Ride-share drivers striking in Boston, other major cities

Ride-share drivers striking in Boston, other major cities

BOSTON (WHDH/AP) — Drivers for ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft planned to turn off their apps Wednesday to protest what they say are declining wages at a time when both companies are raking in billions of dollars from investors.

Organizers are demonstrating in 10 U.S. cities, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

They timed their protests in advance of Uber’s initial public stock offering, which is planned for Friday. Uber aims to raise $9 billion from investors and is expected to be valued at up to $91.5 billion.

It’s not the first time drivers for ride-hailing apps have staged protests. Strikes were planned in several cities ahead of Lyft’s IPO last month, although the disruption to riders appeared to be minimal. This time more cities are participating.

“Drivers built these billion dollar companies and it is just plain wrong that so many continue to be paid poverty wages while Silicon Valley investors get rich off their labor,” said Brendan Sexton, executive director of the Independent Drivers Guild, in a statement. “All drivers deserve fair pay.”

Felipe Martinez of the Boston Independent Driving Guild called on ride-sharing drivers in the city to switch off their app for 24 hours.

“You have people from the West Coast to the East Coast organizing a strategic strike and action on one day,” he said. “They have to listen, and their shareholders better listen. It’s not a good investment.”

In New York, striking drivers planned to shut down their services during the morning rush hour from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m., while drivers in Los Angeles are set to strike for 24 hours and set up a picket line at Los Angeles International Airport.

Lyft said its drivers’ hourly earnings have increased over the last two years, that 75% of its drivers work less than 10 hours per week to supplement existing jobs and that on average the company’s drivers earn over $20 an hour.

“We know that access to flexible, extra income makes a big difference for millions of people, and we’re constantly working to improve how we can best serve our driver community,” Lyft said.

Strikes are also planned in Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Diego and Stamford, Connecticut.

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Ex-UFC Fighter Rodrigo de Lima Killed After Argument with Rideshare Driver | TMZ.com

Ex-UFC Fighter Rodrigo de Lima Killed After Argument with Rideshare Driver | TMZ.com

Breaking News

A former UFC fighter was hit by a car and killed in Brazil after officials say he got into an argument with his rideshare driver. 

The fighter is 26-year-old Rodrigo de Lima — who fought Neil Magny in 2014 and Efrain Escudero in 2015 during his stint in the UFC. He lost both of those fights. 

Rodrigo was a passenger in a car in Belem, Brazil when he got into an argument with the driver. According to reports, the driver stopped the car and booted de Lima from the vehicle. 

Once outside the car, the driver allegedly drove away from the scene — then turned around and struck de Lima from behind, killing the fighter. 

There are reports the driver was working for Uber at the time of the incident. We’ve called Uber to confirm but so far, no word back. 

Officials are currently on the hunt for the driver. De Lima is survived by his wife and two young children. 

De Lima was 9-3-1 as a pro — and earned the nickname “Monstro” (which means monster) — due to his fighting style. 


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New York’s Rideshare Organizers Clash Amid Unprecedented Uber Strike

New York’s Rideshare Organizers Clash Amid Unprecedented Uber Strike

Long Island City—Just days before Uber’s expected debut on the stock market at a conservative but still-astronomical $80 to $90 billion valuation, the anger among rideshare drivers boiled over into an international day of action.

In at least 20 cities around the world, Uber drivers with few employment protections and no real way to contact one another came together on Wednesday to demand fairer conditions. That action on this scale could be coordinated at all is, on its own, an astounding achievement. A grand expression of frustration can be cathartic in its own way, but at times the balkanized pockets of organizers appeared to be rowing in opposite directions—nowhere more starkly than in the company’s largest market: New York City.


Ask rideshare drivers anywhere, and they’ll likely name the same problems: low pay made lower through vehicle expenses and upkeep, deactivations without recourse, and a higher and higher share of their rides being gobbled up as commission fees. But ask about the best strategy to improve their working conditions, and the answers will probably be less consistent.

