Monthly Archives: November 2015

New York taxi owners are suing the city for letting Uber destroy their business


taxi_vs_uber

taxi_vs_uber


New York City taxi owners and credit unions are suing the city and its Taxi and Limousine Commission for letting Uber expand despite the harm it has caused their business. The lawsuit, filed today in Manhattan federal court, accuses city regulators of easing the pathway for ride-hailing services to operate with fewer burdens, according to a report today from Reuters. The lawsuit could represent one of the last dying gasps of the country’s largest taxi industry, which has moved on from its losing fight against Uber in hopes of extracting damages from the city itself.

The complaint states that medallion prices, which help artificially restrict the supply of city cabs, have fallen 40 percent from an all-time high of more than $1 million between April and June of this year. Meanwhile, the number of cab pickups fell by 3.83 million. Uber rides in Manhattan increased by 3.82 million in the same time period, the complaint says. The complaint also cites Uber as a primary contributor to the July bankruptcy filing of 22 taxi cab companies run by mogul Evgeny Freidman and the state’s seizing of a credit union that specializes in medallion loans back in September.
TAXI MEDALLION PRICES HAVE FALLEN 40 PERCENT
The plaintiffs include the Melrose, Progressive and Lomto Federal credit unions, which have loaned upwards of $2.4 billion for more than 4,600 taxi medallions; individual medallion holders; and the Taxi Medallion Owner Driver Association and League of Mutual Taxi Owners, both of which collectively represent more than 4,000 medallion holders.

“Defendants’ deliberate evisceration of medallion taxicab hail exclusivity, and their ongoing arbitrary, disparate regulatory treatment of the medallion taxicab industry, has and continues to inflict catastrophic harm on this once iconic industry and the tens of thousands of hardworking men and women that depend on it for their livelihood,” the complaint reads. Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

How Paris united against terror: Eiffel Tower as peace symbol, la Marseillaise, free shelters & taxi


Taxi in Paris

Taxi in Paris

The city of love turned into the city of anguish after several attacks rocked central Paris on Friday night. At least 127 people died, and many more were injured. The tragedy sparked an unprecedented response, with thousands sending their prayers and condolences.
The unprecedented tragedy has shocked the world. People from around the globe sent their condolences and brought flowers to French embassies.

In solidarity against the violence, crowds of French football fans sang ‘La Marseillaise’, the French National Anthem, as they were evacuated from the Stade de France during a series of attacks that rocked Paris on November 13.

“Peace for Paris”, an illustration by the French graphic designer Jean Jullien, has been widely shared on social media in the wake of the tragedy. The iconic Eiffel Tower has become a symbol of support for people worldwide, many unable to get to grips with what happened.

Paris attacks: Taxi drivers, householders offer shelter to stranded strangers with #PorteOuverte


paris attack

paris attack


Social media users are now using #PorteOuverte to connect those needing shelter with those who are willing to give it, and by taxi drivers offering people free rides out of the city.
Parisians are opening their homes to those unable to find shelter during the terror attacks unfolding in the French capital.

French-Algerian journalist Nabila Ramdani told the BBC people were being evacuated from buildings and told to go to secure locations but had limited means of doing so.

“People are being told to evacuate the places like restaurants and indeed concert halls where they have been going to on a Friday night, relaxing, going to for dinner with friends or family outside or attending a concert,” she said.

“They are now being told to go back home and stay at home. Of course the obvious problem they are facing at the moment is how to go back home.

“The thing that French transports are not even safe, to get on board, that’s the situation.”

Several Paris Metro lines have been closed and French president Francois Hollande has declared a state of emergency for all of France and closed the borders.

Australian Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson told News 24 said there was a lot of confusion on the streets of Paris.

“You can feel the chill in the environment because it’s clear that nobody is clear on what has happened,” he said.

“Most people as a consequence have gone to safety and wherever they can find it.

Americas Got Talent

america got talent in Austin

america got talent in Austin

Friday

Nov 13, 2015 – 8:00 PM

“America’s Got Talent,” NBC’s top-rated summer series from producer Simon Cowell’s Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America, celebrates its landmark 10th season with the hottest performers from across the country competing for America’s vote.

