Uber drivers accused of booking, then canceling competitors' rides

Uber is plenty controversial, known for tactics like operating in municipalities despite bans and provoking revolts among established cab companies. Now rival service Lyft is accusing Uber of using dirty tricks in order to steal business from competitors.

Max Whittaker/Reuters/File
Taxi drivers protest against transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft along with Assembly Bill 2293 at the State Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. in June.

Next-generation taxi service Uber is plenty controversial, known for tactics like operating in municipalities despite being banned by regulators, and provoking revolts among established taxi companies.

Now rival service Lyft provided evidence to CNN that the company employs dirty tricks in order to grind its rivals.

Lyft said that 117 Uber employees ordered and deliberately cancelled 5,560 Lyft rides since October of last year. False requests like this cost Lyft drivers time and gas, and also reduce the availability of the company's cars, which would increase demand for Uber cars.

(It's not the first time Uber's been accused of using tactics like this.) The story notes that there's no evidence directly linking the call-and-cancellations to Uber's corporate office.

Earlier this month CNN reported that Uber warned its New York City drivers against also working for a rival company, saying that that it's against city regulations. The city's Taxi and Limousine Commission said that's not in fact the case.

Despite it controversies, the company remains one of the darling startups of the Bay Area, and was recently valued at $18 billion, though other analysts say that figure is wildly inflated.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.