Uber

Newark Looks to Shake Down Uber Drivers For 'Fair Share' in Fees

Fee structures would be higher than for taxi drivers.

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R. Heyward

Uber has responded to efforts by the city government of Newark, N.J., to impose fees and service charges on its drivers exceeding those paid by taxi drivers, by warning it would exit the city if the measure passed.

Cab drivers in Newark pay $300 a year for a license for their vehicle, plus $50 for their hack license, according to NJ.com. They are also required to have $35,000 worth of insurance coverage. The new regulations being proposed by Newark for Uber would require its drivers to pay a $500 fee to operate in the city, and additional $1,000 for a license to operate at the Newark airport and Newark Penn Station. Cab drivers do not have to pay extra to pick up or drop off fares at those transit centers.

Newark's mayor, Ras Baraka, rejected Uber's complaints about the onerous regulations being imposed on its drivers, by relying on anti-Wall Street rhetoric. "The company is not fighting for its drivers," Baraka said in a statement. "UBER cares only about preserving its inflated valuation by Wall Street." The mayor called Uber "a cash rich company that can afford to pay its fair share of taxes and fees."

It's unclear who Baraka and supporters of the new Uber regulations claim their measures are intended on behalf of, but it's certainly not Newark residents, neither those who generate income for themselves as drivers in a city whose political leadership is consistently complaining about a lack of jobs, nor those residents for whom the introduction of Uber has meant vastly lower fares.

I've lived most of my life in Newark, and continue to have friends and family that live there. Over the course of my life, I've taken my fair share of cab rides within the city of Newark at all hours of the day and night. In the last two years I've exclusively used Uber. Uber fares are consistently lower than cab fares in Newark—three to five times lower in some instances.

Many cabs in Newark do not use their meters, so prices vary but are uniformly on the high side. Fare for a cross-town trip from Newark Penn Station to my childhood neighborhood will be cited at about $35 by cab drivers. Others may have a lower price cited for them, but I'm often profiled as not a Newark resident despite living there most of my life. Before I started taking Uber, I could usually hold out for a $25 cross-town fare, though found that increasingly difficult toward the end. Many cab drivers at Newark Penn Station are not even interested in picking up passengers going anywhere but the Newark airport.

Uber, according to drivers and residents who use the service that I've talked to, has filled a gap in transportation services for many Newark residents. In some parts of Newark, a 3 a.m. cab ride a short distance is prohibitively expensive, if possible at all. Some cab drivers will simply not service certain neighborhoods or make it difficult to get a cab out there. Not so with Uber, which looks for drivers further and further away until someone accepts your fare request. I have never had a problem hailing an Uber ride in Newark, irrespective of the time or place, even in situations where previously I had been unsuccessful in hailing a cab.

Baraka's distraction about Uber's "cash rich" status notwithstanding, the attempt to bilk Uber out of money hurts those Newark residents whose lives have been made easier by the ride hailing service far more than it hurts Uber. I suspect Baraka, who was a public school administrator and city councilmember before being mayor, has rarely taken a taxi in Newark in his life. He has a city car now that he's a mayor, and he had a city car when he was a city councilman. In fact, many city employees get access to city cars and gas cards.

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  1. Baraka’s distraction about Uber’s “cash rich” status notwithstanding, the attempt to bilk Uber out of money hurts those Newark residents whose lives have been made easier by the ride hailing service far more than it hurts Uber.

    Feature, not bug. He’ll keep those uppity plebes in line and dependent on government for transportation.

    I suspect Baraka, who was a public school administrator and city councilmember before being mayor, has rarely taken a taxi in Newark in his life. He has a city car now that he’s a mayor, and he had a city car when he was a city councilman. In fact, many city employees get access to city cars and gas cards.

    A parasite that’s convinced it’s the host.

  2. “Newark’s mayor, Ras Baraka, rejected Uber’s complaints about the onerous regulations being imposed on its drivers, by relying on anti-Wall Street rhetoric. “The company is not fighting for its drivers,” Baraka said in a statement. “UBER cares only abut preserving its inflated valuation by Wall Street.” The mayor called Uber “a cash rich company that can afford to pay its fair share of taxes and fees.”

    Like how bureaucrats and the parasite class ‘fight for the people and children’, right?

    What a piece of work this guy.

    1. Shit. He’s a piece of shit.

      1. I’ve always thought puddle of shit had a nicer ring to it.

      2. Well, it would have to be solid to be a piece. He’s a smear of shit. A puddle of runs.

        1. A lingering fart with particles of last night’s dinner.

  3. That fee structure is aimed at eliminating part time drivers.

  4. In Calgary, we have kind of the reverse situation. The city-hallholes put up an onerous legal structure that has kept Uber out but they’ve allowed cabs to set their own rates except for street hails. Now they’re all undercutting the hell out of each other. I think United Cabs cut their fees by 20%.

