Douglas Schifter Memorial, A wake up call for humanity

Like so many others who have provided the service of transportation to the public with ethics, insurance and proper vetting as their career of choice in the US, Douglas Schifter watched his livelihood, his investment in community,  family and future slip away.

Not because of some proactive or safe development in transportation technology but rather because we as a civilization have turned our backs on accountability and compassion.

We have convinced ourselves that cheap fast ride and unaccountable services are far more important than the epidemic of crime, uninsured operations or even our own safety and economic future when using the products and services of the so-called “gig” or “on demand” business model.

Companies like Uber, Lyff, postmates, AirBNB, AmazonFlex and Task Rabbit have established themselves with ponzi investment schemes, over blown social network campaigns and the passing off of THE WORST business models conceived in the 21st century.

While the owners of these businesses have made immense amounts of money in their first years of operation, they have cost the general public in an epidemic of crime, uninsured incidentals dumped on the tax paying public and now the failure of their businesses as the economic bubble bursts.

Not a single employee working for these businesses has ever reported a consistent or sustainable living wage.

IPO (public trading) speculations and the promise of new and better technologies like driverless vehicles that these companies have promised the public have all been exposed in recent months as nothing more than scheming bunkum to inflate investments.

 

THIS is what Douglas Schifter died for.  He could not live with what he had lost, what he was facing or the prospect of watching more in his industry suffer.

Nor could he lower his standards to the level of an Uber or Lyft driver by providing services without accountability or insurance for a fast buck.

 

THREE simple changes to regulations for ALL commercial providers would end this madness:

 

1- The mandate that all commercial transportation providers, Rideshare, taxi or otherwise maintain clear communication of commercial use of their vehicle to their own insurance providers and that these notifications and policies are posted for the PUBLIC in each vehicle.

2- The mandate that all vehicles providing commercial transportation services rideshare, taxi or otherwise have CLEAR and individualized (individual assigned number) marking on each vehicle to indicate it is properly registered and vetted by the service provider company or individual.

3- FINGERPRINT background checks equal to those used for vetting law enforcement officials for ALL drivers providing services.

Chauffeur Driven features Ride Safe International

Chauffeur Driven featured Ride Safe in this recent article By MADELEINE MACCAR.

 

Ride Safe wold like the thank Chauffeur Driven and Madeleine Maccar for the much appreciated exposure.  Ride Safe is dedicated to safety, proper vetting and proper insurance in the commercial transportation industry and Chauffeur Driven represents the very best in the United States market providing Limo and taxi services.

UBER DRIVER INTENDED TO HAVE SEX WITH A MINOR

RSC #02__18SEMCOFL*

02/??/18 SEMINOLE CO, FL

INTENT OF HAVING SEX W/A MINOR

UBER <CONFIRMED

Billy John Childress

37 /Howey-in-the-Hills, FL

Caught In An Undercover Child Sex Sting

Traveled With The Intent Of Having Sex With A Minor

http://www.mynews13.com/fl/orlando/news/2018/2/12/uber_driver_seminole_county_sex_sting_arrests

*ARRESTED BETWEEN 02/07/18 – 02/10/18

NO DATE GIVEN NO OTHER REPORTS

OPEN LETTER, to Syracuse.com and Patrick Lohmann: Harassment and defamation of RSI & Chris O’connell by Patrick Lohmann’s article

Patrick Lohmann, Syracuse.com and The Post Standard,

For the hour-long plus conversation we had in the interview Patrick Lohmann did with me for your article I would have expected a slightly better article even portrayed as negatively as it was.

Patrick Lohmann from his public twitter images. Title of the image: “D-Bag Millenial + Hipster Photographer =”

What I mean by that, is that Patrick Lohmann did not even quote me properly.

For starters Patrick Lohmann left out a large amount of important and pertinent information from our conversation.

I asked Lohmann how exactly had he heard about Ride Safe.

Patrick stated in our interview that he came across Ride Safe World by chance online.  This is exactly what he had told Justin La Plante as well.

However Lohmann states in his article that he found out about Ride Safe among the content of what he claims is an anonymous facebook group for Uber and Lyft drivers exclusively.

When I asked Patrick Lohmann if someone turned him on to Rids Safe, HE LIED! You don’t find www.ridesafeworld.com by accident.

