Why cab drivers should love Uber

By Felix Salmon
December 12, 2013

Last month the city of New York raised more than $200 million by auctioning off 200 new taxi medallions — essentially, the right to operate a yellow cab in the city. Some 2,000 such medallions are likely to be sold in all, which means $2 billion of much-needed revenue for New York, if prices remain high. But will they? It’s surprisingly easy to justify a million-dollar price tag for a medallion — but in order to do so, you need to assume that medallion owners’ income will remain constant, in real terms, over time.

Historically, the impressive political power of the medallion owners has helped to keep their income steady. They’re good at keeping the total number of medallions relatively low, and they’re also good at pushing through periodic increases in metered fees. The combination of the two allows them to rent out their medallions to drivers for about $75,000 per year.

That’s a very good deal for the medallion owners, and a much less good deal for the taxi drivers, whose income, says taxi commissioner David Yassky, is “grindingly low” — something less than $150 per day, for a 12-hour shift.

Essentially, every time you take a cab, your money gets split roughly evenly between the driver and the medallion owner. Which means that when a company like Uber comes along, it can offer lower fares to riders and substantially higher income to drivers — a win for everybody except the medallion owners.

The key datapoint came in October, when Uber said in a blog post that when it lowered fares for its UberX product, its drivers’ income actually went up rather than down: in Boston, it rose by 22% per hour, which is a lot of money. The result has been that UberX is now priced near or below prevailing taxi rates in most cities: in Washington DC, for instance, UberX costs 18% less than a taxi. And the drivers of those cars are making significantly more money than they would make if they were driving a cab.

Details on driver income are a bit sketchy, but at least one driver seems to be grossing over $1,000 per day, on good days, while Uber’s own advertising talks about an income of $70,000 per year. If you’re tactically smart as an UberX driver — driving towards hotels when empty, or waiting for a while after dropping a passenger off at the airport in the hope of picking up a fare back — then a six-figure income does not seem to be uncommon. And demand for UberX cars continue to exceed supply: the only reason they’re not even cheaper than they are, in cities like New York, is just that the cheaper they get, the more people want to use them, and Uber just doesn’t have enough cars and drivers right now to meet such demand.

We’ve already reached the point, then, at which it makes sense for almost any taxi driver who doesn’t own his own medallion to give up the rickety old yellow cab, with all of its onerous regulations, and just drive an UberX instead. I’m sure that many have already done so, and that more will follow suit over the course of 2014. And while for the time being there’s probably a big enough pool of cab drivers that new ones can be found to replace the people who have started driving for Uber instead, eventually the medallion owners are going to have to start cutting their drivers a sweeter deal, to prevent them from defecting to the competition.

Back in 1999, Jim Surowiecki proposed that we should deregulate cab fares in New York. That was a bonkers suggestion back then, because in an era of street hails, you need to know how much a cab costs before you hail it. But with the arrival of apps like Uber, we’re getting much the same effect. When you e-hail an Uber, you have just as much of an idea how much it’s going to cost as you do when you hail a cab. And so then the various services can effectively start competing with each other on price and service.

Intuitively, that sounds like a bad thing for drivers, and I understand why cabbies in San Francisco might consider Uber and its ilk to be the enemy. After all, more competition means lower prices, right? And if passenger start using taxi alternatives rather than taxis, that means less income, overall, for the taxi industry.

But in this case, the cab drivers — at least the ones who lease their cabs on a per-shift basis — should think of themselves less as small business owners, selling their services to passengers, and more as valuable employees, selling their services to either taxi-fleet owners or to companies like Uber. Looked at that way, more competition means higher wages, not lower income.

Precisely because taxi fares are highly regulated, cab drivers have historically had almost no bargaining power when it comes to their own income. The fares are set, and even if fares rise, the fleet owners will waste no time in taking advantage of that rise in fares to simply raise the cost of leasing a cab. Especially in New York, where there’s a limited number of medallions, anybody who wants to drive a taxi basically has to just accept whatever deal is offered.

But now they have a choice, which is excellent news — for them, and also for the public as a whole, which clearly loves the ability to easily order cabs from indoors, rather than having to take their chances on the street or on the phone with a dispatch service of dubious reliability and punctuality.

On the other hand, it’s not good news for the owners of the fleets. If they have to pay more to retain their drivers, that’s going to eat into their profits. And in turn, that will mean that they’re in turn willing to pay less for medallions.

That’s fine by me. So long as the price of a medallion stays above zero, the number of taxis on the street will remain constant, and the arguments against Uber — which are based on the idea that taxis will become scarcer — won’t apply. What’s more, the continued existence of all those taxis will ensure that Uber will find it difficult to raise its rates. After all, it has already discovered that demand is much greater when prices are taxi-like than when they’re significantly more expensive than taxis.

But I do think that as UberX catches on, along with its various competitors, the price of a taxi medallion is sure to fall. And that’s especially true in a world of rising interest rates, where medallions are valued on a discounted cash-flow basis. So while both drivers and passengers should embrace the arrival of UberX, if I was a medallion owner, I’d be worried. And I certainly wouldn’t be looking to buy new medallions, at a million bucks a pop.

