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'New York Bike Delivery Workers Band Together for Safety'

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'New York Bike Delivery Workers Band Together for Safety'

Old 01-19-22, 08:33 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Comfort is King View Post
I feel bad for the "real" delivery cyclists, the ones who delivered because they just wanted to be on their bikes. Now they are forced to be on e-bikes. Before, if you were a fast cyclist, you could make more than others. Now, anyone is a fast cyclist. People who have no business being a bicycle delivery person, because it was such a gnarly job, can do it without the requisite skill.
GTFO its not a exclusive club its a freaking transportation job. Bikes are not hard to ride 6 year old kids do it, Ebikes are not hard to ride, If someone was fast without e assist they will still be fast. Do you even know any "real" delivery cyclists? The ones I know definitely don't throw shade at ebikes.
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Old 01-19-22, 09:10 AM
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If people are out there delivering on bikes (e- or not) they are working hard to earn their money. I don’t always like they way they ride, but they also have to hustle HARD to make it.

I probably get food delivered once a year, if that. I don’t mind walking to pick up my food or zipping further on my bike. What I do mind is seeing these delivery workers maligned when I also see them out there getting people’s food to them in blizzards, horrible freezing temps, and pouring rain.
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Old 01-19-22, 11:03 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
GTFO its not a exclusive club its a freaking transportation job. Bikes are not hard to ride 6 year old kids do it, Ebikes are not hard to ride, If someone was fast without e assist they will still be fast. Do you even know any "real" delivery cyclists? The ones I know definitely don't throw shade at ebikes.
I can clearly see you have no idea about what the job entails, nor what effects e-bikes have had on delivery. I know a bit because I used to be a bike delivery captain in a major city. I was the fastest in the city, and we had the second fastest average delivery as a group, in the history of the region. Every one that did delivery was a maniac, virtually in the whole city. It was anything but easy. It took endurance and skill.

Just because a six year old can ride a bike, doesn't mean he can do delivery. It's very disrespectful to say so. It was actually an elite job in some ways, because so few could possibly do it. Fast on a real bike is much different than on an electric one. Anyone can do the latter, but can they do it safely like a REAL cyclist? Mostly they cannot.

In NYC, there used to be a few people who delivered on e-bikes because they couldn't do it on a real bike. People like elderly immigrants. Now, it's expected that you have an e-bike. It's not impossible to do it without one nowadays. And they are expensive and prone to getting stolen.
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Old 01-19-22, 11:22 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Comfort is King View Post
. Every one that did delivery was a maniac, virtually in the whole city.

Obviously, maniacs are the real victims here.

Sorry, not working up much sense of loss here. The fax machine and email devastated the demand for bike messengers decades ago, and the volume of food delivery is something completely different from earlier eras due to the online nature of ordering and dispatching.
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Old 01-19-22, 11:25 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Comfort is King View Post
I can clearly see you have no idea about what the job entails, nor what effects e-bikes have had on delivery. I know a bit because I used to be a bike delivery captain in a major city. I was the fastest in the city, and we had the second fastest average delivery as a group, in the history of the region. Every one that did delivery was a maniac, virtually in the whole city. It was anything but easy. It took endurance and skill.

Just because a six year old can ride a bike, doesn't mean he can do delivery. It's very disrespectful to say so. It was actually an elite job in some ways, because so few could possibly do it. Fast on a real bike is much different than on an electric one. Anyone can do the latter, but can they do it safely like a REAL cyclist? Mostly they cannot.

In NYC, there used to be a few people who delivered on e-bikes because they couldn't do it on a real bike. People like elderly immigrants. Now, it's expected that you have an e-bike. It's not impossible to do it without one nowadays. And they are expensive and prone to getting stolen.
I know what the job entails just fine. I actually dont know any current or former messengers/delivery guys that have any issue with people using a ebike for that kind of work, none of them care in the least...

My 6 year old comment is directed at the BS that certain people have no business on a type of bike. you act like a e bike is a F1 car or something. And if you were indeed the fastest in your city then there is no way you were doing anything safely. E bike normal bike no one that is fast doing deliveries has ever been safe, lucky maybe. Its disrespectful of you to act like people on a ebike dont earn there spot they work the same crazy hours do the same crazy work in the same streets.
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Old 01-19-22, 11:53 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
I know what the job entails just fine. I actually dont know any current or former messengers/delivery guys that have any issue with people using a ebike for that kind of work, none of them care in the least...

