Posts by BenWilson

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

    Yup, although I still hold out a hope that some combination of social media, ratings systems, and good map/gps algorithms could lead to a transformation in which the experience of being in the car with other people is not so onerous. It could be, for instance, that you generate a large friends list of people along your most common routes. Not so large that they're complete and utter strangers, but large enough that it gives much improved flexibility on the travel times, and turns the driving experience into a social interaction moment as well. It could transform commuting and going out in the evening. But I don't want to give away too many ideas for free here - this could be a big deal eventually.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10005 posts Report Reply

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

    Carpooling that is when is done non commericly unlike with Uber overseas but just with friends or workmates travelling to or from a common place picking or dropping off on the way is done on a cost share basis only without the need of P endorsement, COF or log books.

    Yes, and I think this could be somewhat transformative if it were better organized by an app/server, but it's very hard to see how the cost of building the app could be funded. There are hundreds of thousands of commuter vehicles with single occupants all traveling in the same directions every work day. This could be much improved by a cost sharing model on a large scale.

    But I haven't seen that model working anywhere yet. I don't know if it's fundamentally broken and people just don't want to carpool, or if it's just waiting for the killer app.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10005 posts Report Reply

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

    Internet connected smartphone/GPS technology has the potential to at least organize carpooling better. But you can't clip the ticket on carpooling anywhere near as massively as you can the way Uber does, since it's not supposed to be profitable, just cost covering. So the software to do it is not very well developed.

    And of course carpooling is a PITA compared to getting your own taxi. Nothing a smartphone can do will alter that simple fact, that the more people in your vehicle, the more of a stuff around it's going to be for everyone. Particularly if the people are unknown random strangers. Then it's not only a stuff around, it could be scary and/or dangerous.

    So, good idea, lots of issues to iron out. Is Uber ironing them out? In NZ, no, they don't even offer such a service. So this solution to transport woes is a red herring.

    Possibly, with legislative changes, people could carpool for profit with less than a full P endorsement, COF and logbook (and they will be doing it without a PSL after the law review happens, but probably not without being under an ATO, however that gets set up). But there be dragons down any such path for legislators. Quite aside from the whole danger to the public aspect there is simply the issue of people gaining an income from a completely unregistered service, which would make it a total exception in employment and tax law. I can't see that happening at all. Which is why the review has made the recommendations that it has, and they retain many aspects of the current setup.

    So yeah, circles. You can't really engineer a transport solution just through software and wage suppression alone. You actually have to use different technology that moves more people more efficiently. Sad part about that: It got invented hundreds of years ago, and the best time to put it in would have been decades ago. Still, never too late.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10005 posts Report Reply

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

    Nice.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10005 posts Report Reply

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

    Seymour seems to think that Uber /’ride sharing’ will stop congestion on the morning commute for Aucklanders – I can see how that might go down well with shallow thinkers but I don’t think it is uber’s target market

    It's ridiculous. He's got zero idea what is going on. Uber surges every morning rush hour, mostly because of gridlock which makes it hard for drivers to get to passengers, and the drivers just don't want to work at that time because they will be stuck in a traffic jam getting nothing more than the per-minute rate, and knowing they will get downrated by the driver for not having a magical flying vehicle.

    Students don't use it to commute. FFS, there would be no advantage in it - it would cost much more than the bus and be no faster. It might be comparable if it pooled 4 passengers, in which case it would probably be LESS convenient than a bus, because you'd be driving to all their houses and waiting for them to get their shit together. Which, from experience, would certainly happen. Waiting for people to get out of bed, and/or arbitrarily deciding they can't be arsed to go to their morning lecture.

    The reason students like it is to use it at real-Uber-Bonanza time, which is late on Friday and Saturday. For that, being able to go on the piss cheaply and safely is a boon. Uber is transforming how easy it is for kids to get drunk!! Beyond that, it's effect on the future of transport is rather minimal. It's not a new idea to catch a goddamned taxi. It's a really, really, really OLD idea, and subway systems around the world took off to deal with this shit in the 19th century.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10005 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…,

    When ACT is your only friend you gotta realize you are in a bad way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10005 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…,

    Was a little disappointed I didn't get to face off against him. It will be brutal when it happens, a little like if a bleating billy goat gruff suddenly found itself caged with a tiger.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10005 posts Report Reply

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

    Well, Uber could change their policy on that. What they said to you could be a bluff. If they go through with it and leave, well, it was a gun to the government's head, and the whole country's, really. It's a threat we should simply call. But there is NOTHING forcing Uber to act like arrogant overlords, and the business model that doesn't involve them doing that is a perfectly good one. I hold out hope that they could return to it. If that happened in NZ I would hold my head up high about our country, on that score. And I know for a fact that the gap left by Uber would be filled extremely fast. It's already being filled. There are strong active competitors in this space right now.

    Also, a lot has happened in 18 months. The are facing hundreds of lawsuits around the world. They have been routed from China. They may be routed from Europe. They've even been expelled from US cities. They could crash like a ton of bricks. Or they could get with the program, engage with the law, treat with our association, and find out how you really run a business in this country, the Kiwi way. It could become a shining example to the world of reformed Uber doing the right thing. I'd like it to be. But if they won't, I'm prepared to burn their castle down.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10005 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…,

    As for Seymour’s comeback, it’s so ignorant as to barely be worth mentioning. He says the govt should change the rules to make ridesharing easier. FFS, they ARE doing this. He says Uber solves the congestion problem??? WTF? How? It’s a car. Students don’t hire them to commute to varsity you moron!! They hire them to go on the piss, and catch the bus to university. Maybe he’s thinking of carpooling? Well Uber doesn’t do that in NZ. He thinks it’s a conspiracy by the Taxi Lobby. Well I’m not a taxi driver, I’m an Uber driver, as is my entire association, and most of us want the government to put the hard word on Uber too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10005 posts Report Reply

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

    Well they could always just not break the law. This is a simple possibility to preserve a million dollar p.a. income. If they can't bring themselves to do that then we are better off without them. But I hold out hope that they might just do as asked, since they were already doing it before April in Auckland and Wellington.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10005 posts Report Reply

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