This Week in Rideshare: Franchise, Fees and Fights.

Doubts over Uber’s new model, Instacart gets sued, and activists are being targeted. LegalRideshare breaks it down.

MONDAY 8/24/20

Last week’s franchise proposal by Uber and Lyft has gotten a sour reception. Slate reported:

But to solve the problem of corporations avoiding responsibilities to workers, we need additional policies. Large corporations must be forced to choose: Do you want control with responsibility to workers, or are you willing to relinquish control to truly independent entrepreneurs?

TUESDAY 8/25/20

Drivers “overwhelmingly support” being an independent contractor. How do we know? Uber’s poll said so. The Hill reported:

Ride-hailing giant Uber released a poll showing their drivers “overwhelmingly support” being classified as independent contractors.

The survey, first obtained by Axios, found 82 percent of drivers support their independent contractor status. Only 15 percent said they would prefer a traditional employment status.

WEDNESDAY 8/26/20

Scooters are back in Chicago and seated scooters are on the way. StreetsBlog Chicago reported:

Lime will market the adaptive scooters in Chicago through the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, along with support from organizations like My Block, My Hood, My City; Access Living; the Austin African American Chamber of Commerce; the Roseland Chamber of Commerce; and Equity and Transformation Chicago, Foley said.

THURSDAY 8/27/20

Instacart is facing a lawsuit over what’s being called “deceptive service fees”. Techcrunch reported:

“Instacart tricked District consumers into believing they were tipping grocery delivery workers when, in fact, the company was charging them extra fees and pocketing the money,” Racine said in a statement. “Instacart used these deceptive fees to cover its operating costs while simultaneously failing to pay D.C. sales taxes. We filed suit to force Instacart to honor its legal obligations, pay D.C. the taxes it owes, and return millions of dollars to District consumers the company deceived.”

FRIDAY 8/28/20

As pressure for the ride-hailing giants to change their status mounts, some activists are being targeted and harassed on social media. CNET reported:

Dubal seems to have become a target in a complex campaign involving social media harassment, take-down articles on conservative websites and actions by at least two public relations firms hired by Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart and Postmates. One of those PR firms, Sacramento-based MB Public Affairs, submitted a lengthy public records request on July 28 for Dubal’s email correspondence with 130 other labor activists, academics and union leaders.

“It’s clearly a coordinated campaign,” says William Fitzgerald, who currently runs a strategic advocacy firm called The Worker Agency and previously worked for Google on both its public policy and communications teams. “What Uber is doing now with this is way further than anything I’ve seen. It’s a totally different ballgame.”

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