Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cabbies fist-pumping at Uber conflict

Another Uber driver is in trouble again. This time the driver failed to listen to a client's route, which likely sparked a heated altercation that went sour. Ride app drivers must accommodate all clients, no matter if these demands are extreme. Cabbies are probably assembling together and fist-pumping with Lyft drivers, cheering "I told you so about Uber!"

Ridesharing companies sway in favor of their clients/riders/passengers. Because of several erratic Uber drivers, the pubic want this ride app stopped in its tracks. Violence, disagreements, inefficient routes, outrunning a taxi inspector, harassment and this past New Year tragedy in San Francisco have plagued Uber. However, these are a handful of problems and such events can happen in any industry.

We must remember that drivers are people dealing with the public. Flipping the script, the same violence can be brought on by clients who may assault and harm drivers.

We've heard of a shocking outcome in a city job environment many years ago, a sad story of San Francisco Mayor Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk losing their lives to former City Supervisor Dan White, who somehow went mad and gunned down these two city politicians.

Out of all people, this decorated city public official, Dan White, who had no previous background, acted on violent terms, as his anger was speculated as the cause of this senseless tragedy. White thus got rejected to reclaim his City Supervisor position he left after putting in his resignation. Harvey Milk, a hero who championed Gay Rights, was appointment White's previous position.

Sean Penn played Harvey Milk in the Hollywood movie, MILK, touched upon this dark time in San Francisco history. Penn, an A-list actor, won his second Academy Award for Best Actor portraying this famed politician.

It is also known that Mayor Moscone worked hard to keep the San Francisco Giants from fleeing to another city. His determination to retain the Giants made it possible for the city to celebrate two recent titles and a pursuit to claim a third title.

Unexpected events can occur anywhere at anytime. No background check is foolproof. We've seen tragedies in places which are supposed to be safe and protected environments, such as Fort Hood and Washington Naval Yard shootings. The people involved in these senseless acts of violence have gone through background checks. In our opinion, background checks are invalid predictors of human behavior and violent actions.

The other night, two clients joked and asked their driver if he had a hammer. This UberX driver remained professional and said no. The clients laughed and mentioned that you heard of the Uber driver bashing the head of a client? He responded, "Yes, I heard this," and reflected on this event as very sad. Why would any driver act this way to people who help them to make a living?

The common background check argument won't resolve such issues. There are a handful of reported events, which any negative publicity is amplified to impact a new industry. It doesn't matter where people are at, violence can occur without warning. Unfortunately, it is staple of our society that we want to reduce.

People get angry. They lose control for a number of reasons. As ride app drivers take the roads, they also take risks transporting people. Taxi drivers are also at risk of violence, as seen in slayings against taxi drivers in New York City in the early 90's. On another website titled Gypsy Cab Driver, New York City taxi and livery drivers have been robbed and even killed by their passengers.

Do crimes against taxi drivers and livery drivers occur because such pickups are unplanned connections? For the most part, taxi drivers can make all kinds of passenger pickups. They have no recollection of the passengers' backgrounds and whether this could become their last trip.

Why attempt to smear a ride app company? A very small sample of taxi drivers may shown extreme violent tendencies, as displayed in San Francisco in 1999, where a taxi driver raped and murdered a young woman, and then buried his victim at what is now AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. Even worse, a serial case involving a Jacksonville, Florida taxi driver went on a serial murder spree to claim the lives of 6 women.

Are arguments claiming that taxi drivers are better qualified and undergo strict background checks valid to reduce fear? Not a chance? The previous two Uber driver cased are in result of disputes concerning routes. A good resolution is to have riders input addresses. It is up the client to choose another route. Ride app drivers are mostly nice and accountable for their actions. In some scarce cases, we are seeing one person who acted out of frustration against a female client and had no prior criminal record.

According to SFGate, the driver and the female client got into a dispute over directions, so the driver stopped and told this client to get out. It is noted that this driver pulled the rider out of his vehicle. When she attempted to take a picture of his car, the driver took her phone and smashed it on the road. She flagged down a police officer, who then cited this driver for misdemeanors. This drive had no criminal background; however, taxi drivers and anti-rideshare users are enamored to learn of this event and the hammer event.

