12/12/16 3:49pm
Catch a ride, not a charge. Via Uber.

Catch a ride, not a charge. Via Uber.

A car full of strangers whose addresses you can learn if you pay attention to where they get dropped of sounds like a great place to pick up dates! Or apparently not, according to the official guidelines for UberPool passengers guidelines the company released last week, which tell you to stop treating your shared ride like a captive audience for your pick-up lines.

“It’s OK to chat with other people in the car. But please don’t comment on someone’s appearance or ask whether they are single,” the rules say. They also tell you not to “touch or flirt with other people in the car. Because apparently that’s a thing you need to explicitly state these days (h/t DNAinfo). (more…)

10/31/16 11:29am
Un-fare! Uber has a huge racism and sexism problem, according to a new study

Uber is facing a new controversy over sexism and racism thanks to the results of a new study. Via Gilt City.

The days of cabbies skipping fares based on the color of their skin have (surprise!) not gone away with the deluge of car-hailing apps. Much like how Airbnb is dealing with a major racism issue when it comes to home sharing, Uber and Lyft are being called out for enabling drivers to avoid or cancel fares based on their race. A two-year study of ride-hailing apps that Jalopnik reports on today found that trip requests from black riders took up to 28 percent longer to be accepted by UberX and Lyft than white people. Those black riders also had a cancellation rate nearly twice as high. Uber doesn’t show you the photo of the rider until after the driver accepts a ride, at which point they can cancel; Lyft shows you the photo right away, which makes its discrimination practices even harder to track.

But wait, there’s more! Women had the opposite problem, and not in a good way: Drivers in the study were more likely to keep women in their cars longer, taking elongated routes and being “chatty,” resulting in 5 percent longer (and more expensive) rides. Racism and sexism are not problems Uber or Lyft created, but their technology apparently hasn’t helped address it.  (more…)

10/17/16 10:17am
Why Juno, the would-be Uber killer, is already winning over lots of NYC drivers

Thanks to a more driver-friendly system, drivers are telling their fares to switch from Uber to Juno. Via Twitter.

When the car service app Lyft came to New York there were a number of people (myself included) who never thought they’d make a dent. Uber, that aptly named behemoth, was already a staple in most boroughs, especially in Brooklyn where, before green taxi cabs were lining the streets, private car companies like Arecibo and Evelyn were the best option to get around. Uber, “Everyone’s Personal Driver,” was just a few taps of the iPhone away, with an approximate arrival time, payment linked directly to your credit card and no worry that your pickup might be intercepted by a roving black car with a CB radio. Now, even with competitors like Lyft, Gett, Via and Way2Ride increasing in popularity, Uber has an estimated 35,000 drivers in New York alone and is making plans to put more on the road. Yet again, it would seem impossible for any new app to make a dent with riders who already have their share of options. But, what if a company was going after drivers first and riders later?

A new company called Juno, which launched its beta app model earlier this year, is trying to do just that. It avoided the traditional route of marketing to riders first; instead, reached out directly to drivers from Uber and Lyft to join the company and help build the customer rolodex from the ground up. And with a lower commission and other perks, it seems to be working.

“Uber is losing drivers. I am working with [Uber] only to pay my lease,” one driver told me, “Once I hit $400 for the week, I turn off the app” and turn on Juno.

While other ride share app companies have found success following Uber’s lead, none have been able to actually siphon off drivers for good. So, is Juno the company that could finally push Uber out? Drivers seem to think so. (more…)

07/13/16 3:32pm
Uber commuting: It's like the subway, but much slower and less efficient! Via Gilt City.

Uber commuting: It’s like the subway, but much slower and less efficient! Via Gilt City.

I have heard tale of mysterious creatures of New York, the privileged souls who refuse — actually refuse! — to take the subway under any circumstances. I knew of one lady who called a car every morning from her Manhattan apartment and waited for it to take her to the other side of Manhattan. These folks shun the subway, a goddamn miracle of civil engineering that’s basically a warp tunnel installed below ground that can shoot you from one end of the city to another in an hour or two for under three bucks. Instead, they rely on the lowly car, that crass and inefficient means of transport we associate with the suburbs, where people exile themselves on population islands far away from all the stores, food, hair salons and Pokemon they need to survive. Even when driven by a professional, a car is still a car.

