Tag Archives: uber

Hertz to Rent Teslas to Uber Drivers

Photo: Hertz

Car rental giant Hertz announced this week a $4 billion deal to  purchase 100,000 electric Tesla vehicles, and said half those cars would be made available to Uber drivers at low rates.

TNC drivers with high ratings and at least 150 Uber trips in some markets will be able to rent the electric vehicles for $344 a week, potentially lowering their costs to drive for the company. Hertz said that price will eventually come down to less than $300. It’s the biggest deal ever for Tesla.

The 50,000 Teslas are expected to be available for Uber drivers by 2023.

Judge Rules California Gig-worker Law Unconstitutional

A judge ruled California’s Proposition 22, which allowed transportation network companies (TNCs) and other companies to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees, unconstitutional last week.

Proposition 22 was voted in last November and  heavily supported by Uber, Lyft, and other companies that rely on gig workers, including Instacart and DoorDash. The law allowed such workers to be classified as contractors as long as some benefits were provided. It will likely remain in effect while appeals are filed and ruled on, saving those companies the expense of hiring their drivers as employees.

Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch said in his ruling that Proposition 22 hinders the state’s ability to set workplace standards and has bearing on other rules, including workers’ compensation regulations.

Read the whole story here.


Tackling TNCs: Curb and Congestion Management in Las Vegas

Car sharing driver showing destination to passengers on smart phone.By Brandy Stanley, CAPP

TNCs are not a new phenomenon, but handling them effectively to reduce the congestion they cause and move people through the downtown core is quite a challenge.

The City of Las Vegas is taking a two-pronged approach to helping TNCs do business downtown:

  • Using large kiosks with visual cues to help TNC drivers understand where to pick up and drop off passengers and how long they can stay there is proving to be a highly effective strategy for managing precious curb space in busy areas.
  • To get TNCs out of traffic circulation while they wait for the next ride, the city has identified empty parking assets to offer to these drivers.  Providing a place to use the restroom, access WiFi, and rest keeps the drivers happier as well as clearing up the streets.

These two programs have been evolving since prior to COVID and continue to evolve as the city emerges from the pandemic; they involve extensive technology, marketing, stakeholder involvement, and partnerships with the TNCs and local businesses.  There are also plenty of lessons learned and “back to the drawing board” moments, as is often the case when blazing a trail.

Brandy Stanley, CAPP, is parking services manager for the City of Las Vegas. She will present on this topic at the 2021 IPMI Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo, Nov. 29 – Dec. 3, in Tampa, Fla. Click here for details and to register.

TNC Drivers Fear Losing Work with Miami, Austin Autonomous Vehicle Trials

Phone based GPS in a car at night.Transportation network company (TNC) drivers in Miami say they fear losing their income when 1,000 autonomous cars are launched as ride-hails later this year.

Argo AI, Ford, and Lyft announced they’d trial the self-driving cars in Miami and Austin this winter. Drivers for Lyft and Uber say they’re concerned the autonomous cars will cut their rides, hours, and paychecks.

Florida has one of the highest-used TNC networks in the country, and drivers there say the autonomous vehicles are hitting their routes many years ahead of when they anticipated. And because a driverless “robotaxi” cuts a driver out of the ride-hail equation, they say they fear perhaps losing those jobs completely as more self-driving cars hit the roads.

Read the whole story here.

California Mandates EVs for TNCs

Close up of a charging electric car.Transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft will need to transition to electric vehicles in California by 2030, the state legislature mandated last week.

The new rules, which say 90 percent of ride-share miles traveled must be in electric vehicles by the start of the new decade, also include provisions to make charging access easy and help ensure the cost of both charging and the vehicles themselves is accessible to drivers.

California recently passed a ban on sales of new gasoline-powered cars in the state that will start in 2035. Uber has committed to going all-electric by 2040 and recently earmarked $800 million to help drivers make the shift.

Read the whole story here.


Lime Pushes for Mobility-as-a-Service Status

Lime, once known for its huge fleet of ubiquitous green bikes, announced it will allow third-party transportation service providers to offer their services inside its app, growing from a bike and scooter booking service to a MaaS provider.

Wheels, which offers pedal-free e-bikes, will be the first to join Lime inside its app. Users will be able to find and reserve Wheels bikes and Lime scooters and bikes in the app, with more partners expected later this year. The MaaS platform will launch in Austin, Texas; Miami, Fla.; and Seattle, Wash. in the U.S., and Berlin, Germany in Europe. Lime scooters are already part of the Uber app, along with other modes of transportation, in a similar evolution.

Read more here.

San Diego Restaurants Jump Into TNCs’ Battle About Driver Employment Status

tables at an outside cafe in San Diego.Saying their already-struggling businesses could be decimated if Uber and Lyft leave California, restaurant owners in San Diego have jumped into the legal battle around TNCs’ driver status. Even though ride-share demand is low now, they say, many eateries depend on the services bringing customers to them.

Restaurant owners also worry that the end of Uber and Lyft in the state could spell disaster for services such as Uber Eats, which deliver takeout food on-demand. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Uber Eats has become more profitable than Uber’s ride-share arm, and does record amounts of business.

San Diego restaurant owners and employees recently rallied in support of drivers who want to continue working as contractors; at stake is a court case that might force TNCs to make drivers employees, which the companies say would be too expensive and restrictive.

Read the story here.

Court Upholds Phoenix Airport TNC Pick-up and Drop-off Fees

sign for ride-share pickup and dropoff at an airportThe Arizona Supreme Court upheld a $4 pick-up and drop-off fee for transportation network companies (TNCs) at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport late last week. TNCs had argued the fees were unconstitutional, while the airport said they would help distribute COVID-19 recovery costs between all businesses at the airport.

The airport had charged a $2.66 fee for pickups but no fee for dropoffs. Arizona’s attorney general argued the fee violated a 2018 constitutional amendment by placing a new fee on an existing service. The court did not issue an explanation with its ruling but the fight isn’t over: Legislation has been introduced that would block the fee increases. The legislative session is paused during the COVID-19 outbreak, but the topic is likely to see more attention when lawmakers reconvene. Read the whole story here.

Study: TNCs Generate More Pollution Than the Trips They Displace

OnUber Lyft Ride Sharee argument in favor of TNCs such as Uber and Lyft is that they can take privately-owned cars off the road. But a new study says the vehicles actually generate more pollution than they replace.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy organization focusing on environmental and social challenges, says they found TNC trips generated 69 percent more pollution than the trips they displace; those trips, the group says, are frequently transit, walking, or micro-mobility.

“For ride-hailing to contribute to better climate and congestion outcomes, trips must be pooled and electric, displace single-occupancy car trips more often, and encourage low-emissions modes such as mass transit, biking, and walking,” the group says.

Lyft called the report “misleading” and said they encourage shared rides and deploying electric vehicles. Read the whole story here.

Parking Demand Down Due to Ride-Share at Atlanta Airport

airport parking signOfficials at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport say parking demand is down so much that a planned garage expansion is no longer necessary, and they say ride-share is behind the drop.

So many passengers are using Uber and Lyft to get to and from the airport that plans to double the size of its parking garages have been scrapped. Instead, the existing garages will be renovated to stretch their lifespan by 10 to 15 years.

Hartsfield-Jackson has the most passenger volume of any airport in the world; 110.5 million people went through it last year. Read the whole story here.