TNCs: Good? Bad? Good? Bad?

Posted on July 18, 2014

The headlines this week surrounding all things TNCs show the app phenomenon to be a bit more complex than the good-bad divide over rules. No one can deny the virtues of app-driven services, yet the revolutionary technology behind it aggravates limo and taxi companies and challenges regulations.

Herewith the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly:

GOOD UBER: On-demand car service and logistics company Uber has retained former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani to conduct an audit on its driver background check process. Business Insider article here

BAD UBER: Despite an announcement July 11 that one of Uber's services "is hitting the streets of Baton Rouge," the ridesharing company is not yet authorized to operate in East Baton Rouge Parish. Business Report article here

GOOD UBER: Philadelphia and Seattle have both seen drunk driving arrests decrease since services like Uber started operations. AOL Autos article here

BAD UBER: The ride-sharing services UberX, Sidecar and Lyft may soon find it almost impossible to operate in Illinois. The Illinois General Assembly recently approved House Bill 4075, the Ridesharing Arrangements and Consumer Protection Act, and sent it to Gov. Pat Quinn to sign. New York Times blog post here

Lyft is especially popular among young people and college students, and advertises heavily on social media. Riders noted that in outlying areas, Lyft cars can be more readily available than taxis, which is why they prefer the service. Buffalo News article here

BAD LYFT: A St. Louis judge has extended a temporary restraining order that bans the ride-sharing service Lyft from operating in the city or St. Louis County. Kansas City Star article here

GOOD UBER: Uber is offering special summer prices in Beirut until Aug. 31. As a part of the startup’s promotion package, the “UberLovesBeirut” promo code will give passengers their first ride for free, up to $20. The Daily Star Lebanon article here

BAD UBER: Uber has made some lofty claims about just how much its drivers can make a year. This particular driver, who has a background in finance, has calculated that he would only make $36,988 driving 40 hours per week net of things like gas and fees. article here

GOOD LYFT: Lyft, the upstart ride-sharing app, could launch in New York City in coming days as a result of an agreement detailed in a Manhattan court on Friday. Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Kathryn Freed, after meeting privately for more than an hour with lawyers for the company, the city and the state, warned Lyft that if it does not satisfy city and state officials on the conditions in coming days, she will issue a temporary restraining order next Friday, blocking Lyft from operating in New York. New York Daily News article here

BAD UBER, BAD LYFT: The same enforcement officer who cited nearly two dozen ride-sharing drivers earlier this year has issued 10 new citations to different drivers, in a sign that the state Public Utility Commission’s Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement continues to crack down on Lyft and Uber in Pittsburgh. Pittsburg h Post-Gazette article here

GOOD UBER: For most Uber drivers, traveling the city without a passenger in the back seat is wasted time. But a bevy of Ubers will be flying across Chicago Friday with a different kind of precious cargo: ice cream.

-- Compiled by LCT editor Martin Romjue

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