Lyft Plans to Expand to 100 More US Cities in 2017 [The Verge]

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Harry right here.  Lyft has been in the information so much the previous couple weeks, with huge outcomes from our survey, fare cuts/will increase and now this newest enlargement announcement.  I feel extra competitors is an effective factor although, and I hope to see Lyft proceed to do properly and broaden.  Today, senior RSG contributor John Ince takes a take a look at Lyft’s enlargement plans, a well-researched story on Uber and Lyft drivers who sleep in their automobiles and the controversial appointment of Travis Kalanick to function an advisor for the Trump administration.

In this round up, John Ince covers Lyft's expansion plans, drivers who live out of their cars, and Uber CEO's relationship to Pres Trump.

Lyft plans to broaden to 100 extra US cities in 2017 [The Verge]

Sum and Substance: Lyft will launch its service in 100 further cities in the US in 2017, in accordance to Business Insider. The main enlargement, which was confirmed by a spokesperson, will convey the full variety of US cities served by Lyft up to 300 by the top of the yr The enlargement will start immediately, with Lyft including 40 cities to its map on Thursday. The remaining 60 cities might be introduced later this yr. Lyft says that it at present covers 55 % of the US inhabitants, or 177 million individuals, and that by the top of the yr, that protection will improve to 72 % of the inhabitants, or 231 million individuals. “We are building on the momentum of an awesome 2016 and will accelerate our launch pace over the next several months,” stated Jaime Raczka, head of early stage markets and enlargement, in a press release. “There is a lot of excitement from both passengers and drivers as Lyft expands into these new markets.”

… That stated, Lyft has a great distance to go to meet up with Uber, which is on the market in over 560 cities across the globe. So far, Lyft has remained inside the US, nevertheless it appears possible the corporate will search to increase into different nations quickly sufficient. The firm shaped an anti-Uber alliance with a handful of Asian ride-hailing corporations, although the standing of that alliance is unclear since Uber bought its Chinese enterprise to one of many members, Didi Chuxing.

Lyft’s home enlargement comes because the ride-hailing startup implement a modest worth minimize in its metropolis of origin, San Francisco. According to a “competitive strategy update” message obtained by The Verge, Lyft stated it might be decreasing costs by lower than 2 % thanks to “slower winter months” and “competition offering lower prices.” (The validity of the latter cause is just a little unclear, as Uber has damaged with custom this yr by abandoning its annual worth cuts, in accordance to Quartz.)

My Take:  Although some have written off Lyft as a critical Uber competitor, this newest enlargement to 100 cities could possibly be aimed toward difficult their greater rival.  Is this a determined transfer or does Lyft have the assets to broaden?  One can definitely see the logic.

Harry’s study on driver satisfaction clearly signifies Lyft has a stronger model than Uber in the driving force group.  Uber’s $69 billion valuation dwarfs Lyft’s market worth largely as a result of Uber is seen as extra dominant in extra locations.  If ridesharing really is an business that exhibits community results (which I query) then it is sensible for Lyft to increase its footprint.  But if neither firm can show that its enterprise mannequin works, then increasing will simply improve losses.

As I’ve stated earlier than on this weblog: deep pockets will probably decide the winner in this area. If Lyft can parlay its enlargement into one other funding spherical (hopefully at a better valuation), then this can have been a great transfer. If not, it might be Lyft’s final, determined gasp for air.

When Their Shifts End, Uber Drivers Set Up Camp in Parking Lots Across the U.S. [Bloomberg]

Sum and Substance: In the 1970s, the Safeway grocery retailer in San Francisco’s gleaming Marina neighborhood, referred to as the Social Safeway, was a cornerstone of the pre-Tinder courting scene. Armistead Maupin made it well-known in his 1978 e-book, Tales of the City, calling it “the hottest spot in town” to meet individuals. For years afterward, locals referred to as it the “Singles Safeway” or the “Dateway.” 

