Those Silicon Valley geniuses have done it again!

Next week- “it’s like the subway, but with AI!”

  • @Sanctus
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    1151 month ago

    This is what happens when you believe the private sector is the answer to everything. We reinvent the wheel one hundred times, and each time its more square than before.

      • @Meron35
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        191 month ago

        Which makes it better than a bus because then I don’t have to sit next to poor people /s

        • @[email protected]
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          130 days ago

          There is often cases where the first class offer exactly the same service as the second class, people are just paying extra to not be with poor people.

    • @Aux
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      -41 month ago

      They didn’t reinvent anything, private small scale shuttle buses have existed since forever. If you don’t have them in your city it doesn’t mean that’s a brand new thing.

  • Tony N
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    941 month ago

    Just waiting for them to reinvent light rail

    • Nougat
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      801 month ago

      How about Uber Feet, where you pay to walk somewhere?

    • @meeeeetch
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      111 month ago

      They invented FSD in the sixties and it makes a handy little loop through downtown Detroit.

      • @skyspydude1
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        51 month ago

        And now we’re inventing the shittiest “rail line” between Ann Arbor and Detroit on 94. All the hassle and expense of rail travel, with none of the efficiency!

    • @essell
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      31 month ago

      They’ll market it as moving at light speed too.

      ****heads.

    • @[email protected]
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      211 month ago

      When public transportation was first introduced in most places, it was run by private companies for profit. This changed mostly because it wasn’t profitable to compete with cars when those became popular.

      Of course there still are private companies running public transport: long distance buses and trains in many places, and commercial aviation is really also a form of public transportation.

      So there is nothing novel about buses being run by private companies for profit.

      • @vegetal
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        1 month ago

        For me it’s the marketing that makes me roll my eyes. Shuttle instead of bus when in the United States. (Curiously, in other countries it’s called bus by Uber.)

        • Cethin
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          101 month ago

          The only time I hear shuttle used is for a thing that transports between two locations specifically. A “shuttle” from the airport to a hotel or whatever, for example. This seems to match the definition of shuttle also, so I think it’s correct. It has nothing to do with marketing, rather actually using the proper term.

          • @vegetal
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            11 month ago

            Not to add a wrinkle but a bus also goes between two points.

            • Cethin
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              81 month ago

              A bus goes between many points usually.

              • @vegetal
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                11 month ago

                Interesting way of thinking of a bus route.

  • @ribhu
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    121 month ago

    Wait they didn’t have them in the US? We’ve had uber shuttles for years in India

    • @[email protected]
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      1 month ago

      If you click the article link, then use a process called “reading”, you would see:

      The company has already launched similar services abroad in Egypt, Nigeria, and India. Now it’s bringing the concept to the United States.

      Edit: I misunderstood and assumed he hadn’t read the article, which is entirely too common these days.

      • @ribhu
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        1 month ago

        God forbid I react to the article after reading it

      • @[email protected]
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        81 month ago

        Yeah, they knew this by reading the article, it seemed like. They were relating it to their experience, mentioned in the article, about it existing there. They were just surprised to find out they had it before the US. This doesn’t really denote them not having read the article.

  • @blazera
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    101 month ago

    Good? We need more bus routes

    • Flying SquidOP
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      501 month ago

      We don’t need to make them Uber chartered bus routes.

      • @blazera
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        -231 month ago

        We need whoever is willing to provide them

      • MxM111
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        -261 month ago

        Why not? The more the merrier, and you, the customer, have a choice.

        • @ilinamorato
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          741 month ago

          Until the city decides to get rid of the subsidized bus system because “Uber is a better service and covers the routes anyway” and then they jack the price sky-high.

          • @[email protected]
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            26 days ago

            Exactly. How people haven’t realized this yet is fuckin inconceivable. Trusting a for-profit company—with a history of the exact problematic behavior we’re worried about—is beyond stupid. They can operate at a loss for a long time. Just to fuck other businesses out of the market so they can charge as much as they want. It’s literally their business model.

        • Flying SquidOP
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          361 month ago

          What if you, the customer, are a poor person? Is Uber going to subsidize a bus pass for you to charter one of Uber’s buses to their job?

          • @Aux
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            -21 month ago

            From my own experience, if you’re poor, you use a regular bus. If you want to get somewhere faster, you pay more and catch a shuttle. If you want comfort, you pay even more and get a taxi. And all modes of transport are always full to the brim. The more the merrier, always.