27 comments

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There is almost zero facts in this blog and there is nothing scientific about it. That’s a shame. There is a story here but it’s far different than what’s been written. I’ll just point out some of the statements made and how preposterous they are. “in Washington DC, for instance, UberX costs 18% less than a taxi. And the drivers of those cars are making significantly more money than they would make if they were driving a cab.” You have seen absolutely no data to verify that. You’re basing this on Uber’s statement. At the same time you claim a NYC taxi driver nets $150 per day. Well that’s a net of over $54k annually. “Uber’s own advertising talks about an income of $70,000 per year.” That’s gross income. Deduct gas alone and you’re netting less than a NYC taxi driver. “at least one driver seems to be grossing over $1,000 per day.” Really? $365k annually? You believe that? It’s mathematically impossible.

I think you maybe spent 10 minutes learning about an industry that is over 100 years old. Your blog is full of cliches and stereotypes and absolutely zeros data. You should be embarrassed. Do a Google search of “Uber class action” and then do a Google search of “history of the taxi”. Work out from there…

Posted by KingOfCabs | Report as abusive

There is almost zero facts in this blog and there is nothing scientific about it. That’s a shame. There is a story here but it’s far different than what’s been written. I’ll just point out some of the statements made and how preposterous they are. “in Washington DC, for instance, UberX costs 18% less than a taxi. And the drivers of those cars are making significantly more money than they would make if they were driving a cab.” You have seen absolutely no data to verify that. You’re basing this on Uber’s statement. At the same time you claim a NYC taxi driver nets $150 per day. Well that’s a net of over $54k annually. “Uber’s own advertising talks about an income of $70,000 per year.” That’s gross income. Deduct gas alone and you’re netting less than a NYC taxi driver. “at least one driver seems to be grossing over $1,000 per day.” Really? $365k annually? You believe that? It’s mathematically impossible.

I think you maybe spent 10 minutes learning about an industry that is over 100 years old. Your blog is full of cliches and stereotypes and absolutely zeros data. You should be embarrassed. Do a Google search of “Uber class action” and then do a Google search of “history of the taxi”. Work out from there…

Posted by KingOfCabs | Report as abusive

It is easy to say that Uber X is cheaper than a taxi, and that drivers make a higher percentage of the fare, but you ignore the economics behind the issue. New York City requires taxicabs to purchase only NEW vehicles of certain approved types. Uber X can put a 15 year old junk heap on the road. Taxis have to have 100/300 insurance. Uber X the minimum 10/20, if anoyone even bothers to check. Taxis are inspected 3 times per year for safety, cleanliness, etc. Uber X never inspects its cars. Taxi drivers are fingerprinted and background checked. If you can fog a mirror when you breath you can drive for Uber X. If the public wants cheaper vehicles and doesnt care about quality of service they should lobby regulators to eliminate restrictions placed on licensed taxicabs. Older cars, cheaper insurance and unlicensed drivers would greatly reduce the expenses to operators, allowing for lower lease fees and more money in the pockets of drivers. But consider this. Would you recommend Uber Pharmaceutical? Where you could get controlled narcotics sent to your gps location in 5 minutes with no licensing or prescriptions? Either way you are putting your life in your hands. Taxicab operators are not asking for a ban on new services, only a level playing field.

Posted by jeanvaljean | Report as abusive

Excelente pagina.
me encantan todos los articulos

Electricistas Madrid,
Electricistas en Madrid

Posted by Jaime1826 | Report as abusive

Hello all,
Why not hear from an actual driver like me?
I have a taxicab license and drove yellow cab for more than 6 years (day and night shifts)
Recently I started to drive for Uber and the annual income is almost the same as I made in Yellow cab. But I have 10 times less stress driving for Uber. I have a Camry hybrid which is close to mint. It doesn’t cost me much to keep it clean or maintain its mechanical parts. TLC Insurance on my car is avg 6500-7000 / yr. (depends on how many tickets I get each yr and other variables)

Here are some pros and cons for both:

Getting a fare: In Uber you sit back relax and the fare is dispatched to you and based on the passenger’s rating you can skip vs in yellow-cab you have to race against at least 4-5 or more cabs to get a fare and you can’t deny pick-up. On a slow day or long weekend driving yellow cab puts your driving license and life at risk because you have to cut across so many lanes w/o breaking laws within seconds to pick up that street hail.

Getting to the destination: In yellow-cab industry there are rarely any vehicles which have a built-in GPS system so you must know the route or check the map. Cellphone map applications are usually giving an estimate of your location, not the exact location. (You can’t be using the cellphone while driving anyway so you might have to pull over multiple times)
In my Uber hybrid I have the GPS built right into my dashboard and it 99.99% accurate about your location.

