Outside Uber HQ, Drivers Demand a Cut of the Riches

Outside Uber HQ, Drivers Demand a Cut of the Riches

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Just days ahead of Silicon Valley’s most hyped mega-IPO, a group of a several hundred Uber drivers gathered in front of the company’s San Francisco headquarters and took over the street in a protest demanding fair pay, benefits, and greater transparency from the rideshare giant.

Friday is set to be the biggest day in Uber’s history: The company is going public and listing on the New York Stock Exchange in one of the biggest IPOs in American history. It’s by far the biggest IPO this year—a year full of Silicon Valley companies hitting the stock market. Even though the company lost over $1 billion last quarter, its executives, engineers, and investors—including Saudi royalty—will rake in fortunes from the IPO.

But Uber drivers around the country and around the world say their own pay is falling despite working longer hours and that the company should be giving them more.

“Uber has been cutting my wages in the last two years,” Derrick Baker, a driver in Northern California, told Gizmodo at Wednesday’s strike. “Be it full time or part time, bad rates are bad rates. So we’re here at HQ asking for a living wage.”

A 2018 study found that pay for drivers of companies like Uber and Lyft had fallen 53 percent since 2013 as a glut of new drivers joined the market. In the Bay Area, home to Uber and Silicon Valley itself, some drivers are struggling mightily to make a living. A number of drivers reportedly commute from hours away and sleep in parking lots in order to make the numbers add up.

American Uber drivers have been increasingly organized in recent years. Bringing gig workers together is a uniquely 21st-century challenge: There is no central workplace, no normal way to communicate, commiserate, and challenge management. But places like airport parking lots and Facebook groups have been fertile ground for conversations to get drivers involved.

Uber has never once sat down with the organizing drivers to discuss their grievances. Last year, drivers hand-delivered a letter complaining about the company’s lack of transparency. An Uber security guard body slammed the driver with the petition outside of the company’s headquarters where Wednesday’s protest took place.

It was a sunny day in San Francisco on Wednesday when the drivers, journalists, cops, and labor organizers crowded Market Street in front of Uber’s headquarters. A brass band supporting the strike played for over an hour while workers chanted, gave speeches, and talked to journalists. It was peaceful, joyous even at times, and was a successful bid by the drivers to get a spotlight on their grievances.

A few Uber corporate employees rushed by the noon-time protest to grab lunch while many more stuck it out in the office. A few dozen watched the protest unfold from the building’s balcony, vaping and observing but not saying much.

Among those back on the street was Gordon Mar, a San Francisco city supervisor who has been raising red flags about the divide between the city’s booming tech sector and its working class.

“If you’re an Uber driver, you’re struggling to get by working 70, 80, or even 90 hours a week,” Mar said on Wednesday while standing in the middle of Market Street with drivers and other protesters in front Uber’s HQ. “We are here today because we stand in solidarity with the Uber drivers. “

Mar has been in recent talks with the city’s tech giants about how to deal with the influx of wealth occurring due to what he calls an “earthquake of IPOs” that threaten to exacerbate an already wide wealth gap in San Francisco and around Silicon Valley.

Wednesday’s worldwide strike, which also included drivers from competing ride-hailing companies like Lyft and Juno, percolated into the national political ether, gaining support from 2020 Democratic presidential candidates including Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker, Representatives Tim Ryan and Eric Swalwell, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have previously supported the efforts of Uber drivers to earn a living wage.

In 2011, San Francisco began offering myriad tax breaks hoping to lure tech companies into the city. To deal with the consequences of so much wealth in one place, Mar proposes to restore tax rates to their previous levels of a 1.5 percent payroll tax rate.

The San Francisco protest was held in concert with a handful of actions around the country and around the world. The scene at the San Francisco protest was considerably bigger than a similar action by drivers targeting Lyft before that company’s IPO in March.

As Wednesday’s strike was ongoing, Uber apparently tried to incentivize both drivers and riders to cross the picket line and do business with them anyway. Drivers reported the company was offering them bonuses while some riders say they saw discount coupons luring them to hire a ride.

