mfioretti: taxi*

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  1. Since Islam instructs followers to pray 5x daily at specific times, I wondered if one could identify devout Muslim hacks solely from their trip data. For drivers that do pray regularly, there are surely difficulties finding a place to park, wash up and pray at the exact time, but in many cases banding near prayer times is quite clear. I plotted a few examples.
    Each image shows fares for one cabbie in 2013. Yellow=active fare (carrying passengers). A minute is 1 pixel wide; a day is 2 pixels tall. Blue stripes indicate the 5 daily prayer start times which vary with the sun’s position throughout the year.
    http://www.theiii.org/index.php/997/u...-data-to-identify-muslim-taxi-drivers
    Tags: , , , , by M. Fioretti (2017-10-17)
    Voting 0
  2. For those who had followed the litigation, the outcome was somehow predictable. The taxi sector is heavily regulated in Italy, and the cab drivers lobby is very strong, so much so that it was able to resist a first attempt at liberalization made some years ago by the then Minister of Economy Pierluigi Bersani.

    And while probably obsolete, as many believe, the laws are quite clear in disciplining the matter, and the judges could do nothing but apply them (Uber sees it differently, of course, and it’s filing an appeal).

    Less known, but perhaps even more representative of the complexity of the situation is what is happening to a young, Rome-based, startup, CoContest. This crowdsourcing platform, recently selected by US incubator 500 Startups, gives anyone wishing to refurbish an existing space or building the opportunity to put their project out to architects and designers. Whoever wins the contest, gets the job. It’s not a new model: several companies (Zoopa, for instance) propose something similar.

    With the highest number of architectural professionals in Europe, 2.6 registered architects for every 1,000 people Italy would seem like the perfect market for this kind of company. Not everyone, however sees it like that. Last week, eight Italian MP´s (by coincidence, many of them architects) asked the government to shut down Cocontest because of what they see as a threat to competition.

    The startup, they say, is deceiving customers as there’s no guarantee that the projects provided are comparable to those signed by a licensed professional. They also describe the service as just a way of exploiting people’s creativity. The winner takes it all, while the others provide ideas for no compensation. Framed like this, their protest could seem just a way to defend customers and young architects alike.

    Alas, this kind of framing fails to take into account the reality of the profession in Italy. As CoContest’s Maria Rita Bovi points out in an email “the average salary for an architect in Italy is just 865 euros/month – hardly a living wage. Part of the reason for this low average salary is that, on leaving university, young architects often have no choice but to take an unpaid position working for an established firm.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/federicog...aly-the-sharing-economy-and-the-rules
    Voting 0
  3. In theory, taxi medallions -- which give the bearer the right to use a certified car as a taxi -- are a means of regulating the number of vehicles on the road, which has many legitimate dimensions. In practice, the medallions are often owned by rentiers, speculators who extract fees from actual drivers, while adding no value to the system. They win, and everyone else -- drivers, passengers and cities -- lose.

    For a long time, NYC medallions had a better return than gold, oil or real-estate, all extracted from the labor of drivers without any contribution from the owners. A medallion was worth money even if its owner didn't supply, insure, operate or finance the car or insure or train the driver. It was a means of pure rent-extraction by absentee landlords.

    Uber's labor practices are deplorable, and the company uses rhetoric about "disrupting inefficient markets" as cover for some really evil behavior. But the reason the rhetoric rings so true is that municipal taxi licensing is a disaster, and it's one that was deliberately made and continued for decades thanks to the great wealth the dysfunction brought to a tiny minority, who made so much that they were able to set some of their gains aside to lobby to make things stay the same.

    In other words, Uber's identified a real problem, and what they're doing is fixing parts of that problem, but they're also making new problems. They're bad guys, but some of what they're doing is good.

    Earlier this month, the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which regulates the city's taxi industry, had sold newly-created medallions for wheel-chair accessible taxis for $80,000 each. The bargain price came after the authority put the medallions on the market last fall, with an initial asking price of $475,000, but received no bids.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/20...alues-decline-uber-rideshare/27314735
    Voting 0
  4. Whatever my reservations about Uber as a driver, it really, really is better for riders. I'm actually a staunch defender of Philly cabbies — I've never met a bad one, though many vocal people have. But Uber is just ... better. The current medallion system sucks. Without getting too into the regulatory weeds, it creates an environment that screws over drivers and has no financial incentive to provide a pleasant experience for passengers. Uber can provide better service at cheaper prices with UberX because, by refusing to work within the medallion system, it has far fewer costs than a regulated taxi company — the cost of medallions, owning and maintaining a fleet of cars and paying for full commercial insurance.

