Posts by BenWilson

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  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…,

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    As a side note, riders would also appear to have a very different standard as well. Here’s a 3.73 happily still riding.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10093 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…, in reply to goforit,

    Ubers intentions around this it only a way of using there non compliant drivers and as we know they are already using non compilant drivers in the commerical sector.

    The guy used in the link Sacha gave above, who appeared in a televized interview in which Uber announced its amazing carpooling service tells me that he actually never has used the feature to actually commute, despite it having been in place for many months now. All it is is the ability of drivers to set a preferred destination twice a day. The rider still pays full fare, so it's not carpooling at all. The rider is actually unaware of anything different.

    Which is why it won't actually be used for commuting. Commuting during rush hour involves riding during the worst surges of the day - the Uber will be as expensive as a normal taxi. Nice for the driver, who is getting both a trip to somewhere they want to go, and being paid above the odds for it. But not so good for the rider. Which is why it's not getting used.

    Also amusing in the television interview: You can clearly see that the car is non compliant, it doesn't have the necessary stickers in the window, and when he does his staged trip for the camera, the P Endorsement is nowhere in sight.

    But we still get a rare interview with Richard Menzies claiming that this service has big uptake in other cities. Of course it does, it's a feature for the drivers, they might as well have a go. Whether they actually get any real use out of it is unknown. It's been operating here for months anyway, and no driver I know of has found any joy from it. Even the guy in the featured article has told us that. I really don't see this feature saving us from Auckland's transport woes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10093 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: There in half the time:…,

    Definitely seeing a lot more of these on the road, which is great. I e-biked for many years until finally finding I was generally peddle fit enough to just not need it any more. But that's a good thing, a great outcome from the technology, that it got me back on a bike at all. And that was with a very much lesser bike than what Russ is showing off here. Lead acid, brush motor. It was just enough to get me to the city and back and I'm a big guy, back then I'd have been 105kg.

    This was also a second hander, that I picked up for $300. I think I sold it about 4-5 years later - for $300. Net cost to me was electricity and some tyres and brake pads, and I did replace the cog set because I wanted a different ratio setup - I was regularly carrying kids on it. Probably cost me $200 all up for 4-5 years of riding.

    Since then it's been my $700 brand new commuter bike. But I'm not saying that's better, it just works better for me now. These e-bikes are a great solution for getting people who would otherwise not be cycling out there, and that's good for all cyclists.

    Motions Rd??? That's extreme. I doubt I could get all the way up that on my pushbike at all. Not without being absolutely buggered. I did go down it on my electric once, and made my all time top speed on a bicycle, 70km/h.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10093 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…, in reply to goforit,

    Under the new regs the maxium you can earn under this pooling thing with one pax on board will only be 36 cents per Km

    Yup, the concept is not "earning", I think, but "saving'. So the maximum you can save from one passenger is 36c/km. With 3 passengers, presumably you save 56c/km. It costs more than that to run a small passenger vehicle, so it's not earning, it's mitigated loss.

    So if you're doing a 10km trip to the city (and back) every day, you could get maybe $11.20/day back in cost-sharing reimbursement for fully loading your car with other passengers. Since it's saving, I presume there is no tax to pay.

    So given an hour commuting daily, you can "make" $11.20/hour for the trouble of picking up and dropping off 3-6 people (they might be different people on the way home) all of whom have to be in your car for an hour. Quite possibly complete random strangers. Presumably they will rate you on your service. For them, the commute will also cost $11.20, which is incredibly cheap for a door to door service giving them 20km of riding. You'd think they'd automatically give you a high rating. But, of course, the Uber experience tells us otherwise. In fact, they would judge you arbitrarily harshly, possibly even more harshly than they would judge someone getting "paid" a lot more for the same thing.

    I'm not counting all the ticket clipping for Uber in this. There never ever has been any justification for them taking a percentage of driver fares, since longer rides cost them nothing more than shorter ones. But if they're the only people in the market, they can (and will) rip it as hard as they can get away with.

    Hopefully they won't be the only ones in the market, though.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10093 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    It's competing with a bus. Gut feeling is that the numbers don't stack up. Yes it would be great for the owner of the car, but none of the other passengers. They would have to charge a lot less to outcompete a bus service.

    I'd guess similar economics are part of why carpooling doesn't already trump buses. But we'll see.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10093 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…,

    I don't quite follow how the guy in the article fits into the cost recovery model, though. Presumably he was actually getting paid for the rides at the normal rate - I'm not aware of any deal that Uber offers the trip at a carpool rate yet. Otherwise the downsides of carpooling for the non-drivers could be expected.

    So he was getting regular Uber rides from people during rush hour who inexplicably took a full price Uber at the time when it surges the hardest, and goes the slowest, when it's the most difficult to get to passengers. You could fully expect to have to go backwards away from the city to pick up passengers.

    Also he presumably has to sit there accepting trips that aren't to his destination in the morning, otherwise his rating will go through the floor and he'll get cut off. Also, if the passenger actually doesn't want to go to his destination, that's too bad. They changed their mind and want to go to the bus station - that's too bad for him. They didn't like his banter, downrated!

    Also, there's no way someone paid the full compliance costs just to do commuter cost sharing on the regular Uber platform. So he probably doesn't realize that if he Ubers in the evening he's also probably breaking the driving work time laws. But one would need to keep a log book to even realize that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10093 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…, in reply to goforit,

    Now who in the hell is going drive there car around just to recover the costs only.

    People who are genuinely carpooling, I guess. I can't see an issue with this service. This one is a good thing. It's not even against the law. I don't think it actually was before either.

    It's basically not the same market as Uber driving, as it currently is in NZ. They seem to be using Uber drivers, but I presume that is just as a pilot.

    I'm pretty sure they've had this feature in place for several months. It didn't work very well, IIRC, but it's something. Drivers could use it to get home from shifts.

    But there's no reason that people who aren't the current kind of Uber driver shouldn't be able to do this. We'll see how popular it is. It might be a good thing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10093 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Apple and the…, in reply to andin,

    I had a waterproof phone last year, the Sony Xperia. Of course when it comes to actually putting it in the water, at $800 for the phone that says water damage voids the warranty, I was never going to risk it, and kept it in a waterproof bag anyway. Under those conditions, I could certainly have found a possible use for my expensive wireless headset. But actually, I just never did. Usually, at those times, I preferred the sounds of nature.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10093 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…, in reply to goforit,

    Yup, I've never got the impression that he actually knows how it works at all, nor what the law is. I think this process is just moving around him. Maybe he's playing a deeper game. Who can say, really? Who cares, even? The bill contains the important seeds of a saner approach to app driving, whether the Minister has his head screwed on or just plays golf with Uber all day.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10093 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…, in reply to goforit,

    with what Bridges was saying in The Nation interview I am thinking something else is up between him and Uber.

    Well he better get on with that fast, because Parliament is how we change laws in this country, not secret deals! If this gets to Parliament without any Uber clauses in it, they're screwed. So far, I'm not seeing it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10093 posts Report Reply

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