In three cities in Australia, a handful of drivers delivered a letter expressing “concern about the lack of rights and standards that apply to transport workers in the gig economy” to Uber Greenlight hubs. In Los Angeles, one of the best organized and most militant groups, Rideshare Drivers United, called a 24-hour strike for its estimated 4,200 members. Philadelphia Drivers United responsibly split the difference, opting to hold a rally but not call a strike, as many of its constituent members were “one missed day of work away from vehicle repossession or missed medications.” Unfocused, maybe, but not openly hostile towards one another.

New York, however, had the dubious honor of being the only city to host competing rallies between labor groups—the Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) and the New York Taxi Drivers Alliance (NYTWA)—which took turns to protest in front of an Uber hub in Long Island City, Queens, rather than join together.

“As New York drivers we’re standing in solidarity with drivers all across the country,” Aaron Smith, the IDG’s director of organizing, told me—apparently referring to every local grassroots group except the NYTWA.

Bhairavi Desai, the executive director of NYTWA, believed the majority of her organization’s 10,000 members shut off their apps during their declared strike hours from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. today, and took credit for an alleged 2.2x driver surge meant to encourage to get drivers out on the road. Citing just a 500-car dip from last week’s numbers, Uber denied the strike’s efficacy, and in fact refused to attribute the change to labor activity. Whether the strike had a meaningful impact on Uber’s business this morning or not, at least three hashtags associated with the strike on Twitter were trending across the city. Little to none of that visibility can be chalked up to the IDG, which did not strike today.

“We’ll continue to make sure that driving is a career and it’s a path to the middle class and not a path to the poverty wages that these companies want you to live in,” Brendan Sexton, the IDG’s executive director, addressed a crowd of approximately 150 drivers clad in complementary union t-shirts. The IDG, formed almost three years ago to the day, are a divisive organization to say the least. Formed through an arrangement between the International Association of Machinists, drivers, and Uber itself, the IDG are the only union recognized by the ridesharing platform. But their recognition hinged on signing an agreement with a no-strike clause and refusal to criticize systemic problems on the app. It’s branded them among skeptics—like the NYTWA—as Uber lackeys.

“They are paid by Uber,” Desai told me, when asked why the rallies were not coordinated. “They are a sham company union which goes against every single principle that people like us believe in, because we’re supposed to be working for the interests of the workers. We’re not supposed to be taking money from the bosses.” “We’re built by drivers and we work for drivers,” Sexton shot back. “That other group they represent, I think, medallion owners, or yellow cabs or something,” he bristled, adding incorrectly that the NYTWA “don’t really do app-based drivers yet.” The NYTWA did indeed get its start representing cabbies; no rideshare companies existed when it was founded, in 1998.

Sexton did confirm however, that the IDG does still receive money from Uber. “Like every other union contract there are contributions from the employer. Most of our funding—over 75 percent—comes from grants, member contributions, donations, and contributions from the Machinists Union.” During Desai’s address to the media at 1 p.m. today, members of Sexton’s guild hung back with banners and whistles, sporadically interrupting speeches.

Of course, the stories from drivers in either organization are nearly identical. “After a while, learning the kind of expenses I accumulate I was like ‘Oh, I’m making almost nothing,’” IDG member Jacky Lin told me. “Gas I’ll spend like $1,000. Insurance I’ll spend like $300. Car payments, another couple hundred.” He estimates that, with those various deductions, he takes home a little over $1,000 per month. “Lucky for me I was living at home,” Lin said, “but if it wasn’t for that I don’t think I’d be able to survive.”


Holding two printed-out sheets before a gaggle of reporters at an earlier event in front of the iconic Charging Bull statue, Inder Parmar, a NYTWA member, claimed his earnings had shrunk from $37 an hour when he began driving for Uber to just over $9 an hour now. In reference to the rash of suicides that took the lives of seven for-hire drivers, he said, “if my kids and my family didn’t support me, I would be one of the dead drivers.”