    It's not surprising that taxi medallion systems in cities all over the world are losing customers to Uber like crazy. I speak with cabbies who say they try to only do airport runs now — they can't make a profit anywhere else.

    I run into one driver, "Muhammad," who bought a new car to drive for UberX nine months ago and understands the math behind the cuts perfectly. He says it's still worth it to him to drive on weekends when there's surge pricing, but not at other, non-surge times:

    MUHAMMAD, UBERX DRIVER

    Uber, the concept is very, very good. But the people who are running the show is very greedy. (Laughs.) If you really analyze what Uber has done in last six months, to make more and more profit, they have killed the drivers. I give you a practical example:

    If there's a $10 ride, $1 Uber will keep it, for insurance or safety or whatever they want to call it. This dollar is technically called the "safe rides fee," but yeah. » And then from $9, they will take 20 percent, that would be $1.80. So after, the driver will take home $7.20.

    If they cut the rate in half, the same ride is now $5. Just example, OK? So Uber takes $1, and then out of $4, Uber takes 80 cents, so the driver will make $3.20. And if the demand is double, then another driver will also make $3.20. So the total driver pay is $6.40 vs. $7.20 before, but customer paid same $10 — means Uber's taking extra money.

    Overall, demand has increased. But as a human being, we can only drive maybe three trips in one hour. If you give me 300 trips, that won't do me any good. That demand is for other people, not for me. So cutting the rate is increasing the total business, but the driver is worse off than before.
    http://citypaper.net/uberdriver
    Voting 0
  5. Il problema, qui come altrove, è l'assoluta impossibilità di sperimentare nuove forme commerciali, perché qualsiasi tentativo di innovare o creare qualcosa di nuovo si va a scontrare quando va bene contro disposizioni fiscali o regole burocratiche ottocentesche, quando va male contro vere e proprie sacche di protezione dalla concorrenza ingiustificate e dimostrabilmente inefficienti. È mia opinione che tutte le regole che vanno contro la libera concorrenza debbano essere giustificate o da un fallimento del mercato (come nei monopoli naturali, tipo alcuni servizi a rete) o dalla dimostrazione che alcuni interessi primari non verrebbero soddisfatti in un regime di liberalizzazione completa, o ancora, che il mercato non provvede i giusti incentivi per l'innovazione e l'efficienza. In entrambi i casi, però, si esige che l'onere della prova incomba su chi pretende di mantenere il privilegio, perché la soluzione per creare efficienza quasi mai è nei monopoli, anche quando questi sono collettivi, ovvero appartengono non a un singolo, ma a una categoria regolamentata.
    http://www.mysolutionpost.it/blogs/it...5/05/uber-pop-sentenza-tribunale.aspx
    Voting 0
  6. La nuova legge regionale ligure – fu bilancio poi divenuta bilancio e trasporti – infatti, con la scusa di dettare ai Comuni liguri i criteri cui ispirare i propri regolamenti in materia di trasporto pubblico non di linea, dopo averne dettato uno ovvio e generale secondo il quale tali regolamenti devono rispettare le leggi vigenti in materia di trasporto, ne mette in fila giusto un paio, sufficienti – almeno nella mente del loro estensore – a mettere fuori legge l’attività svolta in Liguria da Uber.

    Eccoli: (a) le corse devono essere assegnate solo a favore di soggetti in possesso di regolare licenza, (b) la prenotazione dei servizi di noleggio con conducente deve comunque pervenire all’operatore nella rimessa indicata nell’autorizzazione.

