Free or Discounted Rides to Polls on Election Day (Nov. 6th) by Uber & Lyft

By Olivia Rizzo of NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

For some people half the battle of voting is getting to the polls, but this year voters can get some relief from a slightly unexpected source: Uber and Lyft.

Both ride share companies are offering free or discounted rides to voters on Nov. 6, and both companies are partnering with voting organizations that encourage people to register and then go out to vote.

free ride to voteAccording to Pew Research, 3 percent of registered voters who did not vote in 2016 cited “transportation problems” as the main reason they didn’t vote. Additionally, 14 percent of people cited that they were “too busy or conflicting schedule,” and “inconvenient hours or polling places,” which are issues that tend to affect low income communities. read more

Uber won’t wait – rolls out driverless vehicles in Pittsburgh this month

Uber self-driving car
Source: Uber

For whatever its reasons: to be seen as a innovation leader … due to bad press when a driver ran a little girl down and her family paid the funeral expenses because neither the driver nor Uber agreed to assume liability … Because the math shows that drivers make a lot less money than they thought they would after car expenses, wear and tear and time are calculated … or because Google and Tesla are hard on the heels of driverless technology revolution …

Whatever the reasons are, Uber is not waiting five years – or even one – to roll out driverless vehicles. Instead, the rollout launches this month in Pittsburgh, PA, with stand-by technicians at the wheels of cars and others taking notes but none} of them are supposed to interact with customers nor drive. Bloomberg provides details: read more

UBER begins operating in Newark legally – and will pay $10M for airport access

Newark Penn Station 2015
Newark Penn Station Source: Wikipedia
Newark, NJ on 27 April 2016 – Mayor Ras J. Baraka, UBER NJ General Manager Ana Mahony and taxi owner/drivers revealed additional details of the preliminary Newark/UBER agreement which was announced last week and signed on Tuesday, 26 April. The enhanced plan assures rider safety, provides revenue to Newark and protects the taxi industry.

This is the first agreement UBER has made with any major city in New Jersey and consists of:

  • UBER drivers may not stand in areas set aside for taxi waiting and will wait at an off-airport dispatch location to receive calls through the UBER app.
  • UBER drivers are prohibited from staying at Newark terminals to receive dispatches.
  • The City of Newark can receive a $3 Million up-front payment as part of the previously announced $10 Million permit fee to be paid by UBER over 10 years specifically for operating at Newark Liberty International Airport.
  • Even if a state-wide law is passed regulating UBER, UBER will remain obligated to pay the $10 million.
  • Newark may audit UBER’s compliance with this agreement annually.
  • UBER will provide $1.5M of commercial liability insurance coverage for all drivers operating on the platform.
  • UBER will conduct background checks on all drivers through a nationally-accredited, third-party provider. These checks will examine county, state and federal records, as well as motor vehicle records, sex offender registries and terror watch lists.
  • UBER will enforce a zero tolerance policy for drug and alcohol use by drivers using the UBER app.

Mayor Baraka said, “My goals have been to protect the safety of UBER riders, to require UBER to pay its fair share including fees and permits under the same kind of regulations as other businesses in Newark, and to create a level playing field for UBER and the Taxi and Limousine Industry. The agreement is fair to all and allows UBER to become a good corporate citizen of Newark. This agreement is good for economic development and job growth in Newark. UBER is an important addition to our city’s rapidly expanding technology sector.” read more

Uber CEO calls it: the GOP objects to Obamacare because it frees workers

Obamacare Facts
http://obamacarefacts.com/
I’ve been waiting for someone with authority to come out and say this. Now Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has, and a New York Magazine reporter expands on the theme: universal healthcare in America is a problem for capitalists (represented by the GOP), because it both frees workers from staying at a job just for the health benefits and it knocks down a barrier to entrepreneurship. Capitalism always need an underclass to exploit but quality universal healthcare will make it harder to exploit workers. The worker that can easily leave a job for better conditions, opportunity or pay is a worker who has negotiating strength and may even have enough money to compete with his boss. read more

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