Getting payment: In a yellow cab there’s a 70(cc)-30(cash) chance that your passenger will with a card or cash. As we all know cash is always good but you carry the risk of getting robbed while walking up the train station or any other location once you are out of your yellow cab. So it might be smart to make a deposit before the end of your shift. Normally passengers tip between 5 to 30% in cabs. On the other hand in Uber all fares are paid with credit card through the app. You have to be lucky if you get a tip in Uber because most passengers assume that it is built it into the fare, it is NOT! Start tipping!

Disputes: In yellow-cabs a passenger could be wrong by TLC almost always finds them innocent and they can get away by making a mess in your car or without paying the driver. There have been cases where a passenger vomited in the cab and the driver had to pay for the clean-up. There have been cases in yellow cabs when a drunk passenger on late Saturday night got away without paying the driver.
In Uber there are very few disputes over getting paid. I can make a complaint about the passenger to Uber if they made a mess in my car and I will get reimbursed. If a drunk passenger decides to walk out on me at the end of the Uber ride, no problem, I can end the trip and get my money instead of chasing him and then get harassment charges against myself. Taxi and Limousine Commission looks at all yellow-cab drivers as suspects even if they’re not.

So if money is all that matter then honestly it doesn’t matter which one you drive because at the end of the day you make almost the same amount of money. With Uber you might be able to make a bit more if you work extra hours (cover both rush hours). I prefer Uber because I don’t have to drive in city streets like a maniac to pick up fares. I can be watching Netflix or coding while getting paid waiting for my Uber passenger who is getting her nails or hair done.

I can list a lot more pros and cons for both and someone will always argue the facts I have.

Safety: For passengers Uber cars are safe as they also go through yearly inspection. Yellow cabs are inspected more often because drivers treat them worse than dirt, driving over potholes @ 60 mph, speeding for 1 block and braking fully etc. In Uber my car doesn’t go through those kind of adventures therefore it doesn’t require an inspection 3 times / yr. Once is enough. Also, Uber cars are equipped with cameras while only several dozen Taxis have cameras.

Posted by psgill | Report as abusive

P.S. Yellow cab drivers pay a ridiculous amount of credit card fees. (3.5%-5%)

Posted by psgill | Report as abusive

You are discussing two issues that are largely unrelated to each other.

The first is whether the medallion regime in New York, and related schemes in other areas, are a good idea.

The answer is clearly that the medallion system in New York needs to be seriously fixed and/or eliminated. (I favor increasing the number of medallions)

The second question is whether we should go with a model like Uber which is dependent on legitimizing unregulated and unlicensed taxis, i.e. “Gypsy Cabs.”

The answer here is an unequivocal “No”.

We have that experiment, and the data, from the London Gypsy cab scene is pretty horrific, with unlicensed taxi drivers being responsible for something like 1/5 of all non acquaintance rape.

Furthermore, there are a whole host of issues related to the deregulation of safety, emissions, and driver extortion that Uber’s business model is also dependent on.

Note also that App based cab hailing could be applied to the existing regime in New York city.

It does not need Uber.

Posted by Matthew_Saroff | Report as abusive

Full ofoutrageous lies! Do your research, Salmon. Yassky lies. New York City Taxi drivers earn between $200 and $500 per shift, That my fishy friend amounts to between 55,000 and 80,000 dollars per year. We have the data if you’re interested.

Posted by grobt | Report as abusive

You are a bunch of ill informed morond. New York Taxi divers rightnow today earn $55.000 to $80,000.00 PER YEAR. wE HAVE THE DATA TO PROVE IT.

Posted by grobt | Report as abusive

There is a big difference between regulation and over-regulation. Over-regulation, politics, cronyism, etc in NYC has pushed the cost of a medallion to $1m – a price that no individual cab driver could ever afford. That was never the intent of the medallion system. Thus the free market has come up with an alternative. Clearly the market wants more choice and a lower price. Clearly drivers are doing just as well if not better on UberX than in a taxi, otherwise they would stop driving. And if anyone thinks that Uber doesn’t vet its drives just as much as a taxi license office, you simply don’t understand. The 1st time there is a national news story where an under-vetted Uber driver commits a major crime, that would be a major blow to Uber, and possibly put them out of business, thus it wont happen for a long time. That and the feedback system kicks bad driver out of the system.

Posted by ChicagoMatt1 | Report as abusive

UberX is dangerous for drivers because its business model has insurance problems. UberX employs private individuals to drive their own cars commercially. But a driver’s personal insurance will NOT cover him if he causes an accident.

UberX drivers could lose everything if they cause an accident.

Posted by DaveSutton | Report as abusive

As someone who’s driven nights for 20 years, I can guarantee grobt that the average driver does not “earn” 55-80k per year, or up to $500 a shift. Love to see that “data.”

