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cara @caraellison

Hi. Do you have a local taxi company? Do they have a union? If so, use them. Pay a little extra and up the chances they'll steal staff from Uber. My local taxis have an app that's efficient enough and they're all really scared they're going to lose the company that protects their rights to a company that exploits people

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I know that sometimes people like to start driving uber because they can do it part time, but many taxi companies are flexible with their employment. even if the up front costs seem steep you can cab share

@caraellison our taxi companies in #Ipswich #Suffolk have had good reliable online apps for 10 years before Uber (I only realised this when I noticed less activity on my radio scanner from taxi comms), they treat their staff well and are no more expensive (I'm not even sure if anyone even uses Uber round here as there is little gain in doing so).

@caraellison There are also people working on peer to peer apps where the transaction is between the driver and the passenger without involving the company, such as Chasyr and Swarm City.

@seanl Hm. I don't know how I feel about that. I think there needs to be some organisational responsibility for safety?

@caraellison Possibly, but that can be done by a certification organization. Under the current system, you get stuff like NYC having the same number of cabs today as it did in the '30s. It benefits existing companies & drivers at the expense riders and anyone shut out of driving for numerical rather than safety reasons.

@caraellison It seems like rating systems work better than certification organizations for that sort of thing anyway, since riders can tell if the driver's driving safely and the car is in at least visibly decent shape.

@caraellison Whereas a certification org only checks once every six months at best and in case of people filing reports, which requires pretty bad behavior/conditions.

@caraellison For drivers without a lot of history the rider can check license & proof of insurance, which at least covers the most egregious possibilities. Doesn't cover the "not an axe murderer" part but then again neither has licensing historically.

@matty I mean, sure, but how likely is this, they keep costs low by not having those things

@caraellison yup. But unless we organize the members of the gig economy as well, companies like Uber will be able to use their greater exploitation to lower prices, letting them break unions and claim they're more 'productive'. They're not, they're just trading temporary stolen value for market share.

Buy Union, of course - but also expand unions.

@caraellison I was quite happy to never see Uber cars around Cambridge until fairly recently. Seems to be some shiftiness with the registration there, there's one always around town that has a taxi plate from Wolverhampton...

@caraellison You have a good local taxi company then. Unfortunately most #taxi companies don't have #apps and are rather expensive, but perhaps they will now be forced to modernise themselves a bit, which I am all for.