Folks, you have to be in the game to see all the play. Do you think Uber is going to allow driver tipping when the pending class action Court cases come back saying that Uber should allow tipping? Uber is ahead of the game on this situation. Currently in almost every City/State in which we serve there is legislation being written into law that makes it illegal for Ride-Hail drivers to accept cash from Riders for any reason. So, when the Courts come back with their decision that Uber drivers can accept tips, it will be illegal to do so until Uber modifies their Application to include tipping . . . Don’t hold your breath because you will have to wait a very long time before you’ll see the day Uber allows tipping through their app.
So what is Uber’s deal on regulation that Government is trying to require compliance with? Uber’s denial of regulation has absolutely nothing to do with regulation. The possible costs are not the issue either. The entire issue for their opposing regulation is the UberX driver. The UberX driver is a disposable commodity as far as Uber is concerned. It matters not that the drivers are the only income producing faction of Uber, Uber wants to keep the UberX driver a disposable commodity. What this means is without regulation Uber is able to hire and fire UberX drivers at will without fear of ever being short handed drivers. Look at your market area. Uber has flooded the streets with under paid drivers to such a degree that half of the fleet is brand new almost daily.
As a disposable commodity the drivers cost Uber very little. Without any investment into the driver, Uber makes nothing but profit from the drivers efforts, while the driver earns less than minimum wage and can be replaced easily. But, the moment regulation creates a need for specific compliance for the driver, the driver is no longer a disposable commodity but an invested commodity. In other words, if Uber or the driver have to purchase vehicle permits or specific things like fingerprint backgrounds or drug testing, the money and time involved to be in compliance will lessen the amount of applicants for the driver position, meaning that Uber will have to work with the drivers they have instead of treating the drivers as poorly as they do now.
Uber would rather spend millions of dollars challenging everything in the Courts, being penalized, and/or breaking the local laws in every market we serve just so they can have the a revolving door for drivers. Presently Uber employs over 300,000 drivers as Independent Contractors bound by a contract that has never been allowed negotiation or even challenged if legal because Uber wants the revolving door to provide them the opportunity to take advantage of the drivers, mislead the community, and lie to the government about how wonderful Uber is while Uber makes everyone else liable for any acts committed by Uber. Isn’t this the peak of corporate responsibility?
Uber should be regulated as Taxi’s and Limousines are by compliance with the Public Utilities Commission requirements for fingerprint backgrounds, drug testing, and other safety requirements. Uber vehicles should then be issued a PUC Authority TCP number to affix to their cars showing such authority. It is that simple, To play the game, you pay your dues. I guarantee you that the costs for compliance in this situation are far less than the costs spent trying to avoid compliance.
Compliance with local government to acquire PUC authority also would solve another pressing issue, insurance. Presently Uber drivers are using their own personal insurance policies in combination with Uber’s commercial policy, and soon the “GAP” insurance policy will have to be obtained also. The present GAP insurance policy does nothing to protect the driver nor his car. The need for coverage by Uber’s policy and the need for the GAP policy are eliminated by use of the PUC Authority as with such authority the driver can then purchase a “commercial” policy which will provide the required insurance. Commercial Insurance is quite expensive, but probably no more costly than the drivers current personal policy combined with the cost of the GAP Policy. As the driver would be responsible for the commercial insurance policy, I would suggest that the $1.00 per Rider, Rider Safety Fee be diverted to the driver to supplement his insurance costs.
Do you see how the driver goes from disposable to invested commodity? Invested commodity means Uber has to pay the driver real earnings. WE NEED REGULATION! And, we need it now. How many millions of dollars has Travis Kalanick pissed away in legal costs just to not have to consider us an invested commodity? I have news for you Travis . . . I have never been a disposable commodity. I made my investment into being an Uber Partner long ago and have yet to receive compensation for it.
Drivers, you need to join an Association. I would prefer you join the US RIDE-HAIL DRIVER’S ASSOCIATION but you can join any of the many Driver’s Associations so that we can unify our voices so that the TNC’s and our Government can hear us.