The divide between the two labor groups is largely idealogical: a hardline approach versus one that’s open to meeting the boss halfway. When I asked Lin why he’d opted to join a group that wasn’t willing (or able) to strike, a nearby staffer interrupted, noting that “obviously, if you’re at a rally, you’re not working. So if you want to call it a strike, it really doesn’t make any kind of difference.” And yet what led the spark of protest to travel from Los Angeles to multiple continents arguably wasn’t “not working,” it was the threat of a strike, and all the weight that suggests.

“We know we got to them. That’s the triumph,” Desai told reporters gathered in Queens. “We got into their heads. We messed with them. We punched back, and we showed them that we’re not afraid.”

Both groups were adamant that today’s action was just the beginning, which even Uber itself seems keenly aware of. “As we aim to reduce Driver incentives to improve our financial performance, we expect Driver dissatisfaction will generally increase,” the company wrote in its S-1 filing, setting the stage for increasingly widespread outrage. But it’s also the beginning of some very difficult coalition-building for these various national and international groups to agree on and pursue unified demands—or risk losing their own momentum to conflict and confusion.

This content was originally published here.

Uber and Lyft may be forced from the curb at Logan Airport. But not taxis – The Boston Globe

Uber and Lyft may be forced from the curb at Logan Airport. But not taxis – The Boston Globe

T he Massachusetts Port Authority’s proposal to ban Uber and Lyft from the front of terminals at Logan International Airport is aimed at cutting down on congestion both at the airport and the busy roads around it — a worthwhile reason to mildly inconvenience passengers, officials say. The same rules, however, would not apply to the taxi industry, whose beleaguered drivers see it as an opportunity to regain some of the business they lost to their upstart competitors. “It’s going to be beneficial to us,” Isoni Isoni, a 25-year taxi driver, said recently as he waited for his next fare. With taxis having direct access to terminals while Uber and Lyft would be forced to use the central parking garage, business “might improve a little bit,” Isoni added. “Most taxi drivers agree.” Get Today’s Headlines in your inbox: The day’s top stories delivered every morning. Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here Uber has protested Massport’s plan to consolidate all ride-hail pickups and drop-offs at a central location and raise the fees on trips to and from the airport. Uber has asserted that it should play by the same rules as cabs — an ironic argument, perhaps, from a company that long claimed it shouldn’t be held to the same regulations as taxis. In a statement, Uber said it supported “Massport’s goal of reducing congestion, but that means encouraging people to use mass transit or share rides — not just switch the kind of the car they’re taking.” Massport, for its part, has proposed lower fees on shared ride-hail trips and is planning to expand its Logan Express transit service while lowering fares. Lyft, meanwhile, said taxis should be required to pay higher airport fees if they’re allowed curbside access. In online forums, ride-hail drivers have openly questioned whether Massport is instituting the rules as a favor to the taxi industry, which has been decimated by ride-hailing both at the airport and on city streets. Massport officials say they did not consult the taxi industry before drafting the new rules. Acting chief executive John Pranckevicius said Uber and Lyft require different rules than taxis simply because they operate at such different scales. Taxis are responsible for about 5 percent of trips at Logan, compared to about 30 percent for ride-hail services. “Before Uber and Lyft a couple years ago were approved to [serve Logan], I don’t remember having this level of congestion in the tunnels and at the airport. From my perspective, they’re the cause of this problem,” Pranckevicius said. “I don’t buy this parity argument. Passengers take different modes to the airport. Our responsibility is to try and manage the airport.” Massport spokeswoman Jennifer Mehigan added that Logan does not have enough space in the planned central parking area for both ride-hail and taxi cars. Massport’s oversight board is expected to vote on the plan later in April. Currently, taxis and ride-hail drivers operate similarly at Logan. After dropping off passengers at the terminal, drivers must go to a designated waiting lot until they are eventually dispatched for passenger pickups. For pickups, passengers generally head to open-air lots near the terminals for Uber and Lyft, while taxis are available at the curb. Taxi drivers say they can spend an hour or more in the waiting lot before getting a fare, far longer than before Uber and Lyft entered Logan. Massport says many Uber drivers leave the campus without a passenger and head downtown, where they believe they can score a quicker fare. The agency estimates that 5 million of 12 million ride-hail trips on its property in 2018 were without a passenger — contributing to a mammoth spike in traffic through the East Boston harbor tunnels. The new pickup and drop-off area is meant to solve this problem by easily allowing drivers to quickly get a new fare right after dropping one off. Massport does not track how many taxi drivers similarly leave the airport empty-handed, but industry representatives say the number is small. “They killed our business in the city,” said Gary Lavitman, a taxi driver who formerly ran a dispatch service. “So we’re going to stay up here, because we might not get something in the city.” Lavitman said that Uber and Lyft drivers may also benefit from the new rules by getting new fares more quickly. Other taxi drivers are skeptical that Massport will even approve the plan. While Mustapha Chakar called the Massport proposal “a blessing from God,” he doesn’t expect it to happen. In his seven years driving a cab, he’s grown accustomed to Uber and Lyft getting their way. “We’re going to learn if Massport can make a decision for themselves, or if they make a decision from money,” Chakar said, referencing Uber and Lyft’s lobbying efforts. Andrew Hebert, who once ran a taxi trade publication, said the government owes cabbies a favor after allowing Uber and Lyft to flourish for years, at first without any regulations and later with different rules than those faced by taxis. He added that taxis allow riders who don’t have smartphones or only use cash to still get a ride. “I understand that the so-called rideshare industry is there and it’s not going away. I just feel that the way the transition was done was not done in a fair or equitable manner,” Hebert said. “It’s incumbent on regulatory authorities to make sure people in the taxi industry can make a living.” Adam Vaccaro can be reached at adam.vaccaro@globe.com . Follow him on Twitter at @adamtvaccaro . 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Retired Rideshare Scooter Skips the Reverse Engineering to Ride Again

