Durban, Uber Taxify Drivers Under Threats Of Attack

DURBAN – Minibus taxi operators have been accused of threatening Uber and Taxify drivers. High at risk for the app-hailing companies are those …

In response, Uber and Taxify drivers protested outside the KwaMashu police station this week, complaining they were being harassed and targeted by KwaMashu Taxi Association members who were impounding their cars and demanding R5000 for their release.

The drivers said the police would not open cases. Masoyi Fuze, an Uber driver for two years, said they were living in fear of the armed men.

Fuze said he had been attacked three times and other drivers had reported that their passengers had been intimidated.

Drivers complained that the men were stopping ordinary people driving sedans like the Etios and Polo, and accusing them of working for the ride-hailing companies. The police apparently said this was a civil matter and would not open cases.

Fuze said he lost his job a few years ago and used his money to buy a car. “The money that I make from this I use to provide for my family,” he said.

Fuze said the irony of the situation was that some taxi owners used Uber services and that some also operated their own Uber cars.

If nothing was done to address the situation, they vowed to hold a large protest that would shut the city down.

Sifiso Shangase of the SA National Taxi Association said they had not heard of the intimidation of Uber and Taxify drivers.

Shangase said they had problems with the way Uber and Taxify drivers operated as they were unregulated and did not have operating licences like metered taxis and minibus taxi operators.

“The Uber and Taxify apps are great for the customers, but for us it creates an uneven playing field,” he said,

Shangase said the association in KZN was in the middle of negotiations with Uber to find a solution to the matter, including how they could become stakeholders in operations in the province.

On social media there were numerous complaints about Uber drivers being attacked and bullied, with the latest incident happening on Monday in Newlands East, where a driver was stopped and intimidated by a minibus taxi driver.

The attacks have sparked an outcry over the infringement of people’s rights to use whatever mode of transport they chose.

Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said a man in his 40s had been arrested in connection with the intimidation.

The KwaMashu Taxi Association did not comment by the time of going to press.

Uber said the violence and intimidation were some of the reasons why people were increasingly choosing alternatives like Uber.

“The threats and intimidation against people who want to use the Uber app to boost their incomes is unacceptable and must be condemned.”

Taxify condemned “any violence, intimidation or extortion directed towards ride-hailing drivers, because we believe that every South African has the right to earn a living without risk of harm, intimidation or coercion”.

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ABQ taxi business bought by company looking to compete with Uber, Lyft

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque’s oldest cab company is making a big change to try to take back some of business that’s shifted to ride …

ABQ taxi business bought by company looking to compete with Uber, Lyft

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ABQ taxi business bought by company looking to compete with Uber, Lyft
ztrip service abq_1544763900145.jpg.jpg

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque’s oldest cab company is making a big change to try to take back some of business that’s shifted to ride sharing services over the last few years.

The old “Yellow-Checker Cab” company was recently bought out by a new owner that’s renamed the taxi business “zTrip.”

The new owners are positions themselves as a so-called “better choice” by combing elements of traditional taxicab services with those of ride-share services.

“We like to bill ourselves as the perfect hybrid between a ride share vehicle and a taxi cab,” said Bill George, President and CEO of zTrip.

Over the last few months, George’s company has been buying up old taxi businesses across the U.S., including Yellow-Checker Cab in Albuquerque. So far, zTrip is now in 19 U.S. cities across states like Colorado, Texas, Kansas and Florida.

“We saw what the fleets were in Albuquerque,” said George. “There was a lack of an investment, there was a lack of investment in technology in the vehicles.”

An old fleet of cars is just one of the reasons some people say they’ve turned away from traditional cab services in recent years.

“They’re a little sketchy, smelly,” Albuquerque resident Jennifer told KRQE News 13 Wednesday when asked about her thoughts on old cab services.

Others have complained about the comfort and price of old cabs.

“It’s just charging you while you’re at a red light, so the meters going up,” said Jessica of old-style cab service.

Meanwhile, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have taken off in popularity in the metro-area. Those services hire local drivers to use their own private cars to give rides. With Uber and Lyft, customers can only get a ride through their use of a smartphone app.

CEO Bill George says zTrip is different than ride sharing.

“We want to be a better choice from the safety aspect, from the insurance aspect,” said George.

The company says it screens and hires all zTrip drivers. The company also owns the entire fleet of cars used for rides, including handicap accessible vehicles.