This content was originally published here.

Lyft’s response to ADA lawsuit: Sorry, we’re “not in the transportation business”

Lyft’s response to ADA lawsuit: Sorry, we’re “not in the transportation business”

Lyft wants a federal court to believe that “it is not in the transportation business.”

In a federal class-action lawsuit filed in Westchester County, New York, the company claims that it is merely a tech company and not subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Yes, the company that wants to be a kinder and better version of its archrival Uber is in court, trying to find ways to avoid making transportation more accessible for people living with disabilities.

According to Politico, the class-action lawsuit was filed against Lyft in August 2017 by White Plains resident Harriet Lowell and Westchester Disabled on the Move, for the company’s failure to provide accessible vehicles to equitably serve people living with disabilities who just want to take a Lyft. The suit comes in the wake of a settlement with New York City, where Lyft, Uber, and Via agreed to “service at least 80% of requests for wheelchair-accessible vehicles in under 10 minutes and 90% in under 15 minutes by mid-2021,” per Politico.

Considering that the New York City subway system is barely accessible, having ride shares as an option could be life-changing for people with disabilities, but there’s even more at stake, since the lawsuit could conceivably force the companies to make their systems more accessible nationwide.

For its part, Lyft disputes its obligations under the ADA on the grounds that it’s not a transport company but is instead in the app business. However, it’s facing at least one other class-action lawsuit, this one in the Bay Area, claiming that it discriminates against people with disabilities.

We’ve reached out to Lyft for comment.

This content was originally published here.

#WhatsMyName Stresses Safety for Uber Riders – The New York Times

#WhatsMyName Stresses Safety for Uber Riders – The New York Times

Uber and Lyft have been criticized for not sufficiently evaluating their drivers and not prioritizing passenger safety, prompting some cities to place temporary bans or restrictions on the services. Both companies say passenger safety is their top priority and have stood by their background-check processes.

After the attack on Josephson, Uber re-upped its public safety awareness campaign called “Check Your Ride,” first introduced in 2017, urging users to take certain precautions: Match the license plate, car make and model to what the app displays, and check the driver’s photograph before getting in.

Of course, as critics put it: The onus should not be on women to vigilantly create safe spaces for themselves — and yet often it is.

Here are a few safety tips I always abide by.

Ask the driver’s name.

In addition to asking the driver for your name, ask your driver for his or her name and look closely to make sure the photo on the app matches. If the driver’s phone is mounted on the dashboard, look to see if it’s displaying your name.

Share your status.

Share your trip details with friends through the sharing option on the app. By adding your destination and sharing through a text, others can watch your ride, in real time, on a map. Uber and Via monitor drivers’ routes, sending alerts to their staff if the cars go off course.

Match the light.

Some Uber and Lyft vehicles have illuminated windshield icons called Beacon and Amp that change color to match a hue on a passenger’s app. If this is available to you, make sure the color matches. Lawmakers in South Carolina have proposed a law, named for Samantha Josephson, that would require it in all such vehicles.

This content was originally published here.

Uber’s first employee is worth over $1 billion as company goes public, and he’s already committed to donating at least $14 million to charity

Uber’s first employee is worth over $1 billion as company goes public, and he’s already committed to donating at least $14 million to charity

  • The Pool uses donated shares to fund projects and pay off overhead costs, but will also be used to provide nonprofit employees some of the benefits on par with those common in the tech industry.
  • Charity: water is a global nonprofit that wants to end the water crisis by providing clean water to communities in need.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Ryan Graves was Uber’s first employee and stands to be worth over $1 billion after the company’s public offering on Friday at current prices. But the former CEO won’t be the only one seeing a payday as Uber stock starts trading.

Graves is one of the founding members of The Pool, a new initiative with charity: water that allows early tech employees to donate or pledge stock options in private companies before a major liquidity event. When the stock is cashed out through a public offering or acquisition, charity: water gets paid.