            • @[email protected]
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              11 month ago

              But…that’s our point. Uber taking over bus routes would ultimately void that choice. Public transportation is a public service. Letting a VC-funded for-profit company weasel their way into that space is never going to not fuck poor people. It’ll fuck everyone, but it’ll make “public transportation” unaffordable. And, really, when you’re poor, “if you want to get somewhere faster” isn’t really an option. That’s…the thing with being poor. You don’t have the extra money to spend to catch a shuttle and you don’t have the luxury of paying for comfort. Not to mention, even in the best case scenario, where busses would keep their existing schedule and routes (though the likelihood of this happening is slim) and we’d just get more busses? It’d clog the system, ultimately slowing bus routes.

              So, no. Not “the more the merrier” when it comes to private companies elbowing their way into public service, and especially not when we’re talking about fuckin traffic.

              • @Aux
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                -126 days ago

                It works just fine elsewhere.

                • @[email protected]
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                  026 days ago

                  Like where? Kids school lunches? Oh, no…wait…a bunch of literal children have school lunch debt. Well, maybe family visits for prisoners? Oh, no, they’ve now barred people from visiting inmates and a private company now forces them to pay to do a shitty video chat. Okay, well maybe the American healthcare system? Nope. I guess that one’s killing a whole bunch of people and drowning families in debt for simple procedures and charging people $80 for a Tylenol and charging mothers for letting them hold their own fucking child.

                  I’m sure there’s a great example where a private company is doling out their services at a loss as a public good, right?

          • @[email protected]
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            29 days ago

            I’m thinking your job would be the one to do that. A lot of companies subsidize transit passes, the problem is usually there aren’t enough routes, so employees don’t use them.

            • 𝒍𝒆𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒏
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              229 days ago

              The hospitals in my nearby city have their own BRT which is open to public use, and joined to the city’s ticketing system. It shuttles between them and various key locations, and is of course wholly subsidized for the intended users.

              Despite being the only BRT here it pretty much goes everywhere it should, skipping the usual traffic, and as a result gets a lot of use.

              If the users were limited to the regular transportation I think they would just all drive - while there are a lot of routes here they’re not entirely pleasant to use IMO and almost always get stuck in traffic

              • @[email protected]
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                229 days ago

                Exactly. Mass transit responds to what people say they want (wider roads), whereas hospitals and large companies respond to costs (i.e. cost of more parking vs a shuttle). I’m not saying transit should be privatized, I’m saying private transit filling in the gaps of mass transit is generally a good thing.

          • MxM111
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            -71 month ago

            Reducing public transportation is not a solution to fight poverty.

                • MxM111
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                  -91 month ago

                  Why? Most of our businesses are private. The stores you go are private, the taxi you take are private, the cinema, the airlines, hell even electric and water companies are private. What so special about Uber that it has to be publicly owned? We do have public busses, this will be on top of that.

              • @Aux
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                -31 month ago

                It is. Just like taxi.

              • MxM111
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                -91 month ago

                It is privately owned public transportation. Same as taxi. Same as supermarkets and malls being privately owned public places. And some Muslims and parks.

          • @blazera
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            -121 month ago

            no bus company subsidizes passes, local governments do

            • Flying SquidOP
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              151 month ago

              Local governments… you mean the thing Uber hates and does everything they can to defy?

              • @blazera
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                -91 month ago

                oh yeah they would hate for local governments to give them money

                • Jajcus
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                  1 month ago

                  If that means proper regulations (as it should) I bet they would hate it.

        • @yildolw
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          201 month ago

          The private sector takes the profitable popular routes first, which the public system is already serving, meaning the public system would not longer be able to use the fare revenue from the popular routes to subsidize the geographical coverage unpopular ones which are nevertheless needed to get the full network effect

        • Hegar
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          1 month ago

          Uber is a bad faith actor, their business model is entirely monopoly-seeking. If they’re trying to expand into bus routes, the goal will be to reduce the choices available to just Uber.

      • @wolfpack86
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        130 days ago

        Frankly it doesn’t matter. Japan has several private companies operating rail services. Tokyo has several subway systems.

        We need more appropriately priced, accessible mass transit. I don’t care if it’s public or private.

      • @blazera
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        -121 month ago

        do we get more public transportation if we ban uber from this?

        • @pufferfisherpowder
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          211 month ago

          We need to tax the fuck out of the dIsRupTIve vultures called venture capitalists. The only disruption they cause is offering an existing service with extra little value returned to society and workers until the competition is dead. Then prices are raised and society gets squeezed a second time. It’s fucking disgusting. The raised tax on these fuckers can then be used for public transport, amongst other things.

