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Uber, lyft and other taxis

Israeli Taxi App Raises More Than $80 Million on $1.4 Billion Valuation

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Israeli ride-hailing app Gett has raised more than $80 million in its most recent funding round, the company announced on Thursday, with a market valuation of around $1.4 billion.

Gett – which operates most taxis across Israel, along with 120 cities worldwide – is aiming to compete with industry giants like Uber and Lyft in capturing a growing share of the ride-sharing market.

Its biggest markets are Moscow, London and New York – where the company operates under its Juno brand and it has signed up some 45,000 yellow taxis, or more than half of all drivers in the city.

More than half of the company’s business can be found in the latter two cities.

The current funding round saw German automaker Volkswagen as a major investor, along with Access, Baring Vistok and MCI.

The Gett app allows users to order taxis and rides on-demand or reserve a ride for later.

With the rise of the sharing economy and further advances in autonomous driving, ride-hailing is likely to comprise an ever-greater share of transport. Ride-hailing apps now comprise a greater share of rides than taxis in many metropolitan areas.

Gett’s announcement came as market rumors swirled on Thursday that the company is trying to raise $350m. – after failing to raise a larger sum – according to initial reports in financial daily Calcalist.

CEO and co-founder Dave (Shahar) Waiser dismissed that figure in an interview with TechCrunch.

In contrast to the $1.4b.-valued Gett, Uber has a market capitalization of $62b. – and the company has finally turned a profit in the first three months of 2018.

Gett claims that in contrast to its competitors, it only allows the highest-rated drivers – those with 4.8 out of 5 stars and above – to drive.

“At Gett we are on a mission – to build a transportation service loved for its quality,” Waiser said in a statement by the company.

“Taking into consideration our tough selection criteria…

we believe that nearly all the best drivers in NYC already ride with Juno. Gett and Juno are the service providers of choice for high standard passengers and businesses.”

To date, Gett has raised more than $700m. in venture capital funding, including getting a $300m. from Volkswagen in 2016.

Forbes has dubbed the company one of the “top 15 explosively growing companies.”

The company was founded by Weiser and Roi More in 2009, with the company first operating a beta version in Tel Aviv some two years later.

Source: https://www.jpost.com/Jpost-Tech/Israeli-taxi-app-raises-more-than-80-million-on-14-billion-valuation-559419

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Uber, lyft and other taxis

Taxi driver dies after setting himself on fire to protest carpool app

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A South Korean taxi driver set himself on fire and died Monday to protest a carpooling service proposed by a company that operates the country’s most popular chat app.

The 57-year-old driver doused himself in a flammable liquid and then lit his clothing while sitting in a taxi near parliament, police and the fire department said.

Unionized taxi drivers have held rallies in the capital, Seoul, to protest the carpooling app proposed by Kakao Mobility, which they say threatens their jobs.

Kakao Mobility, the transportation service arm of top mobile messenger operator Kakao Corp., said Friday it was testing the carpooling app despite opposition from taxi drivers who want the government to refuse permission for the service.

“We are still in the middle of a tug-of-war against the government to stop the carpool service,” said an official at the Korea National Joint Conference of Taxi Association.

A spokeswoman for Kakao Mobility said the company extended its sympathies to the family of the taxi driver.

“We feel sorry and sad and express our condolences,” the spokeswoman said. She declined further comment.

The transport ministry was not immediately available for comment.

Source: https://nypost.com/2018/12/10/taxi-driver-dies-after-setting-himself-on-fire-to-protest-carpool-app/

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Uber, lyft and other taxis

NY: Uber, Lyft drivers secure $17.22 minimum wage in new TLC rules

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Tens of thousands of drivers with Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing services in the city are set to receive a hefty pay raise.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission’s Board of Commissioners on Tuesday voted to approve the Driver Income and Transparency Rules, which guarantee a minimum hourly wage of $17.22 (after expenses) to more than 80,000 drivers who work for larger app-based companies such as Uber, Lyft, Via and Juno. A higher minimum wage also was set for drivers with wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

The new rules mean 96 percent of ride-hail drivers in the city will get an additional $10,000 in income per year, according to the TLC.

“New York City is the first city globally to recognize that the tens of thousands of men and women who are responsible for providing increasingly popular rides that begin with the touch of a screen deserve to make a livable wage and protection against companies from unilaterally reducing it,” TLC chair Meera Joshi said following the vote. “Convenience costs, and going forward, that cost will no longer be borne by the driver.”

Drivers will be paid based on a per-minute, per-mile minimum trip formula once the rules go into effect, which is expected to happen by mid-January 2019.

