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    Now you can undermine unionized workers with free software, how cool is that? /s

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      Could actual taxis use this kind of software?

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        Here in Berlin the Taxis have this kind of software. In SF you have flywheel, which works like it. So yes, they of course can.

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        It’s not like the taxi companies treat them well or anything.

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          To be fair, I get the idea that this is more for remote places and the developing world where there’s no unionised taxi industry or even taxis - it’s more to give uber-like functionality to auto-rickshaws and taxi scooters.

          EDIT: His blog on the app - the use case he had in mind was his village in siberia: https://medium.com/@romanpushkin/how-i-made-uber-like-app-in-no-time-with-javascript-and-secret-sauce-94ef9120c7f6#.lez7k44zy

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            How cool is it that the unions can get higher wages by keeping people out of the profession?

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              Good point.

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              Passengers pay with cash

              This kills the idea.

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                Maybe in the US, but according to the readme it’s already got translations into five other languages.

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                  That doesn’t imply high user count to me. A lot free software folks are big on cash-only, and the untraceable nature of their transactions. I could see a bunch of people translating it in the hopes that there’ll be users eventually.

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                This seems to ignore one of the key features of uber and lyft: payments happen automagically from the consumer’s perspective.

                Just not having to deal with cash or pulling out a credit card at the end of a trip is a huge advantage. Even a credit card transaction is substantially better than cash in those cases too, because lots of people don’t carry cash.

                There’s also the issue with pricing. Sure you might end up paying less, and the driver taking home more, but having to haggle the price before the ride is an awful interaction, and sets you up for hostility at the get go. At least with traditional cabs there’s a set pricing scheme that’s shown to you very clearly and visibly.

                Interesting idea, but the implementation seems to be missing everything that makes uber/lyft, and even taxis, a not awful experience.

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                  Hi, I guess I’ll be the only crustacean to say something positive:

                  This project is neat. The progress and number of translations is impressive. And for a single developer project, the code and commit history shows serious maturity.

                  The fact it has users is cool. It would be interesting if this did takeoff, in any degree, as a local community variant of Uber/Lyft. (In the same vein as, for example, OpenERP or OpenMRS.)

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                    This is a terrible implementation of a decent idea. People can pretend Lyft and Uber don’t exist, but they do. Drivers should get more of a cut. There’s nothing stopping implementing a centralized “minimum wage” that lines up with existing union pay. This should also have registration, and people shouldn’t pay with cash. Without registration and an audit log you basically are calling someone to pick you up and rob you. But yeah a decent idea, terrible implementation.

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                      Curious to see how this turns out, can this work without corporate backing? Uber has been paying a lot of legal fees from what I’ve understood.

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                        Probably the biggest problem is adoption. Assuming that’s overcome, I don’t see what could make this illegal. It’s essentially a dispatch service which is already how most cab companies operate. The biggest difference from Lyft is that this isn’t trying to hire and pay drivers, but instead connects cash/bitcoin (on roadmap) payers.

                        Note: IANAL

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                          I’m just going to assume that in some places, if you accept payment for driving someone around, you are considered a “taxi / limo service” and would have to follow ordinances and whatnot. Isn’t that what Uber has run into?

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                            Yeah, for sure. Uber / Lyft have problems because there are taxi and limo commissions in various cities. I wasn’t considering this as something everyday people would just do, but rather an enhancement to existing Taxi’s. My mistake!

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                        The idea that the only thing Uber/Lyft offer is technology (and all you need to compete is alternative technology) is tech fetishism at its finest.

                        Code is cool and all but maybe we could stop confusing writing code with changing the world.

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                          This is an excellent reminder that not all who can benefit from software are affluent Westerners with easy access to infrastructure like credit cards.

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                            Has anyone tried this? Am I supposed to just chat with the bot and get what I want?