"Lyft cannot afford to pay its drivers a living wage, or it would “absorb enormous losses.”

This is a remarkable argument for a company to make about its own business model in a court filing. Essentially, it is describing the exact logic people have been using to warn that the other shoe will eventually drop on ride-hailing apps: it’s not a good business."


#gigEconomy #gigEconomyMustDie

"The status quo Lyft is trying to restore can only exist because the company has received $4.9 billion in venture capital money over 18 funding rounds, according to Crunchbase, which goes towards directly subsidizing the actual cost of each ride."




The most frustrating thing about Uber etc is that people think they're cheap because they're somehow innovative.

They're not. Uber and similars are just using an age old scam where investors' money is used to dump cheap goods on the market to kill competition. There's nothing new going on here. The apps are just window dressing for a scheme that should be illegal.

@switchingsocial @mcpaccard Both are not popular/allowed in Germany, so the question might be naïve, but: Aren't those “ride sharing“ apps? Like, I'm driving anyway, someone needs a ride in the same direction, so they jump in and compensate me with little money?

So from what I understand, those aren't supposed to provide a living wage, but a bonus to those sharing a ride.

If people wanted to make a living as cab driver, couldn't they just, you know, be cab drivers?

@esureL @mcpaccard

Uber call themselves "ride sharing" because it means they avoid taxi regulations. (Actual taxi drivers in e.g. London have to pass a very rigorous exam where they memorise all major routes, it can take years to do this.)

In practice, Uber etc cars are clearly unregulated taxis. Some of them even have a little light on the top saying "Uber".

@switchingsocial @mcpaccard Yeah, I realize that there are dedicated 'Uber/Lyft drivers' in certain areas of the world. I just don't get why someone chooses an occupation as de-facto taxi driver, but for a ride sharing app, just to be surprised that they hardly make a living wage.

It somehow feels like complaining that a small ad platform doesn't pay you enough after deciding to make a living from buying/selling via small ads. 1/2

@switchingsocial @mcpaccard 2/2
To be clear, I'm not judging the drivers by any means. Living in a country with a comparably strong taxi regulation, I simply don't understand what's going in that matter and what drives (oops) people in that regard. :)

@esureL @mcpaccard

I think a lot of them are desperate to make a living and just don't realise the truth :blobfrown:

You're right, it's not a good way to make a living, but I guess that's what the original post was about, that these kinds of companies are exploiting people who don't realise how little they will make.

This exploitation is what minimum wages is supposed to stop. If a company's business model can't pay workers minimum wage, the company doesn't have a viable business model.

@switchingsocial @esureL @mcpaccard

The UK also has strong taxi regulation; but in my town we have multiple competing companies all with modern apps as good as the USA startups (GPS for both passengers and drivers/dispatch), proper taxis cost no more (sometimes even less), drivers well treated and safe and the cost of entry (for a driver) is still affordable even to someone who is a new entrant to the country..

@esureL @mcpaccard @switchingsocial The barrier to entry to becoming a "proper" taxi driver is much higher, e.g. in Germany you often have to front the money for the commercial passenger drivers license yourself before you can get hired.

Uber and similar "gig-economy" systems rely on people having no other choice

@elomatreb @esureL @switchingsocial @mcpaccard they also brag with fudged numbers that seem like you'll make much more than you actually do

One if my nephews fell for that and quit his apprenticeship as a PV installer to become a full time uber driver because the numbers in their marketing material made it look like he'd earn much more

I'll leave it to you to guess how that worked out for him

@theoutrider Aaah, okay. That's tough. But also insightful, so thanks for sharing!

Given that you don't have a county in your profile ... Did this happen in the US?

@esureL yeah, he's American (though personally I'm German and live in the UK)

@esureL @switchingsocial @mcpaccard
Living in Germany. This is a very big gray area. If a court would see this as commercial (I.e. regularly) then most vehicle insurances would be void. And driving without one is a felony.
Besides breaking a ton of other regulations.

If you do that occasionally or with friends than it is OK.
I.e. blablacar is a service enabling exactly that. You can offer your trip and find people, but you cannot be ordered like a cab.

@switchingsocial @mcpaccard I'm pretty happy that we made Uber as good as illegal in Denmark - even though it was for the entirely wrong reasons.

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