Retired Rideshare Scooter Skips the Reverse Engineering to Ride Again

[Adam Zeloof] (legally) obtained a retired electric scooter and documented how it worked and how he got it working again. The scooter had a past life as a pay-to-ride electric vehicle and “$1 TO START” is still visible on the grip tape. It could be paid for and unlocked with a smartphone app, but [Adam] wasn’t interested in doing that just to ride his new scooter.

His report includes lots of teardown photos, as well as a rundown of how the whole thing works. Most of the important parts are in the steering column and handlebars. These house the battery, electronic speed controller (ESC), and charging circuitry. The green box attached to the front houses a board that [Adam] determined runs Android and is responsible for network connectivity over the cellular network.

To get the scooter running again, [Adam] and his brother [Sam] considered reverse-engineering the communications between the network box and the scooter’s controller, but in the end opted to simply replace the necessary parts with ones under their direct control. One ESC, charger, and cheap battery monitor later the scooter had all it needed to ride again. With parts for a wide variety of electric scooters readily available online, there was really no need to reverse-engineer anything.

Ridesharing scooter startups are busy working out engineering and security questions like how best to turn electric scooters into a) IoT-connected devices, and b) a viable business plan. Hardware gets revised, and as [Adam] shows, retired units can be pressed into private service with just a little work.

The motors in these things are housed within the wheels, and have frankly outstanding price-to-torque ratios. We’ve seen them mated to open-source controllers and explored for use in robotics.

This content was originally published here.

City to try designated rideshare hubs for downtown drinkers

City to try designated rideshare hubs for downtown drinkers

The City of Orlando’s Downtown Development Board and the Community  Redevelopment Agency are working to launch a pilot program for a late night rideshare program that could help to streamline the  nightly exodus of the thousands of patrons leaving Downtown Orlando’s entertainment area on weekend nights.  

On any given weekend and in the evening, at 2 a.m., there is a mass migration into the streets, towards parking garages, late-night food options, and convenient  locations to call for a ride when venues are forced to close.    

