The growing popularity of on-demand taxi services like Uber and Lyft is revolutionizing the way people get around in many cities. Early data is starting to show that in the long term, they could lead to a fundamental change in the whole industry. The first steps of this transformation are already being felt on the streets of New York.
Green transportation issues were not at the top of this year's midterm elections in the US, but the sweeping Republican victories – and probably new Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell – could affect at least some aspects of how we get around without using as many resources as we used to.
In just a few years, on-demand ride services like Uber and Lyft have gone from practically nonexistent to a major presence in many cities around the world. While this change has caused consternation among governments and traditional taxi drivers, there's no doubt that the apps have had a huge effect on how many people get around. Now, researchers are trying to investigate what effect they might play on traffic congestion, and so far the results are bit cloudy.
The ongoing war of dominance in the mobile ridesharing industry between rival services Uber and Lyft (identified by its cars' pink mustaches) is showing no signs of stopping. One recent report based on Lyft data accused Uber's contractors of booking and canceling 5,560 rides since October 2013. New information is showing just how far Uber is willing to go to add to its roster of drivers, as well.
Mobile taxi service Uber has exploded in popularity recently, with major investments from Google and even partnering with the latest Transformers movie, but the meteoric rise has been tempered with controversy. In Europe and Asia, the app has sparked protests and has been legislated against to make it harder to use. The company's business practices are now falling under the microscope again, but this time it isn't coming from the old guard rallying against the upstart; instead competing ride on-
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Curious to see how the Formula E car swap goes down? During each hour-long race (or ePrix, as the series calls them), drivers have to make a pit stop to switch cars as the battery runs down. Of course, they want to do it as quickly as possible. It's kind of a tricky dance extricating oneself from the cockpit of one car and slipping into the seat of another facing the opposite direction. See the maneuver in the video below and read more at Jalopnik.
Those not-a-taxi ridesharing services are facing all sorts of difficulties, from union challenges to unfriendly local laws. Of course, they're also enjoyed by thousands of people around the world and have support from other union groups, so you're forgiven if you can't keep straight who's in favor of what on the issue. One thing is certain, though, France might soon be a completely anti-ridesharing country.
Friday was supposed to be the launch of taxi-rivaling, ride-sharing service Lyft in one of the cab's most iconic cities – New York. But with just a few hours to go before kickoff, Lyft's launch in the Big Apple was put off after due to legal battles with the state and city.
Perhaps you've seen Nissan's latest commercial, promoting the Sentra. It's a fairly simple little spot, showing the compact's driver blaring Billy Idol's Mony Mony, singing along and encouraging other motorists to join in.
It was just two weeks ago that the Teamsters issued a statement supporting European taxi drivers in their protest against those newfangled rideshare drivers who use the Uber app. But in Los Angeles this week, Teamsters stood with Uber drivers. What's going on here?
Hailo offices in the UK were vandalized with 'scabs' graffiti
If you were curious about how taxi drivers around the US feel about the rise of the private ridesharing mob, look no further than The New York Times. The newspaper of record is reporting that American taxi drivers are starting to talk seriously about forming a national taxi driver's union.
Lyft, Uber and other peer-to-peer ride-sharing start-ups are looking pretty hapless in Seattle. That's because the Emerald City is imposing driver limits on each service in a move that the companies say is geared to protect legacy taxicab companies, Techcrunch reports. In short, the city council said there could be no more than 150 drivers at a time for each service.
Uber and authorities in France are heading for a bit of a fight following new laws in the country requiring that car services need to wait a minimum of 15 minutes after receiving a pickup request or reservation before they can actually pick up fares. The point of contention here, though, is that licensed cabs aren't subject to the same set of rules, which is striking some as an arbitrary ruling that favors traditional cab operations over car-sharing services.
Happy New Year's Eve! As we're all gearing up to celebrate the dawn of 2014, the team at Autoblog has a very important message for our readers: Don't drink and drive. This is sound advice for the other 364 days of the year, but it's especially important tonight, when everyone and their brother is going to be out partying.
Ice Cube, Kevin Hart and Conan O'Brien get into a stranger's car. This isn't a setup for a joke, it's the premise of a video from O'Brien's TV show, which sees the late-night host paired with comedian Hart and rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube to test out Lyft, an increasingly popular ride-sharing service. For those that have yet to experience it, Lyft basically allows drivers to use their personal cars as cabs, shuttling strangers to and from their destinations, but in a manner that is more relaxed
It is a time for new rules. On top of the EPA's proposed regulations for coal power plants, there are reports out of California that the ridesharing industry will need to sit down and digest a new 76-page rule document. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved ridesharing regulations that will codify the emerging peer-to-peer transportation networks in the state, Techcrunch reports.
More and more, the major car rental companies are in heated competition to become the leading full-service transportation provider. Enterprise Holdings has acquired Zimride, an online ride-matching service. Zimride has more than 350,000 users (drivers, passengers and partners) who have connected with each other for peer-to-peer ridesharing.