    Una manciata di caratteri con i quali, sostanzialmente, si dice – in modo davvero poco velato – che Uber Pop ovvero il servizio attraverso il quale Uber consente a privati cittadini di dare un passaggio ad altri cittadini dovrebbe diventare vietato nei comuni liguri e che Uber Berlina nera, ovvero il classico servizio che consente di prenotare una macchina con conducente in possesso di regolare concessione, dovrebbe limitarsi a “smistare prenotazioni” verso conducenti in paziente attesa nelle loro autorimesse
    http://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2015/...egge-trabocchetto-contro-uber/1547302
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2015-03-29)
    Voting 0
  7. L’utilizzo medio di una autovettura è piuttosto basso: basta guardarsi attorno per comprendere che l’utilizzo principale di una autovettura è quello di rimanere posteggiata. E’ inoltre uno dei postulati su cui la sharing economy basa servizi di car-sharing e di auto-al-minuto;
    Per introdurre un servizi di auto automatiche è assolutamente utile un substrato predefinito di utenti che già utilizzano un servizio, che sono giudicati affidabili e che, soprattutto, siano sufficientemente profilati per riuscire a stimare l’utilizzo geo-spaziale medio delle singole città;
    Uber è la soluzione: il servizio perfetto per “noleggiare” una auto, il servizio perfetto con la base dati degli spostamenti più richiesti ed infine il servizio perfetto per introdurre il concetto del “driverless” che peraltro risolve a priori i problemi di normativa relativi all’utilizzo di conducenti, cosa “normata” in vasta parte del mondo.

    Quindi, per essere brevi, Google non ha investito in Uber per competere con i tassisti, nello stesso modo per cui Google non ha creato un motore di ricerca per competere con Altavista, Google ha creato un nuovo mercato, della dimensione mondiale di miliardi di dollari, che ad ora non esiste e in cui entrerà di potenza.

    Amici tassisti, quindi, non preoccupatevi, quindi, dell’NCC che vi “soffia la corsa”, o del privato che “illegale” vi ruba la corsa, preoccupatevi del fatto che il vostro lavoro sarà svolto da macchine nei prossimi 5 anni.
    http://mgpf.it/2015/03/17/no-di-uber-non-avete-capito-un-cazzo.html
    Voting 0
  8. All’interno di quelle misure, bocciate perché non ci sarebbero i soldi per implementarle, anche una a costo praticamente zero. Cioè la definizione giuridica di carpooling. Un passo essenziale per il riconoscimento effettivo del sistema di condivisione dell’auto fra privati come tassello alternativo della mobilità ed eventuale beneficiario di provvedimenti legislativi ad hoc. Esattamente quanto avvenuto non più di qualche giorno fa con il lenzuolino sulle liberalizzazioni, dove il tema Uber e applicazioni di ncc è stato saltato a piè pari. Se ne riparlerà dopo l’Expo, troppo rischioso bloccare il grande evento col ricatto dei tassisti.
    http://www.wired.it/attualita/politic...m_medium=marketing&utm_campaign=wired
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2015-03-10)
    Voting 0
  9. Most major American cities have long used a system to limit the number of operating taxicabs, typically a medallion system: Drivers must own or rent a medallion to operate a taxi, and the city issues a fixed number of them. Now Josh Barro reports at the NYT that in major cities throughout the United States, taxi medallion prices are tumbling as taxis face competition from car-service apps like Uber and Lyft. The average price of an individual New York City taxi medallion fell to $872,000 in October, down 17 percent from a peak reached in the spring of 2013, according to an analysis of sales data. "I'm already at peace with the idea that I'm going to go bankrupt," said Larry Ionescu, who owns 98 Chicago taxi medallions. As recently as April, Boston taxi medallions were selling for $700,000. The last sale, in October, was for $561,000. "Right now Uber has a strong presence here in Boston, and that's having a dramatic impact on the taxi industry and the medallion values," says Donna Blythe-Shaw, a spokeswoman for the Boston Taxi Drivers' Association. "We hear that there's a couple of medallion owners that have offered to sell at 425 and nobody's touched them."
    http://beta.slashdot.org/story/210435
    Tags: , by M. Fioretti (2014-11-29)
    Voting 0
  10. C’è uno sbaglio nel modo in cui i tassisti affrontano la questione delle licenze. Le licenze sono limitate e assegnate dai comuni gratuitamente, successivamente si apre quello che può essere considerato un mercato nero“, dice Arese Lucini. “I tassisti attribuiscono un valore alle licenze e le vendono a chi vuole entrare; in questo modo le licenze non vengono comprate dai Comuni ma tramite un mercato nero dagli altri tassisti. L’errore è stato accettare una prassi illegale. La liberalizzazione ci dovrebbe essere da anni e farebbe bene al mercato: Bersani ci ha provato, Monti ci ha provato, recentemente l’Agcm, ossia il garante per la competizione, ha fatto una segnalazione dicendo che i taxi e i noleggi con conducente devono essere pienamente comparabili e competitivi”.
    http://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2014/...onisti-uberpop-rimborso-spese/1182293
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