2018/10/24: Uber and Lyft are not just increasing congestion and hurting transit, they are literally killing us.
A new study [PDF] from the Booth School at the University of Chicago estimates Uber and Lyft have increased traffic deaths by 2-3 percent nationally. That’s as many as 1,100 additional deaths a year — a small, but significant contribution to the increase in traffic deaths in the U.S. since 2011, the authors say.
Uber and Lyft have tried to market themselves as green companies that can help solve urban transportation problems, but the evidence keeps piling up that they are making many problems worse.
This new study backs up previous findings that Uber and Lyft have cannibalized transit trips and increased driving. The study found that cities with high adoption of Uber and Lyft had 3 percent more total miles driven daily on average than cities with low adoption. The effect was even bigger in larger cities and cities that had high rates of transit ridership. And more miles mean more deaths.
Even drunk driving deaths were essentially unchanged by the presence of Uber and Lyft, Barrios and his team found.
On total car ownership, more bad news. Cities with high Uber and Lyft activity actually had 3 percent higher new vehicle registrations (see this for New York City’s experience). Uber and Lyft might discourage car ownership among some higher-income riders, but app-based taxis seem to induce more car buying among lower-income people that work as drivers, Barrios found.
As Streetsblog reported, Uber and Lyft increase congestion partly because drivers spend 40 to 60 percent of their time circling without passengers, also known as “deadheading.” Barrios and his team said, Uber and Lyft’s policies make the problem worse.
2018/09/24: The average monthly payments to those who worked for a transportation app in a given month declined to $783 from $1,469. Meanwhile, people working for leasing apps -- Airbnb, Turo, Parklee and other apps that let you rent assets like your home, car or parking space -- saw their incomes from those platforms rise 69 percent to $1,736 on average.
This is happening as online gig work has become more popular, thanks in large part to the growth in the number of transportation jobs. The share of the working population that has participated in the online gig economy at any point in a year rose from less than 2 percent in 2013 to nearly 5 percent in 2018. There are a number of potential reasons why the average pay for gig economy drivers has gone down. It could be any or all of the below, according to JPMorgan: drivers on average are working fewer hours; demand hasn't increased to meet the increased number of drivers; trip prices have fallen; or platforms are paying drivers lower rates.
The fact that this study did not examine hourly earnings, the metric that drivers care most about, has resulted in misleading headlines,” a Lyft spokesperson said in an email. “Many more drivers are choosing to earn with Lyft on a part-time basis, often fewer than ten hours per week, and they tell us they truly value the flexibility Lyft provides.
Many workers in app-based businesses are being wrongly classified as independent contractors.
The public doesn't need a middleman for sharing-economy services, but it does need to make sure they are regulated
2014/09/24: In the 1099 economy, we all work for commission, hoping to find enough opportunities to piece together a part-time salary on full-time work.
Uber, Lyft and Sidecar are told to halt any carpool features. The California Public Utilities Commission confirms it sent two copies of a warning letter to all three peer-to-peer car services.
There's a lot of attention on the 'disruptive' ride share business, but its effects aren't pretty overall. Ridesharing companies like Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar use the ubiquitous ownership of smartphones to connect casual drivers and passenger clients through their proprietary applications. Like any broker they take their cut of the revenue in these transactions, (Lyft, for example, skims 20 percent off each payment made by a passenger through their smartphone.) Ridesharing companies encourage unregulated, hyper-privatized transactions among precarious laborers.