Ride-hail companies will be responsible for ensuring drivers are paid appropriately based on the new rules. The TLC also will be making a wage calculator available on its website so that drivers can determine how much their employer should be paying them.

Uber and Lyft on Tuesday warned that the new rules stifle competition in the industry and would result in higher fares for customers while decreasing availability.

“Uber supports efforts to ensure that full-time drivers in NYC — whether driving with taxi, limo or Uber — are able to make a living wage, without harming outer borough riders who have been ignored by yellow taxis and underserved by mass transit,” Uber’s director of public affairs Jason Post said. “The TLC’s implementation of the City Council’s legislation to increase driver earnings will lead to higher than necessary fare increases for riders while missing an opportunity to deal with congestion in Manhattan’s central business district.”

The TLC also did not consider that some companies issue driver incentives and bonuses to ensure reliability and accessibility in areas outside of Manhattan when it came up with the new wage formula, according to Post.

Describing the rules as a “step backward for New Yorkers,” Lyft took issue with a loophole in the wage calculator that it said allows companies to petition for their own, lower utilization rate within the formula. The company also argued against an “eleventh-hour” rule addition that sets a different minimum pay rate for trips that take drivers outside of the five boroughs.

“Lyft believes all drivers should earn a livable wage and we are committed to helping drivers reach their goals,” a spokesman for Lyft said Tuesday. “Unfortunately, the TLC’s proposed pay rules will undermine competition by allowing certain companies to pay drivers lower wages, and disincentive drivers from giving rides to and from areas outside Manhattan.”

While ride-hail companies oppose the regulations, the Independent Drivers Guild, representing over 70,000 for-hire vehicle drivers in the city, lauded the decision.

“All workers deserve the protection of a fair, livable wage and we are proud to be setting the new bar for contractor workers’ rights in America,” said Jim Conigliaro Jr., founder of the Independent Drivers Guild.

Via also welcomed the new wage rules on Tuesday.

“As the industry leader in driver earnings in New York City, we are looking forward to working with the TLC on implementing this rule,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Joshi, meanwhile, said that she believes New Yorkers would be willing to pay more and wait a little longer if it meant their drivers are being paid a fair wage.

Source: https://www.masstransitmag.com/misc-mobility/shared-mobility/car-sharing/news/21035557/uber-lyft-drivers-secure-1722-minimum-wage-in-new-tlc-rules

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New York City taxi and rideshare drivers to receive a living wage

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We’ve talked before about how hard it is for folks driving for Lyft and Uber to break even. Things aren’t so hot for cab drivers, either: as ridesharing becomes more prevalent by the day, those who own their own taxi or drive for someone else are finding it harder to make a living. The drop in revenue going into the pockets of New York City Taxi medallion owners has been so extreme that drivers have been forced to work 100-hour weeks just to stay out of the red. Others, feeling that their lives were ruined by mounting debt, out of desperation committed suicide. Today, New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission decided that they’d do something about it.

From Gizmodo:

Today, New York’s City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission approved measures to enact minimum pay requirements for app-based for-hire vehicles (FHV) like Uber, Lyft, and Juno. The new pay structure is set to take effect early in the new year.

The $26.51 per hour gross pay floor (estimated to amount to $17.22 per hour, less expenses) comes after “growing evidence of declining driver pay” was confirmed by a labor study, commissioned by the TLC, which concluded that 85 percent of drivers in NYC were earning less than the local minimum wage of $15 an hour. The new requirements will increase the average driver’s take-home pay by an estimated $9,600 per year.

Advocacy groups like the Independent Driver’s Guild and Amalgamated Transit Union have celebrated the change. “All workers deserve the protection of a fair, livable wage and we are proud to be setting the new bar for contractor workers’ rights in America,” Conigliaro, Jr., founder of IDG, wrote in a press statement.

So of course, rideshare companies are throwing a fit.

According to Gizmodo, Uber thinks it’s fantastic that their drivers will finally be able to make a living wage, but insinuated that the extra cash required to ensure that their employees can afford to eat AND pay the rent would come out of the pockets of those using the rideshare service. Lyft? They’re thrilled that folks can afford to maybe set their kids up at a decent daycare while simultaneously paying all of their bills. But they warn that “the TLC’s proposed pay rules will undermine competition by allowing certain companies to pay drivers lower wages, and disincentive drivers from giving rides to and from areas outside Manhattan.”

Source: https://boingboing.net/2018/12/06/new-york-city-taxi-and-ridesha.html

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