My 6 year old comment is directed at the BS that certain people have no business on a type of bike. you act like a e bike is a F1 car or something. And if you were indeed the fastest in your city then there is no way you were doing anything safely. E bike normal bike no one that is fast doing deliveries has ever been safe, lucky maybe. Its disrespectful of you to act like people on a ebike dont earn there spot they work the same crazy hours do the same crazy work in the same streets.
Let me ask to this: how would you feel if you were one on the fastest cyclists on the city and your delivery turf was a fifteen block radius. All of a sudden, unless you have an e-bike that costs two thousand bucks, you can't deliver because the turf is now eighty blocks on account of e-bikes? Someone who hasn't ridden in years is doubling your speed while they smoke a cigarette. Great! Good times! Those are the ones going the wrong way on bike Lanes. Not actual cyclists.
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Old 01-19-22, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Comfort is King View Post
Let me ask to this: how would you feel if you were one on the fastest cyclists on the city and your delivery turf was a fifteen block radius. All of a sudden, unless you have an e-bike that costs two thousand bucks, you can't deliver because the turf is now eighty blocks on account of e-bikes? .
Like my job got automated and it's time to find a different gig?
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Old 01-19-22, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Comfort is King View Post
Let me ask to this: how would you feel if you were one on the fastest cyclists on the city and your delivery turf was a fifteen block radius. All of a sudden, unless you have an e-bike that costs two thousand bucks, you can't deliver because the turf is now eighty blocks on account of e-bikes? Someone who hasn't ridden in years is doubling your speed while they smoke a cigarette. Great! Good times! Those are the ones going the wrong way on bike Lanes. Not actual cyclists.
I am old enough to know things change. You either get with the times or get out of the way.

You guys were/are seriously obeying all the traffic laws? I am just totally amazed you were the fastest in town in did zero "not legal" things... lol Kinda having a laugh at your description of the current crop of ebike delivery humans. sounds basically like the OG messenger dudes that I know smoking a cig(or something) while blasting away down the roads the wrong way. Ironically the people I know doing delivery now both on a ebike and normal bike seem much more subdued.
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Old 01-20-22, 08:05 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
I am old enough to know things change. You either get with the times or get out of the way.

You guys were/are seriously obeying all the traffic laws? I am just totally amazed you were the fastest in town in did zero "not legal" things... lol Kinda having a laugh at your description of the current crop of ebike delivery humans. sounds basically like the OG messenger dudes that I know smoking a cig(or something) while blasting away down the roads the wrong way. Ironically the people I know doing delivery now both on a ebike and normal bike seem much more subdued.
Of course we broke laws designed for heavy machines! Nobody, however, ever rode the wrong way down a one-way. Ever. Nobody ever rode on a sidewalk (almost, but one sketchy guy we hired who got hit at an intersection within a month). Pedestrians were sacred and were to never be put at risk. Beyond that, whether it's jumping reds, lane splitting, any of that stuff, that's fair game. Still is far as I'm concerned. As long as I don't take someone's ROW, I don't care about traffic control devices. If an intersection is clear, I go. If it isn't, I stop. I'd argue cyclists have a moral obligation to disobey stop signs at the least.

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Old 01-20-22, 08:30 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Comfort is King View Post
Of course we broke laws designed for heavy machines! Nobody ever ride the wrong way down a one-way. Ever. Nobody ever ride on a sidewalk (almost, but one sketchy guy we hired who got hit at an intersection within a month). Pedestrians we're sacred and we're to never be put at risk. Beyond that, whether it's jumping reds, lane splitting, any of that stuff, that's fair game. Still is far as I'm concerned. As long as I don't take someone's ROW, I don't care about traffic control devices. If an intersection is clear, I go. If it isn't, I stop. I'd argue cyclists have a moral obligation to disobey stop signs at the least.

So how long ago was this golden age? Your whole point was that the ebike riders had made it impossible to compete in the industry without power assist. I'd contend that this is a fundamentally different industry than you were engaged in, and the kind of bike delivery you were handling was much lower volume and, depending how long ago this was, was probably mostly pieces of paper containing documents that would have been transmitted electronically for the last two decades or so. That industry died. The current industry is mostly people delivering orders made on food delivery apps that didn't exist in any substantial numbers just a few years ago.

