Profits Uber Alles

There are so many reasons to not use Uber or Lyft, and here is another one:

Hackers stole the personal data of 57 million customers and drivers from Uber Technologies Inc., a massive breach that the company concealed for more than a year. This week, the ride-hailing company ousted Joe Sullivan, chief security officer, and one of his deputies for their roles in keeping the hack under wraps.

Compromised data from the October 2016 attack included names, email addresses and phone numbers of 50 million Uber riders around the world, the company told Bloomberg on Tuesday. The personal information of about 7 million drivers were accessed as well, including some 600,000 U.S. driver’s license numbers. No Social Security numbers, credit card details, trip location info or other data were taken, Uber said.

At the time of the incident, Uber was negotiating with U.S. regulators investigating separate claims of privacy violations. Uber now says it had a legal obligation to report the hack to regulators and to drivers whose license numbers were taken. Instead, the company paid hackers $100,000 to delete the data and keep the breach quiet. Uber said it believes the information was never used but declined to disclose the identities of the attackers.

Why are companies not legally required to disclose data breaches?

Also, fuck all these glibertarian techbro companies, and you all need to stop with this uber/lyft, airbnb bullshit.






313 replies
  1. 1
    Tim in SF says:

    YOU try getting from Costco back to your flat on the Muni. Fuck that.

  2. 2
    The Dangerman says:

    Was it Uber or Lyft that was promoting flying taxi’s last week? Damn, I wish I had the extra money to short those assholes.

    AirBNB seems like a decent company though; what did they do or not do?

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    Why are companies not legally required to disclose data breaches?

    They are. They didn’t comply.

  4. 4

    Why are companies not legally required to disclose data breaches?

    You know those little things you click through when you sign up for stuff, that you totally read?

    @sylvania:

    Wrong Way Cole

    Oh, it’s you.

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    I feel you, Cole.

  6. 6
    Vidya Pradhan says:

    Can’t. Uber Pool allows my autistic son to get around, be independent, at a reasonable cost. Cabs would just be too expensive.

  7. 7
    это курам на смех says:

    Speaking of our libertarian paradise, net neutrality is about to go the way of the dodo. Can I sue the Internet?

  8. 8
    Nicole says:

    @The Dangerman:

    AirBNB seems like a decent company though; what did they do or not do?

    It’s contributing to the housing crisis in some cities because landlords are opting to use vacant apartments as AirB&Bs, rather than renting them out, which is illegal, as they are avoiding paying hotel tax by doing that.

    In addition, renters put their places up on AirB&B when they go on vacation (or just hang onto their lease after they move out and put it up on AirB&B all the time), which really sucks if you are another renter in the same building and have to deal with strangers coming in and out of the building.

    I mean, if people want to rent out a home they own, whatever, but it really gets abused in urban settings.

  9. 9
    ruemara says:

    I use Lyft. Why? Because tomorrow I have to go to the eye doctor and I need a ride to work, then a ride to eye doctor and a ride back. Only one friend can do the latter portion. I’m glad you have the excellent support network to not need it.

  10. 10
    Another Scott says:

    Cosign.

    I recall that some of our esteemed commentors here have (or are setting up) AirBnB places in their homes. I can see the appeal, and I can see how it can help someone who is trying to stay in their home after the kids move out and they retire.

    But too many companies are illegally turning private homes into hotels. Abuses like that need to stop, not least because it reduces the normal housing stock and makes it more difficult for normal people to find affordable housing.

    My county is working on updating the short-term rental regulations. I hope they get it right…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  11. 11

    @ruemara: I use Uber/Lyft (whichever’s cheaper per trip, they’re neither of them clean companies) if I haven’t budgeted time for the bus (which in San Francisco is often “as long as it would take me to walk there”), the bus doesn’t go there, I’m in somewhere with no transit system, or a country where they’re less sketchy than cabs, etc. etc.

    Taxi service in San Francisco was abominable before Uber, and taxis here have only recently started to regain my trust. And none of my friends have been raped by Uber drivers, which is more than I can say for taxis.

  12. 12
    RepubAnon says:

    @Baud: Truth – however, Uber was built on a model of simply ignoring laws and regulations, so this should come as no surprise.

  13. 13
    TenguPhule says:

    Why are companies not legally required to disclose data breaches?

    Because the free hand of the market wants to fist us all where the sun doesn’t shine.

    Without lube.

  14. 14
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    Anyone who thinks their name, address, phone numbers, driver’s license number and social security number are “secret” is very poorly informed.

  15. 15
    Eric S. says:

    Bonsoir.

    I broke down and signed up for Lyft a few years back. I live within eyesight of Wrigley Field but good luck finding a cab. They’ve been driven out of the neighborhoods because of the success of ride shares.

    Fuck Uber. I mean, I’m sure Lyft is nearly as bad but they haven’t received the press yet.

    My buddy in Budapest hates, hates, hates AirBNB. Landlords have converted their buildings to utter AirBNB and all the locals have been priced out of the inner city.

  16. 16
    TenguPhule says:

    @это курам на смех:

    Speaking of our libertarian paradise, net neutrality is about to go the way of the dodo. Can I sue the Internet?

    True Libertarians know that all problems must be solved by the 2nd amendment.

  17. 17

    @Eric S.: Lyft benefits from all of Uber’s past “disruption” and is doing some of its own now, plus Peter Thiel is a major investor, but it’s not… as bad.

  18. 18
    Cacti says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    Anyone who thinks their name, address, phone numbers, driver’s license number and social security number are “secret” is very poorly informed.

    This just proves again that Bernie would have won.

  19. 19
    Brent says:

    Meh. Lyft and Uber are really pretty useful to me. This is especially true when I travel, which I do quite often for work. But even when I am home in Vegas, I have found myself in need of a ride once in awhile and its just super easy to call up a Lyft (I don’t really use Uber). By contrast, cabs are STILL far less convenient and, for the time being at least, significantly more expensive. (I am aware that this is largely because ride sharing services are largely subsidized by venture capital which will all go away soon enough). They have been particularly useful when I have friends in from out of town and we want to go out and have a few drinks.

    I get it. These are souless corporations run by douchebags who are, at best, terribly sloppy with customer data. But frankly, they have actually improved my life marginally in several areas and cabs are just not a suitable alternative at this stage.

  20. 20
    Brachiator says:

    There are so many reasons to not use Uber or Lyft, and here is another one:

    Hacking and bad security practices are all over the place. Ain’t a special Uber or Lyft thing.

  21. 21
    magurakurin says:

    Uber is a ponzi scheme for the mega rich who don’t pay enough in taxes…which in turn prevents the funding of decent public transport. The ride costs are subsided by Uber by a greater amount than most public transport systems are by government. It’s great that people are able to take advantage of the low ride costs at the moment but such low fares are not sustainable.

  22. 22
    Steeplejack says:

    @The Dangerman:

    AirBNB seems like a decent company though; what did they do or not do?

    You mean besides sidestepping the tax and safety regulations of the lodging industry and many local zoning laws?

  23. 23
    Kyle says:

    I agree that Uber is of the devil, but I have no issues with Lyft, and frankly love having it available. It beats the hell out of relying on a taxi, and is usually much cheaper as well. If you live in an urban area, it’s very handy, especially in San Francisco where we are left with the vagaries of Muni.

  24. 24
    Eric S. says:

    @Major Major Major Major: To ease my own bad feelings I’ll add I rarely use Lyft. Just as I rarely used cabs. I purchased my condo in a location that allows me to live on the CTA, my bicycle, and my own two feet.

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    We need to bring back horses.

  26. 26
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @Cacti:

    How are you enjoying the Trump presidency so far?

  27. 27
    Eric S. says:

    @Steeplejack: To paraphrase Leona, taxes and zoning laws are for little people.

  28. 28
    John Cole says:

    Don’t they have cabs where you all live or did Uber kill them off?

  29. 29
    Eric S. says:

    @John Cole: As I implied, they are not in the neighborhoods in Chicago anymore. Not in any reasonable number. Not in the well-to-do area I live.

  30. 30
    Stan says:

    Hmmm. I use uber all the time. I see tons of other people using it. I am trying to think of what they’ve done that every other private company doesn’t do. Taxis are expensive and they suck bad. Buses suck now and they sucked before uber came along, so can’t blame uber for that. City rail service sucks in most places (not all) but again that ain’t uber’s fault.

    I don’t see how the drivers make any money. But we can say that about a gazillion industries.

    My son is a young first time homeowner and is making his mortgage because of air bnb. Is he supposed to stop?

  31. 31
    Kyle says:

    @John Cole: Yes, but (1) when you call for a cab, it’s anybody’s guess when (or if) they show up; with Lyft you know who is coming, what car they drive and you can follow them on a map to know where they are; (2) when you finish your ride in a taxi you get side eye if you want to use a credit card, and often, the credit card thing is “broken;” with a Lyft, you simply get out of the car–payment is arranged through the app; (3) the cars are usually much nicer; (4) Lyft is cheaper.

  32. 32

    @John Cole: yep, that’s the only conceivable reason we use these companies, as opposed to any of the many reasons we just wrote about right here. Just now. In your thread.

  33. 33
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Kyle: Yup.

  34. 34
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @John Cole:
    Uber is about 2/3 the price of regular cabs where I live.

    That’s because every ride is subsidized by venture capital.

  35. 35
    Davebo says:

    Booked a house for new years weekend (VRBO, not AirBnb) and while there I’ll be using Lyft to take winery tours (no drunk driving).

    If municipalities have a problem with short term rentals then they can pass ordinances addressing it.

  36. 36
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: The company fines should go up by $10 million dollars for every day they don’t let the public know about he breach.

  37. 37
    Davebo says:

    @John Cole:

    Ridden a cab lately Cole?? The last three I took, in addition to being crazy expensive were also the driver’s freaking full time residence!

  38. 38
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Oh, it’s you.

    My thought exactly, to a word.

  39. 39
    Brent says:

    @John Cole: I don’t know what your experience with cabs is, John. Mine has almost always been horrible. They are often hard to track down. Often accept only cash which is especially annoying when you don’t have the right bills and don’t really know what the fare will be. If you call one, you are not sure when they will arrive. At least here in Vegas, cabbies, more often than not, will try to take a longer route to charge you more (this is less of a problem for me since I am a native but I catch them pulling this shit all the time). I could go on but to summarize, as others have already pointed out, cabs suck.

    The cab industry has started to correct some of this but major problems still persist. As I said in my previous comment, I travel a lot, so I deal with cabs (or I used to) quite often. The experience is quite often negative. I would be surprised to hear that that is not true for most people. Ride sharing services are simple, transparent, convenient and, at least for the moment cheap. Cabs are not.