These new rideshare hubs are expected to operate from midnight to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday night for visitors looking to leave downtown in a more orderly manner. According to City spokesperson Karyn Barber, the Rideshare Hub areas will include rideshare/taxi queuing lines, food vendors and/or food truck offerings, and public restrooms in a well-lit and patrolled zone.  

Editor’s Note: You’ll recall from this previous “Bring to Orlando” column that there is a distinct lack of public restrooms for late night bar goers to use once the clubs have closed, which leads to a large amount of patrons pissing in the streets.

Uber and Lyft have reportedly offered to coordinate geo-fencing around the Downtown area to direct customers to pick up their rideshare in these designated pilot hub locations which includes:

The city is planning to launch a 6 month pilot by the end of April, led by Night Manager (#barczar) Dominique Greco. Read more about Greco’s innovative position in the City HERE.

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The pros and cons of becoming a rideshare driver

The pros and cons of becoming a rideshare driver

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With so many possible side hustles available in today’s gig economy, how do you decide which to choose?

Today, I want to make the case that driving with for a rideshare company is a plausible choice for several reasons. But there are also some major distractions that you should be aware of before signing up.

My name is Josh Overmyer. I’ve completed over 2900 rides as an Uber/UberEats driver-partner since 2014. I know what you’re thinking: “That’s a lot of rides!” It is. And I’ve learned a lot in that time.

Here are my biggest takeaways from four years as a rideshare driver.

The Pros of Becoming a Rideshare Driver

Here’s the good news. You likely already have the knowledge and equipment necessary to be a rideshare driver!

Josh Overmyer's Uber ProfileAll of these services are app-based and run on a smartphone, by drivers like you who successfully navigate their communities daily. You probably already know where the popular hang-outs are located, how to get around on your city’s streets, and maybe even alternate routes when roads are backed up.

The particulars of the vehicle will change depending on which service you’re signing up to drive for. But for passenger trips, you usually need a four-door vehicle, while food/parcel delivery may be possible with a two- or three-door car. (Drivers are subject to a criminal background check and a driving record check.)

As with any independent contractor gig, the amount and timing of the hours you drive are completely up to you, within regulations.

Some of the networks now allow the driver to set a destination and get trip requests heading in the same general direction. This helps you to maximize both your time and mileage driven for the maximum possible gain, since you’d be driving those miles with or without a rideshare app running on your phone, such as your daily commute or when you are running errands.

Speaking of maximizing time and costs, driving rideshare could allow you to turn certain everyday life expenses into qualified business expenses.

As I mentioned above, you’ll need a smartphone with a data plan, which you probably already have. Now it could be a deductible business expense! Miles driven or other driving expenses could be deductible as well, but you’ll need to keep meticulous records.

The Cons of Becoming a Rideshare Driver

There are some downsides to becoming a rideshare driver.

A good way to think about rideshare is that you are force-depreciating your current vehicle, which is to say you are extracting value out of your current vehicle to hopefully put money away for your next replacement vehicle.

Here’s another thing to consider: inviting total strangers into your personal vehicle.

Josh Overmyer as Uber driverFrom my experience, most passengers will be normal, everyday people just going about their lives: trips to school or work, to the grocery store, church, or to the airport (or beach in my community). But they are still complete strangers, getting into your personal space, and often strangely sitting right behind you, the driver. It can be creepy!

Even worse are the strangers getting into your car who are not on their best behavior. Some are simply loud and obnoxious, and you get used to that from the young twenty-somethings. Some have spent hours at a cigar bar and reek of cigar smoke that permeates your car’s interior and the smell can linger for days.

Worse yet are the drunks who can’t handle their liquor; sometimes you’ll be lucky and they’ll give you enough warning to pull over to the side of the road — but other times they’ll make a mess in your car.

You might have read the last two paragraphs and decided that you don’t want to deal with unruly passengers but would still like to run a side business doing food or parcel delivery.

I’ve delivered some food orders with Uber Eats, but I ended up with very smelly foods that would stink up my car just before a typical passenger Uber trip, and I had orders that included ice cream or milkshakes that weren’t sealed properly by the restaurant, resulting in a sticky mess.