“These generous donors will provide an essential pipeline to our operations fund which powers our 100% Model so that all public donations can go straight to clean water while giving us a new way to reward our hard-working team and continue making charity: water the best possible workplace for those who choose to work in the service of others,” Lauren Letta, Chief Operating Officer of charity: water, told Business Insider. 

WeWork cofounder Miguel McKelvey and Casper cofounder Neil Parikh are also founding members of The Pool. WeWork parent The We Company confidentially filed to go public in late April.

Uber priced shares at $45 ahead of Friday’s public offering at an initial market cap of $75.5 billion. Charity: water could not confirm how many shares Graves pledged or how much it stands to receive from the donation, but members of The Pool are required to donate a minimum of 1% of their holdings. At a minimum, charity: water will see over $14 million from Graves’ donation at the set price.

Charity: water said it plans to use the funds to support operating costs like rent for its offices and employee salaries. Leftover funds will be used for annual bonus payments to eligible employees, a perk often reserved for corporate workforces.

Carta, the startup building a stock exchange for startups, says its own valuation increased nearly $1 billion in 5 months

Scott Harrison founded charity: water in 2006 to solve the global water crisis by providing clean water to communities in need. The nonprofit’s operations are currently funded by 133 individuals and families because it uses 100% of its public donations on projects in the field. Public donors can see exactly where their dollars are used with GPS coordinates and photos.

SEE ALSO: Uber and Lyft drivers protested low pay this week. Here are the cities where their earnings have fallen the most.

Join the conversation about this story »

This content was originally published here.

Uber driver took passengers to airport then allegedly went back to their house and tried to break in

Police in San Mateo, California, have arrested an Uber driver who they say took his riders to the airport and then drove back to their home and tried to break in.

The passengers had reportedly rented the house through Airbnb.

Surveillance footage from a doorbell camera showed a man approaching the front door on Thursday and then walking away from the house. Police say he was chased off when the security alarm went off.

The man was then caught on camera breaking into another home a few blocks away. The house was ransacked and a number of items were stolen.

“(He’d) torn apart the whole house, tossed everything. Every piece of furniture moved. He opened my safe,” Scott, who lives in the house with his girlfriend, Chana, told CNN affiliate KGO. They asked the station to only identify them by their first names.

Chana told KGO that the man spent four hours ransacking the home and was seen on video taking bag after bag of valuables — including heirlooms her grandmother had saved during the Holocaust.

Scott posted video of the burglary online and the other homeowner saw it and showed it to his former guests.

They recognized him as their Uber driver.

The next day, police were able to use that information to arrest Jackie Gordon Wilson, 38, at a home in Rancho Cordova, near Sacramento. They say some of the stolen property was found in the home and he had on the same clothes he was seen wearing in the videos.

Wilson was charged with first degree burglary, attempted first degree burglary, and resisting arrest.

CNN was unable to reach an attorney for Wilson for comment.

“We removed the driver’s access to the app as soon as we were made aware of the allegations and stand ready to assist police in their investigation,” Andrew Hasbun, Uber communications manager, told CNN in a statement.

The incident comes as ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft are facing intense questions about the security of their customers.

University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson was killed last month after mistakenly getting into a car that she thought was her Uber ride. Uber said in a statement it was devastated about the “unspeakable crime,” and that it’s working with the university to “raise awareness on college campuses nationwide about this incredibly important issue.”

Uber said it plans to launch a “Check Your Ride” passenger awareness campaign on social media in the upcoming weeks and will purchase advertisements in college newspapers.

A lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on Friday alleges that Uber did not do enough to warn women about a series of rapes by fake Uber drivers.

The company said it a statement it has been “working with local law enforcement, including the LAPD, to educate the public about how to avoid fake rideshare drivers for several years. In 2017, we launched a national campaign to remind riders to make sure they get in the right car by checking the information, like the license plate and car make and model, shown in the app. These important reminders have been part of our safety tips, and our law enforcement team regularly discusses this issue with agencies across the country.”

This content was originally published here.

