This Week in Rideshare: Coalition, Beeps, and Donations.
Gig companies team up, Uber annoys passengers and Instacart helps a grieving family. LegalRideshare breaks it down.
Uber, Lyft, Instacart and DoorDash are launching their own “coalition” in Washington to keep drivers as independent contractors. Geekwire reported:
Some of the biggest players in the state’s gig economy — Uber, Lyft, Instacart and DoorDash — have formed an industry group called Washington Coalition for Independent Work which appears to be looking to the initiative process or legislation to help curb the regulation of their businesses.
Lyft, which recently put $2 million into funding the group, believes strongly in the existing contractor model. Mark Funk, spokesman for the WCIW, says it’s not only better for gig workers, it’s also what they want. He added that the coalition has made no decisions specifically about initiatives or legislation.
First reported by politics newsletter The Washington Observer, the newly formed group has hired lobbyists and political fixers to put the brakes on regulation and minimum-wage requirements of their contractor-based employment models.
Uber passengers are about to get a reminder “beep” if they’re not buckled in. The Verge reported:
It’s a fairly simple approach: the driver’s app will issue a series of beeps, while the rider’s app will send push notifications reminding them to buckle up. Most vehicles in the US have seatbelt reminders built-in, but that does not typically cover rear-seat passengers. The app notifications are meant to serve as a workaround.
“Buckling up is one of the most effective ways to help keep yourself and others in the vehicle safe in a crash. By leveraging technology to remind riders to buckle up, we hope to increase seatbelt use and potentially save lives,” said Kristin Smith, Uber’s head of global road safety policy, in a statement.
Uber may be over the pandemic slump. CNN reported:
The company reported Wednesday that its revenue grew 83% year-over-year to $5.8 billion in the final three months of 2021, as people increasingly turned to its ride-hail platform to get around and ordered food through its delivery service.
Khosrowshahi acknowledged that the surge in Covid cases from the Omicron variant did begin affecting its business in late December but he said its ride-hailing business “is already starting to bounce back.”
Uber had 118 million monthly active users on its platform last quarter, its highest amount to date and a 27% increase from the year prior.
People in need of a ride to the hospital may be looking to Lyft. WBTV reported:
“If you are determined to be a low acuity patient with minor symptoms, we may transfer you over to our nurse advice line who will do a secondary triage of your symptoms,” said Mecklenburg EMS Agency’s Matt Lewis.
In non-life-threatening situations, if transport is needed, the 911 operator can schedule a Lyft for the patient to go to the hospital.
Medic says they’re doing this program due to an increase in calls and staffing challenges.
“Utilizing Lyft allows us to decrease workload by transferring patients that don’t require an ambulance over to a much more cost effective solution,” said Lewis.
After an Instacart shopper was killed on the job, the company donated $50,000 to the family. Independent reported:
Justin Krumbah, 38, died on Monday after suspected gunman Aaron Christopher Kelly shot him multiple times in an aisle of the supermarket.
Police said the Instacart shopper, who was described as a “breath of fresh air” by customers, was seen on surveillance footage having a “10 to 15 second interaction” with the suspect just moments before he opened fire at around 11am local time.
The suspect then allegedly shot Fred Meyer employee Mark Hill close to the customer service counter. Mr Hill remains in a critical condition in hospital after undergoing surgery.
Instacart made the $50,000 donation, labeled “Instacart Team”, on Thursday to a GoFundMe page set up to help Mr Krumbah’s family pay for funeral expenses for the 38-year-old.
The company had released a statement in the aftermath of the shooting saying it was “heartbroken” to learn about the death of a worker and had reached out to the victim’s family.
LegalRideshare is the first law firm in the United States to focus exclusively on Uber®, Lyft®, gig workers, delivery and e-scooter accidents and injuries.