Transportation war becomes political


Photo credit: Jessica Johnson

Thousands of Uber users are deleting their accounts after President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. The palpable battle between Lyft and Uber has now become political.

While many people were protesting in front of the JFK terminal Jan. 28, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance announced that from 6-7 p.m., there would be no cab rides available as a protest to the immigration ban.

NY Taxi Workers tweeted out messages of disapproval for the immigration ban during the protest.

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During this time, however, Uber noted that the company would be accepting ride requests and advertised lower prices as well. Uber has used this opportunity to gain customers and profit by suspending the surge prices in the area. Surge pricing is a feature on Uber that creates a higher fee when demand is particularly high in a certain area.

This was not the first time Uber profited on a crisis situation, as they managed to jack up their prices in the midst of an Austrailian Hostage Crisis in Dec. 2014.

It was a despicable action by Uber to raise their prices during this protest. The company had the chance to be a part of the movement and speak against the ban, but instead they chose to hike prices and focus on greed.

The recent actions of Uber spurred many people and by late Saturday night, #DeleteUber began to trend on Twitter.

Those who were standing in solidarity with the protests were enraged by the fact that Uber did not take part of the protest. It was viewed as a form of strikebreaking to many of the protestors. Why use Uber, a company who tried to profit off a refugee crisis, when people can just use a local taxi company, or better yet Lyft?

According to USA Today, Lyft donated $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union, creating the heated discussion that people should delete Uber and use Lyft as an alternative.

The New York Post noted that Lyft has now surpassed Uber in downloads shortly after the controversial protest. When searching Uber in the app store, Lyft appears before Uber, which now as only a two-star rating.

As a liberal who has been deeply angered by the executive order, this outrage is completely underway and seems almost impossible to stop.

Rachel Reyes can be reached at [email protected] or @rachhreyes on Twitter.