  40. 40
    magurakurin says:

    @John Cole: If Uber ever were to succeed in its goal of doing just that, killing off cab companies everywhere and then jacking up fares and surge pricing riders into debtors prison… opinions of it will surely change. Uber doesn’t hide these goals at all either…they are the main sales pitch to investors…the real marks. Uber’s other main goal is to eliminate human drivers. whatever. In the near future Uber will either be gone or charging such higher prices that nobody here will be using it.

  41. 41
    Jeffro says:

    @Brent:

    I get it. These are souless corporations run by douchebags who are, at best, terribly sloppy with customer data. But frankly, they have actually improved my life marginally in several areas and cabs are just not a suitable alternative at this stage.

    This is the thing, right? (not judging, btw, just noting) Convenience and improvements in quality of life always win out, and that’s ok.

    The only thing these companies need is for a) the companies to pay the drivers/apt owners more and possibly b) for the local governments to figure out how to assist those impacted by this kind of disruption. Job training (for former taxi drivers…and soon, for former human Uber drivers!) or relocation assistance (for those priced out of city apartments by AirBnB ‘rents)

  42. 42
    Atrios says:

    I’ve long been an uber/lyft opponent in large part because of a fear of what has happened – it’s killed the market for hailable cabs in my city (not everywhere, but if you go a few inches out of the center) so you basically have to use them now. Lyft drivers seem happy. Many are former cab drivers who say it works out better for them and they don’t seem to deal with the bullshit Uber dished up. So, ya, I broke down and started using Lyft, some.

  43. 43
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @John Cole: I don’t use cabs if Uber is available. Uber is so much cheaper than most cabs that it makes financial sense to use it instead of cabs.

  44. 44
    Calouste says:

    @magurakurin: Uber loses $200 million per month. They can only recover that if they drive the competition (regulated cabs) out of business and then start charging more.

  45. 45

    @Brent:

    Often accept only cash

    Oh, man, I can’t count the number of times they’ve given me the ‘ol “the credit card machine is broken”, even though 1) I asked before I got in to make sure and 2) it’s the law.

    If you call one, you are not sure when they will arrive.

    Or if. I was so used to the terrible cab service in San Francisco that I would wait until they were 20-30 minutes late before calling again, only to find out nobody had been dispatched. Forget trying to get a ride to the airport, you’d need to book one of the shuttle services in advance.

  46. 46
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @Jeffro:
    You can tip directly in the Uber app now in some places.

    I always just tip the driver cash, so it doesn’t show up in Uber’s ledger to be later used as an excuse for low pay.

  47. 47
    Davebo says:

    @Calouste:

    No, they’d also have to drive Lyft, Sidecar, Summon, Taxify, Haxi and lots of other ride sharing companies out of business.

    I’m not seeing it.

  48. 48
    TenguPhule says:

    @John Cole: Cabs can’t compete against Uber because Uber sells below costs and cabs need to make a profit.

    Its service dumping.

  49. 49
    Davebo says:

    @Atrios: I live in a larger city and there never were hailable cabs even downtown and even before ride sharing.

    On the other hand, I’ve never had to wait more than 6 minutes for a ride share ride. Often less than 3.

  50. 50
    magurakurin says:

    @Calouste: unfortunately for Uber’s marks, regulated cab companies are not the only competition…uh..Lyft. And there’s a reason cab service became heavily regulated…all those reasons remain. Uber has a lot of obstacles ahead. People should make use of the cheap rides while they can.

  51. 51
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud: Bring back the stocks and public shaming.

  52. 52

    @Davebo: There’s at least one app (Flywheel I think) that summons normal taxis around here, works pretty well.

  53. 53
    TenguPhule says:

    @Davebo:

    If municipalities have a problem with short term rentals then they can pass ordinances addressing it.

    We did. Odds are you’re renting from an illegal renter.

    But there’s no way to pursue this because TOO MANY PEOPLE ARE DOING IT.

    Local tax authorities literally can’t keep up.

    And this is what’s gonna happen to income taxes if the GOP ever get their way.

    Cheating will become the rule, not the exception. And they will win because once too many people start doing it, its like trying to bail out an ocean with a tea cup.

  54. 54
    magurakurin says:

    @Davebo: No one disputes the efficiency of their app. The question is how often would you use the services if the fares were 60% higher?

  55. 55
    Baud says:

    I’m seeing more bike shares. Haven’t done it myself, but they seem cool.

  56. 56
    Davebo says:

    And if increased regulation means my $8.50 ride costs $20.00 I’ll happily pay it.

    The worst Lyft/Uber driver I’ve encountered was better than most cab drivers and the cars are better than any cab I’ve been in with the exception of Europe.

  57. 57
    Davebo says:

    @magurakurin: See above. Still cheaper.

    I might drive myself to restaurants more and skip the second glass of fizz. Nah… Who am I kidding?? ;0)

  58. 58
    ruemara says:

    @John Cole: Oh, JC. Cabs are often hard to schedule and where I am, we have 1 cab company. Lyft, I can get a pickup in less than 5 minutes. It’s also cheaper. If I was back in NYC or SF, it would be different.

  59. 59
    Mike J says:

    @Kyle: I’ve never gotten side eye for using a credit card in a cab and the reader always works when you tell them you have no cash and it’s credit card or nothing.

  60. 60
    Davebo says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Wow, if only the illegal renters like, advertised their places on the internet! That would make it so much easier.

    State’s don’t seem to have a hard time collecting sales taxes from online purchase from firms that have a physical presence in the state.

  61. 61
    TenguPhule says:

    Uh oh.

    John Cole’s mopping again.

    Someone get a first aid kit.

  62. 62
    Brent says:

    @magurakurin: Speaking for myself, if cabs and ride share were the same price, I, and I believe most people, would choose ride share. It really is a superior service. I might find other alternative (bus, walking) more attractive more often. But cab services as they exist currently, just don’t cut it.

  63. 63
    balconesfault says:

    AirBnB basically allows me to keep living in the home I’ve lived in for 24 years, while the property tax has inflated to 12K/year (in Austin Texas such property tax bills are common). If I didn’t have the income from routine short term rentals I’d probably have sold the place and downsized into a lower tax property …

  64. 64
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @magurakurin:
    Why do we have to decide that now?

    Cab companies will change or die. Suppose 5 years from now that the cab companies are gone and Uber does raise rates sharply. I’ll take Lyft or a competitor.

  65. 65
    TenguPhule says:

    @Davebo: base of 10,000 illegal renters with a growth rate of 6% annually vs 4 auditors (and I’m being generous about the number of auditors available just to handle this). Figure an average audit time of 6-18 months for each case. Assume each auditor can process 12 cases at a time simultaneously.

    Try and make the math work.

  66. 66
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @ruemara:

    Uh, you do not want to be taking cabs in SF.

    I last called one three years ago when I had my eyes dilated and needed a ride home. 30 minutes later, no cab. I call “We don’t have a ticket for that?”

    Okay, bye forever.

  67. 67
    Sloane Ranger says:

    The Mayor of London has refused to renew Uber’s operating license on the basis they are not a “fit and proper person” but they remain in business pending the appeal process.

    Also an Uber driver has recently won a case here in the UK on the basis he is a company employee and not self emplyed or a contractor. This means he’s entitled to employment rights. Uber is appealing this too.

  68. 68
    Jeffro says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: I tip in cash most every time the occasion calls for it…it’s like a bonus tip for the server/driver/whomever

    @balconesfault: I have been meaning to register on, and start using, Airbnb for a while now. Not trying to be a pain Cole but there is clearly a lot of underutilized space out there and a lot of folks who enjoy both the interaction and the extra income. So…let’s figure out a way to make Airbnb work for everyone instead of standing in the way of progress and maxing out our resources.

  69. 69
    MelissaM says:

    @Stan: Did he tell his home insurer? Do the Uber/Lyft drivers tell their auto insurers? That’s another problem.

  70. 70
    Davebo says:

    @TenguPhule:

    A: Hire more auditors. You’re generating revenue here.
    B: average audit time of 6-18 months for each case. WTF! Screw hiring more auditors. I’ll do it for 10% of the take! Ever hear of web scraping?
    C: The math will work goodly! I’ll quit my day job!

    I mean seriously. This is not hard. And if, as they should, the municipality imposes significant fines for under reporting (which will be incredibly easy to audit since you can find online when each property is rented) then these renters will definitely fall in line and price accordingly.

  71. 71
    MobiusKlein says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    Anyone who thinks their name, address, phone numbers, driver’s license number and social security number are “secret” is very poorly informed

    Where I work, the last two are most certainly treated as our user’s most precious bits of data.
    We take that shit seriously. Enforced rules about encryption and logging, cycling encryption keys and all.
    Probably moving towards more restrictive rules on the first 3 as well.

  72. 72
    eric says:

    because of the limited number of cab medallions, cabs can limit the number of cars and charge a premium. I dont weep for them in the slightest.

  73. 73
    Gvg says:

    There have been no cabs around here for years. People own their own cars though mostly.
    Uber and Lyft are evading regulations already in place. Laws need to be enforced. If they are still cheaper after that ok, we’ll see. Also I don’t think these drivers insurance is sufficient.
    Basically they aren’t paying real costs. Free riders.
    Better service might make them the best choice for real but right now we don’t know.

  74. 74
    balconesfault says:

    @MelissaM: Air BnB has a large insurance policy covering my home during STRs booked through them. Problem solved.

    @Davebo City of Austin has a licensing program for STRs – must provide annually that the home meets code, no non-owner resident STRs licensed anymore (some are grandfathered in), neighbor complaints could result in my STR license being revoked, and around 10% of receipts plus an annual fee go to COA. Win win.

    Since I have a large home, I tend to usually host larger groups of 20-35 year olds who don’t mind crashing on a lot of airbeds in order to have large spaces available for hanging out when they’re not exploring the town. There really aren’t many options for them in the free market.

    As for Uber/Lyft – I have a grudge against them since they heavily spent to fight COA’s licensing requirements, then when they lost in a local referendum they took it to the state ledge and won the right to strip cities of their local autonomy. F’ em.

    Though rideshare companies have meant a lot less car ownership among 20-somethings these days … and that’s a positive thing imo.

  75. 75
    The Moar You Know says:

    I love this thread. So many anti labor Dems. You’re like most racists, you don’t even realize that you are anti labor, but by God a cab didn’t come pick you up once and that justifies the existence of Uber and Lyft, and the wiping out of cabbies who, god damn them, want a reasonable wage for their efforts.

  76. 76

    @eric: Yep, in many cities taxis are a government-backed cartel. It’s no wonder they have shitty service.

  77. 77
    magurakurin says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: You aren’t the mark. Uber is a ponzi scheme…but you aren’t the mark. Take advantage while you can. In the end, when it all shuffles out, my guess is everything returns to some sort of regulated cab/ride share service with a variety of companies that make money on their margins…just like cab companies do now. But Uber being the company with a world monopoly on ride service, not likely. Anything is possible, but not likely. Seems like a better plan for society would be to improve public transportation and build more trains, but, whatever. I’ll be dead soon and I don’t have kids.

