Uber driver mad at Valley principal using service for student transportation

PHOENIX – A Valley Uber driver is calling out a school administrator for trying to turn his ride-share van into a school bus. The man, who asked us not …

PHOENIX – A Valley Uber driver is calling out a school administrator for trying to turn his ride-share van into a school bus.

The man, who asked us not to identify him, said on Wednesday he showed up at the Arizona Academy of Science and Technology and was surprised to see six school children who appeared to be under the age of eight getting into his Uber.

In a video recorded inside his vehicle, a frustrated exchange takes place between the driver and the woman who identifies herself as an acting principal. The woman tells the Uber driver the person who requested the ride was the assistant principal since the principal was out of town.

After the children are loaded up in the van, the driver asks the woman if she is going with them. When she says no, he tells her he cannot transport the children without an adult riding with them. The woman asks him why, and he tells her it is against Uber’s company policy.

In the video exchange you hear the woman say: “So, every Uber ride we’ve had this week has a different story. Are you a Lyft or Uber driver?” The man responds that he is with Uber. The woman goes on to say, “Every Uber we’ve had has a different story. Why?” The driver responds by saying “They don’t know the policy. I have been doing this for over three years.”

ABC15 reached out to the school to get their side of the story.

Despite our repeated phone calls, we have not received a response yet. On their website, school officials state while they do not provide transportation for students, they are happy to work with families by linking them together and promoting car-pooling.

The Uber driver said he was bringing this story to light because he felt school administrators were putting the children at risk.

“It’s one thing to carpool with another family or an adult but another thing entirely to put small children in a strangers car you know,” said the driver.

A spokesman for Uber says under their community guidelines, children must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times. A rider must be 18 years or older to ride or have an account, or they can be accompanied by someone who is 18 years or older.

You can read the Uber Community guidelines here.

ABC15 will update this story as soon as we get a response from the Arizona Academy of Science and Technology.

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New bylaw designed to drive Uber out of Kingston, driver says

The new bylaw governing Uber in Kingston is designed to drive the ride-sharing company out of the city, one of its drivers said. The bylaw was …

The new bylaw governing Uber in Kingston is designed to drive the ride-sharing company out of the city, one of its drivers said.

The bylaw was approved by the Kingston Area Taxi Commission in late June and comes into effect on Sept. 15.

But Vic Guilherme, who has been driving for Uber for almost two years, said the new rules are unfair to the company and will make it difficult for it to do business.

“The bylaw was basically put into effect to drive them out. It wasn’t designed to work with them at all,” Guilherme said.

The bylaw, which took more than three years to finalize, caps the number of vehicles operated by ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, and requires their drivers to have photo identification, proof of insurance and undergo in-person police criminal background checks, and have annual vehicle safety inspections.

The new bylaw caps at 50 the number of ride-sharing vehicles allowed on the road in a 24-hour period and limits the total number of ride-sharing vehicles in the city at 150.

Guilherme said Uber has fewer than 50 vehicles on the road in Kingston now.

“What happens in two years when Uber is more popular in Kingston? They are stuck with these restrictions,” he said.

The bylaw also lays out how Uber is to operate, including provisions that prohibit fares from exceeding what is initially quoted to the client on the app.

“It’s not fair. I think it was done by a lot of ignorant people,” Guilherme said. “Having to tell a customer how much their fare is going to be before starting the ride was obviously done by people who have never taken an Uber. We have no idea who the client is or where they are going or how much the fare is until we start the ride. We don’t know how much the fare is until we end the ride.”

Guilherme also questioned the fees ride-sharing companies would have to pay when compared to other jurisdictions where Uber operates.

Kingston will require Uber to pay a $35,000 annual administration fee to operate in the city, and each driver will need to pay $600 a year to work in the city.

Guilherme said Toronto’s regulations only require the company to pay $22,000 a year and drivers only need to pay $35 a year to work there.

A spokesperson for Uber Canada declined to comment about the bylaw on Wednesday.

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AAR ruling on cab aggregators not applicable to Ola, Uber

However, experts said the ruling would not apply to service providers like Uber and Ola as it was specific to the business model of the applicant – Opta …
AAR ruling on cab aggregators not applicable to Ola, Uber

The Authority for Advanced Ruling (AAR) in Karnataka has held that fees collected by taxi aggregation service providers from drivers in lieu of IT services would be subject to the GST. However, experts said the ruling would not apply to service providers like Uber and Ola as it was specific to the business model of the applicant – Opta Cabs.

