Weekly Roundup: September 25-29. Latest Rideshare News & Posts

This week, Ridester has been busy finding valuable information to share with our community. Whether you’re interested in mistakes to avoid as a new driver or which insurance to get, we’ve provided the answers.

You can even learn more about how to handle difficult riders and about leasing a car to become a driver.

Rideshare News

Travis Kalanick is Out at Uber

Uber co-founder, Travis Kalanick, found his hopes of regaining the top spot at Uber just about doomed on Tuesday after the board voted unanimously to strip him of most of his power.   

The public rarely knows what goes on behind the scenes in these big board battles, and this one had caused much speculation.  Was the board in Kalanick’s hip pocket all along?  Or were they just waiting to pounce?  It seems, they were just waiting to pounce.  The board voted to require two-thirds of the directors’ votes to approve a new CEO.  This in itself should be enough to ensure that Kalanick never again takes the helm.  They are also adding several new seats to the board which will further dilute Kalanick’s influence. 

And in a particularly damaging vote to Kalanick, the board adopted a measure giving each member one vote per share of stock.  Kalanick had previously owned shares that gave him 10 times the number of votes compared to other board members.   

According to CNN, the vote is a “huge win for Uber’s new CEO, Dara Khsrowshahi.”  And it’s a huge win for anybody else who in any way depended on or enjoyed the use of Uber’s services.  No one can question the corroding influence Kalanick had on the company.   

Employees, investors, drivers and passengers should be cheered by Tuesday’s news. 

What’s Behind London’s Uber Ban?

Transport for London (TfL) has banned Uber beginning October 1st, however Uber is still Ubering on in Europe’s largest city, pending appeal.  The question is though, what’s behind TfL’s ban?

The TfL states on its website that it was because of:

  • Uber’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences.
  • Its approach to how medical certificates are obtained.
  • Its approach to how Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are obtained.
  • Its approach to explaining the use of Greyball in London – software that could be used to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app and prevent officials from undertaking regulatory or law enforcement duties.

However, according to a story in Britain’s Independent, there has been no suggestion that Uber has failed to report serious criminal offenses.  And, the required medical certificates and background checks the TfL alledged that Uber is not obtaining properly, are part of the investigation the TfL makes into each driver before licensing them.  Each Uber driver must be licensed by the TfL and the TfL only grants a license if the driver passes this step.  Drivers then present their TfL license to Uber before they can drive for them.  So, it is actually the TfL’s responsibility to obtain and approve these documents.

Greyballing is something Uber is accused of doing in the United States, but it is not something it has ever been accused of doing in the UK.  It is alleged that Uber used this software tool to evade police in cities where it was illegal.  But it has not been illegal in London for the last five years, so there would be no reason for them to use it there.

The more we learn about this story, the less sense the ban makes.  However, we did find out that London’s Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) was spotted on twitter celebrating Uber’s ban saying, “Together, We Did It!”  It seems more likely that the ban was a political hat tip to cab drivers than hvt anything to do with protecting the safety of Londoners from the likes of Uber.

Our prediction is, Uber will be reinstated on appeal and not lose a single day of providing transportation in London.

Lyft Takes First Concrete Step Toward an IPO

Is Lyft making preparations to go public? Media reports Friday, say that Lyft has moved to hire an IPO advisory firm.  If true, this would be the first concrete step the company has taken towards a public offering.

Lyft was valued at $7.5 billion in its last funding round which was completed in April.  IPOs can bring in up to 10 times the company’s valuation which could generate up to $75 billion for Lyft.  And this could be good news for drivers as Lyft (like Uber) is known for showering investment capital on drivers and riders in the forms of incentives, bonuses and discounts.

Travis Comes Back Fighting for Control – Appoints 2 Board Members

Just as Uber and new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, have started to make progress getting over the disaster left behind by Travis Kalanick, Kalanick appoints two new board members.