  78. 78
    Davebo says:

    @balconesfault: Exactly.

    And the house I just booked is just outside of Fredericksburg.

  79. 79

    @The Moar You Know:

    but by God a cab didn’t come pick you up once

    Once, a hundred times, who can remember their own lived experience, amirite?

  80. 80
    Corner Stone says:

    Sounds like a hell of a lot of IGMFY excuse shifting in this thread.

  81. 81
    Davebo says:

    @balconesfault: As I recall the election they lost was extremely tight, the ballot was confusing as hell and polling afterwards showed a majority were pretty pissed about COA pushing Uber/Lyft out of town.

  82. 82
    TenguPhule says:

    @Davebo:

    A. Expand local government? Show me one city or county doing that. Due to budget cuts, tax divisions are last hired and first fired. They’re not popular.

    B. Taxpayer bill of rights. Again, relentless public pressure to ensure that due process is followed results in lengthy leeway to those under audit. Try and skip steps and the taxpayer automatically wins on appeal.

    Trust me, its not as easy as it might seem at first blush.

    C. You have offendees propagating faster then they can be caught and trying to detect them and nail them can often cost as much or more then any taxes owed. Remember, limited resources.

    That’s why our system works on voluntary compliance. We don’t have enough people to chase after everyone if too many people decide to evade.

  83. 83
    Davebo says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    So, Ford, GM, BMW, Mercedes and Chrysler are all unionized.

    Chrysler makes crap cars so I tend to not to buy them.

    I must be anti labor! Oh, the self hate.

  84. 84
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone: And we wonder how unions got hung out to dry.

    “But it was cheaper in the short term to fuck them over!”

    Yeah, how did that work out in the long term?

  85. 85
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Or, in the alternative, sounds like somebody who has a car and who drives everywhere just doesn’t understand why anyone would want a safe, affordable ride service.

  86. 86
    Corner Stone says:

    Oh, look. Donna Brazile on Hardball. Time to switch to something more believable, like Bigfoot stories on Destination America channel. *CLICK*

  87. 87
    coin operated says:

    I live about 4 miles south of the Vegas airport. You can always find a cab at the airport or one of the strip hotels. You can forget about cabs anywhere else in the city…hour long wait times is the norm. Uber? Never waited more than 5 minutes and, because they’re mostly locals, I get a driver who knows the side streets.

  88. 88
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone: Funny how popular she is with the news shows now.

  89. 89
    Davebo says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Expand local government? Show me one city or county doing that.

    It would seem to be an easy sell when you mention you are expanding revenue.

    Taxpayer bill of rights. Again, relentless public pressure to ensure that due process is followed results in lengthy leeway to those under audit.

    I don’t see that happening when I try to fight my property tax re-appraisal.

    You have offendees propagating faster then they can be caught and trying to detect them and nail them can often cost as much or more then any taxes owed.

    As mentioned, you need to get more than taxes owed. There has to be penalties for failure to report pay. Works for the IRS.

  90. 90
    Balconesfault says:

    @Davebo: I don’t remember polling showing people being pissed. Most I knew were happy to see local Rideshare companies having space to grow.b and there was a massive amount of information circulated prior to the election, nobody who voted was likely to be misinformed.

  91. 91
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @MobiusKlein:

    I don’t doubt that (some) companies take PII and SPI security seriously, but all of that information is available for a price. And given the equifax hack, that price is decreasing rapidly.

  92. 92
    Baud says:

    I’ve never used Uber or Lyft or Airbnb. Call me Norma Baud!

  93. 93
    Brent says:

    @The Moar You Know: Downplaying the problems with cab service is of no aid to labor at all. AS I have said, I could go on all day about the problems I have had with cabs and yes, some of that, like the mysterious broken credit card machines, come from the workers trying to squeeze a working wage out of their job. But I didn’t create the conditions that make that difficult for them. I didn’t create the fucking medallion system. I am not sure how its fair or just or helpful to labor for me to pay a price to perpetuate a broken system.

    I, and I suspect most people who use ride sharing services, would have no problem with paying the costs that would result in a more equitable wage for drivers. But I work hard for my money too and I am going to use it to purchase the best quality service for the price.

  94. 94
  95. 95
    Dmbeaster says:

    @Stan: The response to this is “My neighbor is a first time homeowner who is making his mortgage with air bnb.” That means a random parade of residents come and go – some ok and some noisy jerks partying on vacation, or prostitutes setting up shop for a week. Who wants to live next to an illegal hotel? There are reasons why the hospitality industry is regulated, and not permitted in just any residence. If you believe it fine to deregulate that industry, fine. Vacation destinations typically allow short term rentals, but its not great for the neighborhood. But air bnb frequently is operated in violation of such laws in typical residential neighborhoods..

  96. 96
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @Dmbeaster:

    What do you have against sex workers? They’re just trying to make a living.

  97. 97
    The Simp in the Suit says:

    @John Cole: I live in a major metro area that has had bad, I mean, really bad, taxi service since at least the 80s. It’s not just that it’s ridiculously expensive, it’s insanely inconvenient. Heck, for simple, simple ride to the airport, most of the taxi services want at least an hour notice to come get me from my home, and actually prefer overnight notice. Lyft is a matter of clicking a button while I’m checking that I packed my toothbrush.

    So, convenience.

    The other wins over regular taxis?
    1. I’ve never had a Lyft driver cheat me by driving all over hell’s half acre just to up the fare. It’s SOP for taxis in most big cities, especially for fares from the airport.
    2. I’ve never had a Lyft driver fall asleep at an intersection. And then get pissed when I wake up up. It’s happened twice with taxis.
    3. I’ve never had a Lyft driver just never fucking show up. It’s happened twice to me for scheduled, booked, all-but-in-blood taxi pick-ups from my home. And I live in a nice neighborhood.

    John, there’s a real cost to taking taxis in many US cities. The actual dollar cost is just one, and it’s way down the list.

  98. 98
    jackmac says:

    @Eric S.: Plenty of cabs where the money is, but not so much where they might be helpful. Downtown Chicago, Near North Side and along Michigan Ave. there are no lack of taxis. And when I dropped off my wife and daughter for a flight at O’Hare on Monday morning, the line of cabs waiting for pickups from the arrival gates seemed to extend a mile or more.

  99. 99
    Mike in NC says:

    Saw tonight where Redbox has a DVD called “Ryde”, about an Uber/Lyft type service where the driver is a serial killer.

  100. 100
    Steeplejack says:

    @balconesfault:

    What does “STR” mean in this context?

  101. 101
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: You’re anti-labor.

  102. 102
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steeplejack: Sexual Treatment Reservations

    He’s going to try and say “short term reservations”. But don’t let ’em fool ya.

  103. 103
    magurakurin says:

    @Davebo: Yet, while certainly true for you, it almost surely is not universally true that Uber could charge the same price as or more than a taxi based on its service quality alone, or it would be doing so. In fact, Uber itself doesn’t claim this. There statements now are that the move to profitability will come with the advent of self-driving cars, which are only five years away. I couldn’t care less whether people do or don’t use Uber. But it doesn’t seem logical that a smart phone app changed the entire economic structure of ride service so that now it is possible for people who never could afford cabs can now ride them whenever, wherever. Even the nicer cars will be a short lived reality. A lot of people went out and bought new cars to be Uber drivers, now they are facing the economic bite of maintaining them. With time Uber driver’s cars will begin to breakdown and the individual driver will resist upgraded just as much as a taxi fleet owner. The actual business realities of ride service haven’t changed. All of this is such early days. But, take advantage while you can, is what I say. I don’t like McDonald’s very much, but if they give me a coupon for a free burger with no purchase required, yeah, I’ll eat it.

  104. 104
    BBA says:

    Uber/Lyft/etc. are VC-backed scum.
    Traditional cab companies are mob-backed scum.
    I’m rooting for injuries here.

  105. 105

    @Baud: apparently not spending my money enriching a corrupt cartel is evidence of this yes.

    ETA or, rather, enriching the incorrect corrupt organization.

  106. 106
    TenguPhule says:

    @Davebo:

    It would seem to be an easy sell when you mention you are expanding revenue.

    You would think so, but its not sexy and attractive to voters, so no, its not easy and it rarely happens unless tax money is really rolling in already.

    I don’t see that happening when I try to fight my property tax re-appraisal.

    Check you local state’s taxpayer bill of rights. Rights when being audited are at a completely different level. Voters don’t like getting audited and elect pols who reflect that attitude.

    As mentioned, you need to get more than taxes owed. There has to be penalties for failure to report pay. Works for the IRS.

    Which will be challenged on appeal. Most state penalties are based on a percentage of tax owed, again the money numbers don’t work when lots of people have relatively small violations (compared to the big boys).

    It doesn’t ‘work’ for the IRS the way you seem to be implying. Again, all tax agencies rely primarily on voluntary compliance and audits are a drop in the bucket which only are really effective against really big or really obvious offenders. And States have nowhere near the resources that the IRS does. IRS has tens of thousands of agents.

    States have low double digits at best.

  107. 107
    bluehill says:

    @Brent: Yep. I’m guessing the reason that many (most?) people started using ride sharing was because of dissatisfaction with their existing taxi service rather than price.

  108. 108
    Balconesfault says:

    @Dmbeaster: I seriously doubt first time homeowner Stan’s sin is having hookers turning tricks in his guestroom.

  109. 109
    Steeplejack says:

    @Steeplejack:

    “Short term residency,” it now occurs to me?

  110. 110
    magurakurin says:

    @bluehill: Then why does Uber subsidize the price by 60%? It seems obvious that price is a huge part of the selection by riders.

  111. 111
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brent: Not sure that blowing up the whole system is going to solve the problem though. I agree that cabs services are long overdue for quality control, but letting unregulated assholes basically dump services until the commercial cabs all go out of business is going to result in long term pain once the fad fades and people realize that they aren’t making money on Uber/insert your ride app of choice here because they’re not charging what it actually costs them plus a markup.

  112. 112
    Kyle says:

    @The Moar You Know: To be honest, I’ve never considered labor unions in my distaste for taxis, as I’ve always believed that cab companies were one of those things common in large cities that are controlled by a few, politically connected folks who own the “badges” and who are allowed to exploit the drivers that fall prey to them. I have always thought that was why the experience was only tolerable if you were lucky–sort of a version of “we are the government-sanctioned cab company. we don’t care; we don’t have to.” But feel free to enlighten us all with your sanctimony.

  113. 113

    @TenguPhule: this is absolutely true, but some folks here are pretending that taxi companies and their corrupt bullshit medallion laws and abuse of drivers are shining examples of labor rights and good regulation.

    ETA so maybe it makes me a little keen to point out the cab companies’ many failings.

