A short film by a taxicab industry group accuses Uber of failing to properly protect the public, but the ride-sharing pioneer may be more worried about its own disgruntled drivers. In Philadelphia, drivers of the premiere Uber Black service are being enlisted to tattle on fellow UberX drivers whom the city says lack proper licensing -- and it's working, according to a report by Philadelphia Magazine. (Uber Black operates like a chauffeur or limo service; UberX involves people driving their own cars.) Municipal authorities in Philadelphia who have jurisdiction over the city's taxis and limos circulated a memo to Uber Black drivers, the only Uber drivers authorized to operate there, urging them to report UberX drivers to the city. The incentive, of course, is that fewer cheaper UberX drivers on the streets means more business for Uber Black drivers. If money talks, Uber Black drivers are listening. "According to PPA (Philadelphia Parking Authority) sources, the agency has been receiving tips left and right, including videos taken by Uber drivers of UberX drivers picking up passengers," says the report.
Spotify your Uber ride
In other Uber news, a partnership with online music service Spotify that will allow passengers to listen to their own play lists is coming under fire by some drivers. Passengers who have a premium account with Spotify will be able to log in to their accounts within the Uber app and then select a playlist from their own music library. Allowing paying passengers to control the music may seem like a great customer-service perk, but drivers are airing concerns on their online forum, Uber People. "This particular issue has the makings of a lot of potential lawsuits," writes one forum member. "Bad move on Uber's part. It's hard enough to get the drunks home without being distracted by their perpetual disturbances…just a vehicle of loud, obnoxious drunks is punishment enough. Adding loud music only adds another unsafe condition for the drivers."
Let's go to the film
Meanwhile, the taxi industry is also sounding off on ride-sharing services both through civil disobedience and the media. Taxi drivers protested recently against ride-sharing companies at San Francisco International Airport recently causing gridlock and leaving many passengers waiting for rides. Cabbies contend that ride-sharing is unsafe and should be regulated.