This week, Uber, the car service company with the vaguely fascist name, announced a plan to start selling “Commute Cards” that you give you unlimited uberPOOL rides in Manhattan during rush hour. They cost $79, which works out to $2/ride, cheaper than the $2.75 subway fare. This is all part of Uber’s war against any other means of transit, and their effort to get you take a car to work every day instead of a subway, bike, skateboard or anything else. Don’t buy it: The Uber Commute Card is a trick that will only clog our streets, take money away from our much-needed subway system and still make you late for work. (more…)

03/19/15 3:32pm
It's probably time to ditch Uber and never look back

It’s probably time to ditch Uber and never look back, not even in your rearview mirror

This is an intervention: you’ve got to break up with Uber. Sorry, not sorry. We know it’s hard; and deep down, there’s probably a part of you that believes they have some good in them! Yeah, that’s why we’re thrilled that somebody finally came out with solid evidence for why Uber sucks—at least economically speaking. (By the way, you’re reading Brokelyn, so what other way of speaking is there?) According to a beta research program called OpenStreetCab, the savings on your cab fare are all a matter of optimization. You can read the researchers’ jargon in MIT’s technology review here, but honestly, Brokelyn’s got the bottom line for you in layman’s terms: Uber will never be cheaper than a real taxicab, unless it’s over $35 in fare.  (more…)

01/13/15 10:35am

SUBMIT. via Facebook

Uber, the cab company that wants you to think it’s a lifestyle, an app, a brandstyle, a lifebrand, Christ anything but a company responsible for drivers really, has been taking some knocks lately. Rather than run them all down right now, we’ll just fast-forward to the latest battle Uber is fighting, since it’s right in our backyard. The City Council held hearings yesterday on a bill to cap Uber’s surge pricing, according to Capital, although it’s not as if they were looking to kill it off entirely. (more…)

09/04/14 7:00am

Which cab app will leave you happiest with your trip? via Hailo’s Facebook

We’re not big cab people, but those times when you’re late for a flight after oversleeping because you set your alarm clock for PM not AM, the extra dough is well worth it. Now that there’s a whole slew of cab apps (yay capitalism!), going from Downtown to your sister’s wedding or other urgent destinations need not be so cumbersome-on your wallet. Do all the cab apps offer the same thing just in different packaging? And how do they compare to the tried and true livery cab? We decided to find out for you. (more…)

Mmmm...wings... via Facebook

Mmmm…wings… via Facebook

Wings are the best bar food, there’s no argument. Sorry vegans, go chew on a stick or something. The only problem with wings, really, is that you have to pay for them. We know, right? What a bunch of bullshit. Fortunately, this weekend you can enjoy free wings on Saturday, starting at 4pm, courtesy of Bushwick’s The Rookery (425 Troutman Street). Wings? That are free? What a country! (more…)

08/22/13 10:00am
Here they come. via Facebook

Here they come. via Facebook

Here’s the thing about cabs:they’re really useful when you’re drunk and don’t want to deal with the subway, but oy are they expensive. Or at least more expensive the bus or subway. But, what if you could take a cab and you didn’t have to pay for it? This weekend, spacephone cab hailing app Uber is doing a big rollout in Brooklyn, and they’re so excited about it that they’re gonna give you a free ride. Not only that, but if you show your receipt to businesses all around Brooklyn, they’ll just give you stuff. For free! (more…)

07/18/13 12:59pm
It'll come right to your door. via Facebook

It’ll come right to your door. via Facebook

Magic is happening. Between 11am and 5pm tomorrow, you will have the power to make ice cream teleport to you! No more chasing down the ice cream truck like a short-legged suburban tyke. Using your smartphone, you can order yourself ice cream delivery, grown-up style.  (more…)