  114. 114
    Mike J says:

    Want to see what real values voters look like in Alabama?
    https://twitter.com/daveweigel/status/933132292905517056

    Keep in mind that the KKK members Jones locked up blew up a church.

  115. 115
    Mike J says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Lets get good regulation instead of no regulation.

  116. 116
    Steeplejack says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Just gained 10 minutes on the DVR!

    Might skip Chris Hayes tonight to watch my stories on CBS. NCIS is a shameful habit that’s hard to break, but I actually like Bull. Bit of a surprise, because when I first heard the premise I thought it sucked.

  117. 117
    Dmbeaster says:

    @Balconesfault: No one says he is. But you don’t get to violate laws because you are the alleged exception to the problem being regulated.

  118. 118
    debbie says:

    @Mike J:

    And yet Trump insists Jones is weak on crime. smdh

  119. 119

    @Mike J: totally agree. Just don’t call me anti-labor for not picking the right corrupt bullshit service. (Not directed at you obviously.)

  120. 120
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I think we all agree that the cabs need to be reformed, not buried alive. We just can’t come to an agreement on how that happens.

  121. 121
    Ruckus says:

    @Brent:
    Never used uber or lyft, they didn’t exist when I flew a lot. I use the LA metro train and bus service and it is reasonable. For bus/train service. For one route I take the train/bus almost always beats a car. Now cabs, I used to use them on occasion when I traveled a lot and mostly they were, what’s that word…. horrible. And I was on an expense account so it wasn’t even the cost. I have used them in northern europe a long time ago and they were amazingly good but don’t have any idea if they still are.

  122. 122
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Brent:

    Speaking for myself, if cabs and ride share were the same price, I, and I believe most people, would choose ride share. It really is a superior service. I might find other alternative (bus, walking) more attractive more often. But cab services as they exist currently, just don’t cut it.

    Taxi service has been a clusterfuck for a long time. Yes, Uber and Lyft are just unlicensed taxis, but they have created a service model that vastly improves the taxi experience. Taxi companies should use that to improve their shitty service before they are run out of business.

    @The Moar You Know:

    I love this thread. So many anti labor Dems. You’re like most racists, you don’t even realize that you are anti labor, but by God a cab didn’t come pick you up once and that justifies the existence of Uber and Lyft, and the wiping out of cabbies who, god damn them, want a reasonable wage for their efforts.

    Get a grip, dude.

  123. 123
    Davebo says:

    @TenguPhule: I think a simple solution would be to issue cab licenses to anyone that meets basic financial responsibility and other reasonable requirements for a low annual fee.

    As for STR’s, where I live the solution to many of the problems could be handled by HOA regulations. Those guys are brutal about enforcement!

  124. 124
    TenguPhule says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Regulations and inspections would cost money and require hiring people to actually do it.

    If only our government would see the obvious solution.

  125. 125
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @The Dangerman: I’ve only used airbnb once. It was outstanding. Beautiful 2 bedroom Haussmanian appartment in Paris for seriously cheap. Complete with resident cat. My daughter uses them all the time and I know a couple of charming folks locally who are airbnb hosts. Obviously anything involving humans is open to screw ups but so far so good.

  126. 126
    Aleta says:

    Jared could use a kickstarter.

    Since his appointment, according to sources, Kelly has tried to shrink Kushner’s responsibilities to focus primarily on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And even that brief appears to be creating tensions between Kushner and Kelly. According to two people close to the White House, Kelly was said to be displeased with the result of Kushner’s trip to Saudi Arabia last month

    During Kelly’s review of West Wing operations over the summer, the chief of staff sought to downsize Kushner’s portfolio, two sources said. In the early days of the administration, sometimes with the help of a small cadre of Ivy League whiz kids who staff his Office of American Innovation, Kushner dreamed up scores of business “councils” that would advise the White House. “The councils are gone,” one West Wing official told me. With some of their purview being whittled away, “they seem lost,” the official added.

    Insiders are again speculating about how long Kushner and Ivanka Trump will remain in Washington. Despite Kushner’s efforts to project confidence about Robert Mueller’s probe, he expressed worry after the indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates about how far the investigation could go. “Do you think they’ll get the president?” Kushner asked a friend, according to a person briefed on the conversation.

    According to two Republicans who have spoken with Trump, the president has also been frustrated with Kushner’s political advice, including his encouragement to back losing Alabama G.O.P. candidate Luther Strange and to fire F.B.I. Director James Comey, which Kushner denies. (For what it’s worth, Kushner’s choice of Strange prevented Trump from the embarrassment of inadvertently supporting Roy Moore.) Trump, according to three people who’ve spoken to him, has advocated for Jared and Ivanka to return to New York in part because they are being damaged by negative press. “He keeps pressuring them to go,” one source close to Kushner told me. But as bad as the Russia investigation may be, it’s not clear a New York homecoming would be much better for Kushner, given that his family’s debt-ridden office tower at 666 Fifth Avenue could be headed for bankruptcy.

    -Vanity Fair

    I want an investigation into how much was spent on these business councils and who was on them and what they did.

  127. 127
    Davebo says:

    @Ruckus: They are still amazingly good in Europe (NL, UK, France & Spain in my experience).

    Well, except one experience at the train station in Amsterdam. Long row of E class mercedes waiting to pick up passengers but I got the one guy who thought it would be cute to drive a 15 year old Cadillac. Luckily, though I didn’t snap at the time, the ride to my hotel was only 6 or 7 blocks.

  128. 128
    Ruckus says:

    @magurakurin:

    I don’t like McDonald’s very much, but if they give me a coupon for a free burger with no purchase required, yeah, I’ll eat it.

    Just a side note. I’ve had massive food poisoning twice at McD. In two different states. Separated by about a year. I’ll starve before I’d eat anything from them ever again. It would be less unpleasant and less risky to my health. Even free isn’t worth it.

  129. 129
    bluehill says:

    @magurakurin: Yes, I shouldn’t imply that price isn’t important and shouldn’t assume that my experience applies to all, particularly later adopters than me. So, I’ll say that the final straw that led me to start using Uber was when after arranging for a cab to pick me for an early morning flight, it did not show up until 25 minutes after the scheduled time even though the dispatcher said several times that the cab was 5 minutes away.

    I think that for some (most?) users price is important, but they are choosing between making a trip or not rather taking Uber vs a taxi. If the price of Uber was the same as a taxi, and in my area it’s about the same starting at UberX and still less using UberX and UberPool and higher with the premium cars, I’m not sure that taxis would see that much of an increase in ridership, but that’s speculation on my part.

  130. 130
    TenguPhule says:

    @Davebo:

    I think a simple solution would be to issue cab licenses to anyone that meets basic financial responsibility and other reasonable requirements for a low annual fee.

    But then you have committees arguing over what is reasonable in the House and Senate.

    Meanwhile interest groups are pouring money right and left to try and influence language and votes.

    Simple, but very very difficult.

  131. 131
    Mike in NC says:

    @Ruckus: About 30 years ago my girlfriend and I got food poisoning at a Wendy’s restaurant salad/taco bar. I wrote them about it and in return got some coupons in the mail.

  132. 132
    Davebo says:

    Fun fact. In the Austin election Uber/Lyft spent $223.15 for each vote that they received.

  133. 133
    magurakurin says:

    @Ruckus: this is a good point. I actually haven’t gone to a McDonald’s for any reason after the green meat video scandal in Japan. Really hideous video of green blocks of chicken meat being processed for McD in China. Totally Soylent Green.

  134. 134
    Davebo says:

    @TenguPhule: House and Senate??

    Does the state issue cab licenses?

  135. 135
    The Simp in the Suit says:

    @The Moar You Know: For Pete’s sake, we’re telling you about our lifelong experiences with horrible, expensive, dangerous service across multiple locales over decades. And you’re telling us to eat the shit sandwich because …?

    Because somehow that’s going to fix labor’s decline?

    Hm.

  136. 136
    Mike in NC says:

    @Aleta: “Jared Kushner” and “666” just naturally seem to fit together in any sentence.

  137. 137
  138. 138
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Their business model is to push all externalities to the local communities and directly onto their drivers. Who are not really “their” drivers.
    They maintain this fiction by a sustained burn rate of VC money that would make Caligula blush while they subsidize these rides. IOW, they are damaging everyone except the Uber C-Level execs and BoD members.

  139. 139
    magurakurin says:

    This isn’t new, but this multi-part series makes interesting reading, I think, about Uber and its possibilities of success.

  140. 140
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    You know that the vast majority of cab drivers are contractors, not unionized employees, right?

  141. 141
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @magurakurin:

    Probably. I use them frequently both locally and when I travel. I tend to find them cleaner than cabs, the drivers friendlier.

    YMMV

  142. 142
    The Simp in the Suit says:

    @Balconesfault: Really? ‘Cause that sounds EXACTLY like the Stan I know. And hold in high esteem! ;)

  143. 143
    TenguPhule says:

    @Davebo: Yes. They’re in charge of the regulations.

  144. 144
    Aleta says:

    Eric Paul Leue‏
    @EricPaulLeue

    1970s gay teachers? they’ll molest kids!
    1980s gays in your home? they’ll molest kids!
    1990s gays adopting? they’ll molest kids!
    2000s gay marriage? they’ll molest kids!
    2010s transfolk using restrooms? they’ll molest kids!
    2017 What’s the big deal with politicians molesting kids

  145. 145
    Balconesfault says:

    @Gelfling 545: the cat reminds me. When I’m out of town it’s really nice to have my guests feed my dogs for me.

  146. 146
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @The Simp in the Suit:

    For Pete’s sake, we’re telling you about our lifelong experiences with horrible, expensive, dangerous service across multiple locales over decades. And you’re telling us to eat the shit sandwich because …?

    Because somehow that’s going to fix labor’s decline?

    Yeah, I have been dealing with unions everyday for many years and nary a one has represented cab drivers.

  147. 147
    Brent says:

    @TenguPhule: sure. As i have suggested, i am not at all enamored of ride sharing companies’ business practices. I would be happy to support a reasonable alternative. Cabs ain’t it.

  148. 148
    Mnemosyne says:

    I took both regular taxis and Lyft while I was in San Francisco and now I get what the appeal of Lyft is: you know what the price is up front, so the driver doesn’t have any incentive to mess around and make the ride longer. Plus, of course, you know who’s coming and get a message when they arrive.

    The two taxis that I took were fine, though, and not that much more expensive than Lyft. The guy who drove me from the Amtrak station to my hotel seemed to have regular customers who would call him directly to come pick them up rather than going through a dispatcher, so I guess he was kind of doing his own Lyft-like service.

  149. 149
    different-church-lady says:

    fuck all these glibertarian techbro companies, and you all need to stop with this uber/lyft, airbnb bullshit.

    Amen.

