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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any Waterloo Region drivers? Just wanted to start a thread here since there is not yet a city forum. Anybody had any interesting experiences in WR Uber's first month of service?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not super active yet, just did a couple trips Saturday night and one on Sunday afternoon. Doing it purely for fun at the moment, but if they resolve the insurance questions I'd be into driving regularly on Friday and Saturday nights. I'm an experienced driver with hundreds of thousands of km's under my belt, much of it driving deliveries for my father when I was younger. Clean record, very safe/cautious driver.

My first ping came about 20 minutes after being out (around 8pm), I was just driving around near Fairview Mall, got a ping for the (waterloo region) airport. Kind of freaked me out and I didn't take it. Next ping I took and was over near Ottawa and River, took a couple to the other end of Waterloo (left their kids with the grandparents going out to party I guess :). They were really great pax, I think it was maybe $25 or so (before Uber's 25% cut). After that I went home for an hour or so, I went back out around 10pm, got a ping right away a few blocks from my place, it was a young couple (the guy had just been activated as a driver too but hadn't gone out yet) we chatted a bit, short trip to the other side of downtown Kitchener. Headed back home (again, was just doing this for fun and wanted to see what it was like, but a little nervous) but stayed online. Got a ping for way out on the edge of town, nice neighbourhood, about 20 minutes from me. Headed there, Google nav sent me to the wrong culdesac even though the address was correct, no big deal though. It was a party and there was another Uber there also waiting (driven by a young woman, cool but surprised me) - three twentysomethings got in and I took them to uptown Waterloo. They were hilariously entertaining along the ride (obviously they had been enjoying some libations). That wrapped up my Saturday night, it was really busy uptown Wloo so I just went offline and drove home.

I noticed a cab trying to pull a uturn or some menacing stunt downtown. It was a mess and a bunch of people were honking at him. I kind of chuckled to myself.

Sunday was interesting. Middle of the afternoon I went online just to see how busy it would be. Within a few minutes I got a ping (and I was pretty far away from the pax, again like 20 minutes). I got there and looking at my GPS I saw a cab in the driveway of roughly the location and was like "wtf". I went by and turned around, and came back, it was actually a couple doors down and a guy was out front holding a box (was expecting a woman from the pickup name). I guess I had been called by someone north of Toronto, they needed something delivered and sent me there (it was nothing nefarious the guy showed me what was in the box, just some specialty art/craft stuff for an event). It was a great trip though, took two hours and I got around $96 after Uber's cut. I went offline after that because I had other things to do that afternoon and didn't really expect such a long trip.

So 4 trips in total, I think about 3.5 hours logged about $146 after Uber's cut. Probably I was just lucky, but that was my experience so far.

Ordered a 360 degree dashcam (will have it installed for the weekend) for interior recording (part of the proposed bylaw for Uber), and my insurance broker is trying to find me extra coverage (I mean Uber says it's available so it's gotta be right?) - this seems like a fun side job and I think the model/idea is great and people LOVE it (AFAIK I still have my 5 stars). I can see why the taxi industry is worried. They have legitimate gripes (lower costs because people are driving with personal insurance expecting Uber's contingent policy to cover them, maybe it will, maybe it won't) and it's not officially licensed (YET but should be by January), as well as accessibility concerns (Uber I think will address that in time either on their own or by regulation). Uber is a great idea that's not going away and things like UberPool REALLY make it ride SHARING - and that is true innovation. The public safety issue I think is really a non-issue, the feedback system will get rid of bad drivers and creeps soon enough. It will also get rid of crappy pax, which is nice. And Lyft will likely follow eventually. Technically those "drive you home from the bar in your car" services are just as illegal as Uber, but they aren't enforcing the bylaw for that, and those services are certainly in the public interest AND save the insurance companies money (less claims from DUI accidents), so I'm glad the Region is working to legitimize ridesharing and similar services.

I've not heard of any sort of crackdown yet, supposedly only investigations on a complaint basis (really they should throw the complaints of butt-hurt taxi people trying to do stings out, the tactic by the taxi industry has been discouraged by the police and politicians in Ottawa). I suspect the taxi people are likely trying to intimidate or report the regular uber drivers as they have been in Toronto (they'll probably recognize them after a while with their phones mounted up on the dash or windshield and frequently being "around") but who knows. I'm curious to know how the 8 taxi drivers that were moonlighting as Uber drivers were caught...

Long winded but for those interested, there it is ^^^ new Uber driver's experience and thoughts. [yeah yeah tl;dr]
 

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Was in guelph region a week after uber was launched.
The region can turn out to be a money machine for uber drivers.
1- good student population
2- transit stops around 11pm even during weekends and students want to party.
3- taxicap drivers are the most crappy ******** cause there was no competition and students always feel stranded. Great as the region didn't try to fight uber.

My pings were like 10-20 mins away, but distances are further, u can drive to Waterloo- Cambridge or Guelph. As ridership grows, there is potential to make money.

Here in the GTA, you can't afford to take pings more than 5mins away as the rider may just be riding to a place 4mins away. But in Waterloo region you can take 10mins away cause most rides are at least 10mins away
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow what a contrast from a couple weeks ago. Went online for about an hour tonight between 9 and 10pm, stayed out in the burbs hoping to catch some rides uptown. Nada, no pings. Rider app shows a LOT of cars out even in the low density areas. Gotta hand it to Uber, they can sure motivate drivers to get out. Wonder if this means a rate cut is coming..
 