    1. Its amazing what can happen once you allow a little competition into the system.

      Now wait until the big taxi companies form an unofficial cartel, fix prices, and the city turns a blind eye to it.

  5. Oh, and this is exactly what Arcade City is for.

  6. ” “The company is not fighting for its drivers,” Baraka said in a statement. “UBER cares only abut preserving its inflated valuation by Wall Street.” The mayor called Uber “a cash rich company that can afford to pay its fair share of taxes and fees.””

    One of the ways Uber keeps itself cash rich is by keeping its drivers happy so they keep going out and making Uber money. Every Uber driver I’ve ever talked to has raved about the job and it’s not like there’s some Uber boss listening in making sure they don’t bad mouth the company.

    It’s almost like Uber’s self interest and the interests of its drivers align and Baraka’s an idiot who doesn’t realize that Uber can increase it’s own market share while simultaneously working to improve the situation for its workers.

    1. Also, given that Newark used to be a wealthy city but now has a per capita income less than half that of New Jersey, I think the last in a long line of mayors who have been busily running that city into the ground should probably avoid lecturing other people on business practices.

    2. Yes, they are incapable of understanding that absent corruption or inheritance, the only way to get rich is to satisfy customers. Whether that incapacity is pig-ignorance or willful blindness, I neither know nor care; the end effect is the same.

    3. It’s almost like Uber’s self interest and the interests of its drivers align

      This is something that a Leftist could never, ever understand. With them it’s only master/servant.

      1. It’s always a zero sum game. Every economic transaction must have a winner and a loser.

    4. I think he mainly cares about getting his cut. I don’t know if that makes him an idiot, though if his game of chicken with Uber ends badly, maybe so.

      1. Or = he’s already gotten plenty of support from cab companies, and he doesn’t see a lot of gelt coming from a loose network of Uber drivers in the same way. They’re not ‘his people’.

        i suppose his high-fees is just a gambit where either way he wins = either they pay, or they fuck off.

  7. OT: LH this morning linked to this article I got around to reading.

    “Think of low-income Americans with longer life spans as people who have won a kind of regional lottery. They live in a blue state or big metropolitan area with a healthy ethos; dense population (meaning they probably walk more and spend less time in cars); tougher regulations against surgery drinks; tougher bans against smoking in bars, offices, and restaurants; and higher taxes on cigarettes. Is it really any surprise they benefit accordingly?”

    What in the fuck is this guy going on about?

    http://theweek.com/articles/61…..ricas-poor

    1. He’s just not a very intelligent man. For example, he assumes that poor people in all of these different areas are the *same type* of poor person and the only difference is the local policies. This is insane. A lot of poor people in urban centers are childless, young college graduates who are “poor” because they graduated college 2 years ago and haven’t reached their earning potential. Poor people in Appalachia, on the other hand, have an entirely different type of poverty.

      There are also huge racial differences in death rates as it relates to poverty. Hispanics, for example, have life expectancies higher than white people despite being much poorer on average and having poverty rates that are very similar to African Americans. Therefore, you could just as easily argue that the primary driver behind life expectancy for poor people depends on what their background is, not local policy. If your city has lots of poor Hispanics, your life expectancy for people in poverty will be higher than if you have lots of poor black people or poor whites.

      1. He also makes the age old leftist mistake where he assumes that everyone secretly wants to live like a leftist urbanite. It never occurs to him that poor, rural white people like smoking and eating fried food and might be willing to trade a few years at the tail end of their lives for those simple pleasures – especially when you compare it to urban poor people who are constantly being hauled off to jail for petty crimes like selling loosies.

        There’s also evidence people in rural areas are slightly happier than people living in cities, so if someone is happier living to 75 in a rural area than living to 80 in a city, who are we to tell them that’s the “wrong” choice?

    2. surgery drinks

      Eew

  8. Hey Uber, how much to take me to Alpha Centuri?

    1. Certain buzz kills on another thread say Uber can’t afford it.

  9. Because FUTW! There is no rational basis for such fees. There is no reason to extract them other than that they can.

  10. OT: IRS chief: Agency encourages illegal immigrant theft of SSNs to file tax returns

    As long as the information is being used only to fraudulently obtain jobs, Koskinen said, rather than to claim false tax returns, the agency has an interest in helping them. “The question is whether the Social Security number they’re using to get the job has been stolen. It’s not the normal identity theft situation,” he said.

