Wikipedia describes the “Sharing Economy” as:
-Wikipedia, “Sharing economy “
” a term for a new way of distributing goods and services—a way that differs from the traditional model of corporations hiring employees and selling products to consumers. In the sharing economy, individuals are said to rent or “share” things like their cars, homes and personal time to other individuals in a peer-to-peer fashion. “
However the reality of the “sharing economy” has proven itself a disaster for the prevention of sexual assault, customer safety, fair service, labor rights, wage rights, the economy and the earth itself.
Labor and Wages sent back to the early 20th century
In recent months, Uber and Lyft became outraged and have lobbied heavily against new regulation proposals in California aimed at affording rideshare drivers fair wage and collective bargaining rights.
PUBLISHED TODAY, this article by Splinter focuses on the struggle of “sharing economy” companies Uber and Lyft to retain one thing through their perils with regulators. That being the ability to keep their drivers as uninsured indentured slaves and customers as willing pawns in fraud and unaccountable services.
A call for better regulations with rideshare (TNC) companies is nothing new. Since 2015 it has been regularly documented that rideshare drivers do not make a living wage.
Among one of the solutions offered by regulation would be a cap on the number of vehicles in operation.
This was a solution to low wages and over congestion that the Taxi industry was regulated with over 80 years ago when Taxi permit and Medallion systems were established to address these issues.
Out of control pollution and traffic congestion
The promise of :faster/more efficient transportation services” has fallen short as the unchecked number of rideshre (TNC) vehicles has not only destroyed fair wages for the drivers but also radially increased traffic congestion and pollution.
In major cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles there are regularly no more than 14,000 taxis in operation, per city, per day at any given time. These numbers not only ensure a fair wage for each driver but they also regulate air quality and traffic congestion for other motorists generated by commercial operators.
With no regulation, Uber and Lyft have contributed an out of control level of pollution and congestion to everyday traffic in all cities where they are found.
No change in drunk driving fatalities
Uber and Lyft once promised a lowering of drunken driving incidents by over saturating markets with so many drivers that drunken driving would be an impossibility.
Since 2015 Uber has maintained heavy donations with MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) to promote the idea that Rideshare (TNC) companies like Uber and Lyft are drastically lowering drunken driving incidents.
-MADD Mothers Against Drunk Driving
“Rideshare saves lives!
78% people agree that their friends are less likely to drive drunk with options like Uber. MADD/Uber 2015 report
93% recommend their friends take Uber instead of driving if they’d been drinking alcohol
7% decrease, roughly of drunk driving in cities with rideshare options “
Notice the term ‘ROUGHLY‘ used in MADD’s estimation of lower drunk driving incidents.
The fact is that drunken driving incidents HAVE NOT been limited, curbed or otherwise lowered by the existence of rideshare (TNC) services such as Uber and Lyft.
In 2014 MADD and Uber announced their first partnership. Since the announcement MADD has stated that drunk driving incidents have decreased as a result of available Uber services.
In 2010, before Uber and Lyft were available in most major cities in the us, there were 10,228 drunken driving related deaths that year.
In 2015, one year AFTER the partnership announcement by Uber and MADD and with Uber and Lyft now operating in most major US cities in that time there were 10,265 drunken driving related deaths that year.
In 2016 there were 10,497 drunken driving related deaths.
In 2017 there were 10,874 drunken driving related deaths.
Many recent studies have indicated that there is no viable data to conclude that the existence of rideshare companies has in any way lowered the actual rate of drunk driving.
Most especially since the rate of drunk driving related deaths have not reduced at all but in fact increased at a steady rate since Uber and Lyft began operations in most major cities.
Out of control crime and an epidemic of sexual assaults
The Ride Safe Database has collected incident reports from Taxi and Rideshare (UBer & Lyft) operations beginning in 2014. The primary summation of this database is the Stultz Report, which is the world’s most comprehensive database of all incidents reported in the media concerning crimes committed by Rideshare (TNC) drivers and Taxi drivers comparatively.
In January, Uber reported that their own incident intake workers were addressing up to 1200 incident complains weekly with several hundred among them concerning sexual assault incidents.
The over all rate of crime and sexual assaults against young women using Uber and Lyft services is far higher than previously estimated BEFORE Uber and Lyft finally released more of their incidental statistics shortly before becoming publicly traded companies.
The rates of sexual assaults with Uber and Lyft are also far higher in just ONE year of Operations in the United States than the combined taxi companies of North America, The United Kingdom and Canada in over TWENTY years of operations.
Pleading and threats
Through years of this madness, state and local regulators across the US have begun to enforce tighter regulations.
New York has enacted a cap on the number of rideshare vehicles in operation and has promised this year to expand the limits further, along with wage rights for drivers.
Uber and Lyft actually went so far as to offer a bribe of relief aid to their drivers in order for New York regulators to drop their plans to enact a fair wage law on behalf of rideshare drivers.
In California Uber and Lyft have lobbied heavily against recently proposed legislation that would reflect New York on capping rideshare vehicles and respecting rideshare drivers as employees entitled to wage and collective bargaining rights.
Both Uber and Lyft have threatened that enacting such laws would remove them from profitability and thus, the market entirely.
For just over a month now, Uber and Lyft have been publicly traded stocks on the stock market. In that time, neither company has turned a sustainable profit in trading outside of short selling of their stocks among speculators who have banked on the massive losses and losses yet to come.
The only redemption Uber and Lyft have left would be in convincing their own drivers to continue as indentured labor while retaining their ability to operate without regulation.
As more and more sexual assaults are reported and stock trading remains in a tail spin, it seems unlikely that Uber or Lyft are willing to improve their business model and ethics, even to save themselves.
The question then being, how much worse will Rideshare (TNC) companies make the economy and the environment before it is too late?