Talk:Uber (company)

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(Untitled)[edit]

This article needs to be improved; it's basically written like an advertisement for Uber. I did some low-hanging fruit edits, but it needs to be properly edited. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 117.211.83.5 (talkcontribs)

QUESTION: So how does the article look now? -- Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 10:53, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

List of cities[edit]

Someone should probably move the list of cities out to a new section - or maybe to a separate article? The current list is getting waaaay too big for the opening paragraph. --MarkTraceur (talk) 06:36, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done -- Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 10:55, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

I don't get it[edit]

after reading the article, i still have no idea what uber is. how is it different from a taxi? is it a taxi that customers hail with a phone app instead of waiving the hand on the street? --179.161.43.236 (talk) 18:23, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

It is pretty much a taxi service, but with a different business model than the traditional taxi fleet services which have grown up for ... is it 70 years now? --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 22:52, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

"Different business model" still doesn't quite explain anything. I agree with the initial commenter that the article does nothing to explain how exactly Uber differs from traditional taxis, or what the reasons for the strong opposition to the company are, excluding lack of taxi licenses for its drivers. 203.153.104.180 (talk) 04:19, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done -- Pretty-well explained now, don't you think? -- Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 10:57, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Neutrality[edit]

I know little about it and am not particularly interested in Uber, but this article appears to be dominated by some people who are antagonistic to the company. WP:NPOV needs to be maintained.

Despite my removal of "controversial" from the very beginning of the lede the company is, in fact, quite controversial, and faces a lot of regulatory hurdles from government and private groups claiming that its fundamental business is and should remain illegal. At this point much of the company's history and news coverage, and therefore much of the article, will be devoted to the opposition and lawsuits, and some of the incidents (such as an inadequately insured driver running over a pedestrian) that the sources tie to the reasons for the laws in the first place. On the other hand, your observation may be true, and that is a fact of a lot of articles about large or novel companies. They generate lots of interest, and much of that interest is from people who think they are evil, fraudulent, a scam, etc. Whether it's Apple, google, Walmart, or any of these, there is a constant ebb and flow of people adding negative information that may or may not be truly about the company or of enough weight to mention, and then people wanting to trim it back. If any company gets big enough it's going to have lots of lawsuits and detractors. To be worth mentioning it has to be something (sourced as) important, and really related to the company. - Wikidemon (talk) 23:05, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Uber is controversial. Why not call it what it is? Yes, as the company receives more negative press, some of it will be reflected in this article -- as it should be. I note that this week taxi drivers in Paris and London staged numerous demonstrations against this company. They tied up traffic in the center of those cities to protest Uber. That was never done before. Uber is controversial. Chisme (talk) 02:06, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
Monsanto is evil, Steinway is classic, Nike is well-managed, Motown is legendary, and American Apparel is rather ghetto. But we don't introduce each in the lede by saying "Monsanto is an evil…", "Steinway is a classic…", "Nike is a well-managed…", "Motown is a legendary…", or "American Apparel is a ghetto…". The introduction is supposed to identify the subject, not comment about it. - Wikidemon (talk) 03:04, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
I disagree with your characterizations of those companies, especially "American Apparel is ghetto." The word ghetto is a noun, not an adjective. All you have to do is read this article to know that Uber is controversial. Quit yer white-washing. Chisme (talk) 22:16, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, not going to quit. Your disagreement underscores the point, loaded adjectives aren't encyclopedic. On Wikipedia we don't use the word "controversial" in identifying most any subject, let alone companies. BTW, accusing editors of whitewashing is not going to lead to useful discussion. FWIW the article has worse problems, it's jumbled and messy. Two long sections, history and regulatory opposition, are basically lists without any thematic structre. At least they're mostly in chronological order. - Wikidemon (talk) 01:46, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Since when is the word "controversial" loaded? "Ghetto" is loaded, especially to a certain kind of American suburbanite, who thinks the word is an adjective that means "of or having to do with underclass African-Americans," but I don't see how "ghetto" even applies to American Apparel, much less whether it is controversial when used as you use it to describe a clothing manufacturer. "Controversial" does apply to a controversial company like Uber. We disagree on that. We agree that the article is jumbled and messy. I don't care whether you quit or not. My purpose here is not to make you quit but to enlighten you. 02:15, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
For what it's worth the term ghetto was originally applied to Jewish enclaves in Venice. As an adjective it is a sometimes ironic put-down that is several steps from removed from any black versus white issue. Bank of America is controversial. Monsanto is certainly controversial. Barack Obama is controversial. Global climate change and evolution are controversial in the United States (whether the controversy is legitimate or not). The traditional taxi companies that Uber is displacing are controversial as well. I am not proposing any of these things in any positive sense to suggest content for the encyclopedia, but rather showing by analogy that a loaded term like controversial should also be qvoided. Tagging things with the term "controversial" even if true denigrates them. In business it questions their legitimacy. That's simply not the approach Wikipedia takes to writing ledes. Further, it injects a point of view, that public reception is a primary fact about a thing. - Wikidemon (talk) 08:00, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Prior to updating this page today, I can see that the pendulum has swung the other way if the Lead is any indication. This is 2014 and we can create an article on this company that is objective, as encyclopedic articles need to be. I will proceed with my revision and welcome further contributions, criticism, feedback, etc. Thanks.--Soulparadox (talk) 07:53, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Looking forward, thanks. - Wikidemon (talk) 07:58, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Two "opposition" sections?[edit]

