Logan Green and John Zimmer, the co-founders of Lyft, have an idea for ending traffic, but you may not like it. They published an op-ed today on Medium called “The End of Traffic,” in which they propose encouraging more people to carpool by charging a fee to those who don’t. According to Green and Zimmer, the federal government should provide grants to cities to reclassify specific streets and highways as “smart lanes,” in which people with three or more occupants in their vehicle could drive for free, while everyone else would have to pay a toll. Those tolls could in turn be used to pay for the major infrastructure improvements that the nation sorely needs. In other words, the Lyft co-founders propose combining two well-worn traffic reduction theories — HOV lanes and congestion pricing — into one in order to combat the growing scourge of gridlock. Most HOV lanes in the US allow drivers with just one passenger. And congestion pricing has … [Read more...] about Lyft envisions a future where you either carpool or pay to drive
Lyft account on hold
A bizarre security flaw involving recycled phone numbers is allowing some users of the taxi-hailing app Lyft to access other riders’ accounts, exposing names, e-mail addresses, complete ride histories, and credit card information. The bug was brought to Ars’ attention by a Lyft user named Felix, who says he signed up for the service for the first time earlier this month. He went through the normal registration process, entering his name, e-mail, credit card, and a new phone number, which was recently assigned to him by T-Mobile. But Felix realized something was wrong when drivers kept addressing him by someone else’s name—a woman’s name he didn’t recognize. At first, he brushed it off. “I was like, uhh no, it’s Felix. But whatever, you’re here,” he told Ars, recalling some confused moments during his first week using the ridesharing service. When it kept happening, he decided to investigate, so he opened the app’s … [Read more...] about When phone verification and recycled numbers collide, Lyft leaks user data
U.S. A self-proclaimed supporter of President Donald Trump was fired from his job at CityMD after a video of him berating his Lyft driver over an alleged disagreement over music went viral. Shawn Pepas Lettman, a driver for Lyft, posted a 16-minute video of the incident, which occurred in New York City, on Facebook. Lettman began recording after the initial argument occurred; he had already pulled over to the side of the road. When the video began, the passenger, identified as Robert Ortiz, was sitting in the back seat with two other men as he spoke with an emergency dispatcher on the phone. Throughout the video, Ortiz stated that he was being charged $8.01 and had no plans of leaving until the situation was resolved. “I feel racially profiled ... because I’m not black,” Ortiz told the dispatcher. “I don’t want to hang up with you for my safety.” After a few minutes, the two other men in the car asked if Lettman refused to change the … [Read more...] about Trump Supporter Fired From Job After Video of Him Berating Black Lyft Driver Goes Viral
Uber and Lyft took on New York City once again, and this time they lost. The New York City Council voted today to pass a package of bills that would, among other things, instate a 12-month pause on adding new ride-hail cars while the city studies the companies’ effects on congestion and driver wages. Uber and Lyft have warned users that this may lead to higher prices and longer wait times for rides. “These sweeping cuts to transportation will bring New Yorkers back to an era of struggling to get a ride, particularly for communities of color and in the outer boroughs,” Lyft VP of Public Policy Joseph Okpaku said in a statement. This is hardly the end of the world for either company, or for their local competitor, Via; the bills leave a reasonable amount of wiggle room for each to continue to grow. For example, they can apply for more vehicle licenses if they can show that service in underserved areas has been diminished. They can also add more wheelchair-accessible … [Read more...] about Uber and Lyft will survive NYC’s new ride-hail cap — but the precedent is the real problem
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