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Forget software, here in Miami where Uber drivers were initially operating illegally (cited with violating 2 municipal ordinances each being a ~$1,010 civil fine, but escalates to criminal charge after the 3rd such violation) Uber sent emails to driver training them on avoiding detection (e.g. When at airport take down phone; have drivers sit up front; etc...). I imagine there are similar emails for every county, city that were actively citing drivers for legal violations.

Worse the drivers usually use a Lawyer selected and paid for by Uber, and guess what that lawyer isn't some independent traffic lawyer it's Uber's FL lobbyist. Though these charges are years old, last I check none were resolved and still $2M-$3M in fines owed to Miami.

To this day in Miami, it's not uncommon for drivers to allow undocumented immigrants without drivers licenses to use their Uber car/account.




I would hope the drivers always sit up front!


I think rider auto corrected to driver...here is a link to a copy of the alleged Uber email to Miami driver's [1].

I don't believe they misspelled anything but if you change the charge from illegal ride for hire to prostitution, drugs, etc... it's Fairly easy to see organized crime... some of our drivers/prositutes/dealers have got into legal trouble, while we work to lobby to change the law, you can hopefully avoid legal trouble by x,y,z but don't forget if you do get in legal trouble we will pay the fines and provide a lawyer (so you have no clue what's going on and we can cover our ass).

[1] https://uberpeople.net/threads/welcome-to-miami-internationa...


Wow. I read that link and they flat out tell their people how to get around the airport ban. They tell the drivers not to have the app in view, keep it in your cup holder, ask the passenger to sit up front and say your a friend if asked. Drop the passenger off as far away from the terminal door if possible. And if you do get caught they'll provide you with a lawyer and pay the 1100 dollar fine up to 3 times before deactivating you. That last one is messed up, like sorry you're fired for not being sneaky enough


Here is what's even worse:

1. The way it was working in Miami is drivers would get 2 tickets when they were stopped, I think a. No taxi license; b. Illegal ride for hire. Both are $1,010 so a total of $2,020 per stop;

2. The laws escalate from civil penalties to criminal charges upon the 3rd such violation (I.e. 2nd stop could be criminal)

3. This also means 2 stops and you are out from your Uber driving

4. I don't think Uber has actually paid anyone's fines, at least it appears all these years later articles say the fines are still outstanding.


This has actually happened to me. Can confirm.


I've had my share of back-seat drivers.



<it's not uncommon for drivers to allow undocumented immigrants without drivers licenses to use their Uber car/account> pulling an Uber on Uber


In Brazil, there are now Uber users, with fleets of cars, who no longer have to drive themselves, since these users rent the cars out to unemployed people (or those unable to have their own car) in exchange for a large part of the profits.


Its bad, but isnt it actually exactly the same why the current taximedalion and similar systems work today? A person or company buys the expensive right to drive a taxi service, and employs people to do just that?


same in Ukraine, street posts are plastered with ads for Uber drivers, meaning they give you a car and you get to keep ~50% of fees and ~10% of bonus


This is a good thing though, isn't it?


Not entirely. Adding more middle men isn't a good thing, and depending on the terms for renting the car, they can be obscenely predatory. I know Uber and Lyft's rental terms are pretty shitty.


> Adding more middle men isn't a good thing

Would the people who chose employment through them as a preferable choice to other options (or unemployment) agree with you?


>Would the people who chose employment through them as a preferable choice to other options (or unemployment) agree with you?

It's not just about them. These drivers are effectively working for 50% of what other drivers are making. This drives down the median wage for all other drivers, because more middle men will be able to step in and outcompete independent drivers. Overall, you get more people working longer hours for less compensation.

To what end? Who really benefits from this trend?


> Overall, you get more people working longer hours for less compensation

So then the solution to increasing wages is simply to ban hard-working, willing people from taking jobs! Brilliant. Let's force them to be unemployed just so that those who are allowed to work can make a bit more money.

The biggest flaw in your argument is that it completely leaves out the value of experience. Those lower-wage drivers are not signing up for a lifetime of low-wage driving, they are taking a job that they can leave after a few months after gaining useful/valuable experience.

The beauty of Uber is that it offers the opportunity of part-time commitment work to many people who have not had the option before.

Now, instead of pouring a stiff drink to reduce the stress of personal debt (for example) someone can hop in their car and make a few hundred dollars and actually do something about it. The impact of this on people's sense of being in control of their destiny is profound.


"So then the solution to increasing wages is simply to ban hard-working, willing people from taking jobs!"

Yes, when the job is a systemic arbitrage of labor that externalizes costs and consequences in a way that's bad for society.

You might as well say 'so the solution to increasing wealth is simply to ban enterprising, daring people from robbing houses, stores and banks!' We're talking about the ways capital is exchanged in a dynamic with a labor and an owner class. To blindly assume the owner class cannot arbitrage labor is… kind of unobservant, when we've already got what they call a 'precariat'.

