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Earth Transportation

Uber Gives Free Rides to Shelters During Hurricane Irma (bloomberg.com) 38

One million households lost power in Florida, and at least three people died, after Hurricane Irma made landfall Sunday morning. Bloomberg reports how Uber tried to help: Uber Technologies Inc. is offering free rides to shelters near Tampa as Hurricane Irma barrels toward the Florida mainland. The City of Tampa's Office of Emergency Management publicized the free rides on its Twitter feed, @AlertTampa, and mobile news alert service. Uber's offer helps serve a vital need for transportation, as Tampa Bay area residents got late notice that the monster storm that changed track on Saturday and was heading their way. It also provided a chance for the company to burnish an image... Uber has also been criticized for using its so-called surge pricing in times of crisis.
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Uber Gives Free Rides to Shelters During Hurricane Irma

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  • Not correct (Score:4, Insightful)

    by quonset ( 4839537 ) on Sunday September 10, 2017 @03:38PM (#55170693)

    Uber isn't doing anything. Their cab drivers are the ones absorbing the costs to take people to shelters.

    If the cab driver's vehicle gets damaged, will Uber pay for the repairs? If Uber was doing something they'd reimburse the cost of fuel and time to their drivers, and then some.

    But you'll never see that happen.

    • Uber could be construed to encompass their drivers as well as corporate leadership / landlord rent-seekers of the website and app.

      Would be nice if the landlord did something for the drivers, but the drivers doing something for the public is just the same, from the public's point of view.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by war4peace ( 1628283 )

      If the cab driver's vehicle gets damaged, will Uber pay for the repairs?

      As a matter of fact, they are.
      I took an Uber with my sick child to drive him to a private hospital once, and the kid vomited on the back seat. Not a lot, he's only three and didn't do a lot of damage. The driver said it's fine because he will take a picture of the damage and Uber will give him money to wash the car thoroughly and then some.
      I asked "what if drivers abuse this?" to which he said Uber does keep statistics of how likely this event is to occur and there are certain thresholds. he also said this

      • So presumably if your kid had thrown a brick through the window and scratched the side of the car with a key, Uber wouldn't expect the driver to make a claim on his own insurance and cover that damage as well? I guess being an Uber driver is a better deal than I thought.
        • I don't know, and won't test it either :)
          My guess is that if there's an issue that's covered by insurance, then it's up to the driver to handle it. Somebody vomiting in a car isn't covered by insurance, so Uber would do that for the driver.

      • If Uber pay the driver to clean up vomit, they charge the passenger. If you didn't have extra money taken from your account by Uber, then the driver wasn't paid.

        • I don't think they charge the passenger. I think they eat the cost up to some extent, and of course if you as a passenger are a repeated offender they would just ban your account.
          Can't really say. But it makes sense for some small issues to be covered by Uber.

    • Uber isn't doing anything. Their cab drivers are the ones absorbing the costs to take people to shelters.

      If Uber was doing something they'd reimburse the cost of fuel and time to their drivers

      How do you know they're not?

    • You are wrong. To get the free rides, people use the Uber app, and enter TBSHELTER as a promo code. Clearly only Uber could organise that, not the drivers themselves.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You are wrong. .... Clearly only Uber could organise that, not the drivers themselves.

        OMG, I wonder just how many cabbies have ever helped people all on their own!

        Geez people, Uber is just a greedy multinational corporation that's buying an image. :-(

    • Drat! There goes my plan.

      Hello? Uber? I am in Alaska, and I need a ride to a hurricane shelter in Texas. Any hurricane shelter will do. How soon can you pick me up?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Could we call this Storm Surge Pricing?

  • So independent contractors are driving people in their own cars, on their own time, free of charge .... and Uber gets the credit?
    • Wrong. The offer works via the promo code TBSHELTER in the app. Uber is offering the free rides, not the drivers.

  • That sometimes the conversation goes like this:
      - Refugee : "Please help us! We need a drive to the shelter before the storm hits!"
      - Driver : "Yeah of course! That'll be $20 a head!"

    Sickening.

  • If I lived near Tampa and needed saving, I'd be a bit disappointed if some hairy Uber driver showed up rather than Kristin Bell.

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