How to make sure rideshare works for all
Mayor Caldwell has vetoed the Council’s ban on surge pricing. This was the right move, in my opinion. Rideshare is transitional technology, en route to autonomy, more (not less) public transportation, and ultimately smarter cities which are designed for pedestrians, not cars.
Rather than seeking to prop up incumbent businesses, there’s two better things which the Council could achieve with regard to rideshare:
1) Better labor standards. We should make it easier for the drivers of these vehicles to unionize or at least begin to receive the benefits that unions can offer, such as retirement and health benefits.
2) Public-interest data. The data collected by the rideshare companies is tremendously valuable. Uber and Lyft know how frequently people utilize their services, from where and to where, when, as well as optimal pricing. I believe the city should strike an agreement with the rideshare companies in which that data is provided to the city in exchange for their ability to operate here. That data could then be used to identify new locations for TheBus stops, Biki stations, and even future rail stations.