So the current crop of bike delivery guys isn't a bunch of frustrated racers. Why is that supposed to make us feel bad?
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Old 01-20-22, 08:49 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
So how long ago was this golden age? Your whole point was that the ebike riders had made it impossible to compete in the industry without power assist. I'd contend that this is a fundamentally different industry than you were engaged in, and the kind of bike delivery you were handling was much lower volume and, depending how long ago this was, was probably mostly pieces of paper containing documents that would have been transmitted electronically for the last two decades or so. That industry died. The current industry is mostly people delivering orders made on food delivery apps that didn't exist in any substantial numbers just a few years ago.

So the current crop of bike delivery guys isn't a bunch of frustrated racers. Why is that supposed to make us feel bad?
Did you even read any of the articles? It doesn't seem like you did. We should feel bad because as of just a couple of years ago, a delivery person could deliver on a free or extremely cheap bike. They were easy to maintain. Most had several bikes. The bike shops would repair any trouble during our breaks, if possible. Hardly any bikes ever got stolen because most weren't too valuable. Now, you have to get an e-bike. They get stolen. A lot. The battery dies. A lot. You need an extra one. They are harder to fix. Is that not worth feeling bad about?
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Old 01-20-22, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Comfort is King View Post
Did you even read any of the articles? It doesn't seem like you did. We should feel bad because as of just a couple of years ago, a delivery person could deliver on a free or extremely cheap bike. They were easy to maintain. Most had several bikes. The bike shops would repair any trouble during our breaks, if possible. Hardly any bikes ever got stolen because most weren't too valuable. Now, you have to get an e-bike. They get stolen. A lot. The battery dies. A lot. You need an extra one. They are harder to fix. Is that not worth feeling bad about?
Not really the question, yes I feel bad for people who have their tools of the trade stolen from them, but you're telling us we should feel worse for people who used to ride unpowered bukes. I certainly don't feel any worse for them than any of the other people who need to ride these ebikes to make a living. The fact that they used to do a job that was fundamentally more limited in scope under their own power is of no consequence to my sympathies.

A delivery person just a couple years ago wasn't operating in an industry handling anywhere the volume nor the distances required when delivering food. This app system is exploiting any number of legal loopholes to provide substandard employment conditions and avoid liability coverage, I'm a lot more sympathetic with people who need to work under those circumstances than I am the loss of opportunity for people to do this job "because they just wanted to be on their bikes." They can do something else to be on their bikes, bfd.
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Old 01-20-22, 09:51 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Not really the question, yes I feel bad for people who have their tools of the trade stolen from them, but you're telling us we should feel worse for people who used to ride unpowered bukes. I certainly don't feel any worse for them than any of the other people who need to ride these ebikes to make a living. The fact that they used to do a job that was fundamentally more limited in scope under their own power is of no consequence to my sympathies.

A delivery person just a couple years ago wasn't operating in an industry handling anywhere the volume nor the distances required when delivering food. This app system is exploiting any number of legal loopholes to provide substandard employment conditions and avoid liability coverage, I'm a lot more sympathetic with people who need to work under those circumstances than I am the loss of opportunity for people to do this job "because they just wanted to be on their bikes." They can do something else to be on their bikes, bfd.
I have been hesitant to point out the gallon of cola thing these guys deal with now. Not knowing when this guy did his time. Plenty of the local dudes are still on junk BSO delivering piles of food and soda's. some of the crazy back packs for hauling food are wild.
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Old 01-20-22, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
I have been hesitant to point out the gallon of cola thing these guys deal with now. Not knowing when this guy did his time. Plenty of the local dudes are still on junk BSO delivering piles of food and soda's. some of the crazy back packs for hauling food are wild.
I just saw a guy in Amherst MA hauling a small couch on a trailer behind his regular bike. His trailer had a sign advertising his hauling services. Nothing to do with this, but it was pretty cool to see. Pretty sure this was a self-managed gig job for a college student.
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Old 01-20-22, 10:51 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I just saw a guy in Amherst MA hauling a small couch on a trailer behind his regular bike. His trailer had a sign advertising his hauling services. Nothing to do with this, but it was pretty cool to see. Pretty sure this was a self-managed gig job for a college student.
See that dude should just haul a grill and cook some BBQ as he rides around. lol like the icream man only with meat..
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Old 01-20-22, 03:10 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Comfort is King View Post
I feel bad for the "real" delivery cyclists, the ones who delivered because they just wanted to be on their bikes. Now they are forced to be on e-bikes. Before, if you were a fast cyclist, you could make more than others. Now, anyone is a fast cyclist. People who have no business being a bicycle delivery person, because it was such a gnarly job, can do it without the requisite skill.
Bicycle delivery is such a terrible job lol, I got paid $4.25 an hour plus tips and rode in all weather. There were days that were too icy for the cars and the bikes would still go to work. Ebikes are rad though, I wouldn't use one because I don't want it to get stolen, but they are a good thing. Not cheating. Plus being a good delivery person is more about route planning than fitness. You should race in monstertrack

