If you’re like most Americans, you will be doing one of two things on Wednesday night: Baking pies for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving dinner or going out and getting drunk. And for those in the latter camp, Uber wants to make sure you’re not getting behind the wheel. Read more »
One-third of all working people are now self-employed. We spoke with a handful of local entrepreneurs about the freedom and frustrations of their on-demand jobs. Read more »
“I recently completed my PhD program in the biology department of Northwestern University (go ‘cats!). I am now working as a researcher in the ornithology lab, combining my love of prowling for new insights and watching birds.”
That’s Kitty Baxter’s bio, one of the many, many felines that will be traveling via Uber tomorrow for mini-meetings with folks across Philadelphia. The #UberKITTENS will be invading offices with just a touch of a button, and, um, they are kind of cute overload. Read more »
If you’ve ever tried to use UberX during bad weather or on a busy weekend night — or, even worse, during bad weather on a busy weekend night — you know that the normally cheaper-than-a-cab transport option can become seriously and prohibitively expensive. Well, based on what we’re hearing from UberX drivers around town, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Read more »
Hailing an UberX may now be worse than taking a Philly cab these days, but the service’s popularity is undeniable. The problem? UberX (as well as Lyft, a competing ride-hailing app) is illegal in the city of Philadelphia.
A Harrisburg senator is hoping to change that. On Thursday, State Sen. Camera Bartolotta, a Republican, unveiled legislation that would legalize ride-hailing services in all areas of the state. Currently, UberX and Lyft are operating under temporary authority in all Pennsylvania counties except Philadelphia. The PPA has occasionally impounded UberX vehicles in sting operations.
“Legislation is necessary to ensure these companies are allowed to operate after the temporary authority expires. It is important for state laws to keep pace with the rate of modernization,” Bartolotta said in a statement. “While there is a golden opportunity for transportation network companies to provide new options for consumers, it is also necessary that we ensure these new services operate responsibly and safely.” Read more »
From now until 3 pm today, your Uber app will double as a furry-friend finder.
The Philly branch of the on-demand car company is teaming with Pennsylvania SPCA to bring folks puppy play dates all day with the tap of a button. If you select the “Puppies” option in the app, Uber will deliver an adoptable pet to office sites in Center City, Northern Liberties, Fishtown and the Navy Yard. You’ll get 15 minutes of playtime for $20. All proceeds benefit the PSPCA.
The complete directions on how to get your pup time are pasted below. For more information, including a map of office sites, go here.
Professors from Temple University’s Fox School of Business have found that the rollout of the ride-sharing service UberX lowered DUI deaths by 3.6 percent to 5.6 percent in California cities.
“But that reduction largely disappeared when surge prices were likely in effect,” reported PlanPhilly’s Jim Saksa, “and never really materialized following the introduction of Uber Black, the more expensive, premium version of the service (although there was some reduction in larger cities).”
Why not? “Drunks are cheap, lazy bastards who are marginally less likely to do something stupid when you provide more easy and inexpensive transportation options,” Saksa wrote. Yeah, that makes sense. Read more »
Conor Corcoran, a lawyer who lives in Philly and L.A., was bar-hopping a few weeks ago during one of his Philadelphia trips, when he had an experience he found profoundly unsettling.
“I was deep in my cups, as they say, having a few late-night cheeseburgers with a friend at Fountain Porter,” he recalls. “As you’re wont to do in the middle of the night, you call on Uber to go to the next place. And I ordered an UberX because I like to save my money for tipping bartenders.”
The car that showed up, Corcoran says, was a somewhat beat-up Mercedes, driven by a man in his 60s, who — within 60 seconds of normal passenger-driver chitchat — asked Corcoran and his friend what they thought of President Obama.
“That immediately started setting off bells. I gave my friend a look because my friend is black and here was this white guy at 3 in the morning asking us what we thought of Obama on a dark corner in South Philly.”
Corcoran and his friend said they liked Obama, and the driver suggested they check out his website. He then reached into the backseat and procured a business card with the site’s URL: Obamacrimes.com. It also had the driver’s name on it: Philip Berg. “I said to him, ‘I recognize your name from the newspapers,’ and he admitted that he was the Philip Berg behind all those lawsuits and news stories.” Read more »
UberX driver Abdellah Elkaddi of Northeast Philadelphia has been charged with raping a 24-year-old female passenger in his car during a ride in June. Read more »