Friday, 16 February 2018

Adventures with Uber



I chose to use UBER for my trip downtown and back yesterday.

It's fun to watch the graphic on my smart 'phone, showing the journey of the nearest available driver.

It's possible to see the wrong turns the driver takes, or  the U-turns she or he has to make because GPS/SatNav is not always reliable.  I watch, and want to say "no, no, not that way".

The driver on my first journey was chatty beyond belief.   I heard all about his wife and family, his hopes to buy a "fixer-upper" home, his dreams for his daughters, and his philosophy of life.

He was the quintessential first generation immigrant who wants no more than to earn, to save, to buy a home, and to make a better life for his family.

There was one wee problem. I sat in the front passenger seat, and every time he talked to me he turned to look at me, and not at the road ahead. I suppose that it's good that I was not seated in the rear, nevertheless the ride was a bit hairy. (And I kept my mouth shut about some of his bizarre theres about life).

The driver on the way home was from Palmetto, FL (some 15 miles north of downtown SRQ  via not very fast roads).

He is very new to South West Florida and utterly unfamiliar with Sarasota.

I watched his approach on my 'phone, and thanks to the graphic I saw  that he had arrived at the back entrance to the Church not the front.

As we journeyed home I realised that he had not entered the destination (my home) on the GPS/SatNav, instead it was still set to the Church address.   The GPS/SatNav voice kept urging us to make U-Turns  (to take us back to the Church), so I had to keep saying "don't do that, listen to my instructions instead".

He told me that he lurks in the downtown SRQ area at lunch time, and then goes near the airport at about 2:00 p.m.

It's a hard way to make a living.  I got the impression that my two drivers were doing all they could to scratch out some extra income via UBER.   That's why my (voluntary) tips were on the generous side.

UBER is a good model for business when capitalism is unrestrained and not regulated.

But it has a downside.  Many New York, NY traditional cab drivers have been so undercut by services such as UBER and Lyft that they can no longer earn a living wage (hard to do under any circumstances).

See this  

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/cabbies-rally-city-hall-suicides-drivers-article-1.3815948


Despite the Trumpian/Tea Party/Republican Party call for de-regulation I am in favour of wise Governmental regulation which  clips the wings of unrestrained Capitalism.  

President Theodore Roosevelt (R)  got it right:

Square Deal



"Let the watchwords of all our people be the old familiar watchwords of honesty, decency, fair-dealing, and commonsense."... "We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less.""The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us."
New York State Fair, Syracuse, September 7, 1903




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