Uber watchers have been closely monitoring the behind-the-scenes corporate politics, which is primarily manifested by what’s going on inside the boardroom.  The New York Times calls this a “power move” by Kalanick.  And it shows that he is vowed and determined to control as much power at Uber as possible.  That’s bad news for investors, passengers and drivers.

The good news is, another major investor, Goldman Sachs, joined Benchmark on Thursday with a proposal to limit Kalanick’s voting power.

Uber Set to Go Public by 2019?

It’s interesting what news comes out of a messy board fight.  SF Gate reported on Sunday that the trigger for Kalanick’s move to appoint two new board members was when new CEO Khosrowshahi and Goldman Sachs presented a proposal last week to limit Kalanick’s power on the board.  According to the inside leakers, the proposal would reduce Kalanick’s power on the board by reducing his voting clout and would expand Khosrowshahi’s powers and “imposing a 2019 deadline on the company to go public.”

We also found out from the inside tipsters that Khosrowshahi sent an email to employees last week calling Kalanick’s actions “disappointment”.  He added that, “Anyone would tell you that this is highly unusual.”  So, it looks like Khosrowshahi is firmly on the anti-Kalanick side.  Which is good news for employees, passengers and drivers.

Oh, and one other tidbit from the tipsters… in typical Travis “Who-Cares-What-Anyone-Thinks” Kalanick fashion, he appointed the two new board members without informing the board ahead of time.

Lyft, Uber, Google Maps – All Location-Based Apps Will Become More Accurate

If you’re fed up with your Lyft or Uber driver being unable to find you, help is on the way!  ZDNet is reporting that a new GPS chip will be introduced into phones in 2018 that will be up to 20 times more accurate!

Broadcom which has developed the chip, said it will bring GPS accuracy down to 1 foot, from the current 15-20 feet.  This will make your GPS device so precise that it will even know what lane you’re in!  For rideshare customers, this means when you’re standing one quarter of the way down a block, your driver will be able to pull up to within one foot of you – provided you don’t move!

The new chip will also make phones less prone to distortions caused by signals bouncing off tall buildings in a city.  Uber and Lyft drivers will surely appreciate that!

Catch up on all of the latest content from our community:

New Posts and Content

1. New Uber Drivers – 7 Common Rookie Mistakes

New Uber drivers can be forgiven for slipping up every once in a while, especially if they’re newly-activated. Here’s 7 of the most common rookie mistakes new Uber drivers usually make. Read up and know what to avoid! Read More…

2. White Supremacist Groups Are Now Banned from Uber Platform

Uber will continue to ban white supremacists from its platform to protect their drivers and passengers. Expressing outrage at the Charlottesville, Virginia violence, Uber is taking a stand and banning racist groups permanently. Uber refuses to tolerate hate, and will, therefore, take a stand against white supremacist groups, as reported by The Verge… Read mor…

3. Different Insurance Options For Rideshare Drivers

Insurance options for rideshare drivers

There was once a time when rideshare drivers had insufficient insurance options. Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft offered limited coverage for drivers — coverage starting from when they accept a ride, when en route to the passenger, and when the passenger reaches his destination… Read more…

4. Uber Xchange Leasing – Importance Of Having It

The Uber Xchange Leasing program was created for people who do not have access to a qualifying car but want to drive for Uber. It helps those who are seeking to become drivers by leasing them a car and allowing them to make a living at the same time. This program provides unlimited miles and free routine maintenance, just to name a few of the perks if the driver is eligible. All this means that for drivers who faced rejection from traditional lenders, Uber Xchange Leasing program can be a real savior… Read more…

5. How To Handle Difficult Riders – Tips That May Save Your Live

Difficult riders will always be a problem for any Uber or Lyft driver. There will definitely be times when drivers have to pick up irate, drunk, or even rude riders. As an Uber or Lyft driver, one must be responsible and professional in dealing with these kinds of situations. Here’s how drivers can potentially solve difficult situations and give 5-star-worthy service every time! Read more…

What have you learned about becoming a better rideshare driver this week? Let us know in the comments below.