I had a trip that took me upwards of 40 minutes to complete from the time of food pickup to delivery because the restaurant didn’t have the food ready and the recipient’s phone was dead, and for my troubles I made $6…before costs.

Also remember that you’re purposely placing yourself in traffic, which we all hate.

Not only do you sit there idling, wasting time and fuel, but it drives up your blood pressure and stress. You’re also more likely to get involved in a fender-bender when there are more vehicles on the road, and when you are rushing to a pickup or trying to find a convenient parking spot near the food establishment, so you don’t waste too much time circling the block.

Even when you aren’t in bumper-to-bumper traffic, you may experience eye strain from constantly searching for obscure addresses or watching for pedestrians in congested areas such as downtown, at concert venue, or in entertainment districts. Combined with low-light situations, this makes you more likely to end up in an accident.

The Bottom Line

That’s a long list of pros and cons. After all of that — and after four years of driving rideshare — what’s my overall impression of this side hustle?

Rideshare is a pretty easy gig to get started in — but it won’t make you rich, despite what the radio and TV commercials were telling us all a few years ago. After all operational costs are considered, almost anything else you could think of trying would pay more!

That said, rideshare driving could be a good fit for someone in a temporary cash crunch and who isn’t worried about the longer-term impacts to their transportation budget.

As for me, I stopped driving rideshare after I got a new higher-paying day job last year. If you’d like to read more about the ups and downs of my 2,900+ trips as an Uber/UberEats driver-partner, check out the three-part series about my first side hustle, and why I ultimately decided to quit.

Author: Josh Overmyer

Josh is a single guy is his mid-30s and a veteran of rideshare, with 2,882 Uber and UberSelect trips completed since 2014. He lives and works in Southwest Florida, and writes about personal finance, travel hacking and his investing failures at joshovermyer.com.

This content was originally published here.

COLUMN: Proposed Rideshare Tax Will Hurt Business, Public Safety

COLUMN: Proposed Rideshare Tax Will Hurt Business, Public Safety

The following column is an opinion piece and reflects the views of the author and not those of AllOnGeorgia.

By: Marc Hyden, Director of State Government Affairs at the R Street Institute, and he is a longtime Georgia resident. You can follow him on Twitter at @marc_hyden.

John D. Rockefeller was once asked how much money it takes to make a man happy. He responded, “Just one more dollar.” The oil magnate died many years ago, but his sentiment is still alive and well right here in Georgia. Despite being flush with cash, having an overflowing rainy-day fund, and considering a massive industry-specific tax cut, Gold Dome lawmakers are in the process of raising taxes elsewhere — unnecessarily, of course.

According to an Uber press release, after passing the House of Representatives, Georgia senators have added a last-minute amendment to HB 276 that would assess an excessive tax on Georgians who use rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft. The amendment text hasn’t been published on the Georgia General Assembly webpage yet, but the release states that the proposal would levy “an 8.9% sales tax on rides in Atlanta and an average 7% sales tax on rides throughout the rest of Georgia.” This would be the highest rideshare tax in the country, which could easily cripple the industry and harm public safety in the process.

Uber and Lyft expanded into Atlanta in 2012 and 2013, respectively, and have since spread across the Peach State. It’s easy to see why: These ridesharing companies provide a quality on-demand service that focuses on customers’ needs and uses a dynamic model that keeps consumer prices low. As such, rideshare use has exploded — providing Georgians with new jobs and riders with more options.

Imposing such a large tax could have far-reaching and overwhelmingly negative consequences. Generally, rideshare companies strive to maintain low prices to attract customers, which keeps drivers in business. But additional taxes of this magnitude will cause a surge in prices that will make riding with Uber or Lyft less attractive to consumers. As their customer base dries up, many rideshare drivers could find themselves out of business.