    And this Twitter and Facebook shit, since we’re on this topic…

  150. 150
    bluehill says:

    I’ll add that when I was in London recently, I took the iconic black cabs rather than Uber. They were I’m guessing 25% to 30% more expensive than UberX, but they were easily available, clean with (mostly) friendly and knowledgeable drivers. If the taxi services in the major U.S. cities were like that, I would take them.

  151. 151
    different-church-lady says:

    And fuck the self-driving car fetish, while we’re at it…

  152. 152
    Davebo says:

    @TenguPhule: Not in Texas. Nor I’d imagine the vast majority of the remaining states.

  153. 153
    Texasboyshaun says:

    Between Uber, Equifax, and Chase, I figure every hacker has my info three times over. The good thing about being broke and having bad credit is that they probably wouldn’t even qualify for a library card if they use my info.

  154. 154
    different-church-lady says:

    Hey, Amazon? Fuck you too.

    You wanna know what’s really really scary? Some day something even bigger will come along and kill Amazon.

  155. 155
    Davebo says:

    @Mnemosyne: We have a guy in Scotland that does that on our trips. Text him days in advance and let him know if we’re coming into Edinburgh or Glasgow and he meets us for the ride to Auchterarder.

    Great guy. Used to work at GlenEagles.

  156. 156
    Mnemosyne says:

    @different-church-lady:

    That’s what happened to Circuit City.

  157. 157
    Baud says:

    @Aleta: On point.

  158. 158
    different-church-lady says:

    AND ALL YOU GODDAMNED MORONS WHO ARE TOO DUMB OR LAZY OR HIP TO CARRY CASH: FFFFFFUUUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKK…. YOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUU.

  159. 159
    Mnemosyne says:

    @different-church-lady:

    … did you open the Thanksgiving wine a little early?

  160. 160
    different-church-lady says:

    @Mnemosyne: The Thanksgiving whine, perhaps…

  161. 161
    Eric S. says:

    @Mike J: you’ve obviously never had a cab driver read your CC number over an open cb radio.

  162. 162
    Ruckus says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    I have to ask, how is this anti labor? Still people who drive the uber/lyft cars. What uber/lyft don’t have is a way to insure the cars are serviced and in safe condition. On the other hand, I’ve never ridden in a cab that had what looks like less than a couple hundred thousand miles of wear and tear, although the cabs around LA now don’t look like that anymore. Plus there are a lot more uber/lyft cars around than cabs (and I do see a lot more cabs around here than in years past) so that’s more people working rather than less.
    It is rather difficult to be pro labor by our choices these days, because it seems a large percentage of companies are part of a conglomerate and no matter what we do, it’s the companies that set the rates regardless of labor practices. Now if you had done an anti union rant that may have been different, except that even if you want to support unions, they are so few and far between any more that’s pretty much impossible. Take the new, if I remember correctly, VW plant that wanted to work with the local union/s and the workers voted it down. VW wanted a union, it’s part of the structure they are used to working with in Germany, where union reps sit on the board. The local yokels voted against it.

  163. 163

    @different-church-lady: I don’t like carrying cash, plenty of people don’t like carrying cash, and it’s not because I’m dumb, lazy, or hip.

  164. 164
    different-church-lady says:

    @Major Major Major Major: IF YOU ARE CONFUSED, READ MY CAUTIONARY ASSERTION AGAIN.

  165. 165
    Nicole says:

    The Village Voice did a piece last year on the problem with Airbnb. Uber gets a shout-out, too.

  166. 166

    @different-church-lady: traditionally the burden of clarification is on the person using all caps.

  167. 167
    Ilefttxwhenannlost says:

    The cutesy “we are a software platform” instead of a taxi service or hotel…bullshit…breaking the law and vc funding makes them cheaper…and illegal…and when you suggest to regulate them…ha ha…won’t work, we disrupt

    Yes cabs cost more and I use them in sf all the time…they are readily available because I am in a cab-prone area on purpose…and we stop tenants from illegally renting their apts in our bldg when we can…

    airbnb is definitely messing with new Orleans hospitality industry with offsite landlords outside th French quarter

  168. 168
    different-church-lady says:

    @Major Major Major Major: THERE IS NOTHING TO CLARIFY. (!!1!)

  169. 169
    different-church-lady says:

    Some day in the future, children will ask, “Daddy, why do we need to buy our air from Amazon?”

  170. 170
    Baud says:

    @different-church-lady: “To support John Cole’s blog, son.”

  171. 171
    different-church-lady says:

    UBER IS NAPSTER FOR CABS!

    I’M NOT SHOUTING AT YOU! I’M JUST SAYING!!!

  172. 172
    Raven says:

    @different-church-lady: The air machine here at the beach takes Visa!

  173. 173
    Eric S. says:

    @jackmac: ib agree. I work at Michigan and Randolph. I can always find a cab downtown. But i don’t need one there. Els, Metra, bus service is great. If i wasnt you go from Lakeview to Bucktown though, public transit is inconvenient to say the least.

    I have the option of a personal car or my bicycle (and I’m reasonably tolerant of cold) so I have options. If i have to take a case of beer or a food dish with me though, cabs are barely an option anymore.

  174. 174
    Davebo says:

    @different-church-lady:
    I don’t think those were the mushrooms you thought they were…

  175. 175
    different-church-lady says:

    @Raven: THE YEAR 2019: “Due to security breaches, we will be issuing you a new Visa card once every 10 days.”

  176. 176
    Baud says:

    Watching Rachel. Gotta say, Republicans know how not to fall apart under pressure, even when they should.

  177. 177
    different-church-lady says:

    @Davebo: SHUT UP AND WAVE YOUR PHONE AT MERCHANDISE!!1!

  178. 178
    SectionH says:

    @BBA: That’s a start.

    FYWP just ate most of a comment I was writing. (Yes, most. ?) Probably just as well, as I ranted about the cabs in San Diego, which I loathe because of some years using them to/from the airport, twice a month. Mostly from of course, because the fuckers will tell you to fuck off if you’re trying to get a ride from a place they consider “too close.”

    I also googled annual “salary” for California cab drivers. Not sure what it entails but was about $36,600/yr. Without tips? Couldn’t tell from the quick search.

    @Mnemosyne: Exactly.

  179. 179
  180. 180
    different-church-lady says:

    @Baud: Complete and utter lack of shame will do that for a person.

  181. 181
    different-church-lady says:

    @Major Major Major Major: CRYPTOCURRENCY!!! I KNEW I WAS FORGETTING SOMETHING!

  182. 182
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The Moar You Know: I use a unionized cab company when I need a ride. Just saying.

  183. 183
    Eric S. says:

    @bluehill:

    I’m guessing the reason that many (most?) people started using ride sharing was because of dissatisfaction with their existing taxi service rather than price.

    The people I know that made the switch early certainly fall into this group. Some of their complaints were superficial to my thinking. Some were not. But they and others like them have driven a major change in the market. I resisted it for a long time, but when I find myself in need of unplanned car service, “ride share” is by far the most viable and usable option.

  184. 184

    @different-church-lady: the cool kids rant about ‘blockchain’ nowadays.

  185. 185
    Corner Stone says:

    Not in My Neighbor’s Backyard
    “Airbnb has taken over Nashville, and the city is reaching its boiling point ”
    “But Airbnb does little to ensure that its hosts are abiding by Nashville’s regulations. The city’s rules regarding permits have been in place for more than two years, yet a host doesn’t need to present one to post a listing on Airbnb. The city’s codes department, which investigates suspicious listings, is overwhelmed by a massive backlog. Employees must often resort to using Google Maps to pinpoint precise addresses, since Airbnb hasn’t provided the city with information on its hosts. Overwhelmed by the volume of illegal short-term rentals, Nashville recently signed a $975,000 contract with a Silicon Valley startup called Host Compliance, which helps local governments enforce regulations on platforms like Airbnb. “It’s probably the single issue over the last five years that’s taken most of our time,” says Bill Herbert, Nashville’s zoning administrator.”

  186. 186
    different-church-lady says:

    @bluehill:

    I’m guessing the reason that many (most?) people started using ride sharing was because of dissatisfaction with their existing taxi service rather than price.

    No, it was because people got to play with their phones.

    There is no human activity that is not improved by people being able to play with their phones. You could probably get people to commit suicide if you wrote an app for it.

  187. 187
    different-church-lady says:

    @Major Major Major Major: THE CONVENIENCE STORE WON’T TAKE MY FERRETCOIN! WHY DO THEY REMAIN STUCK IN THE PAST?!? WE MUST MAKE THEM TAKE MY FERRETCOIN!!!!

  188. 188
    Mary G says:

    RIP David Cassidy.

  189. 189

    @different-church-lady: I’ll trade you a dogecoin for three ferretcoins.

  190. 190
    Ilefttxwhenannlost says:

    Is compliance consulting the next niche?

  191. 191
    different-church-lady says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Fax me your bank account number and we got a deal.

  192. 192
    different-church-lady says:

    AND HOLY GOD IN HEAVEN EVERYONE GETS TO PUNCH PAYPAL IN THE NECK AS MANY TIMES AS THEY WANT!!!!1!!!1!!

  193. 193
    different-church-lady says:

    @Ilefttxwhenannlost: Is it compliance, or just resignation?

  194. 194
    Suzanne says:

    @different-church-lady: Google has been testing self-driving cars in my corner of the Phoenix metro for almost two years now. I want one so bad. I hate driving and would love to have a self-driving car schlep me around.

  195. 195
    Raven says:

    @different-church-lady: I take Uber to Georgia Football games, it’s swell!

  196. 196
    different-church-lady says:

    Hey, uh… I’m not flooding here, am I?

  197. 197
    different-church-lady says:

    @Suzanne: How much more you willing to pay for one?

  198. 198
    different-church-lady says:

    @Raven: COLLEGE FOOTBALL — DON’T GET ME STARTED!!!!!!!!!!¡!!!

  199. 199
  200. 200
    different-church-lady says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Hey, your account is empty!

  201. 201
    Mike J says:

    @Eric S.: No, I haven’t. Just not an issue.

  202. 202

    @different-church-lady: of course it is, you gotta put in the ferretcoins.

  203. 203
    Baud says:

    @different-church-lady:

    There is no human activity that is not improved by people being able to play with their phones.

    That’s usually how I Juice.

  204. 204
    different-church-lady says:

    I think the next big scientific prize award should be something like, “This is my Aunt Mabel. There is a $100,000 prize to the first person who can explain how public key encryption works in a way she can understand.”

  205. 205
    different-church-lady says:

    @Baud: I said human activity.

  206. 206
    different-church-lady says:

    THEY CAN’T EVEN MAKE AUTO-CORRECT WORK, HOW THEY GONNA MAKE THE CARS DRIVE THEMSELVES?!?

  207. 207

    @different-church-lady: it’s pretty straightforward, I’m sure there’s something out there for her.

  208. 208
    different-church-lady says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Go ahead, give it a shot right here.

