This Week in Rideshare: Women, Scams, and Curb.

Gig economy lacks women, drivers are getting scammed, and a taxi app gets revamped. LegalRideshare breaks it down.

MONDAY 7/12/21

While the gig economy has exploded over the last few years, it falls short on being balanced. Forbes explains:

The gig economy lacks many of the protections of a traditional workplace including on-site supervisors, unemployment coverage, benefits and workers’ compensation insurance. These deficiencies are among the contributing factors that women make up only 19% of Uber’s workforce and 30% of Lyft’s as of 2019.

Beyond these deficiencies, another major downside of these platforms that I see is a lack of safety for the workers. Many in-person gigs require workers to be alone in some capacity with the customers they serve, and while employees are typically background checked and vetted, the customers are not.

TUESDAY 7/13/21

While Uber and Lyft’s mask features were met to protect riders, they’re being used to scam drivers. Buzzfeed explains:

Hossle had, in fact, taken a selfie during the ride, which showed him wearing a pale, silvery mask that covered him from his chin to just below his eyes. He put on the mask before entering the car and didn’t take it off until he got home, he said.

He was left wondering whether he’d been falsely reported due to anti-LGBTQ bias, as is a regular occurrence in the drag community. In 2017, one of Hossle’s fellow San Francisco drag nuns was refused a ride when their Lyft driver saw what they were wearing.

WEDNESDAY 7/14/21

With major updates to the Curb app, could this be the return of the taxis? Fox 32 explains:

“It used to be with the Curb app or getting into a taxi on the street, you would hail upfront and when you got in, the meter would run and at the end of the ride you would pay whatever that meter came out to,” said Gross.

But that’s not the case anymore. Curb has updated its platform to give upfront pricing based on pick-up location, destination and traffic.

Gross claims that fares via Curb average between 5 and 10 percent cheaper than Uber and Lyft, and since there’s no surge pricing on Curb, sometimes the savings will be way more significant. Marogy told FOX 32 a recent passenger told him the fare from O’Hare to downtown via Curb was nearly $150 cheaper than Uber during a period when Uber implemented surge pricing.

THURSDAY 7/15/21

Lyft is bringing back its cheapest rides yet: shared rides. Business Insider explains:

Starting on Monday, July 19, users in Chicago, Denver, and Philadelphia will be able to book a trip shared with one other rider heading in the same direction, Lyft said Thursday. The service will expand to other cities over time.

Both Lyft and its main rival Uber suspended shared rides in March 2020, as the pandemic took hold, to promote physical distancing. Now, as demand rebounds, Lyft is bringing it back. The offering could help Lyft serve more trips and attract drivers amid a massive shortage of ride-hailing drivers, many of whom may be holding out for higher pay and better working conditions.

FRIDAY 7/16/21

A driver who lost his job after being robbed by a passenger, is getting back on the platform. WIFR explains:

An Uber driver was robbed at gunpoint by his own passenger Monday night next to Pontchartrain Park, and it temporarily cost the driver his job, WVUE reported.

“He opens this [the center console], gets my cash; and as he’s right here, he sees my gun case on my floor,” Lacinak said.

He said the man demanded he open the gun case and hand over the gun, magazine and holster, then took off into the neighborhood.

Lacinak called police later that night once he actually processed what happened as well as Uber, which deactivated his profile right then and there. He had violated Uber’s “no firearms” policy.

After taking another look at the case, Uber is going to reactivate his profile.

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