Really? 15.219.233.74 (talk) 00:08, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

So how does it work?[edit]

The article gives no explanation at all 85.228.201.36 (talk) 21:58, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

/* Pricing and payments */ In the very short-run situation as described, the use of the term 'economic equilibrium' is inappropriate[edit]

The use of the term 'Economic Equilibrium' is inappropriate because price is a function of quantities. In this description (of the economic model of supply and demand) the firm is unable to affect prices for this reason, only quantities.

It is more appropriate to describe the firm as engaging in 'peak-load price discrimination' to create a 'partial equilibrium' condition. But this deals specifically with the firm's cost (or supply) function. It is too complicated to explain accurately in the article, so I have removed reference to it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 5.198.19.235 (talk) 17:58, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

vote to delete this article[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

delete this article

1, thats not how you would propose to delete an article. 2, you need reasons for deletion. 3, do you want to explain your request. - SantiLak (talk) 07:07, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
The 2012 nomination was ridiculous and misinformed. The idea that you could delete an article about a company worth $10-20B, with thousands of employees, and dozens of major articles about it daily, as non-notable is beyond serious comment. Silly-time on Wikipedia. - Wikidemon (talk) 10:02, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


when a hospital which serves hundred thousands is deleted just because the adminstrator has not heard about it. It make no sense to put this article which has no relation to other part of the world and limited to specific region.
That is totally not true, the worldwide operations are covered. Also your reasoning is not in line with WP policy on notability. - SantiLak (talk) 06:27, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Hello and a correction[edit]

Hi, I've just set up an account and wanted to introduce myself here: my name is Craig and I work at Uber Technologies. The reason I've created this account is that I'm interested in working with the Wikipedia community to help keep this article and other Uber-related pages up-to-date, by providing suggested edits on discussion pages. I'm getting advice on how to contribute and best practices for conflict of interest editors such as myself, but I'm always open to any questions or suggestions you might have!

As a first point of business for this article, I have a small correction to the introduction. This sentence includes two errors:

As of September 16, 2014, the service was available in 45 countries and more than 100 cities worldwide, and was valued at more than US$15 billion.

The article that is cited here is out of date, the number of cities where Uber operates is actually more than 200. The number of cities has been reported correctly in a few places, including The Next Web and the San Francisco Business Times. Likewise, the company's valuation quoted in that article is also not quite right, as it received a valuation of $18.2 billion in June this year.

Here's an updated sentence with new links for the correct numbers:

As of August 29, 2014, the service was available in 45 countries and more than 200 cities worldwide,[1] and was valued at US$18.2 billion.[2][3]

Is anybody here able to make this edit for me? Thanks, Craig at Uber (talk) 02:51, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

Edit done, I appreciate the fact that you are willing not to edit but to suggest edits and allow other users to review them. It is also good that you made very clear that you represent a company which is in line with WP policy. I hope to cooperate with you in the future if you keep working in the way you are working now. - SantiLak (talk) 02:58, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
  1. ^ Hoge, Patrick (August 29, 2014). "Uber doubles reach to 200 cities in four months". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved November 7, 2014. 
  2. ^ Rusli, Evelyn (June 6, 2014). "Uber Gets Uber-Valuation". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 7, 2014. 
  3. ^ Goldman, David (June 6, 2014). "Uber Valued at $18.2 billion". CNN Money. Retrieved November 7, 2014. 

Whether to add Uber as also a cab company[edit]

Comments below. - SantiLak (talk) 07:14, 13 November 2014 (UTC) Until Talk Page discussion completes, please do not make changes involving uber as a cab company

Of course. (I'm actually conducting a report on the company.) Trust me, their entire model is basically that of a cab companies. The play on words is smart on their part, but let's be realistic, it's a cab service. Ride sharing for money? Yes, that's what a cab is.