The site is currently not regularly read, the database on it only contains a fraction of the Uber and Lyft drivers in any given area, there have been no complaints or requests for retractions or correction to ANY content on www.ridesafeworld.com from Uber or Lyft and not a single Uber or Lyft driver or ANY resident of Syracuse or the state of New York for that matter has communicated with or about the website to complain about it’s content.

Outside of Patrick Lohmann in his article, of course.

Quote from Lohmann’s article:

“There’s one problem, though: The database’s claims are false.”

 

Lohmann claims I stated that the claims and the content of Ride Safe’s database are false.

What I had actually stated, is how I Felt about the background checks of the rideshare (Uber & Lyft) background check systems and their allowance of Rideshare drivers to operate without proper insurance.  I was clearly stating to Lohmann that RIDESHARE BACKGROUND CHECKS were false and that Ride Safe’s database was exposing these falsified and uninsured operations.

I was making no reference to Ride Safe International as being “false” in any way.

Patrick Lohmann had taken my statements entirely out of context and applied them to something they did not even relate to.

Another quote from Partick Lohmann’s article:

O’Connell has taken photos of at least 85 photos (grammar, hello?) of Uber and Lyft drivers’ license plates here (Syracuse).

Along with having the grammar of a grade school school student news paper author, Lohmann has excluded numerous gypsy cab and unlicensed TAXI cabs that I have also reported to Ride Safe as I clearly stated to him in our interview.

It is the purpose of Ride Safe International to report fraud and unsafe operations with ALL forms of commercial transportation.

Taxi, Uber, Lyft, United Airlines, The city bus, Water taxis and Pedicabs.  These are ALL forms of transportation Ride Safe reviews and reports on.

Another quote from Lohmann’s article:

O’Connell also described another encounter with an Uber driver on Jan. 1 who was selling his car
while driving for the app.
“He stormed back to his car and decided to follow me but thought better of it after a few blocks,”
O’Connell wrote on the website. Two weeks ago, O’Connell described an almost-fight that occurred a few weeks ago with an
Uber driver in a minivan in the Hawley Green neighborhood.
“The guy asked me why I was taking his picture. I said, ‘You drive for Uber and Lyft,'”
O’Connell told Syracuse.com. “As soon as I said that, it turned into, he thinks he wants to start a
fight over it. I made it very clear you don’t want to do that. I’ve been a taxi driver for 20 years. I know how to defend myself.

Patrick Lohmann very plainly LIED about these exchanges in his article.

He claims I had said to the driver described in the exchange:

I’ve been a taxi driver for 20 years. I know how to defend myself.

These were from our interview, not a website or the exchange between me and the rideshare driver.  It was said by ME to Patrick Lohmann in our interview, NOT the driver from the incident as Lohmann has tried to insinuate.

This was in response to Patrick Lohmann asking me:

Aren’t you worried about confrontation?

The vehicle in question was a Dark Green or Black Car I said during our interview that I believed to be a Hyundai or Toyota as I did not have the photos on hand.

I did offer to send Patrick Lohmann the photo as Justin La Plante offerred Lohmann the entire database.  Lohmann refused or neglected to use ANY information provided to him by either of us and misquoted everything he was told.

The vehicle turned out to be A Hyundai by the way, for those interested and it happened on Jan 11.

The Jan 1 quote Patrick Lohmann took from ride safe (Justin La Plante) and confused the two without proper reference or footnotes to properly identify them.

You identified the website, at least give the site credit as Ride Safe IS giving credit to syracuse.com as it is due.

I made it very clear to Patrcik Lohmann that I left the incident with the ridesahre driver who confronted me and did not deliver or exchange any threat or suggestion of a threat as Lohmann falsely accuses in his article.  I DID mention to Lohmann that the other driver DID follow me for several blocks after the incident.

Later In our interview, Patrick described an incident to me where he took a picture to try and submit the Photo to the Ride Safe World Database, of a woman in a Nissan who had words with him on why he was taking a picture of her car?

In Lohmann’s interview with Justin La Plante Lohmann stated to La Plante that the vehicle was already in the Ride Safe database and on the public notification system as ‘Uninsured’.

Lohmann claims he even communicated with Uber representatives who claimed the vehicle was “Fully insured” and was part of their vehicles registerred to operate in Syracuse.

In fact AFTER Lohmann had given the vehicle’s plate number to Justin La Plante, La Plante was able to determine that the vehicle was only “fully insured” for standard liability coverage and NOT commercial operations.