    WTF? Koskinen should just offer up his SSN for anybody to use in obtaining a job and be done with it.

    1. What the actual fuck? That’s insane! Um…Reason…might want to take another look at this one.

    2. While he’s at it he could give them his IP address as well.

      As a result, for the last 14 years, every time MaxMind’s database has been queried about the location of an IP address in the United States it can’t identify, it has spit out the default location of a spot two hours away from the geographic center of the country. This happens a lot: 5,000 companies rely on MaxMind’s IP mapping information, and in all, there are now over 600 million IP addresses associated with that default coordinate. If any of those IP addresses are used by a scammer, or a computer thief, or a suicidal person contacting a help line, MaxMind’s database places them at the same spot: 38.0000,-97.0000.

      Which happens to be in the front yard of Joyce Taylor’s house.

      1. “The physical mapping of computer addresses is one of the many aspects of the internet infrastructure that is almost completely unregulated. It is a task performed by private companies, and not just MaxMind. No one is officially in charge, and so there was no obvious party that Tony Pav or Joyce Taylor could go to in order to find out why this was happening, or get it fixed.”

        Oh, I would suggest they get legal counsel and find out how unregulated that company’s conduct really is.

        Maybe they could “go to” a judge.

        1. Seriously, if the situation is already covered by tort law, then why should there be regulations to make it extra illegal?

          1. There shouldn’t be. But we both know that isn’t how this works. It’s along the same lines of hate crime laws. Adding an additional layer of punishment for the purpose of social signaling amongst ones peers in the hope of obtaining career advancement. That’s pretty much what it boils down to.

          2. It is almost certainly not a tort, but undoubtedly the judge and the plaintiffs would be mathematically illiterate.

            38,-97 is not in Joyce Taylor’s front yard. It is likely not even “in” her locality. Just looking at the significant figures in the number alone, it has a precision of 60 minutes of arc, or as many nautical miles along the meridian (… computing the distance along the parallel would require a lot more difficult math).

            I don’t know what information MaxMind gives, but I’d bet dollars to donuts that the extra zeros on the end of the number are added by the “intrepid reporter” to make it seem more precise than it is. Moreover, there is likely a radius figure associated with that coordinate, probably on the order of thousands of miles, i.e. it refers to the entire US.

  11. …but I’m often profiled as not a Newark resident despite living there most of my life.

    Have you tried acting more like an a-hole? That’s how I always manage to fit in during my trips to Jerksey.

    1. What the fuck you lookin’ at?

      1. Faaahhhk yous.

  12. He’s the son of black nationalist poet Amiri Baraka, and he wasn’t just “a public school administrator and city council member before being mayor”:

    Baraka’s opponents noted that through his simultaneous jobs as councilman and principal of Central High School, he was drawing combined salaries of more than $200,000 annually.

    1. But Baraka really cares about the people of Newark, unlike those evil Uber fat cats who would be glad to see their drivers starve

    2. His opponent “was largely financed by Wall Street and hedge fund backers of school privatization.” Whew, dodged that bullet.

      The murder rate, fueled by desperation and hopelessness in impoverished neighborhoods, has reached a 24-year high.

      Oh lordy.

      *checks website*

      Ah, his eyes uncovered.

      1. I’d think if someone was *totally* desperate and hopeless they wouldn’t have the *energy* to commit murder.

        1. well, if they were totally hopeless, at least

  13. Every post like this makes me support Uber more.

    1. Big Mike jsut not gonna like that LOL!

      stupidantiuberarguments@assholelicker.govsucker

  14. Why would two teams who can’t improve their position or lose ground play to an overtime and almost play to a second overtime?

  15. OT: I’ve noticed Omegle.com is endorsing GayJay on its front page. That means all the people eager to flash their dicks to strangers on the internet might look into his cred and chops and rep and stats and maybe even end up supporting him!

    I think it’s great. If anywhere is host to potentially libertarian-minded people, it’s sites like Omegle and Chat Roulette. Well, I’m not sure about the Mexicans and ass-sex (unless it’s hetero ass-sex) parts of the trinity, but certainly the “pot” third.

  16. Baraka’s distraction about Uber’s “cash rich” status notwithstanding,

    Not a distraction. A mask-slip.

    The more experience you have, the more apparent it is that government is just the evolution of the criminal gang. This is just the same old protection racket, but with a veneer of legitimacy laid over the top.

    All that language about “a government of law” and “the will of the people expressed at the ballot box” sounds great. Then when you hear things like “I go to the banks because that’s where the money is” you remember where they came from.

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