Firstly, can all copyeditors please sign their Talk contributions? I am not completely certain, but the tone of the unsigned Talk content, such as the comment above, are written in a tone that indicates a particular viewpoint. I might be mistaken, but I think it is important for copyeditors to leave aside any issues they have with Uber, as the article is part of an online encyclopedia, and not an op-ed. Thanks. --Soulparadox (talk) 08:35, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
I think you're mistaken Soulparadox. There is a great deal of controversy surrounding this company. I think a lot of us know that it actually is an illegal cab service, but prefer the service quality. However, I'm being objective here, and though I like Uber, facts are facts. It's a cab service. As one of the above commenters said, ride sharing for money is practically exactly what a cab does. Does it not? It honestly just feels like Uber is trying to twist words around to bypass laws. Just my 2 cents. -- theLegend (talk) 08:35, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
Obviously, no. If you want to identify this kind of ridesharing service as a category or subcategory, that is just fine. Whether to make that category fall under taxicabs or livery or anything else is a matter of organizing information on the encyclopedia. But lumping them in with taxicabs to make a point without differentiating them is not helpful to the readers or the encyclopedia. Uber is not an illegal cab service, btw. There are different regulations in every city and state. In some cases they are skirting or breaking the law, or not operating at all. In other places it is permitted. - Wikidemon (talk) 11:13, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
I think it's rather silly to not list Uber as also a cab company. If some one has just finished work, and needs a ride home, they take their phone out and contemplate whether to use a local taxi app or Uber. Both of the companies are providing identical services, so why should Uber be labeled as a "ride sharing service"? It makes no sense, they are providing an identical service to taxis; only difference is that you cannot hail one down. They're nearly identical. We should definitely add "cab" as one of, if not the main service provided by Uber. Also, in the general public, I'm pretty sure everyone views this as a cab. - Dayboydoh1 (talk) 11:13, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
Not only can you not hail them but the drivers aren't dispatched. They can turn down requests for rides, its not the same as a cab company dispatcher telling one of their drivers to go to a place for a pickup. It uses hire cars and drivers and they get a cut. It provides a similar service to taxis but with important distinctions and a different type of business model that make it separate from a taxi company. Just because you want to make a point about Uber doesn't mean that we should lump them in with taxicab companies. - SantiLak (talk) 23:04, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
Sorry didn't see this before I disambiguated cab. According to Webster's, a taxicab is "a public passenger vehicle, especially an automobile, usually fitted with a taximeter." That's the service Uber provides. The taximeter is replaced by the app. There are differences in the business model and details of the service, but the notion of a taxi is a pretty loose one anyway. E.g. in rural areas "taxis" are dispatch-only and might not have taximeters, charging by the odometer. For practical purposes of the article is a useful analogy. --Cornellier (talk) 02:00, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
Listen SantiLak, you're seriously misunderstanding things. When a cab driver is dispatched a trip, they have the option to accept or reject said trip. It's their choice. Uber does the exact same thing. Their drivers can also accept or reject. Another thing, drivers who drive cabs are also independent workers, they aren't "employees" of the cab companies. The only difference between a cab and Uber is that taxis can be hailed. That is it. The dispatching is basically identical, but instead of customers calling in to request a trip, Uber gets requests for trips through an app. Yes, it's obvious that Uber tries to get around this by claiming that they "connect drivers with people," but again, is that not exactly what a cab is? They also claim to provide "ride sharing services for money," and again, is that not exactly what a cab is? Uber is just playing on the words. Do you see how Uber and cabs are practically identical, but one of them just simply cannot be hailed? Let's be real here. Now let's update the page and make it accurate. --PavSidhu (talk) 02:00, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
Hello PavSidhu (talk). Are you the author of the unsigned comments on this Talk page? I only ask, because it seems that you share the same absence of understanding in regard to formal tone. I am not implying that you are disrespectful, but opening a comment with "Listen SantiLak" is inappropriate in most Anglo cultures; however, I am not aware of your cultural heritage, so excuse me if I have misunderstood. Furthermore, your tone indicates that you are strongly against Uber, so I think this needs to be explored before your suggestions can be incorporated in the page. Wikipedia is not here to cast aspersions, such as "is just playing on words," on any company, but I presume that you are already aware of this. Can you please clarify your motivation further? Thanks. Regards,--Soulparadox (talk) 03:36, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
The unsigned comments have nothing to do with me. Yeah, I think it may have come across that way, but I'm not against it, I actually use it here in my city. There has been a great deal of talk going on about the service in our city because Uber started to illegally operate here. I was just trying to separate the facts from fiction because the article honestly does seem off. Again, I have no motivation, but facts are facts. They've all been laid out. I don't feel like debating this anymore, but just know that the current Uber article isn't completely correct. Anyway, I'm done debating this. I guess you can have the final verdict Soulparadox. (talk) --Pavsidhu (talk) 08:36, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
Facts are not facts, tho. Wikipedia is about the sum of human knowledge, not about discovering a hidden truth that differs. I this case, if Uber is actually a cab service and not something else, we would have to wait for that to sort out, not make arguments here about whether that is true or not. Uber may be characterized as illegal in some places by those who want to uphold an existing monopoly, but others say the monopolists are the ones being illegal, or that the question is what the law should be. Think of it this way. Uber doesn't hold a torch to Galileo as far as being revolutionary, but suppose we were back in that time writing the article about Galileo. Would we say "Galileo was an Italian physicist, mathematician, engineer, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role…" as WIkipedia now does, or would we say "Galileo was an unauthorized illegal observer of the cosmos." - Wikidemon (talk) 06:30, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
No, this definitely needs to be updated. Uber is dispatching trips by the very definition of the word. The trips are dispatched, and then the drivers accept or reject (just like cab drivers do). I managed one of Uber's branches in a US State a few months, so I know very well how the business model works. Also, feel free to ask me any questions if you guys have any regarding the company." - Ryanmcgoughty (talk) 10:30, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the contributions everyone. So, is be your proposed wording of the subject Ryanmcgoughty (talk)? Regards,--Soulparadox (talk) 11:29, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Illegal Cab?[edit]