  209. 209
    Ilefttxwhenannlost says:

    @different-church-lady: ha! What’s the diff? I meant the 975k contract in nashville

  210. 210
    Aleta says:

    @Baud: very funny

  211. 211
  212. 212
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Hey, uh… I’m not flooding here, am I?

    You’re at 0.4 TenguPhules, so you’re still good

  213. 213
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: There is no Aunt Mabel.

  214. 214
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Raven: YOU ARE CORRECT, SIR!

  215. 215
    Raven says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Cabs in Athens are a bad fucking joke!

  216. 216
    different-church-lady says:

    I’m just thinking about the poor kid who’s self-driving car dies at the same time her phone crashes, and she can’t call anyone, and she can’t buy anything because she pays for everything using the phone, and all her account information is on the thing…

  217. 217
    SectionH says:

    Random other transportation thoughts:

    Uber explicitly says they want to transition to driverless cars ASAP. Well, I deleted my account on Jan. 22nd. Along with most of the younger ppl I know. Which includes all the people I know using Uber or Lyft.

    I so miss Car2go here. So miss.

    We have 42 buses an hour in our neighborhood, but I can’t walk to the nearest bus stop. (Now, maybe later I will be able to. Working on that.)

    The company which provides the software for London’s Oyster Cards is located inSan Diego. Unfortunately, like the Cobbler’s kids, our transit cards are a decade behind London’s.

  218. 218
    different-church-lady says:

    @Steve in the ATL: OK, I’m going to ease up for a bit, then do boothless highway tolls, and call it a night.

  219. 219
    BBA says:

    I’ve been out. Has Al Franken resigned yet?

  220. 220
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @different-church-lady: Why should Aunt Mabel care? When she flies home from Florida to visit her niece in the big city, does she understand the Bernoulli Principle? Why not a $100,000 prize to anyone who can explain CRISPR/Cas9 to her?

  221. 221
    different-church-lady says:

    @different-church-lady: …and she can’t call her friends or family on someone else’s phone, because she never learned their phone numbers, and she can’t log in to Facebook, because she never memorized her password, because the password manager on the phone took care of that for her, and…

  222. 222
    Raven says:

    @SectionH: Look at that x-car-go!!!

  223. 223

    @different-church-lady: evidence of cash prize please. I don’t work for free.

  224. 224
    different-church-lady says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Psst… hey, uh, bub… now, don’t spread this around, but… uh…

    [PAUSE]

    …I’M AUNT MABEL!!!!

    [BUGS BUNNY TWIRL, DIVE INTO RABBIT HOLE]

  225. 225
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @different-church-lady: The boothless tolls in Melbourne (Australia) make the transponder in your car emit a beep when the gantry and the car communicate. I always thought that was clever – you know that the toll registered.

  226. 226
    Cacti says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I don’t like carrying cash, plenty of people don’t like carrying cash, and it’s not because I’m dumb, lazy, or hip.

    Me neither.

    Primarily because if lose a piece of plastic or have it stolen, all I’m out is a piece of plastic. OTOH, if I lose or have a $100 bill stolen, the bank isn’t going to send me a replacement bill.

  227. 227
    Irony Abounds says:

    I’ve used Lyft maybe 5 times in 3 years, mainly when my car has broken down and I need to get somewhere relatively quickly. As for AirBnB and VRBO, I love them, although typically for vacation homes as opposed to city dwellings. Also, in the past couple of years I can’t think of a renter that didn’t charge sales tax, so many jurisdictions must be getting diligent in collecting the tax. There is no way I would spend tons of money on a vacation home I’d only be able to use a few weeks during the year, and staying in a motel in the mountains is very unappealing. Not quite sure I follow the moral abyss I’ve fallen into in that regard.

  228. 228
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Cole paid you for your BJ work?

  229. 229
    different-church-lady says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I thought you weren’t into cash?

    Your move.

  230. 230
    Aleta says:

    @different-church-lady: And she doesn’t know where she is, because GPS replaced mapping in her head. And worst of all she can’t find the nearest Starbucks !!!!

  231. 231
    Peale says:

    @different-church-lady: she might find that moment liberating. Starts a new life right where she is. Meets a salt of the earth farm boy who helps her fix up an abandoned farm house. Then one day she redisovers her charger and remembers her passcode…

  232. 232
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: Phrasing!

  233. 233
    Mnemosyne says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I can’t remember, do we eat after the Airing Of The Grievances or do we go directly to the Feats of Strength?

  234. 234
    Ilefttxwhenannlost says:

    @different-church-lady: rent a car and cross the golden gate bridge…a $6 toll is $19.60 on my last rental…so special

  235. 235

    @Gin & Tonic: well, you know how it goes, Technology is just our word for stuff that doesn’t work yet…

  236. 236
    Cacti says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    @Baud: Phrasing!

    To the pure in heart, all things are pure. ;-)

  237. 237
    Aleta says:

    @Peale: But her passcode doesn’t work. Someone has changed it! Come to think of it, why was her charger buried out in back of the barn?

  238. 238
    different-church-lady says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I would be more pleasantly disposed towards them if they’d do that here in Boston. Instead, they just made my life more difficult — in order to get my tolls reimbursed I have to go through a rigamarole of capturing my statement on-line instead of just submitting a couple of pieces of paper with my invoice. And at first they made it very difficult to know what the toll is by putting up tiny little signs a hundred feet after the gantries — someone must have complained, because they eventually put up much larger signs before the gantries. I heartily suspect it was deliberate, because they just didn’t want people to know, they just want people to pay without thinking. Instead, people are just avoiding the toll roads altogether.

  239. 239
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cacti: Eh.

  240. 240
    Larryb says:

    you all need to stop with this uber/lyft, airbnb bullshit

    I’m sorry, but have you seen the yellow cab iphone app?

  241. 241

    @SectionH:

    Uber explicitly says they want to transition to driverless cars ASAP. Well, I deleted my account on Jan. 22nd. Along with most of the younger ppl I know. Which includes all the people I know using Uber or Lyft.

    As a contrast I don’t know anybody who did it so YMMV.

  242. 242
    different-church-lady says:

    Netflix: I don’t use it myself, but I’m kind of okay with it.

  243. 243

    @Baud: allow me to clarify. I don’t explain cryptography to cranky people for free.

  244. 244
    Peale says:

    @Aleta: everything we thought we knew has changed! We thought it was under the Tuscan Sun when it was really Deliverance!

  245. 245
    Corner Stone says:

    Technology’s just another word for nothing left to lose.

  246. 246
    Corner Stone says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Along with most of the younger ppl

  247. 247

    @different-church-lady: why are you so opposed to neighborhood video stores? You’re destroying small businesses by not lighting Netflix HQ on fire!

  248. 248
    different-church-lady says:

    @Major Major Major Major: If it’s as gosh darn easy and straightforward as you say, why do we need your service fee?

  249. 249
    BBA says:

    We are all Milkshake Duck now.

  250. 250
    different-church-lady says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Who says I didn’t?

  251. 251

    @Corner Stone: I mean, people I know is mostly 24-35, so I don’t know how we’re defining ‘younger’ but figured I had it covered.

    @different-church-lady: because you have google and you’re still asking somebody to make you a new explanation instead of locating one of the perfectly good existing ones. Or are you boycotting google too? I’m sure GoDuckGo has it.

  252. 252
    NotMax says:

    @different-church-lady

    Touch tone phones. What’s up with that?

    ;)

  253. 253
    Tim in SF says:

    @The Moar You Know: “…and the wiping out of cabbies who, god damn them, want a reasonable wage for their efforts.”

    Should it really cost $15 to drive me over to the Trader Joe’s, which is a mile and a half away? Because $15 is what taxis charge me. Lyft charges me $4, $7 with my regular tip. I think Lyft is more reasonable.

  254. 254
    NotMax says:

    Thread needs some taxi music.

    :)

  255. 255
    sdhays says:

    @John Cole: Back in September, I needed to go to the airport to go on a long business trip. I called up a taxi company and said I wanted to go to the airport. They said “sure, somebody will be right over”. 10 minutes later, the driver calls and says he’ll be over in an hour; I live in an urban area, it was past rush hour, waiting an hour was ridiculous and unacceptable. I tried another cab company; they said they would be there in 15 minutes, but at that point, I’d already burned about 20 minutes messing around with getting a cab to come pick me up during their slow time.

    So I signed up for Lyft, and someone was there in less than 5 minutes. The driver said that the car he was driving was Lyft’s, worked out on a kind of lease arrangement. It sounded a lot less exploitive than Uber, but it’s not like I’ve researched this – I TRIED to use regular taxis and usually do when I need that kind of service. I don’t use taxis much; I prefer public transportation and drive my own car when at home. Next time, I will try cab company #2 or another company (I will never call #1 again). But, damn, they all need to solve their dispatching bullshit.

  256. 256
    Baud says:

    @NotMax: Thought that was going to be the theme song.

    https://youtu.be/5DL8SGEyhZE

  257. 257
    Tim in SF says:

    @TenguPhule:

    …and people realize that they aren’t making money on Uber/insert your ride app of choice here because they’re not charging what it actually costs them plus a markup.

    What does it really cost to drive me to a restaurant a mile and a half away? Does it cost the $15 that taxis charge, or is it closer to the $4 Lyft charges me?

  258. 258
    Davebo says:

    @Larryb: I have.

    Whether you call yellow cab or use the app you’re still screwed. Just different pathways to screwdom!

  259. 259
  260. 260

    @Tim in SF: well, you have to account for all the skimming the taxi company does before giving it to the driver, plus the bribes they have to pay politicians to keep their cartel running.

  261. 261
    Tim in SF says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    I love this thread. So many anti labor Dems. You’re like most racists, you don’t even realize that you are anti labor,

    Seems you are forgetting the many reasons people hate taxis other than the price.

    Also, too: you, and others, should consider the boom to the local economy from people like me and the spousal unit who go out to dinner a *lot* more often because transportation is suddenly very affordable and surprisingly pleasant.

  262. 262
  263. 263
    SectionH says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Not saying it was a wave. Maybe something else was going with Uber here? Or maybe it was just a small circle of friends. It shouldn’t worry anybody else. ;->

    Because I’m not walking well for very far, I generally rent cars right now. It can be surprisingly affordable.

  264. 264
    Davebo says:

    @Tim in SF: Not to mention hundreds of thousands of people who can work when they want and seem to find it worthwhile. Less drunks on the road isn’t bad either.

  265. 265
  266. 266
    Spider-Dan says:

    I have no issue with the quality of service reasons for using Lyft/Uber. But if your reason is price (and this is nearly every Airbnb patron I’ve heard from), then GTFO. The reason why those services are cheaper are twofold:

    1) overt evasion of regulation that we, the people put in place to end the terrible practices of the pre-regulation era
    2) VCs subsidizing them with the explicit intent of running the law-abiding service providers out of business

    Airbnb is much worse at the first, ride-sharing is more about the second.

