Something you may have missed about ride-hailing

Especially bottom-up, COOPERATIVE ride-hailing.

Something you may have missed about ride-hailing /img/cabs-no-uber.jpg
Infantilization, Google Doodle-style


Uber, Lyft, and in general any corporate owned, for-profit-only ride-hailing/ride sharing platform exploit drivers in several ways, and can even increase traffic, rather than decreasing it.

This is why many people say “let’s replace them with digital platforms owned by cooperatives of drivers!”. But there are a few problems with that idea, that this January 2020 post really nails down. Here is a synthesis, please do read the full original post for details.

Replacing Lyft or Uber with a co-op version is neither possible nor desirable.

The primary reason why a co-op version of Uber/Lyft is not possible comes from the simple fact that they are global: it would be difficult to have a meaningful democratic control and economic participation through multiple languages, cultures, and nationalities.

Besides, services like Uber and Lyft exist more as research labs for their investors [than to at least break even, which is vital] for a driver-owned platform.

Secondly, a key part of the Uber/Lyft plan works on ignoring liability insurance, [while using…] a phalanx of lawyers, lobbyists, and a mountain of cash to change laws and fight lawsuits.

As to why [any] platform co-op model shouldn’t “re-create Uber”, the first act of this company, and others like it, [is to] effectively red line the ridership based on their ability to own a smartphone, access to either a credit or debit card, and physical abilities.

[The same] platform driver model allows a driver with no ties to the community to swoop in and cherry pick rides during peak events.

Together, these “features” eliminate a huge percentage of people who need curb to curb transportation. Co-ops, instead, should be responsible to their communities, and [care for others].

Simple, simply said. What do you think?

(This post was drafted in March 2020, but only put online in August, because… my coronavirus reports, of course