m just a blogger so what do I know?