This Woman’s Uber Driver Refused To Take Her To Abortion Appointment

This Woman’s Uber Driver Refused To Take Her To Abortion Appointment

Abortion is legal in this country, but that fact apparently doesn’t register with everyone. There are still people who think they know better than any given woman confronted with the decision to terminate a pregnancy. These people don’t personally support abortion and feel the moral superiority to impose their own beliefs, regardless of what a woman decides.
Take, for example, this horrible Uber driver who refused to take a customer to her abortion appointment.
The customer, a college student who posted her story on Reddit started by explaining that she needed a ride because she doesn’t have a car on campus.
I’m in college in upstate NY and I don’t have a car on campus because it’s expensive. I’m 20 years old and I found out I was pregnant and subsequently decided I wanted an abortion because I’m in no position to care for a child.
There is a Planned Parenthood very close to my university, but the earliest appointment they had was a week away, and I found a clinic an hour away that had availability in three days, so I opted to go there instead.
While there was a Planned Parenthood nearby, another clinic had an appointment available sooner.
Because I don’t have a car, I rely on Uber and lyft to get me places. My appointment was at 11:30am so at 9:58am my Uber arrived and he immediately seemed uncomfortable. After about five minutes in the car, heasked, “are we going to a planned parenthood?” I said no (because we weren’t), but it set off alarm bells that he would even ask that. The destination I put in was just the name of the doctor and the address of the clinic, there was nothing that would suggest it was an abortion clinic. After a few more minutes he asked, “are we going to an abortion clinic?
When he figured out where he was taking her, the Uber driver, who had “seemed uncomfortable,” made some seriously upsetting, invasive statements about how the woman would regret her decision.
I was shocked; I had no idea what to say, so I just remained quiet. He then said “I know it’s none of my business, but…” and proceeded to mention something about his wife being pregnant, how awful the procedure was (and proceeded to explain it in graphic detail), and that “there is so much they don’t tell you”. He then said “you’re going to regret this decision for the restof your life” and that I was making a mistake.
After they were halfway there, he decided he wouldn’t go the rest of the way. Can you even imagine?
It took all of my strength not to start crying but I managed to keep it together by looking out the window and avoiding his gaze. After we were about halfway to the destination, he suddenly pulls over with no warning. There was a gas station and a closed antiques store, and around us was farmland and forest. He said “I’m sorry, but I can’t take you the rest of the way. I can take you back to [my city], but you won’t be able to find another Uber out here.”
I got out of the car and immediately started crying. I called my parents each three times but they didn’t pick up. Then I called my boyfriend and he picked up right away. He managed to calm me down and told me to let the clinic know what was happening and to call some local cab companies.
My Uber driver hung around for about 10-15 minutes and asked once more if I wanted to go back with him and I declined. After he left, a cab came and I got to my appointment (an hour late).
She reported the driver to Uber and the driver did lose his job. But the woman wondered if there were a way she could pursue legal action against him.
I reported the driver to Uber and the next day I filed a police report with my city’s police department. Someone on Uber’s team got in touch with me after I told them about the police report and called me to get a detailed account of what happened. I told them everything on a call that was recorded, and the rep mentioned that it appeared the driver had taken a less direct route to get me to my destination prior to dropping me off.
Within a few days they reached out again and told me the driver had been banned from Uber. They also mentioned that it didn’t appear he’d ever done this before judging from his user ratings. However, I’d like to pursue further legal action against the driver if at all possible. Do I have a case? What should my next steps be?
I reached out to a law firm and a few legal aid societies but nothing has happened. I’m not sure what I should do now.
The post was actually written twice—once in the “TwoXChromosomes” subReddit and again in one called “ LegalAdvice .”
Although pretty much everyone agreed that he was awful, people didn’t seem to think she had a case against the driver.
If you have an quantifiable damages (monetary loss), then you could potentially sue the driver for those. In this situation, it is extremely unlikely (like 0.00000001% chance) that you’ll get anything for “pain and suffering” if that is what you are thinking.
If you have already made the complaint to the police, they will decide if the driver committed any crimes (also extremely unlikely).
I know it sucks but I don’t think there is anything else you can do here.
No. Uber handled it, that’s all that can be done. Civilly, you’d need to sue for damages but it doesn’t seem like you have any damages. If you had to pay for the ride, contact Uber to get your money back, you’d have the best luck with them. Otherwise, you were picked up by someone else, still attended the appointment. Other than being shaken up, it doesn’t seem like you had monetary or other damages from what happened.
— itsneverlupusduh
One person mentioned that she could also send the man’s name to Lyft, to hopefully keep him from getting a job there.
It probably would not be worth to sue the driver. However, You could collect any records you have and emails from Uber, and send them to Lyft and other competing services where the driver is likely to work at.
— Casde2
But over on the other thread , the college student at least got some wonderful, supportive comments. She also got people outraged on her behalf.
So a medical abortion performed by legitimate doctors is less safe than just dropping a woman off in an unknown area with no way of getting anywhere?
Where are his priorities.
— SinfullySinless
His priorities are being a self-righteous dipshit and making women uncomfortable.
He cares so much for unborn life that he decided to abandon her (and the embryo) in the middle of nowhere. What a class act
— AxeMurderesss
You see, an abortion kills a potential baby, which he cares about until it is born. When he dropped her off he was only hurting a woman, which as we all know is the lowest form of life.
— Metroidly
The woman’s original post on Reddit was titled, “The worst, most backward day of my life,” and yup, that sounds about right. It really sucks that she had to deal with the idiot driver and especially, especially on a day that was already stressful enough for her. While she probably can’t sue the guy, at least she can spread the word to competing companies about what a jerk he is.
h/t: Reddit , Someecards