Posted by konyc | Report as abusive

http://www.sfweekly.com/2013-12-11/news/ uber-rideshares-taxis-cameras/2/

here is a different take on who benefits from UBERx and Ridesharing – not drivers or passengers if they have an accident

Posted by traveler18 | Report as abusive

No one is ever going to truly know just what transpired in that UberX vehicle between aggrieved passenger James Alva and equally indignant driver Daveea Whitmire. It’s a boozy, high-tech Rashomon, with both men offering utterly contradicting narratives of the ill-fated voyage, wholly exonerating themselves while wholly damning the other.

Alva says his attempts to offer directions for the 0.7-mile voyage from a Castro bar to his Upper Market home launched Whitmire into a racist, homophobic tirade against “dirty Mexican faggots” before the driver twice swatted the iPhone out of Alva’s hands. Whitmire denies this, claiming instead Alva refused to disclose a destination, and belittled him from the start. “He’s an evil dude,” Whitmire says. “I never touched the guy.”

Per Uber’s computer-generated receipt, the entire ride lasted just 2 minutes, 55 seconds.

Both men unloaded their conflicting tales onto the cops shortly after 2 a.m. on Nov. 24. The responding officer generated an incident report that reads like a page-long shrug. It does, however, reveal that Alva informed a 911 dispatcher he’d been “punched in the face,” but admitted to police he hadn’t. That, along with the wildly contradicting narratives, led the cops to take no action. Alva and Whitmire went their separate ways, both fuming, and both clinging to their disparate versions of the truth.

It was not an evening that lived up to Uber’s pledge of “safe, stylish, and convenient” transport.

In just a few short years, Uber, along with its fellow app-based, so-called “rideshare” operations, has eviscerated the taxi industry. San Francisco’s ascendant population has rapidly modified its migratory behavior: Those exiting bars and clubs are now wont to look down and punch on a smartphone rather than look up and hail a cab.
For people who simply desire to get from here to there, this isn’t a bad thing. It’s hard to imagine a business model more ripe for disruption than the taxi: The system manages to compound eons of corruption, inefficiency, cronyism, and caked-on sleaziness with stultifying layers of overarching regulations. Uber et al. have stripped the gears out of the archaic machine; it runs smoothly out of the device in the palm of your hand, a cutting-edge service for a cutting-edge city.

And that’s all well and good. Until something goes wrong. And then you’re on your own.

Once the established components of the livery business have been disposed of, there’s nothing left to put back when the system falls apart. Not that Uber has any desire to do so. It and other companies adamantly disavow responsibility for mishaps befalling those who drive or ride in the cars bearing their imprimatur. Along with the rather fanciful notion that these billion-dollar entities are “rideshares” akin to the grab-a-spot-in-my car-when-I’m-goin’-to-L.A. public service announcements once featured on community radio stations, the industry boilerplate is that rideshares are merely high-tech platforms connecting riders and drivers, floating in an ethereal realm above the legal and regulatory fray.

There is, however, a very low-tech gadget that would have neatly resolved Alva and Whitmire’s intractable recollections. A gadget, in fact, that has been mandated in San Francisco taxis since 2003.

It’s called a camera. But Uber vehicles don’t come equipped with cameras — a decision spawning winners and losers. The winner is Uber.

The losers are everyone else.

It’s difficult to watch a screen split into fourths, with the quadrants displaying an interior shot of a taxi, a view out the front window, a GPS map, and the vehicle’s speed. It’s even more difficult to watch what’s filmed.
Images captured by these taxi cameras and viewed by your humble narrator include family after family rattling around the vehicle during accidents; hot beverages erupting onto sweaters post-impact; or a violent couple exchanging smacks, kicks, and nose-gouges. But the most ghastly footage of all is a little boy darting, with his back to traffic, in front of a cab, sailing through the air, and landing in a heap. Furious family members race into the street. The driver immediately calls 911.

The video in question reveals that the cab was traveling at exactly 25 mph — the speed limit — while the driver was looking forward with both hands placed on the wheel. The boy, who was not seriously injured, all but leaped in front of the car.

A camera costs hundreds of dollars. But legal settlements cost many thousands, and legal judgments can run into the millions.

Along with their app-based kin, Uber vehicles are camera-free zones. Any pedestrian or passenger witnessing a cabbie driving like Steve McQueen or engaging in other undesirable behavior can simply note the taxi’s number and the time of day, call 311, and the digital footage should find its way to a Municipal Transportation Authority inspector. But with Uber and its ilk, it’s your word against theirs.

Simply put: Rashomon.

When asked why Uber vehicles don’t come equipped with cameras, spokesman Andrew Noyes chalks it up to the company not owning the cars or employing the drivers. But when queried if Uber would contract with a third-party car service that didn’t equip its vehicles with seat belts, he replies in the negative.
So why not require seat belts and cameras? “I don’t feel comfortable talking about that on the record,” Noyes says. “I don’t want to play that game.” He does say that Uber goes “to great lengths” to ensure the aforementioned “safe, stylish, and convenient” experience.

And that seems to be working pretty damn well. Purported internal documents last week leaked to Valleywag indicate the company is on track to rake in a prodigious $210 million in 2013 — nearly 70 percent more than industry insiders optimistically predicted even earlier this year.