Meaning that if it was operating on the Uber platform, it was NOT properly coverred for transporting human beings for money since Uber’s driver contracting and customer usage agreements invalidate any and all comprehensive coverage and/or agreements.

Once again this is Partick Lohmann using Uber’s own fraudulent double talk to make equally fraudulent accusations.

La Plante later added the vehicle to Ride Safe’s database since Lohmann claims in his article that it is part of Uber’s approved vehicles to operate in Syracuse on the platform.

From another portion of Lohmann’s article:

On a private Facebook group, two other Uber and Lyft drivers described confronting O’Connell as he tried to photograph their vehicles. And drivers from both sides are confronting each other on social media.

I told Patrick Lohmann that the incident with the driver who was following me, was the only heated word exchange from the other side, and the other guy asked what I was doing, was pissed and said nothing more before following me in his car.

Yet here are more accusations from this anonymous facebook group where Lohmann magically learned of Ride Safe before lying about learning of it from PUBLIC information.

Lohmann also fails to name the Uber representative or ANY background check service or state agency representative he eludes to in ANYWHERE in the article.

From Lohmann’s article:

Uber drivers who reported confrontations with O’Connell did not respond to a request for comment.

That is because other than the ONE incident in person with the rideshare driver who followed me, it was only online, and they would have to give up that anonymous bullying and be outed for such.

Both I and Justin La Plante would very much like to know if Lohmann’s sources are real at all and if any are, then how does he justify what he has already falsely claimed?

John Landry, a source that Lohmann actually DOES NAME, is the administrator of an anonymous Uber and Lyft drivers group on facebook.  His name appears in the PUBLIC information on facebook Rideshare driver groups that ridesahre drivers in the Syracuse area belong to.

Landry is quoted in the article as saying:

“Our guys are not innocent in this either,”

“They’re going online and saying, ‘leave a bad review on his page,’ or whatever. I’ve had to remove a lot of cussing.”

The feud comes to me, I did not have to escalate anything, EVER. Ride Share drivers show their true color with a mob mentality when behind a keyboard once I made a post on Facebook alerting the public.

Over 1,400 views to Syracuse New York taxi, plenty of negative comments.

Creating traffic is awareness.

Keep em coming to visit Ride Safe World and share my post. You are just helping me create awareness for Ride Safe and exposing your own inability to be an ethical journalist.

This is a prime example of anonymous people and the threats made by ridesahre drivers and rideshare shills in the response section on Syracuse.com

A Profile named: ‘Central New York 2017’ posted on the reply section of the syracuse.com article:

@havocandtwigs (Justin La Plante’s twitter account) Come near my car acting weird and you’ll be eating lead.

 

Several hours after this threat was posted, it still appears on syracuse.com in the article’s comment section despite notifications by the site to refrain from lude or disrespectful comments.

That is from a local Syracuse RIDE SHARE DRIVER!  A person CURRENTLY driving the streets of Syracuse offering rides for money.

Justin La Plante also deliverred this statement to the comments section on Lohmann’s article:

“I am the administrator of Ride Safe, Chris O’Connell is concerned for his community and has acted to defend it. Notice how the author ignored THE CARFAX report on the vehicle I mentioned and also how THE VEHICLE’S OWNER has refused to provide any proof of their own or even chime in on the article. Checking with NY state DOT IS NOT the only way to verify insurance and ANY insurance investigator can tell you that. I do notice that Lyft article (ad) right above this article as well. It makes a nice screen capture that will appear in our response to this shill piece. Notice how the author ALSO refuses to admit that the current Rideshare/TNC regs in NY make it perfectly clear that ALL Uber and Lyft vehicle(s) operating in the state DO NOT HAVE comprehensive insurance agreements just by operating for Uber and Lyft. Also, what exactly did the author and/or editor notice in this article that they felt the need to remove only 10 minuets after posting it?? ‘Updated 11:50 AM; Posted 10:10 AM’ I’ve delt with A LOT of shill media outlets over the years and even though this article isn’t the most idiotic I’ve seen, it certainly is the most hilarious. WHY waste these resources just to be exposed as another shill for a worthless, dangerous and failing industry. You should see the testimony I just made here in Wisconsin yesterday to the state assembly. No one at that hearing was making dumb and baseless accusations on Ride Safe’s work and these are LEGISLATORS with A LOT more at stake than you. I thank you for the exposure and verification of what we do through your pathetic attempt at accusation. It is MUCH appreciated and will be fun to expose. Sincerely, Justin La Plante”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Lohmann’s article:

O’Connell also takes issue with the background checks for Uber and Lyft drivers, which he said
are less rigorous than those for cabbies. O’Connell pointed to a local case of an Uber driver
accused of sexually assaulting a passenger.

