Taxi Market Heating Up
Disruption is one of the most overused words in technology, but there is perhaps no better term to describe what Uber and its scrappy rival Lyft are doing to the the taxi industry.
Last week the two companies announced competing carpool services, Lyft Line and Uber Pool, which will undercut traditional taxi prices even further, allowing riders to split their fare with strangers who have the same destination.
80% of seats on the road are empty. Let’s fix that. Say hello to Lyft Line. http://t.co/AsTNNIjhrF
— Lyft (@lyft) August 17, 2014
And the taxi apps are also competing fiercely against each other. In an effort to gain more drivers, many of whom have been poached by Uber through a “bounty program,” Lyft announced earlier in the year that it would no longer charge drivers a commission. Having foregone revenues since April, the company felt the time was right to reintroduce commissions. Lyft will now charge on a reverse graduated scale commissions of 20% for drivers who drive less than 15 hours per week down to 0 if a driver logs more than 50.
Meanwhile, Emil Michael, a Senior VP of Business, joined the Pentagon’s Defense Business Board. Michael has previous government experience as a White House Fellow and special assistant to Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The selection aligns nicely with Uber’s stated goal of influencing policy to shape the future of transportation.
Russian PM Has Twitter Hacked
On Thursday the Twitter account of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was compromised by Shaltay-Boltay, an anti-Putin hacker’s collective. The hacker’s claimed on the Prime Minister’s Russian language feed that Medvedev would resign, electricity would be banned, and Putin was “wrong.” This is not Shaltay-Boltay’s first coordinated effort. The group, which acts as an affiliate of Anonymous International, has previously exposed purportedly private emails from Kremlin officials about how to manipulate the media.
Sprint to Slash Prices
After becoming CEO almost immediately after Softbank’s (Sprint’s parent company) bid for T-Mobile failed, Marcelo Claure outlined his old-fashioned plan for winning market share: “When your network is behind, unfortunately you have to compete on value and price.” Sprint lost 220,000 subscribers in its first quarter. AT&T and Verizon has assumed 70 percent of the market while pressure from T-Mobile has also increased.
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