• Obi News Team

$1,500 Lyft rides, Ridehail prices up 92% and Uber's CEO goes undercover.

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

Renault's new EV focused on ridehail drivers

Top stories this week: Ridehail prices up a massive 92%, Lyft rides quoted at $1,500, Yandex buys out Uber’s stake, Uber’s CEO went undercover as a delivery driver, Lyft mulls return of pool rides, free rides in Vegas this Labor Day weekend, Lyft unveils 2023 Robotaxi, Texas ridehail drivers could be fined $10,000 for trips to abortion clinics, is Didi going under state control, and Massachusetts greenlights Uber, Lyft-backed worker ballot. Uber and Lyft rides increased a whopping 92% in just 18 months

The cost of a ride from a ride-sharing app like Uber or Lyft increased 92% between January 2018 and July 2021, according to Rakuten Intelligence. We all knew prices had increased, but 92% is extreme and for some that could impact how they commute, where they live and even if they ever return to the office. The average person spends hundres of dollars per year, for many thousands, on rides. A 92% increase could have a huge impact on riders. Full story.

Yandex buys out Uber’s stake in Yandex Self-Driving Group, Eats, Lavka and Delivery for $1B

Russian internet and ride-hail giant Yandex has acquired Uber’s stake in its Self-Driving Group (SDG), as well as Uber’s indirect interest in Yandex. Eats, Yandex. Lavka and Yandex. Delivery. The total cost of the deal came to $1 billion, giving the Russian company 100% ownership over all four businesses.

Top Travel Tips for Labor Day Weekend

The staff at Obi have put together their top time and money saving tips for Labor Day weekend travel. With demand high and prices through the roof, we have some great tips to help you save time and money. For example, many drivers drive for more than one company and yet you're quoted very different prices for the same car and driver, so it's always good to shop around and even try new providers. Read our blog feature here. Uber's CEO went undercover for a weekend in June working as an Eats driver Just like all good CEOs should, Dara went to the front lines and worked as an Uber Eats driver for a weekend. All in all it was a very positive experience, but he did suggest better instructions for couriers at multi building apartments. You can read the full details of Dara's weekend over at Business Insider.

As Lyft mulls return of pool rides, rideshare drivers raise concerns Shared rides can save consumers money, but the ABC 7 I-Team is finding that the idea of bringing them back right now is raising health and safety concerns. Rideshare drivers say the more passengers that are in a car, the bigger target it can be for carjackers. The other concern is simply adding more strangers together in a car with COVID-19 cases rising and the spread of the Delta variant. See the report here.

Las Vegas Coalition for Zero Fatalities offering free Lyft ride credits for Labor Day Weekend

​This Labor Day weekend, the Las Vegas Coalition for Zero Fatalities is encouraging Nevadans to celebrate the long weekend responsibly by offering $15,000 in free Lyft ride credit. The exclusive offer can be accessed within the Lyft mobile app with code RIDESMARTLDW, while supplies last. Read the full story.

Here’s the robotaxi that will be available on the Lyft app in 2023

Motional, the autonomous vehicle company that is a joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv, revealed more details about its forthcoming robotaxi. The company is also working with Lyft and says that by 2023, customers in certain cities will be able to hail rides in this vehicle using the Lyft app. Full story.

$1500 Lyft rides?! Lyft critiqued after rides out of South Lake Tahoe cost $1,500

The San Francisco-based ride-hailing app Lyft was accused Tuesday of price gouging as the last of the evacuees flood out of Tahoe to escape the fire. A Lyft from Heavenly Valley Lodge to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport showed a fare price between $1,300 to $1,500 for an "XL" vehicle Tuesday morning — a minivan or SUV that has the capacity to sit at least five other passengers. Usually that ride is estimated to cost up to $200 for an "XL" vehicle, according to Lyft's own estimate prices. Read on.

Softbank-backed Obl readies for up to $1 bln India IPO

Indian ride-sharing giant Ola plans to raise up to $1 billion through an initial public offering (IPO) and is finalizing banks to advise on the fund-raise according to Reuters.

Chinese regulators summon 11 ride-hailing firms, including Didi, over 'illegal behavior'

Chinese regulators have summoned and interviewed 11 ride-hailing firms asking them to rectify non-compliant behavior. The regulators alleged that the services are recruiting unapproved drivers and vehicles. The companies included Didi, T3 and Meituan. Full story.

Mobilize Limo Will Be an EV Just for Ride-Hailing Renault plans to offer a new electric sedan only on a subscription basis starting in 2022, with 280 miles of range. Mobilize Limo will be aimed at taxi companies and ride-hailing drivers, with a premium placed on rear passenger space. Renault is attempting to cater to ride-hailing app drivers, anticipating the industry will double between now and 2030. We expect more 'ridehailing' focused cars to be produced by manufacturers as demand continues to rise. Read the story.

Texas Uber Drivers Could Be Sued for $10,000 for Taking Women to Abortion Clinics

Yes you read correctly. Uber drivers in the state of Texas could soon find themselves the subject of costly lawsuits after the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to grant an injunction against a restrictive new abortion law. According to analysis of Senate Bill (SB) 8, those who drive women to abortion clinics in order to get illegal abortions could be sued for $10,000. Read the report. Didi jumps 14% this week amid report of Chinese government taking it over

Shares of Didi are poised for double-digit gains this week amid a Bloomberg News report that Beijing is eyeing a plan to take the troubled ride-hailing giant under state control by acquiring a stake through government-run firms. Full story.

Massachussetts AG greenlights Uber, Lyft-backed gig worker ballot initiative

This is essentially a MA version of Proposition 22, and would require tens of thousands of signatures for the measure to make it to the November 2022 ballot.The proposed initiative would allow drivers to earn a minimum of $18 per hour in 2023 before tips and provide those who work for at least 15 hours per week with healthcare stipends. Drivers would also be guaranteed at least 26 cents per mile to cover vehicle upkeep and gas.The coalition has until December 1 to collect and file 80,239 signatures from voters. Read the full story.