    Saying that a homeowner would not be able to afford the mortgage without Airbnb rentals is not a response. If I tell you I can’t meet my mortgage without dealing meth, do I get the same sympathy? If you want to deregulate the hotel industry, then just say so and we can have a true race-to-the-bottom.

  267. 267
    Jeffro says:

    @Spider-Dan: Good points. The only ‘virtue’ I can think of besides lower prices is that these services are in fact helping people make use of (on both the seller and buyer ends) under- or un-utilized time/space/labor. People have a spare bedroom or a few hours to drive folks around…why not make use of that?

    It’s the same kind of thing that makes me wonder why everyone in my development has to have a lawnmower. If we shared it efficiently, we’d need about 1/10th as many lawnmowers. Or with snowblowers (only more like 1/50th)

  268. 268
    Another Scott says:

    @Tim in SF: Last I looked, taxi drivers didn’t set the fares. The local taxi commission does.

    There are reasons why taxis are regulated and the number is limited, of course. Things like making it possible for drivers to actually earn a living so that there are people willing to do the work to provide the needed service for the community.

    This story from 2015 doesn’t make the ‘ride sharing’ so great for the drivers:

    I can only speak for Las Vegas which has had Lyft in it now for a little more than a month. 16 hours a day on the app 6 days a week and you will make no more than $600. Gas costs about $100 a week if your getting at least 26 MPG at current prices. The $600 includes tips. You will drive at least 90-150 miles a day. Fridays represent 30-40 percent of the total for the week with Saturday being another 18-25%. These are real statistics not a guessing game. […]

    $600 / (16×6) = $6.25/hour while you’re on the clock 16 hours a day. $600 gross. Max.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  269. 269
    SgrAstar says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I objected to uber and committed to using flywheel. My breaking point came when the flywheel driver had no idea how to get from my hotel to UC Berkeley, and bitched about it while he was orbiting aimlessly and refusing to take directions. Ugh! Meanwhile, SF cabs come when they feel like it, and at no other times. We are actually forced into the arms of uber by the incompetence of local taxi services.

  270. 270
    Davebo says:

    @Spider-Dan:

    So renting a room out = dealing meth.

    Good to know.

  271. 271
    Davebo says:

    @Another Scott: Well hell.

    You have a comment on a website. Case closed. Who are these idiots working for less than minimum wage while accruing wear and tear on their vehicles?

    Oh, wait. The very next comment.

    Wow, I’m sorry but I don’t think this article is accurate at all.
    And nothing is said about the fact that lyft gives everyone the opportunity to take 10 to 20 percent of Lyft’s charges back from them.
    I have neb with them since they started in San Diego and I find their claims to be very accurate.
    I drive a Rav 4 and what I pay in had per week is worth the 900.00 I usually bring home a week!

    $900.00 a week is pretty decent scratch for an extremely flexible gig.

  272. 272
    Davebo says:

    OT but all things considered I’m thinking sell and make this my new home.

    Grew up on a houseboat and I may want to die on one!

  273. 273
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Davebo: Gross or net?

  274. 274
    chopper says:

    @Stan:

    My son is a young first time homeowner and is making his mortgage because of air bnb

    just pray his homeowners insurance doesn’t find out.

  275. 275
    dc says:

    @Gelfling 545: If it were your charming Paris apartment building where you used to have neighbors but now have a building full of ever-changing hotel guests who range from nice enough people to the drunken, loud and obnoxious, you might judge the experience differently.

  276. 276
    Another Scott says:

    @Davebo: Yeah, it’s well known that comments on websites, especially nearly top-10,000 websites, are the gold standard for proof.

    It’s easy to find comments from people who claim to have driven for Lyft and Uber that talk about the plusses and minuses of working for them.

    The point of my comment, in case it wasn’t clear, is that there are reasons why we have taxi regulations, and the “cheap” fares that people pay their ‘gig-economy’ drivers have real costs. We know all this. We learned these lessons a hundred or more years ago – that’s why there are taxi regulations, and hotel regulations, and all the rest. But I guess we have to relearn all these lessons every few generations – especially when some ‘disruptive technology’ pushed by people who are looking for new monopoly rents show up on the scene…

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  277. 277
    chopper says:

    @balconesfault:

    airbnb’s insurance product is pretty thin. in fact, the liability they offer as to a renter’s personal injury only kicks in after your homeowners insurance pays its part. and if your homeowners policy is a regular one (not commercial or specialized for STRs), that “part” is “you get nothing and we’re canceling your policy”.

    shit, people get their policies canceled just for calling up, saying they’re thinking about Airbnb oh and asking if they cover any part of STRs.

  278. 278
    different-church-lady says:

    @Tim in SF:

    Seems you are forgetting the many reasons people hate taxis other than the price.

    I know. For example: they employ minorities.

    [ducks behind sofa]

  279. 279
    different-church-lady says:

    @Stan:

    My son is a young first time homeowner and is making his mortgage because of air bnb. Is he supposed to stop?

    I’m a little confused by what the reason to own a house is if you don’t get to live in it.

  280. 280
    magurakurin says:

    @dc:

    it were your charming Paris apartment building where you used to have neighbors but now have a building full of ever-changing hotel guests who range from nice enough people to the drunken, loud and obnoxious, you might judge the experience differently.

    This is becoming quite a problem in Kyoto and Osaka these days

  281. 281
    magurakurin says:

    @Another Scott:

    The point of my comment, in case it wasn’t clear, is that there are reasons why we have taxi regulations, and the “cheap” fares that people pay their ‘gig-economy’ drivers have real costs. We know all this. We learned these lessons a hundred or more years ago – that’s why there are taxi regulations, and hotel regulations, and all the rest. But I guess we have to relearn all these lessons every few generations – especially when some ‘disruptive technology’ pushed by people who are looking for new monopoly rents show up on the scene…

    yep.

  282. 282
    Ken says:

    I live in the DC area. Used to travel a lot on business in the pre-Uber era. Always took cabs to the airport (parking sucked, and expensive). The cabs here are miserable. The best drivers were indifferent (fine w/ me), more than a few were hostile/threatening. And no, I wasn’t looking for a fight. I was just a guy trying to get to/from a(nother , probably pointless) business meeting. Now we only need conveyance to go to dinner (wine, you know). We Lyft. I get all the arguments about supporting decent wages, etc. And really want to. But you take ten cab rides here and see what service you’re using.

  283. 283
    Davebo says:

    @Another Scott:

    The point of my comment, in case it wasn’t clear, is that there are reasons why we have taxi regulations, and the “cheap” fares that people pay their ‘gig-economy’ drivers have real costs.

    What are those real costs? And how do they compare to the real costs of the taxi industry as it exists today?

    A New York Taxi medallion can run up to a million dollars.

    Honestly, I’d love to hear about the real costs you are referring to.

  284. 284
    Davebo says:

    @Another Scott:

    Also, on a lighter note, what’s up with the double quotes on cheap and the single quotes on gig-economy? Spending too much time in TypeScript? ;0)

  285. 285
    Davebo says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Houses generally have more than one room. Sober people pick up on that right away.

    I am not one of those people.

  286. 286
    r€nato says:

    I’ll never take an Uber or Lyft if the choice is left up to me, but you’ll take my Airbnb from me when you pry it from my cold, dead… browser bookmark? Airbnb is the only way to go when traveling abroad and your company isn’t paying for a hotel room. Airbnb is how we were able to afford staying on the lagoon in Venice, and a hop/skip/jump from the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the same distance from St. Peter’s in Rome.

    Each of these rentals cost 1/2 what a hotel room would have (if we’d traveled with another couple it would have been even cheaper), and saved us even more considering that we could cook in the kitchen instead of dining out all the time.

  287. 287
    Annamal says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I think the next big scientific prize award should be something like, “This is my Aunt Mabel. There is a $100,000 prize to the first person who can explain how public key encryption works in a way she can understand.”

    There’s a really good explanation here :https://security.stackexchange.com/questions/25741/how-can-i-explain-the-concept-of-public-and-private-keys-without-technical-jargo

    This is the part that would be important for aunt Mabel
    “Think of it like this; the encryption key is a padlock. You just click it closed, and it locks. The decryption key is like the padlock key.

    It works like this; I want to communicate with you securely

    You send me your padlock.
    I write my message to you, put it in a box, and lock it with your padlock.
    You keep hold of your padlock key at all times, so you are the only person who can unlock the padlock. Once I have locked the box, not even I can open it, because I don’t have the key.
    Then I send the box to you, safe in the knowledge that you are the only person that can unlock it.

  288. 288
    Ruckus says:

    @Another Scott:
    Proper regulations are good. I’m not sure that the taxi regulations in any city that I’ve used cabs in is good. How does the taxi commission know how many cabs are needed? Because it seems to me that given my experience and that of a lot of the commenters here that cabs are very inefficient. Plenty at the airport, frequently far too plenty. A few at very expensive hotels, none at others. As often as not do not come when agreed upon. So yeah the cost per ride has to be high, because the system is very inefficient. Maybe uber/lyft will/has change/d that by showing cab companies how inefficient they are. Granted uber and lyft are not actually making money but it seems the drivers should be making more, given the massive cost difference between uber/lyft ride costs and cab costs. Me thinks that if cab companies could be a bit more efficient, by actually at least attempting to be, given the technology currently available. Because if the numbers thrown around are correct, that they are being subsidized to the tune of 60% of current rates, they would still be cheaper than a cab if they jacked rates up say 70% (70% of $4=2.80, profitable price, say $7.50, sill half of the $15 one commenter pointed out was the cab fare vs $4 for lyft) There has to be more to it that that but still, less than 1/2? Yes they don’t have to purchase a car, maintain that car, tires, garage, mechanics…….

  289. 289
    r€nato says:

    @Nicole: I was under the impression that boilerplate lease contracts forbid subletting. I guess most landlords don’t give a shit as long as the check shows up each month and the apartment isn’t being trashed or used to cook meth?

  290. 290
    r€nato says:

    @The Moar You Know: cabbies generally make shit money and not infrequently risk their lives picking up fares. The cab company owners make out like bandits, focus your rage on them. I want cabbies to make a decent living too, but shoveling more money at taxi companies would only serve to enrich the guy at the top.

    Reminds me of how the milk mafia operates. The drivers of those milk trucks – at least in my area – are nominally ‘independent contractors’. But they all just so happen to make about the same money as if they were employees at the end of the day. It’s a huge sham.

  291. 291
    SectionH says:

    @different-church-lady: Balls. Tell me about the great cabbies you’ve ridden with. I can start with a few in London, of all shades of color. And add the greatest guy ever, on St. Martin, who picked his lovely daughter up from school en route to the restaurant we were heading for.