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Old 01-20-22, 09:56 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I just saw a guy in Amherst MA hauling a small couch on a trailer behind his regular bike. His trailer had a sign advertising his hauling services. Nothing to do with this, but it was pretty cool to see. Pretty sure this was a self-managed gig job for a college student.
Interesting, did it look like he was independent?

Because the "pedal people" coop on the west side of the river provides garbage and recycling pickup, but also general hauling including stuff like moving couches (and they'll bike trailer over a push mower or electric trimmer if you contract them for yard care).




When they say "pedal" they mean it, nothing but muscle and mechanical advantage. Those trailers weigh a ton - encountered a guy who'd gotten a wheel off the edge of the paving on an incline into a rut in the rip-rap and ended up pushing on the back while he stood on the pedals.

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Old 01-20-22, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Comfort is King View Post
Let me ask to this: how would you feel if you were one on the fastest cyclists on the city and your delivery turf was a fifteen block radius. All of a sudden, unless you have an e-bike that costs two thousand bucks, you can't deliver because the turf is now eighty blocks on account of e-bikes? .
I can't endorse everything you did do on your runs.

But I can agree, that expanding the territory and dropping the time expectations has made for a very hair-raising streetscape for both other cyclists and pedestrians.

Express a time pressure in dollars, and of course no one is ever going to ride the legal way through the one-way streets comprising my former neighbourhood - nope, they're going to salmon it. And they're going to do it without lights at night, and because hub motors don't even make drivetrain noise, silently, regularly scaring pedestrians who've looked where traffic is supposed to be coming from, out of their skins.

The true harm isn't just the rare collisions, it's the routine, everyday intimidation, too, when people who are doing things that are blatantly, illegal ride their silent little mopeds at unnerving speed at people who are exactly where they're supposed to be, and doing things that are supposed to be safe.

That the latter are often but not always the customers of the former, is what makes it complicated.

Personally I think the only way to make it sane is legal minimum fees per distance; and quite possibly, rate capping what number of delivery miles can be accomplished by one worker in an hour. The minute there's a financial pressure to cut corners, cutting corners is exactly what happens.

The only business competition in the sense of "efficiency" that's actually sustainable, is one that's about matching order sources and destinations to keep the unique-trip distances down.

Minimum distance pricing wouldn't destroy delivery - people could still economically get things that were truly local. But it would let workers earn a living wage at lower risk. And it would probably prompt some people to take a walk and pick up their own food, most likely not offsetting its contents, but still better than not. When people truly need provided meals as a functional necessity, the way to do it isn't bespoke on-offs, but sensible programs that batch things, either traditional meals-on-wheels or at the very least orders placed in advance which can be combined into a sensible multi-stop route while still giving some personal variety in the specific food.

Last edited by UniChris; 01-20-22 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 01-20-22, 10:33 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I just saw a guy in Amherst MA hauling a small couch on a trailer behind his regular bike. His trailer had a sign advertising his hauling services. Nothing to do with this, but it was pretty cool to see. Pretty sure this was a self-managed gig job for a college student.
That guy is not in need of advocacy. Relating people who do hard labor like this is indecent.
Similarly, as captured in that New York video, whoever person who ordered that far-off ice cream is just revolting.
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Old 01-20-22, 11:54 PM
  #45  
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Not really clear what your point is.

Someone who's constructed a non-exploitative business may indeed not be in need of advocacy.

But simply advocating for those in an exploitative business - while leaving it exploitative - doesn't really do much. To make an actual difference for the workers (never mind the others impacted) the very nature of the business has to be changed to something that's not a dangerous rat race, but actually fair pair for reasonable labor in conditions that are safe and legal for both the worker and the others who are trying to move about in the world they work in.
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Old 01-21-22, 05:00 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Interesting, did it look like he was independent?

Because the "pedal people" coop on the west side of the river provides garbage and recycling pickup, but also general hauling including stuff like moving couches (and they'll bike trailer over a push mower or electric trimmer if you contract them for yard care).




