If you’re anything like us, each morning you whimper as you click on the first terrifying headline of the day. The world appears to be going to hell in a flaming handbasket, which means you’d better figure out alternative transport, stat. That handbasket is not going to fit all of us, OK?
Ride-sharing to hell is the coolest way to go as our democracy crumbles. You should at least get comfy and make some informed decisions since the end is nigh and there are only so many Priuses out there. So, are you an Uber-to-hell kind of a person or a Lyft-leaning soul?
More: A kids' ride-share app?
Well. Uber’s been... problematic. The company has been discriminatory to people of color and has been in the news for its rather concerning treatment of employees. Plus, there’s that lovely practice of surveying riders to figure out just how much cash they can get out of you. But it’s what they were up to this weekend that once again has Uber on many people's do-not-ride lists.
Customers’ anger with the popular ride-share company spiked over the weekend when Uber made the really, really bad gaffe of lowering its prices (turning off “surge pricing”) at JFK Airport. The company tweeted:
Surge pricing has been turned off at #JFK Airport. This may result in longer wait times. Please be patient.— Uber NYC (@Uber_NYC) January 29, 2017
What’s wrong with that, you may ask? Lower prices! Getting a ride out of JFK is usually a pain in the ass!
Not so fast, there. Context, context, friends. About 30 minutes before Uber dropped its prices, the New York City Taxi Workers Alliance had announced a one-hour work stop at JFK. The taxi drivers were expressing their solidarity with the massive numbers of protesters at airports across the country.
(If you’re Sleeping Beauty and missed all of this, numerous travelers found themselves trapped at checkpoints in airports by Trump’s latest executive order targeting people (even those with U.S. visas or green cards) from countries on his carefully curated — ha! — no-no list.)
The official NYTW Alliance statement on Facebook reads, in part, “Drivers stand in solidarity with refugees coming to America in search of peace and safety and with those who are simply trying to return to their homes here in America after traveling abroad…We stand in solidarity with all of our peace-loving neighbors against this inhumane, cruel and unconstitutional act of pure bigotry."
We’re not about to disagree. And needless to say, nobody loves a scab. So Uber’s move to dive right into JFK, open for bottom-dollar biz, was about as scabby as your legs after a week at Grandma Ellie’s in Maine in August. (That’s a mosquito reference. Just go with it.)
Many who saw Uber’s tweet about surge pricing were outraged and felt Uber was breaking a strike, undermining the NYTWA’s protest against the disturbing executive order, and profiting off the strike. Aaaaand that’s when people took to Twitter with the hashtag #DeleteUber. Because don’t you dare, and especially don’t you dare in New York:
In '55 in Montgomery Alabama, folks walked to work for 13 months to fight racist hate. Maybe you could #deleteUber and use Lyft? Or the bus?— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) January 30, 2017
So if, say, you'd rather not spend your hard-earned transportation budget on Uber rides anymore — and, say, you want to send a message to Uber that their actions have not gone unnoticed — it's not enough to simply delete the app: you should deactivate your account. Just FYI.
In case you're looking for some inspiration for what reasons to give about why you'll be using Lyft taking the bus crawling across broken glass walking instead, here's our favorite so far:
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