I get that some people want to believe a job as a fry cook (or Uber driver) is a step towards being a CEO, but there's already a CEO. These are not 'ladders of opportunity'. Most likely being unemployed or a dropout has higher odds of ending up the CEO.


it still beats sleeping under the bridge, though

edit: what makes you so sure about what's good for society?


No, these drivers are effectively spending 50% of their revenue on their car. The other drivers have to buy and maintain a car themselves, which isn't free either.


are they? Because they are renting the capital equipment in order to do that job. Without it they'd have a car loan and maintenance payments (if they even qualify for a loan).


I've never given this argument any respect, and I'm not going to start now. Saying that being fucked over might provide a little bit of benefit is no excuse for fucking people over in the first place.


> is no excuse for fucking people over in the first place

Who is getting fucked over because of the job? Are you claiming that people choose those jobs over other, better jobs?

If I didn't own a car and was considering making a career as an Uber driver I'd happily accept a lower level of pay and rent someone else's car for a few months to get a sense of how much the job appealed to me and how hard I'd need to work to make money.

The person renting out the car is the one who has taken out loans and risk and now owns a depreciating asset. He or she must find someone to drive it, and depending on the supply of labor there will be a cost of hiring a driver (which is the driver's pay).

Who do you think needs to be stopped from doing business here? The one investing in renting the cars in hopes of finding drivers? Or the drivers who can't afford a car (or don't want to invest in one) but who want to earn a wage driving?

Or are you arguing that we need some wise arbiter of who can do what work, some sort of jobs minister or similar title?


Again, I have no respect for this line of argument. I don't care what you think about someone "risking" things. That's no reason whatsoever to screw people over simply because they have little other choice.


Given the reported strictness of the Uber rating system, are the actual drivers good? Isn't that what the rating system is supposed to solve?


I'm guessing it's part of the contract when the fleet owners hire, as well as something the owners watch like a hawk. Since the drivers wish to keep their job in order to keep earning, they theoretically need to worry about ratings as much as the next person. If we assume that finding a new fleet owner is easy, then jumping ship and finding employment with someone else may make the driver's need to maintain a good rating a fuzzy matter.

If anyone wishes to learn more, here's an article to throw into Google Translate:

http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/cotidiano/2016/03/1746900-motor...


Simple; all drivers register their own Uber account, and lose the car if their ratings are not good enough. Actually I wouldn't be surprised if the cars were rented out for a flat daily fee instead of depending on the number of rides.

Just a taxi company using Uber.


The Uber account becomes the new medallion.


No they are complete crap, worse than taxi drivers


You forgot to add Uber drivers stealing cookies from hotels on Lejune Road right across MIA (Miami International Airport). :)


I've recently noticed a huge decline in the quality of Uber drivers. In 2012, when I first started using Uber, most of the drivers were college educated millennials driving a brand new Toyota Prius. They were friendly and nice to have a conversation with while you drove.

Today, the drivers I get on UberX are almost universally bad. You get a 10 year old vehicle that is poorly maintained and unsafe (last couple rides have been a 2006 Ford Escape and a 2005 Chevy Bronco; both had bad tires and suspension and numerous dashboard warning lights lit). The drivers are immigrants with very poor english, who didn't have an EZ Pass for the tolls, and most likely were borrowing their friend or family member's car.

Unless I really have to now, I'm avoiding Uber and driving myself to the airport. Uber has proven they don't care about passenger safety, and only care about profits.


>In 2012, when I first started using Uber, most of the drivers were college educated millennials driving a brand new Toyota Prius.

Surely that's a historical oddity courtesy of the economy at the time.


> when I first started using Uber, most of the drivers were college educated millennials driving a brand new Toyota Prius

To pick on one point, I don't see educated people or millennials as likely to be better drivers.


I don't see educated people or millennials as likely to be better drivers

Maybe not, but they are people who have options, and if they pick "driving for Uber" as their best option, we can assume that the conditions are pretty good, vs people for whom this is the only "job" they can get.


> Unless I really have to now, I'm avoiding Uber and driving myself to the airport. Uber has proven they don't care about passenger safety, and only care about profits.

You do that. Me and the tens of thousands other riders will continue to use Uber for airport trips despite owning a car. I just wanted to counter your antecdote with mine.


> Uber sent emails to driver training them on avoiding detection (e.g. When at airport take down phone; have drivers sit up front; etc...).

This is literally my interaction with Uber drivers in Jordan. Originally just a convenience (available on demand, and that I don't speak Arabic), I've started getting nervous when using Uber because they aren't licensed in Jordan and drivers always have the discussion with me about sitting up front, telling the police that "we met in English class", etc.


If I wanted to sit up front. I would either drive myself or ask a friend. I am paying for a taxi :P




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