Uber is, to put it mildly, filling a need. And it’s a genius business model: Like a friend with benefits, it reaps all of the fun, while distancing itself from the difficult and complicated elements of life. The company has long denied responsibility for unstylish, legally questionable driver behavior or unsafe, inconvenient accidents. Past accusations of wrongdoing by Uber drivers have spurred convoluted messages; following allegations a Washington, D.C., driver attacked passengers, CEO Travis Kalanick informed the world via e-mail that it’d be ridiculous to “come away thinking we are responsible even when these things do go bad.” Uber’s terms of service explicitly eschew liability with regards to its third-party partner entities, such as the one that owns the Toyota Prius Whitmire was driving.

If Uber sees itself as beyond legal reproach — and all signs indicate it does — it’s hard to conceive of a reason for it to install a safety feature like a camera into its vehicles. If Alva is being truthful, a camera would have confirmed the antisocial and even criminal behavior of an Uber driver. And if Whitmire is being truthful — well, what’s the point of investing dollar one to exonerate a man you’re not legally responsible for?

In Uber’s world, it’s Uber uber alles.

Taxis are nearly as old as
civilization itself — and some of the men operating boats-for-hire on the Nile 4,000 years ago may yet still be on the waiting list to earn their medallions.
The death struggle between “rideshares” and conventional taxis is just the latest iteration of new technology undercutting the establishment. In 1623, London’s aquatic taxi operators bemoaned the coachmen who “rob us of our livings and carry 500 fares from us.” Alas, this was a battle that would sink the boatmen. As the land-based cabbies might have put it, thar be an appe forre thatte.

By 1634, Britain’s King Charles I imposed regulations on the number of cabs rattling through city streets in the name of congestion and safety. The business of determining just who could drive a cab soon descended into an orgy of nepotism and graft. Four centuries down the road, that’s all still happening.

Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, and the rest took a different approach. Instead of onerous regulations and a broken system, they extolled the free market — and no system. And, like gambling, that works great — when you’re winning. Yet passengers soaring through the windshield or treated poorly by a driver might appreciate knowing just who the hell is ultimately responsible. Drivers crunched between dump trucks or blackmailed by inebriated riders might appreciate the longstanding investigation and discipline process undertaken by city officials — whose work resides in the public record.

Uber’s gaudy financial numbers don’t include the 14 bucks it refunded to Alva. And they also won’t include much in the way of payments to Whitmire. After immediately suspending the driver, Noyes last week told us Whitmire was no longer employed by the town-car service partnering with Uber. This news hadn’t reached Whitmire, however. It was left for SF Weekly to inform him. He soon called back, claiming the partner entity (neither he nor Noyes would name it) told him he was, in fact, still on its roster.

Confronted with this information, Noyes admits that, yes, the partner company hadn’t canned Whitmire. But, no matter — the spokesman says Whitmire will never drive for Uber again.

In his brief career as an Uber driver, it’s clear that Whitmire never understood who, exactly, he was working for. But perhaps that was fitting. Why should he know more than anyone else?

Historical material was gleaned from The Taxicab: An Urban Transportation Survivor, by Gorman Gilbert and Robert E. Samuels

http://www.sfweekly.com/2013-12-11/news/ uber-rideshares-taxis-cameras/2/

Posted by traveler18 | Report as abusive

Sorry, Felix; i learned a lot more from the user comments than i did from the article

Posted by mikeverzella | Report as abusive

I’m sure Uber has it’s issues but it has to be an improvement on the Feudal Medallion system. In a microcosm of the larger rentier society of modern America, you have a monied parasite sucking off the economic value earned by the common man. Sure they pay money to the city for the medallion but the city could tax cab drivers directly and the driver would make out better on the deal. This is a false scarcity system meant to benefit these petty lords of yellow cabs. It needs to be torn down.