Forty years later, German Tugas, a 42-year-old Uber driver, received to realize it for an additional cause: Its parking zone was a protected spot to sleep in his automotive. Tugas drives over 70 hours every week in San Francisco, the place the work is steadier and fares are larger than in his hometown, Sacramento. So each Monday morning, Tugas leaves at four a.m., says goodbye to his spouse and 4 daughters, drives 90 miles to the town, and lugs round passengers till he earns $300 or will get too drained to maintain going. (Most days he nets $230 after bills like fuel.) Then, he and no less than a half dozen different Uber drivers gathered in the Social Safeway parking zone to sleep in their automobiles earlier than one other lengthy day of driving.

“That’s the sacrifice,” he stated in May, smoking a cigarette beside his Toyota Prius parked on the Safeway at 1 a.m., the boats in the bay bobbing gently in the background. “My goal is to get a house somewhere closer, so that I don’t have to do this every day.” 

The overwhelming majority of Uber’s full-time drivers return house to their beds on the finish of a day’s work. But everywhere in the nation, there are numerous who don’t. These drivers reside close to, however not in, costly cities the place they will faucet larger fares, ferrying wealthier, white-collar staff to their jobs and out to dinner—however the place they will’t make sufficient cash to get by, even with longer hours. To maximize their time, drivers discover grocery store parking tons, airports and hostels the place they catch a number of hours of sleep after taking riders house from bars and earlier than beginning the morning commute….

My Take:  One may anticipate to see an article like this in a progressive weblog or liberal web site, however once you learn this on Bloomberg, it means the plight of the Uber / Lyft driver has made it into the mainstream consciousness.

The article is well-researched and well-constructed.  The writer provides a compassionate really feel for the actual world challenges of being a rideshare driver and discreetly attracts a distinction between the state of affairs of Uber execs/buyers  who’ve seen their internet value soar to stratesophic ranges, whereas a number of the drivers who make all of it potential are sleeping in their automobiles at night time.

What’s improper with this image? Publicly, Uber has gone into overdrive to stem the tide of driver opinion towards them.  They’ve declared 2017 “The Year of the Driver” and employed a excessive powered exec to make the corporate appear extra driver-friendly. Perhaps Uber lastly understands the significance of drivers to their enterprise mannequin, however till they transfer past beauty gestures, don’t guess on on any substantive strikes to enhance driver’s plight.

Ride-Hailing Drivers Are Slaves to the Surge [The New York Times]

Sum and Substance: Uziel Santos driving in Manhattan. He indicators on to three ride-hailing apps to decide the highest-paying fares that day. Credit Nicole Craine for The New York Times. Every weekday at 5:30 a.m., Uziel Santos, 48, leaves for work. Like most drivers for ride-hailing apps in New York, he’s drawn by early-morning surge costs, and people closest to his house in Astoria, Queens, are on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the place youngsters and fogeys ebook brief, profitable rides to faculty and work.

He concurrently indicators on to Uber, Lyft and Juno, three of probably the most outstanding ride-hailing apps at present working in the town, to decide the highest-paying fares in city that day. Having already memorized the promotions that numerous apps announce originally of every week, Mr. Santos shortly scans for day by day and even hourly surges and determines which app has probably the most worthwhile deal.Uber would deliver him almost twice the fare that a yellow cab would cost on a current morning. 

“It’s like a weather forecast,” Mr. Santos stated. “You learn to predict when people need rides, and where.” Ride-hailing apps established surge costs to lure drivers to areas with extra requests than out there automobiles. Capitalizing on New York’s hypersensitive surge market, drivers use two or three telephones per app, and even supplementary apps like Driver Bar and Uber Partner which are designed to assist them discover the perfect charges provided among the many numerous apps and to sign off apps when accepting rides on others.

My Take:  This article provides a great really feel for the best way actually skilled drivers function.  There’s rather more to this gig than simply turning on the app and passively accepting journey requests as they arrive in.  The driver who’s the topic of this story provides a few of his commerce secrets and techniques about how to display requests to maximize revenue.  It must be required studying for all new drivers.



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