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Cincinnati Requests Improvements From E-Scooter Companies

Published on Apr 21, 2020 at 7:16 am in Electric Scooters.

E-scooter on road

While e-scooters are currently off Cincinnati streets because of the coronavirus pandemic, the city is currently working on contracts with two companies for when stay-at-home orders are lifted.

According to a memo from the city manager, Bird and Lime submitted the best proposals for providing e-scooter services in Cincinnati. Both companies had been operating under interim agreements—which are set to expire June 30.

Uber Expands Delivery Services Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Published on Apr 20, 2020 at 6:52 am in Rideshare Services.

As ridership continues to decline with stay-at-home orders across the country, Uber is launching two new services—Uber Direct and Uber Connect. These projects expand the company’s current delivery service and give drivers opportunities to continue working.

The accelerated delivery efforts go beyond food and grocery items. Now, app users will have access to on-demand and last-mile delivery solutions. These services, offered only in select cities, are geared toward consumers and businesses.

New Ford Rideshare Patent Sorts Vehicles by Odor

Published on Apr 17, 2020 at 9:48 am in Technology.

As Ford continues to push its autonomous vehicle operation forward, a new patent filed by the company outlines a way ridesharing vehicles can be sorted based on the way they smell. This patent includes autonomous vehicles and those driven by rideshare workers.

The patent, titled “Transportation System Using Odor Preferences,” could help rideshare users who are sensitive to odors like cigarette smoke. For example, if a non-smoker needs a vehicle that has not been smoked in because of a sensitive lung condition, Ford’s technology could ensure they get the right vehicle for their needs.

TikTok Users Create Fake Phone Calls for Rideshare Passengers

Published on Apr 16, 2020 at 7:16 am in Rideshare Safety.

In recent years, there has been an uptick in kidnapping and sexual assault cases involving rideshare passengers. According to an Uber report from 2019, 3,045 sexual assaults were reported that year—and that’s only the reported cases the company was made aware of. It’s likely that number is significantly higher, as some assaulted rideshare victims may not have reported their experience. Rideshare companies have implemented a number of safety measures to reduce risk, but vulnerable riders are likely to still experience some anxiety or fear.

TikTok, a free social media app that lets you watch, create, and share videos, has users who are creating fake phone calls to help rideshare passengers feel safe if they have to ride in an Uber or Lyft alone.  The TikTok videos mimic phone calls for riders to play when they get into the car. The videos are often timed to sound as if the user is on speakerphone with their friend or family member.

Uber Dismisses Unionization Lawsuit in Seattle

Published on Apr 15, 2020 at 7:21 am in Rideshare Lawsuits.

In 2015, Uber and Lyft drivers sought the right to unionize in Seattle. A law was put in place that allowed them to do so, however, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Uber challenged the law in court. Now, however, Uber has agreed to dismiss the case.

When the unionization law passed in Seattle, it allowed drivers for ride-hailing apps to organize. This was unusual because the companies consider drivers independent contractors as opposed to employees. When the law was challenged in court, the Seattle City Council removed provisions that allowed drivers to negotiate pay if they organized. The rideshare companies continued to pushback against the new law even after changes were made, but have now decided to drop the lawsuit.