With the talent search open to acts of all ages, “America’s Got Talent” has brought the variety format back to the forefront of American culture by showcasing unique performers from across the country. The series is a true celebration of the American spirit, featuring a colorful array of singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists, impressionists, jugglers, magicians, ventriloquists and hopeful stars, all vying for their chance to win America’s hearts and the $1 million.

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Why We Don’t Wear Seat Belts in Cabs (Even Though We Know Better)

Buckle up, Be safe

Buckle up, Be safe

Please Buckle up when you ride TAXI IN AUSTIN :

Buckling up is the easiest way to stay safe in a car. So why is it so easy to “forget” to do it in a cab? (Photo: Alamy)

Some risks are so obvious, just thinking about them sounds alarm bells: Driving in a blizzard or smoking cigarettes are just a couple that immediately come to mind.

But while there are the obvious risky situations, there are others that even the most diligent among us walk right into.

Say you’re about to head out on a work trip, so you call a cab to the airport. You get in the car and don’t bother buckling up. Maybe you take a little snooze before getting dropped off at your terminal. “By the time you arrive in the cab at the airport, the most injurious part of your journey is over,” Andreas Wilke, PhD, an associate professor at Clarkson University, tells Yahoo Health. After all, driving is far more dangerous than flying — especially if you didn’t bother to put on the seat belt. The thing is: We just don’t see it that way.

We’ve all been there: We skip the seat belt in a cab, text when we’re stopped at the red light, lay out by the pool without sunscreen, and get behind the wheel even though we’re totally sleep-deprived. To figure out why we do these, well, stupid things, we first must understand how we come to make decisions in the first place.

There are two different modes for thinking our way through decisions: Through experience (running away when something is scary, or lashing out when you’re angry), and through deliberation (knowing that UV rays cause skin cancer, so making the logical decision to avoid the rays).

“The deliberative mode is based more on numbers,” Ellen Peters, PhD, a psychology professor and director of the Decision Sciences Collaborative at The Ohio State University, tells Yahoo Health. The problem: Numbers don’t always carry much meaning, particularly to people who aren’t naturally mathematically inclined. And that’s when the first mode — decision-making based on experiences — takes over.

Here’s an example: Wearing a seat belt is the No. 1 way to protect yourself in a motor vehicle accident; doing so saved an estimated 75,000 lives between 2004 and 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “And while we might have some idea about this, we also might think, ‘Well, I didn’t wear one last time and it was OK,’” she says. “In this case, our experience is working against us.”

The same goes for texting and driving — we all know it’s super dangerous to type away behind the wheel, but we also may have shot off a few texts earlier at that red light and lived to tell the tale.

What throws our perceptions of risk out of whack?

We Misunderstand the Real Risk

We tend to perceive risk based on how someone has described it to us — and not because we have actually experienced it, explains Ann Bostrom, PhD, a researcher at the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance who studies risk perception and communication.

Take someone who’s afraid of flying, after watching all the recent news coverage of planes that have crashed or disappeared. The reality is, plane crashes are rare: There were 73 commercial airline accidents, 12 of which were fatal, in 2014 — or about one accident for every 4.4 million flights, according to the International Air Travel Association. To compare: In 2013 alone, there were 30,057 fatal motor vehicle crashes.

But plane crashes tend to be described in horrific ways, and “that evokes a feeling that sticks with us and could make us very precautious,” Bostrom tells Yahoo Health.

Of course, familiarity is also a factor in how we make decisions, adds Wilke. Frequent flyers might not be as nervous about being in the air — and might even be more likely to fly than drive. The opposite can also be true: Someone who never flies may be more nervous and thus stick to the roads. Also, if you’ve lost someone close to you in a plane crash or a car crash, you may be more likely to avoid that mode of transportation.

We Think We’re in Control (Even When We’re Not)

Experience and information about risks aren’t the only factors at play in decision-making, though. Feeling in control or out of control can also alter the way you take risks, says Bostrom.

Back to the seat belt example: You may think that because taxi drivers are professionals at what they do, you’re safer when riding in a cab than when you’re driving yourself or are a passenger to a friend or family member. You’re in a controlled environment. Therefore, you may be more likely to skip the seat belt when riding in a cab.