This content was originally published here.

Uber and Lyft drivers are planning to strike this week, and it highlights the challenge the 2 ride-hailing giants face as public companies (UBER, LYFT)

Uber and Lyft drivers are planning to strike this week, and it highlights the challenge the 2 ride-hailing giants face as public companies (UBER, LYFT)

  • “Wall Street investors are telling Uber and Lyft to cut down on driver income, stop incentives, and go faster to Driverless Cars,” Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, said.

Drivers for ride-hailing companies including Uber, Lyft and others are planning coordinated strikes in at least 10 cities this week to call attention to low pay and other issues, according to the 10 groups organizing the demonstrations.

It’s far from the first time drivers have raised issue with how how little they are paid, or their status as independent contractors as opposed to full-fledged employees with benefits like paid time off or sick leave.

However, this strike seems to be attracting more attention than others thanks to its proximity to Lyft’s first ever earnings report as a publicly traded company on Tuesday, and before Uber’s debut on the New York Stock exchange on Friday.

Uber says it can’t pay its drivers more money, but rewarded its CEO with nearly $50 million last year. People who work for multibillion-dollar companies should not have to work 70 or 80 hours a week to get by. I stand with the Uber and Lyft drivers going on strike on May 8.

— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 3, 2019

Read more: More Uber and Lyft drivers are using the app to fit their schedules, but those who make it a full-time job are barely earning a livable wage

It all comes down to take rates

Paying drivers is one of the biggest expenses for ride-hailing companies. The fraction of total fares that Uber or Lyft skims from trips (and deliveries, in the case of Uber), is known as the take rate. 

Setting these rates is a delicate dance as the two companies — basically the only competitors in most of the country — fight to win over both drivers and riders. The higher the take rate, the more money Uber or Lyft can add to their coffers, and the better the numbers look to Wall Street investors.

The lower the rate, the more more money is kept by drivers. 

“We note that drivers are hired as independent contractors vs. full employees, meaning they are responsible for their own vehicle expenses (maintenance, gas, insurance, etc.) and it is difficult for them to increase the amount of earnings per hour beyond a certain level given the current dynamics of the industry with take rates the hot button issue,” Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said in a note to clients on Monday.

Uber’s take rate increased to 21.7% in 2018 from 20.5% the prior year, the company disclosed in IPO filings. Lyft’s, by comparison, was 26% in 2018 (though the two companies calculate this number slightly differently, with Uber including tolls and surcharges in the calculation.)