In thousands of trips, ridesharing drivers,like taxi drivers, experience conflict. There is a good and a bad way to respond to such problems. Drivers must show professionalism to diffuse conflict. What could anger a driver this much, unless they have an anger problems/short tempers dealing with entitled and drunk riders. San Francisco is full of those tough riders, which drivers must transport often. If trips are this grueling in SF, drivers may want to consider dividing their work areas between Bay Area cities. As we know, SF is viewed as gold mine for ridesharing, no matter if fares are dropping. This dense city is intense; drivers are bound to encounter rude and tough riders.

We can't blame ride app companies for these random cases. On a good note, ridesharing drivers have been requested to give rides to female riders who worry about their safety at bad locations, even in bad neighborhoods. Taxi drivers will never take a trip into a neighborhood to drive a female rider a block. They wouldn't take this call because they are only thinking of earning money. Ridesharing drivers will make sure their female clients enter their homes safely. These drivers will travel into a nearby complex, next to the homeless park in Berkeley, and drive another female client a block down. Taxi drivers won't waste their time accepting these rides. in the ride community, this is referred to as caring ridesharing.

Ridesharing services are the best idea to come out of San Francisco in a long time. As in the case of cell phones, we will hear of lives saved and those lost because of this technology. With ridesharing, lives are saved due to clients requesting rides instead of driving drunk. On the flip side, some drivers get frustrated with passengers and somehow forget they are accountable for their actions.

Are ridesharing drivers gathering together to hurt a violent rider? Have we heard of such cases? This happens in New York City, where cab and livery drivers are victims of crime, and then take action. That is the wrong way to deal with violence, because vigilante actions are against the law.

Recent Uber driver cases are shining a dark light on this tech app provider. Violence does occur at other ridesharing companies. A Lyft driver was punched on the nose for requesting their rider to stop smoking. One SideCar rider shared that their driver almost sideswiped a bicyclist and blamed them for being in the way. A taxi driver took a video of a Lyft driver. This off-duty Lyft driver argued with this off-duty taxi medallion holder over illegal parking by a crosswalk. Unfortunately, the Lyft driver lost his cool and got into a verbal altercation because of this filming action. For the most part, this news website chose a bad title for this article. We didn't see the Lyft driver striking the taxi driver.

Taxi drivers are known to steal phones out of TNC vehicles at stop lights and stop signs. They slammed their brakes in front of TNCs, and continue to do so as a ploy to cause an accident and take this ridesharing drivers off the roads. They give dirty looks to driver. One taxi driver got frustrated with waiting behind a TNC and zoomed past them on a 2-way road in a residential district. This taxi could have caused a major accident. Taxi drivers run red lights in trios. They honk at TNCs out of control, showing no courtesy for motorists and their passengers.

Why do taxi drivers overlook their competitive advantage? They get paid faster, can pick up hailing passengers, get guaranteed rides at airports, at hotels, near street corners and at bars, don't destroy their personal vehicles, are not grounded if expensive repairs are required, can make left turns in San Francisco on Market and Mission, are given designated red lanes to drive in, can drive in the left lane on Market, and have other perks.

Ridesharing drivers are at a disadvantage. When everything is factored into this ridesharing discussion, they don't make much money. Unless they devise a good plan, their time on the road is inefficient.

These recent episodes are making ride app companies appear bad. If we look into all driving services, there are much worse situations. As we mentioned, it is up to the driver to show professionalism when dealing with many personalities. One client can make a difference in whether a driver continues driving on the road, or is terminated. The client is always right. Avoid conflict with taxi drivers.

Read the story of Uber driver and client conflict here. In the comment section, the driver shares their story of this event. We don't know if this is the real driver, but the turn-by-turn events seem accurate. How close is this story to the news coverage? Do clients bend the facts? Ridesharing drivers who feel there will be a potential problem must send support a summary of events, in case clients submit an unfair complaint to get them deactivated. Protect your driving privileges at all cost.

Ridesharing drivers have one advantage; an active record of a client is available on the driver app. There is a history of this trip stored in the system. Taxi drivers must take risks driving people who never share their name. Sense of safety is the focal point in ridesharing. Knowing the identity of another driver and client create a level playing field. Conflict is inevitable. Drivers and clients must learn to get along in order to keep ridesharing alive.