Dec 5, 2019

20 women sue Lyft over sexual assault allegations

A car with Uber and Lyft stickers in March 2019 in San Francisco, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Twenty women have joined a California lawsuit accusing Lyft of failing to take action on a "sexual predator crisis" that the company has allegedly known about for four years, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: Lyft and Uber have both come under fire over allegations of drivers harming their passengers. CNN found in 2018 that 31 drivers for Uber had been "convicted for crimes ranging from forcible touching and false imprisonment to rape."

What's happening: The 20 women in the latest lawsuit against Lyft, six of whom are named, say they were sexually assaulted or raped by Lyft drivers, per the Post. This follows a complaint filed in September on behalf of 14 other women who alleged they were raped or sexually assaulted by Lyft drivers.

What they're saying: The suit filed by attorneys in San Francisco Superior Court on Wednesday claims that Lyft’s new standardized protocol to determine if drivers should be banned from the platform "may pose a continued threat to passengers."

  • Lyft spokesperson Alexandra LaManna "said in a statement that no one should have to endure what the women in the lawsuit describe and that women still face disproportionate safety risks," the Post reports.
  • An Uber spokesperson highlighted new safety features like its in-app emergency button in response to CNN's 2018 investigation, adding "this is just a start and we are committed to doing more."

Background: Lyft said it partnered with the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network in September to add mandatory community safety education for drivers and a "notification system for potentially dangerous off-track rides" in response to criticism over safety, per the Post.

  • Uber announced an optional PIN verification system in September to ensure accurate matches between drivers and passengers, per CBS News, following sexual misconduct allegations and the death of a college student who got into the wrong car, instead of her Uber driver's vehicle.

Go deeper: Lyft bids for customer loyalty with new subscription deal

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Uber's first ever safety report cites 6,000 sex assaults in 2 years

Photo: ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP via Getty Images

In a long-awaited safety report, Uber disclosed on Thursday that during 2017 and 2018, U.S. users reported nearly 6,000 incidents of sexual assault of various kinds.

Why it matters: Uber (along with rival Lyft) has been criticized over the years not only for the occurrence of sexual assault and violence on rides, but also for its handling of these incidents, including attempts at downplaying or hiding them.

Go deeperArrowDec 6, 2019

New York City ride-hailing upstart Juno shuts down

Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Juno, an upstart ride-hailing company in New York City, is shutting down as part of a new partnership between parent company Gett and Lyft. Gett's corporate customers will now be able to book rides via Lyft in the U.S., and some Belarus-based employees are joining Lyft, the latter tells Axios.

Why it matters: When Juno burst onto the scene in 2016, ride-hailing drivers were attracted to its promise of a better job, including potentially providing company equity someday. But that promise unraveled when Juno sold to Gett the following year and admitted there was no legal way to do so.

Editor's note: The story has been updated with details about Gett employees joining Lyft.

Keep ReadingArrowNov 18, 2019

Uber is testing ad displays for its cars

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Some Uber drivers have independently been putting ad displays on top of their cars, but now the ride-hailing company has teamed with startup Cargo for a small test of officially deploying ads to drivers in Atlanta.

Why it matters: This could be a new revenue source for Uber, which has been under heavy pressure to move towards profitability.

Go deeperArrowNov 21, 2019