unconstructive. WP:NOT#FORUM

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

From what I've learned from my research, Uber is basically operating as a cab that you cannot hail. They try to say "we are connecting drivers with people who need rides," or claim that they are a "ride sharing service." Let's be real for a second, the first one is simply a play on words, and the second one is basically a synonym for cab services. Many cab services even have identical apps that do the same thing because all Uber is doing is basically dispatching trips to drivers. Only difference is instead of customers having to call in, they simply tap a button on their smartphone. Keep in mind that a large majority of the world classifies this company as a cab service company.

A couple of the people here were being confused by how Uber's business model is different, and kept recharging my edits. All Uber is doing is avoiding regulation/insurance fees by hiding under this so called different business model. Anyone with an IQ over 15 understands that it's merely a controversial illegal cab service. That's why I think some of the changes that were made to the article are completely justified.

It makes no sense to claim that Uber is avoiding regulations without pointing to the specific regulations, or finding a reliable source about Uber's bending of the rules (which exist, and are included already). Taxis are regulated on a state by state and city by city level. I am confident that my IQ is over 15, incidentally. - Wikidemon (talk) 11:15, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
Let's face it. This thing is basically a gypsy cab service. "Ridesharing." What a joke. All they're doing is avoiding regulation, insurance, and other fees by hiding behind this "ridesharing" nonsense. Take a hike Wikidemon, get your head out of your ass. Are you purposefully acting stupid? These guys are dispatching trips through an app. Ridesharing is when an individual going one way, offers a ride to another person for free. Uber drivers are roaming the streets just like cab drivers waiting for trip calls (AKA DISPATCH). Either Americans really are stupid and fail to see this, or you just can't deal with facts. What idiots. This article is a complete mess and obviously in accurate. Get your head out of your ass, and report some real facts.- Centenialsquare (talk) 1:15, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Careless additions regarding controversies[edit]

I have made revisions today to address recent careless additions that were made, which are also in the same vein as other edits that have sought merely to discredit Uber, rather than adding to an encyclopedic article on the subject. Can copyeditors please be careful about how updates are presented—especially the Lead section, which is not just a dumping ground for the latest issues that surface in the media. I will assert once again that I have no connection with Uber whatsoever—I just want to uphold the Wikipedia standards that have served us well so far. I also know that other copyeditors have been doing their part to retain this page's credibility. Thanks. Regards,--Soulparadox (talk) 10:42, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

I need to reiterate this point, as even though Uber remains a subject of controversy, Wikipedia is not the forum to air grievances. May I recommend citizen journalism, or contacting your local politician/member? Thanks. Regards,--Soulparadox (talk) 06:35, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

Socking?[edit]

Most of the recent editing on the talk page trying to equate Uber and cab services seems to be coming from brand new single-purpose accounts with similar editing interests and understanding of sourcing. If this is you, please be aware that you are expected to maintain a single account and, if you have one, sign in to that account to edit. If you came here because somebody urged you to, please note the policy on WP:MEAT. Thanks, - Wikidemon (talk) 03:29, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

I've been seeing that and I share the same concerns of Wikidemon. - SantiLak (talk) 03:34, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Let's give it a day, if this continues we should probably ask for semi-protection and/or file a sock puppet report. - Wikidemon (talk) 03:40, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I would like to make it clear that I was about to self-revert my last edit after realizing I violated 3RR but a different user reverted it first. I did not intend to violate 3RR. This does not take away from the fact that it appears there are multiple SPA socks editing this page. - SantiLak (talk) 04:51, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Thank you to the copyeditors who have identified this potential issue. It seems the fervent controversy has crossed over onto Wikipedia—when exactly, I don't know. This needs to be monitored, and hopefully those responsible will cease after reading this thread. Regards,--Soulparadox (talk) 11:42, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Santilak, you don't seem to understand what dispatch is[edit]