 

Patrick Lohmann left a large amount of this exchange out of his article and forgot to mention The Guardian and Ride Safe BOTH were able to register drivers on the Uber platform with falsified documents.

Lohmann pointed out in his article that an Uber driver who sexually assaulted a passenger, went on to become a Taxi driver in Syracuse and committed the same exact crime working for a taxi company.

The only point this indicates is the community of Syracuse has a MAJOR problem with vetting commercial drivers weather they are Rideshare OR Taxi.

A point that Ride Safe and I have tried to make repeatedly.

Because ride share drivers do not have to register with local municipalities in almost all cases, when any crime occurs it only gets reported in one area of reporting within the department where a crime is committed.   If a TAXI GETS REPORTED as the crime in question, it is reported to the Sargent in charge of the taxis with Local PD.

As with the Syracuse incident with Ibrahim M. Aden from September 2017.

Was Ibrahim M. Aden registered with the CITY of Syracuse as a ride share
driver? NO.

That don’t have to register with the CITY of Syracuse or the Syracuse Police as they
are not required by state law, which eliminated municipal authority or involvement in the regulation of Rideshares.

This is why the incident with ADEN got reported as sexual assault, ONLY when he was working as a Rideshare.
Is Sargent Galvin of the Syracuse Police Department notified that a sexual assault has occurred when Aden became a taxi driver? No.

He only governs the 1,300 plus taxi drivers only in the city plus his other duties with permits.

He isn’t dedicated to just taxis.  So Aden goes on to commit a second act as a Taxi driver.

Why was Ibrahim M. Aden allowed to commit the second incident? Would his charges have
stopped him from driving a taxi if he had in fact had a taxi license or been registered as a ride share driver when he operated for Uber. YES!

If the incident had been reported to Sargent Galvin of the Syracuse Police he
could have alerted the taxi companies, found which car Aden was in to get him off the road.

PATRICK LOHMANN forgot to mention the CITY OF SYRACUSE DOES NOT HAVE A TAXI COMMISSION BOARD AS REQUIRED for such appeals and disciplinary actions.

If The reporting process and vetting with in the Syracuse Police Department was not so deficient with regard to checking criminal histories between rideshare and Taxi operations this would not have happened.

However it is important to point out that in this case it is more the fault of NY state for allowing Rideshare laws to tie the hands of local law enforcement.

THAIS IS WHY I GOT INLVOLVED IN RIDE SAFE INTERNATIONAL.

Patrick Lohmann quoted me right in this segment:

“OUR GOVERNMENT IS DOING NOTHING TO
PROTECT US FROM THE CRIMINALS THAT EXIST IN THE RIDE SHARE ECONOMY,
FROM TOP TO YOUR LOCAL OFFICALS and police! The new mayor of Syracuse BEN
WALSH said he wants to make changes. Here is a great area to start mayor!

 

Patrick, someone should have a word with you and the editors at Syracuse.com should not be so happy with your story and performance.

Also, we can all SEE that Lyft ad above and in your article on the ad streams.

You left out public safety and focused on the one thing you disputed with
RIDE SAFE INTERNATIONAL.

Well I am sorry you feel Rids Safe is fake but the only thing fake in that article is your source dropping, your inability to use the quotes properly and your lack
of ethically reporting ANY of the topics we spent time on.

I have been sticking my neck out for my industry and this community to make it better for years!

What did you today besides try and delete comments unsuccessfully, leave an article posted with TWO MAJOR GRAMMATICAL AND TYPO ERRORS and fradulent claims on syracuse.com?

From PDF capture two hours after article publication by Syracuse.com Of Patrick Lohmann’s article about Ride Safe
From screen capture on the 11th.
Typo in article.
Grammar error in article.

 

 

Chris O’Connell
Owner Syracuse New York Taxi/
Ride Safe’s public relations chief and administrator of the northern east coast region of the US