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I suspect the taxi people are likely trying to intimidate or report the regular uber drivers as they have been in Toronto (they'll probably recognize them after a while with their phones mounted up on the dash or windshield and frequently being "around")
For that reason between now and Regulation, I keep my phone in the cup holder.
 
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Made my first pickup tonight. Thursday I'm guessing are much slower than the weekend...

Can we get a Waterloo Region group on the front?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Haha... you can always tell the cabbie troll posts. It's actually a source of entertainment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh no. Uber drivers aren't that hard to track down. I've been tracking them down to let them know about this forum. Usually scares them when I knock on their window asking if they are Uber lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Fwiw, the first time an Uber driver or his vehicle is attacked or vandalised the taxi folks will lose a huge amount of public support even worse than Toronto.

And you never know what kind of retribution could follow, Uber has a lot of young and clever supporters in Waterloo.

I rode with an Uber driver a couple weeks ago on my way home from work - just after Bill Chester from the taxi association was on the CBC radio making veiled threats against Uber drivers. Anyway, driver claims his brother is a member of anonymous (he could also be full of it) but he said it was good for the taxi people that they had a manual/radio back up dispatch system as they may have to get used to using it again it if they act on their threats.
 

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Fwiw, the first time an Uber driver or his vehicle is attacked or vandalised the taxi folks will lose a huge amount of public support even worse than Toronto.

And you never know what kind of retribution could follow, Uber has a lot of young and clever supporters in Waterloo.

I rode with an Uber driver a couple weeks ago on my way home from work - just after Bill Chester from the taxi association was on the CBC radio making veiled threats against Uber drivers. Anyway, driver claims his brother is a member of anonymous (he could also be full of it) but he said it was good for the taxi people that they had a manual/radio back up dispatch system as they may have to get used to using it again it if they act on their threats.
So much for being "anonymous" and reveling brothers identity during taxi ride. LOL. If anything, hackers groups would concentrate their efforts against huge multinational company such as Uber, not small regional taxi dispatch service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I don't know who the guy's brother is so he's still anonymous to me.. either way it'll be interesting to see what happens if things "escalate" but like in Toronto the taxi industry will likely be the ones on the losing end of public opinion if something does happen. Also, it doesn't take a "group" to penetrate companies who likely don't have much in the way of protection on their networks (even if they think they do), any dumbass kid with Metasploit and a few hours of googling for the right stuff can do it.

All of the Uber drivers I've talked to I've strongly advised to jump on Amazon and grab the Falcon F-Zero 360 (or similar clone) mirror-mount dual camera dashcam. (A) because if the region revisists it's proposed bylaw it will be required and it's the same the taxi drivers use already, (B) if you are driving around drunk alone women on bar pickups you DON'T want accusations [and so good idea to enable time stamp and record your entire shift - most will work with 64GB SD cards], and (C) if you are attacked by a taxi driver you've got evidence. They will be unemployed if you get a conviction.

That said, I always encourage the drivers I've talked to to be respectful of Taxi drivers, I don't think they are hurting too bad in KW but there can be strong emotions when someone new is "on your turf" especially in the unregulated way Uber currently operates (not that governments haven't had ample time/warning to update their regs, but they probably didn't think Uber would catch on like it did, which tells you what a failure the current system was). I've yet to meet a Taxi driver in KW I didn't like. It is mostly plate/share owners that are upset though as a lot of the non-owner drivers are either driving for Uber on the side now or will be soon.
 

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it'll be interesting to see what happens if things "escalate" but like in Toronto the taxi industry will likely be the ones on the losing end of public opinion if something does happen.
Cabbies are phenomenally skillful and shooting themselves in the foot. A bulls-eye every time!
 

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Well I don't know who the guy's brother is so he's still anonymous to me.. either way it'll be interesting to see what happens if things "escalate" but like in Toronto the taxi industry will likely be the ones on the losing end of public opinion if something does happen. Also, it doesn't take a "group" to penetrate companies who likely don't have much in the way of protection on their networks (even if they think they do), any dumbass kid with Metasploit and a few hours of googling for the right stuff can do it.
I do share most of your thoughts regarding respecting competition and futility of cabbie protests in Toronto, however I'm surprised you don't see the irony of "Anonymous" group bringing down dispatch system in support of some large multinational corporate entity such as Uber. Something like that would firmly go against their believes.

Once Uber eliminates or minimizes competition, what do you think will happen with their (so far) favorable prices compared to taxi ones... Now i did checked some of your other comments elsewhere, but don't except to much from self driving vehicles in the next decade or two, especially when it comes to transportation service such as taxi. Bottom line of Uber is
maximizing profit all the time.

Lastly, do you know how long would take authorities to find identity of the passengers' brother claiming to be part of Anonymous hack-activist group in the case they are interested in him...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I personally call BS on what the guy was saying, just as I call BS on the taxi peoples' threats, they probably aren't that stupid. Of course anger can often cloud judgement.

Also, wasn't the passenger's brother, it was the driver's brother. I was the passenger.
 

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Guelph driver here, although I usually end up taking someone to Waterloo where there is a lot more work and a lot less stress with cops.
 

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Don't know about other drivers in K-W, but I have been driving in the area for about 2 months, and I think it's way oversaturated here (way more drivers than passengers).

Been averaging around $10-$12/hr after gas and other expenses. Maybe it's because I'm mainly driving in the daytime, but it still amazes me how the Uber client app is showing so many cars in the area. I don't know why so many drivers are even online given this saturated market.
 
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