Cabs and Uber drivers both have the option to reject/accept trips. So what exactly about getting an uber dispatch trip is different than a cab dispatch trip? They're both dispatching. Please give me a solid explanation. The let's go with the "status quo" stuff is not going to cut it. This article needs to be an accurate representation of what the business model is. What is your rebuttal? Centenialsquare (talk) 1:15, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

If you want to advance a personal opinion about how Uber is equivalent to cabs, there are plenty of places outside of Wikipedia to do so. Here, the point is that we do not write articles based on advocacy or personal opinion, but rather what the sources say. It may be the case that writers here and there have accused Uber of being an unlicensed cab service, there are some similarities between an obviously new form of service and the more traditional businesses, and various jurisdictions (but not others) have made that claim. If so, and if those claims are of due weight, we can report those claims. But it is not up to Wikipedia, and especially not up to groups of editors, to advocate one way or another based on their personal arguments over the facts. The advocacy for calling Uber a cab service in the past few days appears to be a coordinated effort by a group of related accounts, which raises additional concerns. - Wikidemon (talk) 11:02, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Missing information[edit]

There is nothing in this article telling who the drivers are. Do they work fulltime, parttime, students on weekends? I’m trying to figure out how an owner of a nice middle-class car has an incentive to cruise around Manhattan waiting for customers. Also, how much of the fare do the drivers keep and how does that compare to traditional taxis? The business model is only adequately described from the top down and for its technological novelty.Janko (talk) 09:27, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

I thought a lot of this is already covered, but thanks for reviewing the article, as copyeditors can now find out if this information is needed, and where to source and place the content if it is. Regards,--Soulparadox (talk) 11:38, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Dispatch or "connecting passengers with drivers"[edit]

There appear to be some disagreements on what Uber's business model is. By definition, dispatching is offering a trip (for which payment will be given; either through credit cards or cash . These trips can be accepted/rejected) to an available driver who is working as an independent driver for any company. Now if you think about it, we could theoretically label Uber's model as "connecting passengers with drivers," but then what form of driver transportation can't be labeled this? This is too vague and broad. It's like saying, "Wal-Mart connects consumers with purchasable items, and so they are not in the retail industry" (hopefully you get the idea) Is that wrong? No, but they are in the retail industry, and they sell goods. I get that Uber is trying to establish itself as something different thank cabs, but when 90% of the cities it operates in, deems what they are doing as dispatch, should it not be recognized as that? What do you guys think? -- Pavsidhu (talk) 08:35, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

First, it is not up to us Wikipedia editors to decide what Uber's business model is. It is for the reliable sources to describe it. However, regarding the edit war that has been pursued by various single-purpose accounts in the lede, that is a definitional statement about what Uber is, not its business model. The point of that is to state briefly for the interested lay reader what Uber is and what it does so that they know they found the right article, it frames the issue, etc. At a very basic level, Uber's service publishes a phone app that lets riders book rides. That's all this statement is saying, that Uber operates via an app. There are many ways of phrasing it, but trying to wedge in the point that it is a "dispatch service" or "unregulated cab company" or whatever is besides the point. If it is in fact a dispatch service we would need a plurality of the significant reliable sources to say so, not an talk-page argument that this is logically the case. Uber is certainly very different than a traditional cab service in any event. The Walmart example is a false analogy. It's plain that Walmart is a retail chain and all the sources say that. Trying to prove that Uber is a dispatch service would be more like arguing whether Ebay, or Amazon, or Groupon are retail chains based on how they sell products, who takes the money, who ships, etc. They are what they are, and the best way to describe their online presence is that they run online shopping sites. Similarly, Uber runs a mobile-based car reservation service. - Wikidemon (talk) 08:14, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

So, I blocked one the editors here about the whole dispatch thing on account of edit warring. But after searching for sources myself, editors arguing in favor of this dispatching language may have a point that Uber is described as a "taxi dispatch service":

  • [1]: The taxi dispatch and ride-share service Uber just got a bump from United Airlines.
  • [2]: The license approved Tuesday would also allow Uber to dispatch taxicabs...
  • [3]: UberTaxi is permitted at O’Hare International Airport and Midway Airport, because the service links to professional taxi drivers and Uber dispatches the licensed cabs themselves

At this point, I'd like editors to stop reverting each other and to start discussing these in light of actual sources. I, JethroBT drop me a line 11:21, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