Posted by anarcurt | Report as abusive

NSA and JNLWD are partnering with Virginia State Police and local police implanting people with biochips. Read “A Note on Uberveillance” by M. G. and Katina Michael. it enables Uberveillance. “In its ultimate form, überveillance has to do with more than automatic identification technologies that we carry with us. It has to do with under-the-skin technology that is embedded in the body, such as microchip implants; it is that which cuts into the flesh – a charagma (mark). Think of it as Big Brother on the inside looking out.” Newport News Police and Virginia State Police had a doctor implant me w/o my knowledge and consent with a biochip. A U. S. Attorney for the NSA/DOJ pretended to be my attorney. It enables torture and thought monitoring. They use it as a sensor and pulse energy projectiles at you. I had a heart attack. It enables voice to skull communication. See LRAD white papers or audio spotlight by Holosonics. Law enforcement believes we will only be safe if they know where we are at all times, what we are doing and what we are thinking! See Safeguards in a World of Ambient Intelligence by Springer page 9. See Mental Health and Terrorism by Amin Gadit. He states, “Of late, there are reports of a new and dreadful invention of weapons of violence that are called Bioelectromagnetic Weapons. According to the description by an Institute of Science in Society, these weapons operate at the speed of light, can kill, torture and enslave without making physical appearance. It further adds that voices and visions, daydreams and nightmares are the most astonishing manifestations of this weapon system, it is also capable of crippling the human subject by limiting his/her normal range of movement, causing acute pain the equivalent of major organ failure or even death and interferes with normal functions of human senses. It can cause difficulty with breathing and induce seizures besides damage to the tissues and organs. Through this form of terrorism, it is possible to persuade subjects that their mind is being read; their intellectual property is being plundered and can even motivate suicide or murder. Pulsed Energy projectiles (PEPs) are another form of weaponry that is used to paralyze a victim with pain. According to Peter Philips, a scientist from USA, circumstances may soon arrive in which anti-war or human right protestors suddenly feel a burning sensation akin to touching a hot skillet over their entire body. Simultaneously they may hear terrifying nauseating screaming, which while not produced externally, fills their brains with overwhelming disruption. This new invention is dreadful addition to the armamentarium of weapons of abuse and torture. Manifestations of the effects of these occult weapons can mimic mental ill health and add further to the misery of the victims.” See Bio Initiative Report 2012. See Forbes and search Brandon Raub. Law enforcement tases citizens into “excited delirium” (see at nij org) to make them act in ways they normally would not. I believe they are directly responsible for the Virginia Tech massacre. There are 3 reasons to have it implanted 1) mental health, 2) criminal record, and 3) infectious disease. If you don’t meet any of those requirements like me, they’ll falsify your records. All the mass shootings are the work of law enforcement. They want to take away your right to bear arms and make America a police state. People aren’t suddenly going crazy, they’re being tortured. I also believe the biochip to be responsible for PTSD. Read Brian Castner’s book “A Long Walk”. I have the same ambiguous pains, twitches, heart attack, night mares, day mares, gurgling, etc. I never served in the war. What do we have in common? The biochip. Suicide is one way to get relief. Virginia’s suicide rate is higher than the national average and the military suicide rate is unacceptable! You can check your upper right buttock, upper right shoulder. They are just under the skin.

Posted by SJmithB | Report as abusive

NSA and JNLWD are partnering with Virginia State Police and local police implanting people with biochips. Read “A Note on Uberveillance” by M. G. and Katina Michael. it enables Uberveillance. “In its ultimate form, überveillance has to do with more than automatic identification technologies that we carry with us. It has to do with under-the-skin technology that is embedded in the body, such as microchip implants; it is that which cuts into the flesh – a charagma (mark). Think of it as Big Brother on the inside looking out.” Newport News Police and Virginia State Police had a doctor implant me w/o my knowledge and consent with a biochip. A U. S. Attorney for the NSA/DOJ pretended to be my attorney. It enables torture and thought monitoring. They use it as a sensor and pulse energy projectiles at you. I had a heart attack. It enables voice to skull communication. See LRAD white papers or audio spotlight by Holosonics. Law enforcement believes we will only be safe if they know where we are at all times, what we are doing and what we are thinking! See Safeguards in a World of Ambient Intelligence by Springer page 9. See Mental Health and Terrorism by Amin Gadit. He states, “Of late, there are reports of a new and dreadful invention of weapons of violence that are called Bioelectromagnetic Weapons. According to the description by an Institute of Science in Society, these weapons operate at the speed of light, can kill, torture and enslave without making physical appearance. It further adds that voices and visions, daydreams and nightmares are the most astonishing manifestations of this weapon system, it is also capable of crippling the human subject by limiting his/her normal range of movement, causing acute pain the equivalent of major organ failure or even death and interferes with normal functions of human senses. It can cause difficulty with breathing and induce seizures besides damage to the tissues and organs. Through this form of terrorism, it is possible to persuade subjects that their mind is being read; their intellectual property is being plundered and can even motivate suicide or murder. Pulsed Energy projectiles (PEPs) are another form of weaponry that is used to paralyze a victim with pain. According to Peter Philips, a scientist from USA, circumstances may soon arrive in which anti-war or human right protestors suddenly feel a burning sensation akin to touching a hot skillet over their entire body. Simultaneously they may hear terrifying nauseating screaming, which while not produced externally, fills their brains with overwhelming disruption. This new invention is dreadful addition to the armamentarium of weapons of abuse and torture. Manifestations of the effects of these occult weapons can mimic mental ill health and add further to the misery of the victims.” See Bio Initiative Report 2012. See Forbes and search Brandon Raub. Law enforcement tases citizens into “excited delirium” (see at nij org) to make them act in ways they normally would not. I believe they are directly responsible for the Virginia Tech massacre. There are 3 reasons to have it implanted 1) mental health, 2) criminal record, and 3) infectious disease. If you don’t meet any of those requirements like me, they’ll falsify your records. All the mass shootings are the work of law enforcement. They want to take away your right to bear arms and make America a police state. People aren’t suddenly going crazy, they’re being tortured. I also believe the biochip to be responsible for PTSD. Read Brian Castner’s book “A Long Walk”. I have the same ambiguous pains, twitches, heart attack, night mares, day mares, gurgling, etc. I never served in the war. What do we have in common? The biochip. Suicide is one way to get relief. Virginia’s suicide rate is higher than the national average and the military suicide rate is unacceptable! You can check your upper right buttock, upper right shoulder. They are just under the skin.