    I’m not saying there isn’t racism involved with the cab issues, possibly for many people, but fuckit. All I ever want with a cab is to get where I want go without them running the fare up. Safety’s good too, but after the 130 k/h drag race down Syngrou in Athens that a licensed cab driver “treated” us to, I’m kind of not worried about that too much.

    As a single woman traveller, taking a taxi from SAN to my son’s house, or a local whatever (HLE, for instance) some kind of cheating used to happen 2 out of 3 rides. I used to fly twice a month into SD, for several years, so I know from the taxis here. (I live here now, and sure as fuck don’t use taxis.) For SAN, it’s an airport – you have to take whatever taxi is in line. I can name places where I’ve never had a problem – Boston is at the top of that list, srsly, although I was generally travelling with my husband on those trips, so not sure, but still at the top. And I have travelled there alone too. New York, not too bad. The list is long. San Diego… oh yeah. The driver would try to cheat me, usually only with going way out of the way, but I had a couple of really dicey rides. Not fearful for bodily harm, exactly, but had to be really angry too often, and had to threaten to call the police once.

    Oh yeah, regulations… that helps. Except when it doesn’t.

  292. 292
    PIGL says:

    @Jeffro: why should local governments have to subsidize criminal enterprises — whose business model is the arbitrage of regulations by ignoring them— by using tax dollars to compensate the victims?

  293. 293
    magurakurin says:

    @Ruckus: if it were that simple one would expect Uber would do it and make a profit. But they don’t because it isn’t.

  294. 294
    Another Scott says:

    @Ruckus: We don’t travel a lot, and we only rarely go out to eat. My experiences with taxis in Fairfax County, VA have been fine. Call up the company the night before we want to go to the airport, tell them what time and where we’re going, and the cab comes about 5 minutes early. It’s not a big deal. The fares to and from the airports are set by the taxi commissions, the cabs have to accept credit cards, etc., etc.

    I’ve never used Lyft or Uber or AirBnB. I don’t like doing business with companies who intentionally try to get around regulations and are quite upfront about it – it’s the critical part of their business model that somehow the rules shouldn’t apply to them.

    I’m not defending taxi companies or taxi commissions. There’s no doubt that improvements are needed in many places in the ways that taxis are regulated, etc. There’s no doubt that competition from Uber and Lyft has forced many taxi companies to improve their service.

    But the problems with taxi companies and taxi commissions don’t mean that we should simply throw out all the rules and let Uber and Lyft destroy universal municipal taxi service. Or throw out zoning ordinances and let residential housing become boarding houses. If there are problems with the regulations or with the incumbent service providers, then fix those problems. Don’t engage in a race to the bottom so that people can’t earn a living, or make it so that poor neighborhoods can’t get transportation, or ignore the needs of the elderly or disabled (who need wheelchair access or additional assistance). Public accommodation is a good and necessary thing.

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  295. 295
    SectionH says:

    @r€nato: My 1st husband drove a cab part time when we were both poor students. Totally not worth the time involved. Totally agree with your comment to Moar about anti-labor.

    Air BnB, um, sigh. It’s a problem in places like San Francisco, and even here, central San Diego, in a rather more substantial way than which ride is cheap or not. I have absolutely no problem with ppl renting out a room or 2 in their own house, or even a wing… but even then, isn’t that just getting around any even B&B regulations?

    it’s going to be a long sorting out I guess.

  296. 296
    Spider-Dan says:

    @Davebo: Please don’t pretend you don’t understand the difference between a tenant leasing a room and a hotel guest. Even if you don’t, that’s exactly why we have hotel regulations: to make the distinction clear. And if illegally renting out hotel rooms is a “victimless crime,” selling illegal drugs to people who want to buy illegal drugs is too.

    And to be clear: there are arguments to be made for deregulating hotels AND legalizing meth. But you should be up front about what you want, not hide it behind weak rationales like “I can get a better room for less” or “I make more money this way.”

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    NobodySpecial says:

    If you want to be a serial absentee landlord, color me not impressed. Part of the housing problem stems from too many people holding on to properties for rent seeking instead of selling it and moving on to the next housing phase of their lives.

    By all means, though, continue the trend. I’ll buy that house at half or a quarter of the valuation the next time the bubble collapses.

  298. 298
    Cato says:

    I never thought I would be defending Uber but would like to point out that not everyone has the money, network, or time to get around without Uber or Lyft. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve taken an Uber past midnight in order to get home. No one wants to wait for a cab in a city that late at night and public transportation is often not running. Plus, I’m guessing a fair amount of people have chosen not to drive under the influence due to the availability of this service in recent years.

  299. 299
    Another Scott says:

    @Cato: Lots of places have things like Sober Ride taxi service around holidays.

    Of course, many customers benefit from the lower prices and competition that Uber and Lyft provide. To use a crass example, customers benefit from the lower prices enabled by unpaid prison or slave labor and non-existent unions, too. But we make the choice not to support such things because they hurt people and society as a whole. Uber and Lyft aren’t as bad as prison labor, but we need to understand the choices we make when we give a company money. One of the purposes of politics is to figure out how society treats businesses, workers, and customers, so that the various tradeoffs are addressed fairly and transparently.

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  300. 300
    BellyCat says:

    @Baud: Bring back horses and watch Hoof, the horse-sharing service, launch soon after.

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    Apocalipstick says:

    Uber is Wal-Mart. They will be cheaper until they have the market, then quality will crash. Wal-Mart used to sell quality merchandise (40 years ago). Now it’s crap. If you support Uber but hate Wally World, that’s hypocrisy.

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    chopper says:

    @SectionH:

    dunno. last cab I took when I was in DC was loads better’n the last uber I took there. by miles.

  303. 303
    Brent says:

    @Apocalipstick: OK. Well I am happy to go with this analogy because I have never given WalMart a penny in my entire life. I have never had to because there have always been viable alternatives (I realize that this is not true for everyone). What is the alternative to Walmart/Uber in this analogy. Is Lyft Target?

    Lyft is the service I use but I would bet that their pricing is based upon the same venture capitalization scam and are really only marginally better than Uber as a company. Same as Target. I rarely go to Target either but have bought a few things there over the years.

    Is there a CostCo in this analogy? How about a local department store with slightly higher prices but still good service?

    The point is that its all fine and good to discuss the problems with some choices but that is useless wankery unless one can also discuss viable alternatives. For many of the reasons that have already been pointed out in this thread, ride sharing companies, whatever they may do in the future, are providing a quality service at a low price today. Their existing analog, cabs, are definitely not doing either. What would you have the individual consumer who needs a ride somewhere choose in that circumstance?

  304. 304
    J R in WV says:

    @MelissaM:

    In my opinion it is the responsibility of Uber and Lyft to properly insure their rider’s safety in case of an accident. They are profit-making firms, in theory at least, and that insurance is a fundamental cost of doing business.

  305. 305
    Annie says:

    I live in San Francisco and don’t drive, so I tried to use cabs now and then. Before Uber and Lyft, cab service was awful. There were very few cruising cabs on major streets like Van Ness or Lombard. For years the cabs refused to take credit cards. I live on the outskirts of the city and some cabbies refused to take me to that address, even after I got in the cab. (Since San Francisco is a whole 7 miles wide, it’s not like I was going fifty miles away.) And calling a cab was a joke, the wait if you were not in downtown or Union Square was at least half an hour if a cab came at all.

    Then came Uber and Lyft — and Sidecar, the first one I knew about because a friend drove for it. All of a sudden, cabs took credit cards! There are more cruising cabs to flag! If I call a cab, it turns up! Sometimes a little competition is a wonderful thing, especially since I’m 62 now and have some chronic health issues and sometimes I just can’t deal with the Muni.

    And people have always rented out their homes when they went on vacation, or had vacation places they rented out when they weren’t using them. All AirBnb did was computerize the process. A woman 2 blocks from me rents out a room via AirBnb. She’s widowed, has lived in the house 25 years and wants to stay in it, and her rental provides her a little extra money. A friend of mine rented from her while she (the friend) was in town to visit/help her daughter who’d had surgery. The daughter’s apartment was a studio with no room for a guest. my friend needed to stay for several weeks and could not afford a hotel for that length of time.

    Also, IIRC someone did an actual survey of Airbnb rentals in this city and found that a huge majority of them were not absentee owners or speculators; they were property owners who lived in the property and either rented out spare rooms or rented when they were away.

    In other words: chill a little.

  306. 306
    Annie says:

    Someone upthread asked, “How does the taxi commission know how many cabs are needed?”

    The number of cabs needed had nothing to do with it in San Francisco. Every proposal I can recall to increase cabs, pre-Uber and Lyft, was shot down by the cabdrivers who insisted they were not needed — even while they provided lousy service.

  307. 307
    Stan says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    So many anti labor Dems. You’re like most racists, you don’t even realize that you are anti labor, but by God a cab didn’t come pick you up once and that justifies the existence of Uber and Lyft, and the wiping out of cabbies who, god damn them, want a reasonable wage for their efforts.

    I’ll take you up on that. I’ve been pro-labor enough to have mine and my family’s lives threatened for stands I took, ok?

    And where I live, the cabs have always sucked. Always. Horrible. That’s not the drivers’ fault but it’s a fact. I am happy uber and lyft exist. Same with air bnb. My experience has been uniformly good with one exception with air bnb, but, i figure that’s the cost of low prices.

  308. 308
    Stan says:

    @Apocalipstick:

    Wal-Mart used to sell quality merchandise (40 years ago). Now it’s crap.

    It seems that millions of their customers disagree.

    If you support Uber but hate Wally World, that’s hypocrisy.

    I really don’t see how.

  309. 309
    Stan says:

    @Brent:

    The point is that its all fine and good to discuss the problems with some choices but that is useless wankery unless one can also discuss viable alternatives.

    Thank you

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    Marci Kiser says:

    I’m an old woman and my thinking may be way off base, but other than an issue of scale, how is AirBnB different (in terms of the complaint about hotel regs and taxes) from the common practice of “renting out a room” 50 years ago?

  311. 311
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jeffro:

    People have a spare bedroom or a few hours to drive folks around…why not make use of that?

    Because most of them don’t report the extra income on their taxes.

    This ingrains tax evasion into people who think they’re otherwise honest.

  312. 312
    different-church-lady says:

    @SectionH: Dead thread, but just for the long term record, I was using the ironic voice in the service of a joke.

  313. 313
    different-church-lady says:

    @Davebo: Good point — I guess I’m influenced by friends who have a small house and are always spending time with their parents/in-laws because they’re AirB&B’ing out the entire place.

    @Marci Kiser: I would think the issue of scale is the only reason. Nobody minds a little occasional income on the side. But as we’re seeing with Uber and Lyft, and now, increasingly, AirB&B, it’s not on the side anymore. When you have people buying houses or renting apartments with the specific purpose of renting them out rather than living in them, there’s a problem. That’s very different from, “Hey, a couple of times a month I’m going to have a stranger in the spare bedroom.”

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