Ives says he’s expecting a “minor increase in 2019 to 22.3% but overall expect limited upside to take rates,” at Uber. Any increase in that take rate, while beneficial for Uber’s bottom line, could be risky, Ives said. 

“We do see added risk from Uber aiming to take greater share of the fare from drivers and expect that the more Uber pushes here, the more drivers will fight back and protest, increasing the likelihood of regulations (particularly at the state level in the U.S. and in Europe) of minimum wage guarantees,” he writes.

“Drivers classified as employees would be a challenge to Uber’s operations in those markets where they are classified as such,” Ives continued.

Both Uber and Lyft have fought hard for years to ensure that drivers remain classified as contractors and not employees. In their prospectus filings for IPOs, both companies mentioned the employment status of drivers as a risk factor. Classifying workers as contractors can cut costs for platforms by 20 to 30%, industry experts estimate, hence why companies have fought so hard to keep the status unchanged.

“We continue to maintain that drivers on our platform are independent contractors in such legal and administrative proceedings, but our arguments may ultimately be unsuccessful,” Lyft said in its S-1. “A determination in, or settlement of, any legal proceeding, whether we are party to such legal proceeding or not, that classifies a driver of a ridesharing platform as an employee, could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.”

Uber’s warning used much of the same language:

“If, as a result of legislation or judicial decisions, we are required to classify Drivers as employees, we would incur significant additional expenses for compensating Drivers, potentially including expenses associated with the application of wage and hour laws (including minimum wage, overtime, and meal and rest period requirements), employee benefits, social security contributions, taxes, and penalties,” the company’s S-1 reads.

Self-driving cars could theoretically mitigate some of the money that Uber must pay to drivers, the company also said in its IPO filings. However, researching autonomy is an expensive bet, with Uber’s advanced technologies group comprising more than 1,000 employees at three offices in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Toronto.

Read more: Uber has raised $1 billion for its self-driving unit, which is now valued at more than $7 billion

So what do striking drivers want?

According to the groups organizing Wednesday’s strikes, drivers are demanding job security, livable incomes, and more regulations to help drivers stay afloat.

“Wall Street investors are telling Uber and Lyft to cut down on driver income, stop incentives, and go faster to Driverless Cars,” Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, said in a press release. “Uber and Lyft wrote in their S1 filings that they think they pay drivers too much already. With the IPO, Uber’s corporate owners are set to make billions, all while drivers are left in poverty and go bankrupt. That’s why NYTWA members are joining the international strike to stand up to Uber greed.” 

Notably, New York is the nation’s largest ride-hailing market, and also one of the first cities worldwide to establish a minimum wage law for app-based drivers. Lyft and Juno sued the city to overturn the law, arguing that a key calculation for how drivers are paid unfairly favors Uber thanks to its larger size. A state judge last week rejected Lyft’s arguments and said that the law can stay in place as written.

Ahead of the demonstrations, both companies acknowledged that drivers are the most important element of their businesses. Here’s Uber’s statement:

“Drivers are at the heart of our servicewe can’t succeed without themand thousands of people come into work at Uber every day focused on how to make their experience better, on and off the road. Whether it’s more consistent earnings, stronger insurance protections or fully-funded four-year degrees for drivers or their families, we’ll continue working to improve the experience for and with drivers.”

And Lyft:

“Lyft drivers’ hourly earnings have increased over the last two years, and they have earned more than $10B on the Lyft platform. Over 75 percent drive less than 10 hours a week to supplement their existing jobs. On average, Lyft drivers earn over $20 per 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.”

The pressure is getting to Uber.

They rely on how difficult it is to organize drivers, that’s enabled them to pay drivers poverty wages & no benefits.

Now that we’re organizing, they’re upping rates on Wednesday morning to try get drivers not to join in.

Don’t be fooled. pic.twitter.com/KDqbHEZpgh

— Gig Workers Rising (@GigWorkersRise) May 6, 2019

SEE ALSO: Uber’s IPO is reportedly sold-out just three days into its investor road show

This content was originally published here.