As editors we need to use some discretion for how to best summarize a simple fact like this, particularly in the lede. This is a sentence in the lede, which is supposed to be an uncited summary to identify the subject of the article, not to prove anybody's point. The purpose of the sentence, and what it describes, is not a dispatch service, but rather the fact that Uber offers its service through a mobile app. The several-word identifiers that news sources use to describe what Uber is, or how its app works, are all over the map. The vast majority don't call it a dispatch service when pointing out, as we do, that the company's service is offered through an app. A random sampling: Riders "arrange for limousines" via the app,[4], it is a "car service app",[5] an "app-based car service",[6] a "car hiring app",[7] it "matches nonprofessional drivers for peer-to-peer ridesharing",[8] etc. Keep in mind that a number of these descriptions may be inaccurate or misleading. A spate of new editors showed up a couple weeks ago to shoehorn into the article that Uber as an illegal cab service. Sound editing principles are to keep such material out until and unless there is a consensus for it, and when we do consider it not to base content decisions on POV. - Wikidemon (talk) 15:57, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
OK, that's fair. I do want to note though that Uber appears to be both an application that facilitates ridesharing and also dispatches taxis in multiple cities through a service called Uber Taxi ([9]), and that might be a point worth building a little bit in this article, though perhaps not necessarily in the lead. I agree with your assessment of the sources; I've only found one article explicitly describing the carsharing program (UberX) as a taxi-dispatch service (e.g. [10], In September 2013,California’s Public Utilities Commission classified UberX as a transportation provider because it functions like a taxi dispatch.) That said, there does appear to be Uber Taxi in many cities including NYC, Washington DC, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, and others. ([11], [12], [13]). I do not think it is POV to describe the general functions of the application per these sources. I, JethroBT drop me a line 18:38, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
(out of order, responding to JethroBT) Good point. We should build up in the body of the article that Uber as once of its services "Uber Taxi" allows passengers to hail a taxi. We would have to explore what that means, if they are truly taxicabs, if that makes Uber a dispatch with respect to taxis, and what it means to be a dispatch service (again, the sources are all over the map in the nouns and verbs they use). My impression of a dispatch service (and that of most of the sources that describe what it is) is a central office somewhere where a guy gets on the radio and calls out ride requests for drivers affiliated with his company to negotiate. Taxi fleets have no doubt automated some, but whether a software service that replaces this function is a "dispatch" or not may be a matter of extending an old definition to a new business activity to see if it fits, which becomes an interesting question of sourcing, editorial discretion, and original research. - Wikidemon (talk) 04:36, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── It is a bit challenging to tell from the above discussion exactly what proposal is being discussed. WOuld someone be willing to clearly state what the proposal is, and then it would be easier for editors to offer support or opposition with rationale. Cheers. N2e (talk) 04:30, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Proposal[edit]

@N2e: I think the general idea initially was to change how the company is described wholesale, including in the lead, to a "taxi dispatch service" from a "ridesharing service". There doesn't appear to be consensus for this because most RS do not describe Uber that way.
Based on our discussion so far, what I'm suggesting is that:
  1. we leave the lead alone and maintain the "ridesharing service" description, and
  2. under the 2012-present section of History, that we describe that Uber implemented an option in their app called Uber Taxi that dispatches actual taxis drivers to customers, and that it has been implemented in multiple cities.
So, if folks want to support or oppose that idea, please indicate that below so we can start gathering a consensus on the matter. I, JethroBT drop me a line 04:58, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • That sounds fine to me. My concern was shoehorning a potentially POV issue, however convoluted, into the lead. I see nothing wrong with the word "dispatch" as a verb for sending taxis to meet a rider. When wording and sourcing it, I wonder if "multiple cities" is specific enough; presumably Uber has a different group of services organized in different ways for each market in the US and internationally. Or is Uber Taxi the same everywhere it goes? - Wikidemon (talk) 20:34, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
  • SUPPORT the proposal. The "ridesharing service" description seems most accurate to what the company is doing, with the proposed exception that "dispatch" does seem to apply to the one aspect (option) of the Uber service that allows the Uber app to call for a regular commercial taxi rather than endeavor to arrange a rideshare. N2e (talk) 15:26, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Criminal drivers[edit]

Did I miss something, or is there any reason why this entry doesn't mention anything about Uber drivers who have criminal records or have committed crimes against Uber customers? There are many stories in WP:RS, of which this is one of the most reliable roundups:

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Risky-Ride-Uber-Investigation-256604571.html Risky Ride: Who's Behind the Wheel of Uber Cars? How safe is Uber? The NBC4 ITeam investigates. By Joel Grover and Keith Esparros May 2, 2014

Tadeusz Szczechowicz drove the streets of Chicago for a year, despite five prior arrests and two convictions for burglary and disorderly conduct.

Syed Muzzafar had a prior conviction for reckless driving, but he cleared the Uber background check and was behind the wheel New Year's Eve when he was arrested for hitting and killing a 6-year-old girl in San Francisco.

And, Jigneshkumar Patel was arrested for battery of an UberX passenger, a charge he said is "rubbish." Still, the UberX driver had a 2012 conviction for DUI.