To compete with on demand ride sharing services, George says zTrip also has an app that works just like Uber or Lyft’s. George says their pricing is comparable too, with no surge pricing as is commonly seen with ride-sharing services.

People can also call zTrip directly to book a ride, or hail a driver from the side of the street.

“Here’s what a taxicab does really well, here’s what a ride share does really well, what if we bridged that gap and put both of them together?” said George.

Albuquerque is zTrip’s first service area in New Mexico, but the company says it’s still looking to expand.

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    Court: Cryptocurrency Sent to Wrong Address Must Be Returned

    The world of cryptocurrencies has often been compared to the Wild West or some other “every man for himself” situation. Users are repeatedly …

    The world of cryptocurrencies has often been compared to the Wild West or some other “every man for himself” situation.

    Users are repeatedly admonished to protect their “private keys” (passwords, essentially) and maintain custody of them whenever possible. “No keys, no crypto” is a popular adage that refers to the fact that any cryptocurrency not personally held offline in a “cold wallet” is vulnerable to hacks, theft or downright fiduciary failure.

    Users must also check and recheck the details of a transmission, including the amount and receiving address, before sending because unlike payments by credit or bank card, crypto transmissions cannot be reversed without the consent of the receiver.

    In networks that pride themselves on semi-anonymity, that has proven a problem at times.

    Nevertheless, a recent court decision in British Columbia, as legal researcher and blogger Grygoriy Pustovit writes, has arguably located the anarchic world of crypto once again squarely within the purview of the law:

    “It is frequently overlooked that blockchain transactions (including those relative to cryptocurrency), apart from the digital rules (code), are governed by law – and even possibly by the laws of various jurisdictions. Law governs those buying, selling, holding, brokering, or accepting cryptocurrencies as payment; it can also restrict their ability to do so.”

    The ruling in question involves the case of Copytrack Pte Ltd. v. Wall.

    According to a decision document by Judge Justice Skolrood in the BC Supreme Court, Copytrack Pte Ltd is “a Singapore company engaged in the business of digital content management and automated copyright enforcement.”

    In February 2018, the company raised $11 million in an ICO sale of “CPY” electronic tokens, and the defendant, Brian Wall, allegedly bought $780 worth.

    But rather than send CPY tokens, Copytrack produced evidence that it had mistakenly sent Wall Ethereum tokens, worth an estimated $450 000 CAD. The send occurred on or around February 15th of this year.

    Copytrack says they contacted Wall immediately regarding the mistake, but Wall initially refused to return the tokens, and instead moved them from his personal crypto wallet onto a cryptocurrency exchange.

    After a series of email communications, Wall eventually agreed to return the tokens, and between February 16-23, transferred them back to his personal wallet from the exchange.

    But on February 25th, the tokens moved from Wall’s wallet to five others, and Wall claimed they were stolen by hackers.

    He then argued that he had no obligation to return the Ether because he no longer possessed them.

    Copytrack initiated a court action against Wall, who rendered some defense before passing away on May 23rd.

    It appears that Copytrack was able to provide concrete evidence of token movements, but the judge had problems with Wall’s claims:

    “I do not accept Wall’s submission that there are factual disputes that make summary judgment unavailable. The essential facts underlying Copytrack’s claim are undisputed. Specifically, I do not accept Wall’s submission that the application involves “oath against oath,” particularly given that Wall’s evidence about what happened to the Ether Tokens amounts to little more than a bald assertion.”

    The judge also ruled not to move the case on to trial because of the fact that Wall had died, which would mean at trial, “…would not result in further or better evidence on behalf of the defendant.”
    The judge refrained from trying to legally class the nature of cryptocurrencies other than to say they are, “the undisputed property of Copytrack.”
    He wrote that because the tokens, “…were sent to Wall in error, they were not returned when demand was made and Wall has no proprietary claim to them…In the circumstances, it would be both unreasonable and unjust to deny Copytrack a remedy.”
    Judge Skolrood ruled that Copytrack may now, “…trace and recover the 529.8273791 Ether Tokens received by Wall from Copytrack on 15 February 2018 in whatsoever hands those Ether Tokens may currently be held,” and must be paid court costs from the Wall estate.
    The ruling establishes Copytrack’s claim, but tracing the tokens may be costly and easier-said-than-done.
    As well between the time of the mis-send and the ruling, the price of Ether fell from about $935 USD to $230, and Ether is trading today for about $90.55 USD.