Posted by SJmithB | Report as abusive

is this reason why NYC cab drivers ignore traffic laws and blow off road courtesy. Having driven a cab in the late 70′s,
I find the current driver habits to be disgraceful and the
TLC and NYPD let them get away with it.

Posted by rikfre | Report as abusive

I’ve honestly been really happy with Uber… the car arrived in about 45 seconds last time. FYI: You can use promo code “d69xo” to try it out with a $10 credit.

Posted by MinneapolisGal | Report as abusive

Why is a 7.5% return on investment so great for medallion owners? It seems like the low end of what’s reasonable, and like 1% less would mean it’s not worth it. Sounds like the opinion of some writer who never ran a business, has no idea how risky owning a business is, and thinks money grows on trees.

Posted by rickaroo | Report as abusive

Shut Uber Down
Hire Car System = Not Safe

I drove for Uber for slightly under two months and found, Uber is dangerous for public safety and should be shut down. Here’s why.
THE SYSTEM: You must tap a small icon(s) on the Uber device/phone to accept, cancel, confirm arrival, and more which takes your eyes completely off of the road. All it takes is those few seconds of inattention which easily could cause accidents resulting in death or injuries .
CANCELLING and DRIVING: If you cancel a fare you must answer why you are cancelling via six little icons and that is another distraction. This is frequently done while driving, thus diverting your eyes from the traffic ahead of you. You are oblivious to traffic for those few seconds your looking at your Uber ( first you’ll have to find it because it may of fallen on the floorboard ) device which can easily cause accidents resulting in death or injuries . Even if you, yourself cancels the fare you must proceed with why you are cancelling to the little green icons on your Uber device and doing so is another distraction, period . Frequently while going to the client(s) pick up location ..………. the client cancels the fare for one reason or another . I received the cancellation notice always at night while I was driving and while I was driving my eyes were taken off the road so I could respond to the beeping sound coming from my Uber device . This beeping sound indicates that the client has cancelled the fare .

While driving and getting close to the pickup location you are required to notify the client by again locating your Uber device taking your eyes off of the road and while driving, tapping on the “arriving “ icon. First, locating then tapping your device particularly while driving can be more dangerous then texting .
Furthermore, there is no time limit to driving. Unlike, San Francisco taxi drivers, who are limited to a 10-hour driving period, an Uber driver can drive for 20 hours straight or more. The result is fatigue, which could lead to confusion, falling asleep, hallucinations, dozing off, and considerably more inattentiveness, all of which can cause accidents.
GOOD RATINGS TRUMP SAFETY: Uber drivers are rated after each fare by passenger(s) from one to five, and if your rating drops too low or below 4.6, you are blocked from driving. This causes drivers to do unlawful things in order to maintain a high rating or they will lose their driving privileges.
Among those things are dropping passengers off wherever they request, even if it impedes traffic or causes you to stop abruptly . If you don’t, in most all cases you will receive a low rating by your customer .
DANGEROUS : Being an Uber driver means that you will be subjected to doing unlawful things such as taking eight passengers in your car when there are only four seatbelts. In my case, I got a call to take nine passengers out to, Isla Vista all in my mini van. The weight from ten ( including myself ) would have been dangerous because not only can it make my van harder to handle but the weight itself is enough to cause my tires to rub against the wheel wells of my van creating sparks from stones trapped in the threading which could ignite my fuel tank leading to an explosion killing all passengers that are trapped in my mini van .Because I only took five passengers & not nine the customers were upset and gave me a “ one “ rating .
In an attempt to be reinstated after I was blocked I explained what happened numerous times via emails to my Santa Barbara representatives but I received absolutely no response concluding to me being blocked for obeying the law and what was a safety concern so the rating system actually forces Uber drivers to perform unlawfully dangerous things to maintain a high rating .
VEHICLE ISSUES: No vehicle inspections are required of Uber drivers, meaning that if your car’s brakes are failing or wipers not working, it’s still okay to drive in the rain. Does Uber care that your car is subpar? Probably not. Uber just wants its 20 percent share of your fare and will just claim you’re an independent driver if your involved in an accident and your insurer will deny the claim because you were using the car commercially .
INSURANCE : Insurance companies view driving for Uber as a commercial use and it is illegal to use your vehicle commercially unless you get commercial registration, license plates and commercial insurance. Most Uber drivers do not get commercial plates,registration or the proper insurances, so for many, driving commercially for Uber is technically illegal. Not getting commercial plates, registration and insurance means the loss of millions of dollars for California.
Syed Muzzafar , an Uber driver in San Francisco, killed a little girl, Sofia Liu, age 6, on New Year’s Eve. We don’t know what really happened, but here’s a guy working for pennies on the dollar who managed to make his $300,000 bail for manslaughter. My guess is that Google, which invested $258 million in Uber last August, bailed him out as “hush” money because they don’t want him talking and that he’ll be represented by Google’s attorneys, the finest money can buy, all the while he keeps his mouth shut.
California needs to set precedence for our great state and nation by stopping Uber before another tragedy and more children lives are taken .

