Uber experimented with a special one-day offer in San Francisco where participants had only to request a wedding, drop a pin where they wanted it to take place, and wait for a driver to show up with a retinue consisting of an on-site notary, scripted vows, a violinist, cake, and champagne.
As transportation network company (TNC) controversies sweep the U.S., Uber is going on the offensive with big money and lots of charm as its app-friendly service encounters regulatory realities.
In a round-up of this week's Uber- and TNC-related headlines, it was all about LUV:
BIG LUV: Alas, there is a cheaper and less classy way to wed than a drunken night in Vegas. Leave it to Uber to come up with an on-demand wedding service that allows couples to get hitched via a smartphone app. SFWeekly blog article here
GROUP LUV: A groundswell of grassroots support for the rideshare companies that have changed the game in urban travel is growing, pressuring officials in Virginia to allow the companies to compete. Watchdog.org article here
SHAKY LUV: To regulate or not to regulate? That’s merely a starter question for state and local governments. Insurance and safety concerns are issues they are grappling with, as well. Insurance Journal article here
CHEAP LUV: Local 2 Investigates took a taxi from the Galleria area to downtown on a recent weekend. The cost for the taxi was $30.66. The return trip with Uber cost $19.62. Click2Houston.com article and video here
SUBURBAN LUV: Uber is trying to make its business model work in the less densely populated suburbs. The car-service network started operating in the north New Jersey environs about six months ago. It is recruiting drivers on craigslist and luring passengers, mainly by word-of-mouth. ColumbusCEO.com article here
CHEATING LUV: Four drivers are having to pay to get their rides back after allegedly breaking Austin’s permitting rules this weekend. AND, a number of UberX drivers without a specific decal on their cars were cited this week by police at LAX and had their cars impounded. KXAN.com article here / KTLA.com article here
In a rider contest last year, Uber in Boston offered a grand prize that included a night out in an Uber car, a table at one of the city’s hottest clubs courtesy of Tablelist, and a night at the chicest hotel in Boston, the XV Beacon Hotel.
LUV IS A BATTLEFIELD: The ride-sharing firm is an outlaw in many cities. So it’s launched a full-blown campaign—with consultants, lobbyists, and a ‘grassroots’ organization—to make itself Kosher. Daily Beast article here
NO LUV: While many of Uber and Lyft’s legal battles have been initiated by the taxi industry, a lawsuit filed in Texas earlier this month accuses both firms of poorly serving a far more sympathetic community: the disabled. NextCity.org article here
-- Compiled by LCT editor Martin Romjue