Tanya and Daniel Sackler didn't know anything about the past of their UberX driver. He identified himself only by his first name.

The Sacklers said he stole $2,500 in cash and personal items from them after he picked them up from LAX and dropped them off at their West Hollywood condo. The Sacklers filed a police report, saying the driver arrived at their home and quickly began unloading their baggage.

"He took them all and he put them in a pile," Daniel said.

While the Sacklers were dealing with their luggage, Tanya Sackler said their driver jumped back behind the wheel and quickly drove off with her purse, her husband's briefcase, a wallet with hundreds of dollars in it, and an iPad.

They had the driver's cell number, so they texted him right away, only to be told he was too busy to talk to them at the moment. The Sacklers said when they finally spoke to him, the driver told them he was not responsible for items left in his car.

--Nbauman (talk) 20:34, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

There is some controversy, not (yet) covered in the article, about Uber not conducting adequate background checks on its drivers. I'm not sure whether this is a system-wide or market by market thing. Individual stories of what a single employee did aren't terribly encyclopedic however reliable the sourcing unless they are watershed moments that have a big effect on or help define the company. But as part of a patter they can be relevant to what the company is and does. - Wikidemon (talk) 00:23, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Taiwan section[edit]

Given that the best we can do for the moment in regard to the Taiwan section is a Chinese-language citation—unusual, as the English-language media is adept at keeping up with Uber matters as they happen—it would be great if a copyeditor who understands the article could ensure that the section is accurate. Thanks.--Soulparadox (talk) 07:05, 7 December 2014 (UTC)


Removal[edit]

I just removed a small section at the bottom concerning the alleged rape in India. The keyword here is "alleged", because it is alleged and not yet proven, inserting it in violates BLP ( he's not yet been proven guilty). Unless there's some reliable sources that show a crime really was committed it would need to remain out. KoshVorlon Rassekali ternii i mlechnye puti 13:01, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

  • I think the BLP concern is avoided if we don't name the victim or the accused. It's too early to say whether this will be significant enough to include in the article at all, or where. The mere fact that a driver committed (or was accused of committing) a serious crime isn't very relevant, as that fact would hold true of most if not all large companies. If it leads to a significant affecting the company, for example if the ban is more than short term, then it might be worth mentioning in the history or national operations section; if it leads to regulation it might go there. If it becomes a lasting scandal it could be added to a new section about inadequate screening of drivers leading to drivers committing crimes, something that has happened elsewhere. - Wikidemon (talk) 17:30, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. But let's keep an eye on it. Knowing the slow pace of the Indian justice system, it will take a long time to be resolved, but when it is resolved, if the result is worthy of being included in this article, it should go here. This article has had enough white washing already. Chisme (talk) 17:54, 8 December 2014 (UTC)


List of Services[edit]

could there be a list of services that Uber provides including their limited time only services? For instance, in Washington, DC, Uber offers UberX (regular, XL, and XL with Car-seat); Black Car (regular, SUV, and Blackcar with carseat, and SUV with carseat) and Taxi. They are also running a trial of Uber Essentials, where you can order things from the app and a driver will deliver them to you.[1]

In Miami, I've read that they have UberSelect, with high end cars.[2] Dfl8cornell (talk) 19:10, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Surge pricing and Sydney crisis[edit]

The 2014 Sydney hostage crisis incident makes an excellent illustration of Uber's automated pricing model and of Uber's sensitivity and responsiveness to emergencies. That is to say, demand shot up, surge pricing kicked in to bring more drivers out to handle the demand, and Uber made an executive decision to remedy the situation. This is exactly the sort of "how a company operates" information that readers would expect under a "pricing" section in a corporate article. "NotNews" by the way, is seriously dated. I wouldn't suggest going over to the hostage crises article currently under development and telling the editors there stop there work on the basis that Wikipedia is not news. Rklawton (talk) 05:22, 15 December 2014 (UTC)


I'm reverting this material for the second time (I hadn't seen the above comment).[14] What on earth does this have to do with Uber? There are dozens or perhaps hundreds of examples where people complained about Uber's "surge pricing". The fact that the algorithm increased the prices due to a terrorist incident this time (as opposed to a holiday, natural disaster, what have you) does not help explain the pricing system, and just feeds into the weird-stuff-that-happened-on-uber meme. This is minor news of the day stuff and does not fit in with explaining what Uber is, how it works, etc. If this truly becomes the symbol of negative reaction to Uber's pricing, then we can include it — but right now, a few hours after the incident with the hostage crisis still happening and Uber tyring to explain itself, this really looks like over-eager scandal-gazing. - Wikidemon (talk) 06:44, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

