The Failed Uber Driver Strike of 2019

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Originally published in the S.F. Examiner on May 16, 2019.

It was just another Wednesday night in San Francisco.

Given the opportunity for a do over, I never would have worked last Wednesday.

Like many, I was curious to witness the outcome of the Uber “strike,” even though anyone could have easily assumed it would be a flop. That didn’t stop the SFMTA from sending out an email a few days prior, notifying cab drivers that due to the protest there might be increased demand for taxis.

It seems everyone got the memo. Because when I got to the Yellow yard, there were no available cabs. I ended up waiting over an hour for one to become available.

After half an hour pacing the ground in front of the office, I contemplated going back home. But I had to work. Like so many desperate Uber/Lyft drivers, struggling to make money in this oversaturated market, I didn’t have a choice.

On the following Friday, I was driving to LA for my mother-in-law’s 70th birthday party. As I’m sure anyone with a Jewish mother, in-law or otherwise, from the Old Country or not, can attest, there’s no way in hell I could miss this milestone.

So Wednesday and Thursday were my only chances to make enough money to cover gas and incidentals for the trip and not have to beg my wife, who’d flown down with the baby that morning, for a bank transfer.

Of course, there was always a possibility that taxis would hit pay dirt because of the protests. After all, stranger things have happened…

Read the rest here.


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