Uber Driver Dumps Woman On The Side Of The Road In The Middle Of Nowhere After Figuring Out She Was Going To An Abortion Clinic

Uber Driver Dumps Woman On The Side Of The Road In The Middle Of Nowhere After Figuring Out She Was Going To An Abortion Clinic

In case you were starting to have doubts about exactly how horrible human beings can be to each other, here’s a refresher.

20-year-old college student and Reddit user was stranded on the side of the road in a rural area by her Uber driver because he found out (through inappropriately probing questions) that she was going to an abortion clinic.

In a post in titled “The worst, most backward day of my life,” she described the experience:

“I’m 20 years old and a sophomore in college. I didn’t get my period yet this month so over the weekend I decided to take a pregnancy test and it turns out I’m pregnant. I knew I was going to terminate the pregnancy immediately since I’m in no position to care for a child at this point in my life. I called my boyfriend, my parents, and my best friend, and they were all supportive of my decision.

“After crying and getting over the shittiness of the situation, I made an appointment for a non surgical (medical) abortion. The appointment was for today, so this morning I called an Uber (I don’t have a car on campus) and headed to the clinic which was an hour away.”

Things started to get creepy almost immediately after she got into the car.

“My Uber driver seemed immediately uncomfortable and asked if we were going to a planned parenthood. I said no (which was the truth), we were just going to a doctors appointment. Still, he seemed uncomfortable. ‘Is it an abortion clinic?’

“The color drained from my face; how could he know? I just put the address of the doctor in, and there was nothing in the name that would imply it was an abortion clinic.

“He stared at me, waiting for an answer, but I was too shocked to reply. I couldn’t believe this was happening, and now I was trapped in the car with this guy for the next hour.”

Those probing questions and awkwardness weren’t bad enough, though. He had to put in his two cents too.

“‘You know,’ he said, ‘you’re going to regret this decision for the rest of your life.’

“He started telling me about the procedure, what it was like, telling me how horrible it was. ‘There’s so much they don’t tell you. You’re making a mistake.’

“He brought up his wife, who was 5 months pregnant, but trailed off. I just sat there in silence. We were driving through rural land, miles from any kind of house or storefront. I prayed he wouldn’t hurt me.”

Not content to simply force his views and life story on to his passenger, the driver then decided to strand her in the middle of nowhere if she refused to give up on the appointment.

“We got about halfway there when he suddenly pulled over on the side of the road. ‘I’m sorry, I can’t take you any farther than this. You won’t find another Uber out here. I can take you back if you want.’”

Sensing it was beyond time to get the hell out of dodge, she decides to get out of the car while it was safe to do so.

“I politely declined and got out of the car. I immediately started calling local taxi companies and asked if they could pick me up. My phone gave me a rough location which I gave them as my pickup address.”

He didn’t immediately abandon her, likely hoping that she would change her mind rather than wait for another ride.

“My Uber driver waited around for about 15 minutes, assuming I’d change my mind. I insisted I was fine and that he should go back and he eventually left. After waiting about 25 minutes, the cab showed up and I got to my appointment (an hour late).”

The experience left her rattled.

“Even thinking about this experience brings tears to my eyes. I can’t believe someone would be this cruel. An abortion is already traumatic enough, and not at all a decision I take lightly. That an older man would corner me and confront me about decisions that are none of his business are astounding.”

She contacted Uber and reported the driver, and later posted in u/LegalAdvice to see if there was anything else she should do to prevent him from putting other women in the same position.

Even on a post tagged as seeking support, there were those who insisted that she deserved how he treated her.

In response to those people she said:

“For all the people who say I deserved this kind of treatment, I have nothing to say to you. I come from a politically conservative family, so I understand being pro life and disagreeing with my decision to terminate my pregnancy.

“However, the driver was aware of my decision to get an abortion within 10-15 minutes of picking me up from all his probing questions. If he wasn’t comfortable driving me to the clinic, why continue to drive me there until we were stranded?

“Was it an impulsive decision to leave me by the side of the road, or was it premeditated after he understood our destination? He easily could have left me in my small city and I would have been able to get a different Uber driver and avoided the whole fiasco that ensued.