I've moved this info to the paragraph on surge pricing, and set that apart under its own subheading. I've also removed a superfluous mention of the Delhi rape case, as that is already covered in the India section. There is a bigger structural problem with the article. The "International expansion" section reads like a scattershot of incidents and scandals rather than telling the company's history, and then we have a regulatory opposition section that also sometimes tells of the specific incidents that trigger regulatory scrutiny. I think the article would be better organized by moving all of the nation and city-specific material into the subsections for different countries, and mentioning the launches, reception, incidents, and regulatory position with each country. However, we do have to be careful with WP:NOT#NEWS. The fact that the news media, and perhaps people in general, are particularly quick to read scandal into various negative happenings involving Uber ties in with Uber's growing reputation for bad behavior at a corporate level, it is not necessarily related to the actual service Uber is offering. As such, to cover it in the same breathless way as the daily press is to get caught up in the same opinionated judgement. There are some articles analyzing this.[15] - Wikidemon (talk) 18:40, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

Gypsy Cabs to "rideshare"[edit]

I believe that the article does not address the changes that inspired the government to make since before the arrival of looper rideshare companies would definitely be labeled as Gypsy cabs but after their arrival they convinced government officials that because they were dispatching trips via the app and still completely ignoring existing taxi laws they could relabel the term gypsy cab as a rideshare service. I think that this should be discussed at least to a little bit of an extent in the article because it definitely did change the way that taxi regulations were in effect and thus it ultimately changed eat chips the cab to move under the exploited term as a rideshare service.- Powedulninja72627 (talk) 11:44, 15 December 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Powedulninja72627 (talkcontribs)

Usage of word "ridesharing" in first sentence[edit]

I believe that the usage of the word "rideshare" in the first sentence, along with the link to the Carpooling page, is inaccurate and plays into a media mythology that companies like Uber have spent copious amounts of money to craft. Uber is not a ride-sharing service, though many use the phrase ride-sharing to refer to them. I believe a better term for them would be Transportation network company (as used on the Lyft page), or simply as a taxi company.

Why Uber is not a ride-sharing company: "ride sharing," and particularly with the current link to the Carpooling page in place, implies a free, friendly exchange between individuals. For instance, with carpooling people typically take turns driving their vehicles for each other in order to reduce their gas usage, environmental impact, and to give themselves a bit more flexibility. The word "ride share" typically refers to something like a carpool, or an informal arrangement like what you find on the craigslist "rideshares" section -- e.g. "Hey, I'm driving down from SF to LA this weekend and have two extra seats." People often chip in money in such arrangements, but -- crucially -- the ride-share-er does not operate as a 24/7 business, and *already has a destination in mind*, hence the phrase "ride share." They are *sharing* their *ride*, *not* sharing their vehicle, or acting as a /for hire/ driving service.

Uber, however, operates on-demand taxi and taxi-like services. Their drivers do this as a full-time or part-time job, are required to meet certain requirements, and are, crucially, not in the process of making some kind of random personal trip when they decide to pick someone up. This is a job for them.

So to be concrete here: I propose that the usage of the phrase "ridesharing" in the first paragraph be removed and replaced with Transportation network company. I am not opposed to the usage of "rideshare" further into the article, as it's a popular term used to refer to services such as Uber, but I believe that even there we owe it to readers to offer a small clarification. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.198.60.54 (talk) 00:03, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

I've actually brought this up before in the discussion, and I agree. The term "ride-share" is being exploited. It makes no sense in terms of how Uber's business model is layed out. Drivers who work for the company drive around, or even wait, until Uber sends them a trip request by a customer (dispatch), and then they give the said customer a ride. This is not "ride-sharing" in any sense of the word. A ride-share occurs when someone who is headed somewhere, and a friend/stranger/whoever is also going to the same place, jumps along with the driver (and for free). Uber drivers are being payed to give customers rides, and just like cab drivers, they roam around until Uber dispatches a trip to them via the app. At the very minimum, we should change the "ride-share" label to a "Transportation Network Company" label, or more accurately as a "cab service." Because the Transportation Network Company poses another issue. What about cabs that also have dispatch apps? Are cabs then also Transportation Network Companies? --User:Pavsidhu (Pavsidhu) 22:52, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
Due to its successful application of the TNC title on the Lyft page, it seems reasonable to use it on this page too. Regards,--Soulparadox (talk) 04:01, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. I don't remember much about the last discussion, except that it was a bit chaotic. Anyway, TNC is more specific and correct than ride-sharing. - Wikidemon (talk) 04:11, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Just an interesting aside: the Baidu CEO called Uber part of the "car hailing industry" on Wednesday—I am not proposing a change, but am wondering if this is going to be the new way to describe Uber? Is it appropriate for WIkipedia if they do adopt it? I do not know yet, but thought I would share it anyway. Regards,--Soulparadox (talk) 05:51, 18 December 2014 (UTC)