          So, no, we don’t get public transport from banning Uber doing this. But Uber wouldn’t do this (or exist) if the investors of this shit company would pay their fair share and if Uber had to follow proper labor laws.

        • @[email protected]
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          131 month ago

          Yes. Allowing Uber to do this justifies a disinvestment in public services. “why should we spend more on bus service when no one rides it anyway? They’re all taking Uber bus”

          • @blazera
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            -181 month ago

            the horror, too many people taking uber bus

            • @[email protected]
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              121 month ago

              Uber will only cherry pick profitable routes for profitable customers, stealing them from public transport which will become more expensive as a result. Public transport is a public service available to everyone for a fair price. Uber is not public transport. Uber starting busservice somehow signals they want to move into that space, but they will never be servicing the poorest towns. Parts of PT being privatised by uber probably is bad news for bus passengers on less popular routes.

              • chiisana
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                -131 month ago

                So… just making sure I am understanding this properly: centralized service monopoly by one government backed provider…? Doesn’t that got quite a communist ring to it?

                I guess it also makes it easier for the one government backed provider to require facial recognition for a centralized authoritarian policed state.

                Oh, right, I forgot this is Lemmy, that’s exactly the goal of the vocal minority. Never mind. Carry on!

                • @[email protected]
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                  1 month ago

                  So… just making sure I am understanding this properly: centralized service monopoly by one government backed provider…? Doesn’t that got quite a communist ring to it?

                  I don’t think you’re very sincere, but I’ll try to explain how this is not communism and how this works in many countries.

                  People still have to pay for using the service. Depending on how often they ride, how far they go, etc. A fair, yet subsidised price. What the government does is create a “scenario”, a map if you like, with dots and lines and wishes and logical connections on which likely many people travel often. They identify which cities, which services, etc they want connected, and basically write out a TENDER to which many PRIVATE COMPANIES can participate. Sometimes, it’s a 1 take it or leave it big package deal. Sometimes, it’s split into a “main network” which will be run by a state controlled company, and local and regional networks, for which tenders are created and for which different companies can participate. They usually “win” a tender for quite many years at once, because it costs a lot of effort and money to get services started. It is quite far away from communism. But is does force a private company to not only exploit the few very most profitable connections, and ignoring all the others. Which is exactly what Uber is aiming for: only the profitable lines, 0 others. In a point of view from a society as a whole standpoint: it is still valuable to have more people use the bus instead of their own car, for many reasons, even on lines that are not profitable but require subsidies, for example also because it is still a lot more economical. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper for 20% of people using the bus, than to build yet even more highways and lanes and force people to buy their own vehicles. On top of that, it is the governments’ job to deliver basic services to all people. That is what we pay taxes for. What good is a hospital, a library, a school, if the people who very much need it, for example people too impaired to drive a vehicle and too poor to pay uber, can’t reach these services? Busses make sense, subsidised busses often make sense (not always, some places overdo it running empty busses too often), Uber is for sure not in it for providing a service to society, they are in it for destroying the service system for all and only taking the profit from some and fuck other people.

        • @[email protected]
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          1 month ago

          Look at any of these tech companies’ history. They corner the market by operating at massive losses that VCs can foot for, like, a decade. And then when they’ve driven out other options, they abuse the fuck out of customers. They “disrupt” by obliterating, and that’s when they move for the kill shot: ever-expanding profits.

          This is not a good thing. Even in NYC, where the MTA is a massive chunk of money, we have one of the slowest bus systems in the world. That’s through no fault of the busses, mind, this is the cars fault. And, kinda Uber’s fault. The traffic is so bad, even where busses have their own lanes, the traffic slows that shit down like crazy.

          Depending on the govt (Adams would probably jump at this, whoever his successor will be will obviously determine how it’d go), the city sees $$$ and sacrifices the long term well-being of the city for their own “successes” while in office. And money/budget is always a crunch, no matter the place. So if Uber wanted to “disrupt” NYC by basically taking over busses or getting a contract to use the bus stops and bus lanes, the govt saves money while generating revenue because those VCs are eyeing the long term where they can ultimately make the city reliant on their services and force people to contribute to their bottom line. Our trains are great, but they don’t go everywhere, sometimes busses are necessary, especially for outerborough people and historically poorer neighborhoods. You can see those areas on the train map, because trains basically avoid them.

          Trusting vampiric capitalists with any public good is a fuckin stupid thing to do. Look at healthcare. How we have privatized healthcare is beyond me, but look at the state of it. Now, this is more expanding on the conversation than actually replying directly to your question, but it sort of does get at the heart of it. For a time, we would get more transportation. It wouldn’t be public, it’d be private. But it wouldn’t solve the issues. It’d just create new ones.