One need only look to other parts of the country to see how this exact scenario will play out: Some of the biggest tax-and-spend states have tinkered with rideshare price regulations, and the results have driven up costs and stripped drivers of their livelihood. Georgia’s proposed tax is no different

Incentives matter, especially in business and public safety. This tax hike would act as a disincentive for consumers to use rideshare services, which will in turn have a negative effect on public safety. Since the introduction of Uber and Lyft in the Atlanta metro area, DUI arrests have plummeted and the roads are much safer. This is because rideshare services are convenient and cheap, prompting intoxicated Georgians to use them rather than driving home from the bar. As Cobb County Assistant Solicitor General Steven Ellis cheerfully observed a few months ago, “I really think rideshare services are the biggest factors reducing impaired driving here in Cobb and Metro Atlanta.”

After looking at the data, it’s hard to disagree. But an unnecessarily massive rideshare tax would risk putting more intoxicated people behind the wheel. It would also inconvenience the thousands of customers who use ridesharing apps to commute to work, get home from the airport, or ensure that elderly relatives make it to doctor’s appointments. Georgia simply cannot afford these results.

The truth is that taxing for the sake of taxing is silly. Georgia is in a good financial position, and many Peach State legislators have signed the anti-new tax pledge. Beyond these matters, this proposal looks like it will do little more than hobble an industry, cause unemployment and promote drunken driving. Given all of this, it’s hard to see how a tax of this magnitude can be justified unless legislators, like Rockefeller, are just perpetually seeking “one more dollar.”

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Green New Deal Sponsor AOC Spent $29,000 On Rideshare Services

Green New Deal Sponsor AOC Spent $29,000 On Rideshare Services

(Breitbart) – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the self-described Democratic Socialist who sponsored the “Green New Deal” legislation in the House, reportedly spent more than $29,000 on gas-guzzling rideshare services.

Although the freshman Democrat lawmaker hawked the legislation with a goal of “full transition off fossil fuels and zero greenhouse gases” over ten years, her campaign spent $29,365.70 on ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft between May 2017 and December 2018, according to federal filings obtained by the New York Post.

Her campaign spent the money on ridesharing services even though her campaign headquarters in Elmhurst, Queens, is within close walking distance to the 7 train.

Frequent use of these gas-guzzling vehicles behind the ridesharing services cause an increase in carbon dioxide emissions, a type of greenhouse gas which, according to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), warms the planet by keeping heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. These carbon dioxide emissions often come from car tailpipes.

According to federal filings, the Ocasio-Cortez campaign made 1,049 transactions with ridesharing services. Of the listed transactions, 505 of them were just for Uber.

Even though Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign headquarters is one minute away from a subway station, the campaign’s public transportation expenses paled in comparison to the ridesharing expenses.

The campaign listed 52 MetroCard transactions totaling $8,335.41, the Post reported.

But Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” fact sheet contradicts her campaign’s practice of using rideshare services, with the fact-sheet claiming that fossil fuels and greenhouse gases can only be stopped by overhauling “transportation by massively expanding electric vehicle manufacturing, build charging stations everywhere, build out high-speed rail … create affordable public transit available to all, with goal to replace every combustion-engine vehicle.”

Ocasio-Cortez boasted that she beat incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) in the 2018 Democratic primary by walking more than her opponent, but her use of air travel during the general election proved otherwise.

Some folks are saying I won for “demographic” reasons.

1st of all, that’s false. We won w/voters of all kinds.

2nd, here’s my 1st pair of campaign shoes. I knocked doors until rainwater came through my soles.

Respect the hustle. We won bc we out-worked the competition. Period. pic.twitter.com/RbpQMYTiWY

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 29, 2018

Her campaign spent $25,174.54 in the heat of campaign season on 66 airline transactions, according to federal filings.

After the Post released its report on her campaign expenditures, the self-described Democratic Socialist brushed off the ridesharing expenses and airfare as simply “living in the world.”

I also fly ✈️ & use A/C

Living in the world as it is isn’t an argument against working towards a better future.

The Green New Deal is about putting a LOT of people to work in developing new technologies, building new infrastructure, and getting us to 100% renewable energy. https://t.co/DZGE1WwLbn

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 3, 2019


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