    In September a court ruled The pressing issue of the legal characterisation of cryptocurrency has been postponed for now. Nevertheless, courts across jurisdictions slowly but incrementally are filling in the vacuum of legal uncertainty created by the disruptive underlying technology.

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    Teen says Uber Pool driver tried to abduct her

    An 18-year-old woman said her Uber driver attempted to abduct her at the end of an Uber Pool ride. She spoke exclusively with ABC7 Eyewitness …
    CHICAGO (WLS) —

    An 18-year-old woman said her Uber driver attempted to abduct her at the end of an Uber Pool ride. She spoke exclusively with ABC7 Eyewitness News about the terrifying ordeal.

    “My door was locked, so I couldn’t get out of the car, so I looked over at him or whatever and he was already staring at me,” said Jasmin Wimbley.


    Wimbley had her mother at her side when she spoke to ABC7 about the rideshare experience that left her shaken.

    “I’m just glad that she was thinking fast, and she was acting fast. And she got out of the situation,” said Theresa Peoples, mother.

    Jasmin said Thursday morning she ordered an Uber Pool. The driver arrived with two other passengers, forcing Jasmin to sit in the front.

    The first passenger was dropped off near 69th and Ashland. Jasmin said she was supposed to get out next near 47th and King, but instead, she said, the driver skipped her destination and drove to 29th and Calumet to drop off the remaining rider.

    Along the way, Jasmin said the driver turned off her ride.


    “According to Uber, I’m not in your car anymore,” she explained.

    When the other passenger exited, Jasmin said she tried to leave but her door was locked. She had to manually unlock it.

    “As I’m getting out the car, he, like, grabs my jacket part. But I yanked away real quick, so it slipped out his hand,” she said.

    Jasmin said she ran to a bus stop. The Uber driver at first backed up to try to get her, but he eventually left.

    “You’re thinking that they’re safe because they’re in a car,” Peoples said. “My kids will never be in another Uber. Never.”

    Area Central detectives are investigating the incident. An Uber spokesperson said the driver has been removed from its platform and the company is cooperating with investigators.

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    Uber Eats will now Deliver Starbucks Coffee for you

    Johnson also said he worked closely with Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi for past months to make this partnership into a reality. A Partnership that will …

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    It will be a grave mistake on the part of analysts as well as business enthusiasts to underestimate the role that Uber Eats can play in propping up Uber’s valuation ahead of its much anticipated IPO. The cab hailing major surely wants to prove through Uber Eats that it is well capable of diversifying into news businesses for monetizing more profits.

    This is exactly what seems to have driven Uber Eats to strike partnership with coffee chain major Starbucks. Starbucks will now use Uber Eat’s services for delivering coffee at customer’s doorsteps across U.S. According to reports, both have successfully carried out a pilot program in Miami, following which now Starbucks plans to start delivery services to almost 2,000 US outlets. This is a quarter of 8,500 outlets that the coffee chain major operates across the U.S market.

    A UberEat delivery boy riding bicycle

    Uber Eats is now Starbuck’s official delivery partner

    However, for Uber Eats the challenge of delivering a Starbuck coffee at right temperature may prove to be an uphill task. But Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson has expressed confidence in an interview given to a financial daily that their delivery partner will pull off this challenge.

    Johnson also said he worked closely with Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi for past months to make this partnership into a reality.

    A Partnership that will prove win-win for Uber Eats & Starbucks

    This partnership will help Starbucks to convey a strong message to investors that it is resorting to new ways in order curtail the slowing domestic growth. It is important to remember that the company has already slashed targets for earnings per share growth over the “longer-term” from at least 12 per cent to at nearly 10 per cent. However, it has kept the guidance for other financial metrics completely unchanged for the current financial year.

    Most industry experts also argue that Starbucks’ formidable presence across the international markets will help in compensating for slowing domestic growth.

    Uber Eats, on other hand, will expect that this partnership helps in improving its quarterly numbers and also investor’s sentiments. Interestingly, while announcing the third quarter results last month, Uber revealed the numbers of Uber Eats for the very first time to investors.

    The third quarter results showed that Uber Eats has more than doubled its gross bookings over the last one year. Uber Eat’s gross booking clocked $2.1bn, an impressive surge of 150 per cent from last year.