          • @blazera
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            11 month ago

            This is not a good thing. Even in NYC, where the MTA is a massive chunk of money, we have one of the slowest bus systems in the world. That’s through no fault of the busses, mind, this is the cars fault. And, kinda Uber’s fault. The traffic is so bad, even where busses have their own lanes, the traffic slows that shit down like crazy.

            Im with you that cars are the problem, thats why im defending this proposal for more bus service. Also in the same boat of venture capitalist tech companies are all those bike sharing businesses that popped up over the years. I still see them as positive, they’ve become integrated into many european pedestrian friendly cities id like for American cities to imitate.

            • @[email protected]
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              430 days ago

              Yeah…but busses exist right now. Cars are still the problem. A private company getting involved bus routes won’t do shit for that problem. We have one of the best transit systems in the world in nyc. But people can’t give up their cars. Letting Uber muscle into public transit won’t change that. If anything, it’ll drive up the cost of busses and make even fewer people rely on busses.

              We have citibikes in nyc. The traffic problem is still awful. As a bike rider myself, I can tell you that riding a bike here is not for everyone. I know plenty of able-bodied people terrified away from riding bikes. But say the city into the bike sharing service. It wouldn’t be $15. It would be…I dunno, $5. Then more people would use them. See what I’m saying?

              The way to spread anything good is to make a cost, not a profit maker. Bringing business into the public service game is a horrible idea. There’s no way this does anything good for anyone but Uber. That’s how businesses operate. There might be a time where it seems things are getting better, but that’s just the phase where they’re willing to operate at a loss to corner the market. This phase is ending right now with Amazon: they drove out so many businesses by becoming so reliable, quick, and convenient. Now, they’re starting to scale back free returns. This happened not too long ago with Uber and Lyft. The money behind it finally said, “alright, play time is over. We won’t operate at a loss for much longer, we’ve cornered the rideshare market, now it’s time for prices to creep up to the point where we profit more and more.”

              It’s their business model. It’s vampiric and destructive. Not helpful. Trusting them with a public service is so, so, so foolish.

    • @MeatsOfRage
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      -11 month ago

      Yea I see this as a net positive. They mention concert venues. This is the perfect use case, I remember so many times struggling to get a bus after a big show because they’re packed. This could relieve that. It could increase frequency of pickups on existing routes, it’ll cut down on single passenger Ubers.

  • @[email protected]
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    30 days ago

    I think the point is, unlike buses with fixed routes, such shuttles could deliver people to places that face temporary massive traffic - like concert venues or whatnot.

    There is no need to constantly run huge amounts of buses there, but at some point of time there’s a lot of people willing to go - and such shuttles, flexible in their routes, may be the solution.

    • @wolfpack86
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      1230 days ago

      Because nobody in any public transit board has ever implemented such a thing?

      In North Carolina, park and ride busses for the state fair have long been a thing, among a litany of several other examples.

      • @[email protected]
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        530 days ago

        Just because it’s not a completely new concept doesn’t mean it’s stupid.

        It can bring value even if it’s a small iterative innovation over existing buses.

      • @jj4211
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        230 days ago

        I spent way too long ignoring the park and rides at major events. Then I started paying attention and they always had them and it was always so much nicer. No more excessively long walking, no more mpossible traffic getting in and out.

        As long as the event clearly highlights park and ride options, it’s fantastic and has been going on forever. These events pay the bus charter companies to generally provide rides free of charge to the riders.

    • @[email protected]
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      30 days ago

      There’s a bus stop at our local sports arena, and they do a dynamic scheduling thing for events, so no it’s exactly like our bus system

  • @[email protected]
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    -11 month ago

    Do people consider shuttles and buses the same thing? Because this sounds like a shuttle, which as far as I’m aware is completely different from a bus. I take a shuttle to the airport, which requires a reservation and ~$50 whereas I take a bus to get around town and it’s typically free.

    Essentially it sounds like they are trying to dip into the shuttle market, not the inner-city bus market. Though maybe both?

    • @MajinBlayze
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      -21 month ago

      Whatever you have to tell yourself to avoid sounding like you’re using the same transportation method as the commoners.

      • @[email protected]
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        61 month ago

        … the reading comprehension level of the average Lemmy user scares me

        I literally said that I take the bus. And the shuttle.

        • @Aux
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          01 month ago

          Muricans don’t understand public transport, give them some slack.