In case of Opta Cabs, the company only provides IT services like billing in lieu of a monthly payment from drivers who use its mobile application. The ruling said the monthly payment made to Opta Cabs would attract GST as it is consideration for a supply.

However, the model is different for Ola and Uber which already comes under the ambit of the GST, and charge 5% tax on the fare amount. The fare is collected by these companies and then is disbursed to cab drivers along with applicable incentives.

In its application for advanced ruling, Opta Cabs said customers pay directly to drivers, whose turnover may not be more than `12 lakh per annum, which exempts them from GST. The revenue threshold for a business is `20 lakh a year, which triggers the GST liability for it.

“The applicant is liable to tax on the amounts billed by him on behalf of the taxi operators for the service provided in the nature of transportation of passengers through it,” the ruling said.

Rajat Mohan, partner at AMRG & Associates, said the ruling is for a particular type of cab aggregation model employed by Opta Cabs, which is different from Uber and Ola.

“Uber and Ola are the primary service providers who take responsibility of cab rides and attend to passengers’ complaints regarding the service. Further, they also collect the fare amount and charge 5% GST on it. However, Opta Cabs only provides the IT services but the main service provider is the cab driver – who is usually outside the ambit of the GST due to low turnover,” Mohan said.

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Worried about ride-sharing safety issues? Here are some tips to staying safe

Although both Uber and Lyft say they vet their drivers, a recent case of Uber failing to fire a driver accused of sexual battery shows that the efforts of the …
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Although both Uber and Lyft say they vet their drivers, a recent case of Uber failing to fire a driver accused of sexual battery shows that the efforts of the ride-sharing companies only go so far.

Here are some tips to stay safe when using a ride-sharing app:

Check you’re in the right car

Both Uber and Lyft provide riders with the license plate number of the driver’s car, as well as other identifying information like the make of the car and the name of the driver.

“The most important thing you can do as a passenger is make sure you get into the right Uber car,” said Harry Campbell, author of The Rideshare Guide and ride-sharing blogger in an email. “Sounds simple, but after a few drinks, it’s easy to mistake one car for another.”

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Limit your alcohol

Since an overabundance of alcohol can impair inhibitions and the ability to think clearly, making sure not to overindulge could reduce risk.

“You might want to be cautious with what level you get to,” said James Reed, police chief of East Ridge Police Department. East Ridge saw an indecent exposure case by an Uber driver after the company failed to fire him after a sexual battery incident.

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Share your location

Uber and Lyft both have the option to share ride information with a friend or family member.

“This is a good way to let someone know where you are at all times,” said Campbell.

Sit in the right spot

Campbell said sitting in the back on the passenger side is the best, since it allows for conversation and allows the rider to open the door away from incoming traffic.

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New São Paulo Uber tech centre hopes to improve driver and passenger safety

Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi previously said that safety is now Uber’s top priority. In Latin America, a key issue for the company is …

Uber will invest 250 million reais ($64 million) in the development of a new technology center in São Paulo, the company revealed on Friday. The center will house 150 tech specialists, tasked with improving safety for passengers and drivers, and is set to open in the final quarter of 2018.

Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi previously said that safety is nowUber’s top priority. In Latin America, a key issue for the company is ensuring that drivers who accept cash can do so safely. Cash payments are extremely important for Uber’s growth in Latin America, however there have been several reports of attacks on drivers from other riders during payment.

“Cash is extremely important for us to support,” Uber security products directorSachin Kansal said in a statement. “There is a certain segment of society which does not have access to credit cards and that is also the segment of society that is probably in the most need of convenient, reliable transportation.”

According toReuters, Uber provides more rides per day in São Paulo than anywhere else in the world. Uber hires over half a million drivers and more than 20 million users in Brazil, making it the company’s second-largest national market after the United States.

“Brazil is recognized for the capacity of its engineers,” Kansal said. “This initiative reinforces the company’s commitment to the country and aims to recruit engineers, software developers and researchers, data scientists and product managers, among others. This is one further step we take to address the issue of security, which is a challenge for all societies.”

Current attempts to improve passenger safety in Brazil have included the use of social security numbers as a means of identification for riders without credit cards. The ride-hailing app also has plans touse machine learning to flag routes passing through dangerous areas.

Although the center will be located in São Paulo, the first phase of research will be dedicated to the development of technologies toimprove passenger safety worldwide.

Uber was formalized in Brazil last year, when the country’s congresspassed a bill to regulate the operation of ride-hailing apps, which was eventually signed in March by President Temer.

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