Posted by redants | Report as abusive

Shut Uber Down
Hire Car System = Not Safe

I drove for Uber for slightly under two months and found, Uber is dangerous for public safety and should be shut down. Here’s why.
THE SYSTEM: You must tap a small icon(s) on the Uber device/phone to accept, cancel, confirm arrival, and more which takes your eyes completely off of the road. All it takes is those few seconds of inattention which easily could cause accidents resulting in death or injuries .
CANCELLING and DRIVING: If you cancel a fare you must answer why you are cancelling via six little icons and that is another distraction. This is frequently done while driving, thus diverting your eyes from the traffic ahead of you. You are oblivious to traffic for those few seconds your looking at your Uber ( first you’ll have to find it because it may of fallen on the floorboard ) device which can easily cause accidents resulting in death or injuries . Even if you, yourself cancels the fare you must proceed with why you are cancelling to the little green icons on your Uber device and doing so is another distraction, period . Frequently while going to the client(s) pick up location ..………. the client cancels the fare for one reason or another . I received the cancellation notice always at night while I was driving and while I was driving my eyes were taken off the road so I could respond to the beeping sound coming from my Uber device . This beeping sound indicates that the client has cancelled the fare .

While driving and getting close to the pickup location you are required to notify the client by again locating your Uber device taking your eyes off of the road and while driving, tapping on the “arriving “ icon. First, locating then tapping your device particularly while driving can be more dangerous then texting .
Furthermore, there is no time limit to driving. Unlike, San Francisco taxi drivers, who are limited to a 10-hour driving period, an Uber driver can drive for 20 hours straight or more. The result is fatigue, which could lead to confusion, falling asleep, hallucinations, dozing off, and considerably more inattentiveness, all of which can cause accidents.
GOOD RATINGS TRUMP SAFETY: Uber drivers are rated after each fare by passenger(s) from one to five, and if your rating drops too low or below 4.6, you are blocked from driving. This causes drivers to do unlawful things in order to maintain a high rating or they will lose their driving privileges.
Among those things are dropping passengers off wherever they request, even if it impedes traffic or causes you to stop abruptly . If you don’t, in most all cases you will receive a low rating by your customer .
DANGEROUS : Being an Uber driver means that you will be subjected to doing unlawful things such as taking eight passengers in your car when there are only four seatbelts. In my case, I got a call to take nine passengers out to, Isla Vista all in my mini van. The weight from ten ( including myself ) would have been dangerous because not only can it make my van harder to handle but the weight itself is enough to cause my tires to rub against the wheel wells of my van creating sparks from stones trapped in the threading which could ignite my fuel tank leading to an explosion killing all passengers that are trapped in my mini van .Because I only took five passengers & not nine the customers were upset and gave me a “ one “ rating .
In an attempt to be reinstated after I was blocked I explained what happened numerous times via emails to my Santa Barbara representatives but I received absolutely no response concluding to me being blocked for obeying the law and what was a safety concern so the rating system actually forces Uber drivers to perform unlawfully dangerous things to maintain a high rating .
VEHICLE ISSUES: No vehicle inspections are required of Uber drivers, meaning that if your car’s brakes are failing or wipers not working, it’s still okay to drive in the rain. Does Uber care that your car is subpar? Probably not. Uber just wants its 20 percent share of your fare and will just claim you’re an independent driver if your involved in an accident and your insurer will deny the claim because you were using the car commercially .
INSURANCE : Insurance companies view driving for Uber as a commercial use and it is illegal to use your vehicle commercially unless you get commercial registration, license plates and commercial insurance. Most Uber drivers do not get commercial plates,registration or the proper insurances, so for many, driving commercially for Uber is technically illegal. Not getting commercial plates, registration and insurance means the loss of millions of dollars for California.
Syed Muzzafar , an Uber driver in San Francisco, killed a little girl, Sofia Liu, age 6, on New Year’s Eve. We don’t know what really happened, but here’s a guy working for pennies on the dollar who managed to make his $300,000 bail for manslaughter. My guess is that Google, which invested $258 million in Uber last August, bailed him out as “hush” money because they don’t want him talking and that he’ll be represented by Google’s attorneys, the finest money can buy, all the while he keeps his mouth shut.
California needs to set precedence for our great state and nation by stopping Uber before another tragedy and more children lives are taken .

Posted by redants | Report as abusive

So cabbies know how to copy and paste the same comment over and over at least.

http://goo.gl/VCCB3R

Posted by indifferents | Report as abusive

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