When they say "pedal" they mean it, nothing but muscle and mechanical advantage. Those trailers weigh a ton - encountered a guy who'd gotten a wheel off the edge of the paving on an incline into a rut in the rip-rap and ended up pushing on the back while he stood on the pedals.

It's been a couple months so I don't remember the sign, but it was definitely a similar rig.

That might even be the same guy.
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Old 01-21-22, 06:34 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Not really clear what your point is.

Someone who's constructed a non-exploitative business may indeed not be in need of advocacy.

But simply advocating for those in an exploitative business - while leaving it exploitative - doesn't really do much. To make an actual difference for the workers (never mind the others impacted) the very nature of the business has to be changed to something that's not a dangerous rat race, but actually fair pair for reasonable labor in conditions that are safe and legal for both the worker and the others who are trying to move about in the world they work in.

Exactly, but it's the "they're just contractors" arrangement that leads to the exploitative nature of this. This is the way the taxicab industry has been organized, and regulation enforcement tends to be just another burden cast off onto the driver as the real employer is shielded from responsibility for the actual operations. I'm not sure if you're familiar with the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) in NYC, but it was clearly captured by the medallion owners and basically just extracted fines from the contractor drivers. If you really want to improve things, it's probably a matter of regulating the apps to prevent long-distance orders and/or capping the miles assigned to a given rider. The obvious problem with this, though, is that the riders will have an incentive to game whatever to maximize their revenue per hour. I'm not optimistic this genie can be put back in the bottle, but organizing the riders would, if possible, probably be the best way to force some change.
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Old 01-21-22, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
If you really want to improve things, it's probably a matter of regulating the apps to prevent long-distance orders and/or capping the miles assigned to a given rider. The obvious problem with this, though, is that the riders will have an incentive to game whatever to maximize their revenue per hour. I'm not optimistic this genie can be put back in the bottle, but organizing the riders would, if possible, probably be the best way to force some change.
It really has to be the apps, not the riders. Organizing the riders just encourages the apps to go find different worker pools - something that they (unlike the resturaunts) actually are in a position to do.

To make it work, worker payments and actual work orders probably all have to be routed through a city managed final platform, even if that's backending for some of the apps as well as individual resturaunts (or at the outside, apps would have to meet city data interchange rules). So there's visibility into the actual trips. The big challenge there will be keeping in check having multiple accounts to exceed limits, and account lending, for example where someone "subcontracts" to someone else without work authorization or of less than legal age while skimming off the top.

This isn't as unprecedented as it sounds - the modern taxi instrumentation isnt just a meter but has a screen with city controlled media and takes card payments that go through the city's contractor before making their way back to the driver - and having it is non-optional. And the justification is basically the same - keeping an industry that can readily become very dangerous if left to its own devices, operating in a way that balances public and worker safety with profit.

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Old 01-21-22, 10:34 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
It really has to be the apps, not the riders. Organizing the riders just encourages the apps to go find different worker pools - something that they (unlike the resturaunts) actually are in a position to do.

To make it work, worker payments and actual work orders probably all have to be routed through a city managed final platform, even if that's backending for some of the apps as well as individual resturaunts (or at the outside, apps would have to meet city data interchange rules). So there's visibility into the actual trips. The big challenge there will be keeping in check having multiple accounts to exceed limits, and account lending, for example where someone "subcontracts" to someone else without work authorization or of less than legal age while skimming off the top.

This isn't as unprecedented as it sounds - the modern taxi instrumentation isnt just a meter but has a screen with city controlled media and takes card payments that go through the city's contractor before making their way back to the driver - and having it is non-optional. And the justification is basically the same - keeping an industry that can readily become very dangerous if left to its own devices, operating in a way that balances public and worker safety with profit.

Interesting. I didn't know about that city contractor thing. That might be useful in stopping the obvious delivery guy workaround, which would be booking trips through multiple apps, but as you suggest, definitely has its limitations. Not knowing anything about this system, I do wonder if it could be as easy to handle the volume as taxis are capped at a certain number of medallions or licenses. Of course, Uber and Lyft made a lot of this regulation completely pointless.
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Old 01-21-22, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I do wonder if it could be as easy to handle the volume as taxis are capped at a certain number of medallions or licenses.
Volume isn't really an issue for an online business. Customer service type aspects go up - but a lot of that is really what should be department of labor type stuff anyway.

Of course, Uber and Lyft made a lot of this regulation completely pointless.
Yes and no; they were forced to share some of the same data with the city and aren't just a free-for-all, but operate under the car service side of TLC (taxis can't be dispatched)
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