“Or, as others have pointed out, he could have simply declined the ride if the destination (and my decision to exercise my rights) were that offensive to him.”

She goes on to make a powerful statement about people’s beliefs.

“I have no issue with him (or anyone else) having a different opinion or with him disagreeing with my choices. But your beliefs do not give you the right to make me feel uncomfortable when I’m completely vulnerable and am relying on you to perform a service I desperately need.”

Not all of the Redditors were as judgemental. Several had some questions about the driver’s thought processes.

“So a medical abortion performed by legitimate doctors is less safe than just dropping a woman off in an unknown area with no way of getting anywhere? Where are his priorities.” –SinfullySinless

“His priorities are being a self-righteous dipshit and making women uncomfortable.” –JediMasterVII

“He cares so much for unborn life that he decided to abandon her (and the embryo) in the middle of nowhere. What a class act (edit: /s).” –AxeMurderess

Several people were disgusted and alarmed by the driver’s actions.

“Ew. That is HORRIFYING. He purposely set you up to miss your appointment. He got you alone in an isolated place so that you were stuck.”-RunningTrisarahtop

One user pointed out that the driver probably convinced himself he was doing the “right thing.”

“He’ll tell himself he did the right thing because he offered to drive her back and waited 15 minutes for her to change her mind and let him drive her back before abandoning her.” –BadW0IfGirl

This particular driver has since been banned from using Uber, but the danger of others doing the same to other women remains.

Stranding a woman on the side of the road in a rural area isn’t a good way to get her to agree with you, and it certainly isn’t going to keep her or the fetus safe.

Abortion is a right, upheld by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, in the United States. Someone else choosing to exercise their right to control over their own body doesn’t affect anyone but that person, and maybe their family/significant other.

It certainly isn’t the business of a random Uber driver to decide what a woman should or shouldn’t do for her own medical care.

The post Uber Driver Dumps Woman On The Side Of The Road In The Middle Of Nowhere After Figuring Out She Was Going To An Abortion Clinic appeared first on Percolately.

This content was originally published here.

Uber Driver Leaves Woman On The Side Of The Road After Figuring Out She Was Going To Get An Abortion

Uber Driver Leaves Woman On The Side Of The Road After Figuring Out She Was Going To Get An Abortion

January 22nd marked the 46th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe. v. Wade, the ruling that legalized abortion across the United States, but as we come closer to a half-century of this court decision across the nation states are passing legislation to reverse the right. Ohio passed a “heartbeat” bill in April which bans abortion as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, becoming the third state to do so after Kentucky and Mississippi.

Abortion has become a controversial, partisan issue and while not all states will change their legislation that hasn’t stopped people from doing things on an individual level to show their position. A reddit user recently experienced just how far some people are willing to go to express their stance on the issue when she was abandoned on the side of the road by an Uber driver.

A Reddit user shared her traumatic ride to an abortion clinic where her driver left her stranded on the road

Image credits: Josie Desmarais (not the actual photo)

User a 20-year-old college student from upstate New York posted that she had found out she was pregnant but decided that she “was not in the position to take care of a child.” The only clinic that had open availability before next week was far from campus so she called an uber and set out on what would become a very traumatic trip.

For the destination, she had written the doctors name and his clinic, but for some reason the driver had suspicions. He asked if she was going to Planned Parenthood (which she was not) but he was not satisfied and pressed on.

He proceeded to tell her his own experience with his wife and how she would “regret the decision for the rest of your life.” She was stunned but kept her composure as the ride went on.

Suddenly the driver pulled over and said “I’m sorry but I can’t take you the rest of the way.” The student panicked as they were in the middle of nowhere farmland with no other Ubers for miles.

Eventually, she got ahold of her boyfriend who contacted the clinic to explain and picked her up.

After the incident, the Reddit user reached out to the company, who banned the driver, as well as a layer and legal aid societies. She asked other users if she had a case and what she should do next.

People in the comments were supportive and horrified the driver left her in that situation

This content was originally published here.