(James Callan)

Uber Passengers Can Now Earn Starwood Hotels Points With Each Trip

Uber and Starwood Hotels are teaming up in an effort to get more passengers to choose Uber over regular taxis, with a new partnership that gives riders Starwood rewards points every time they take a ride using the car-hailing mobile app. [More]

(Alan Rappa)

Uber Adding “Panic Button” To Mobile App In Chicago

A few weeks after announcing that Uber would implement a panic button feature in its app for users in India after allegations of rape against a driver there, the company now says it’ll be launching the safety feature in Chicago soon as well. [More]

(Joshua B. Leners)

Is Google Planning A Ride-Sharing Service To Rival Uber And Lyft?

While everyone is buzzing over a recent report that Google is planning its own ride-sharing service in an attempt to cut a nice slice out of the pie currently enjoyed mostly by Uber and Lyft, the company responded to requests for comment with the kind of non-denial that just makes everyone think something has got to be going on. So what’s the deal? [More]

(frankieleon)

Poll: Ride-Sharing Services Are Cutting Down On Drunk-Driving Incidents

Times used to be, if your friend was drunk and threatening to drive, you’d have to deal with the inconvenience of actually calling up a cab while hiding their keys. But now due to ride-sharing services that can summon vehicles with a swipe on an app, drunk-driving incidents are down. This, according to a poll by one of those services, Uber, along with Mothers Against Drunk Driving. [More]

(Jeff Archer)

California DMV Retracts Notice Requiring Uber & Lyft To Obtain Commercial Licenses

Just a week after it was widely reported that the California Department of Motor Vehicles issued an advisory requesting all drivers of ride-sharing services to obtain commercial license plates, the agency has revoked the guidance. [More]

(frankieleon)

California DMV Says Uber & Lyft Cars Need Commercial License Plates

Ride-sharing services operating in California have several issues lately: Uber being sued by San Francisco and Los Angeles counties, and L.A. mulling its own ride-sharing-like app just to name a few. Well, things don’t look to be getting any more amicable between the state and car services, as the California Department of Motor Vehicles issued an advisory requiring all drivers for the services to have commercial license plates. [More]

(Lyft)

Lyft Switches To Non-Fuzzy, Glowing Mustaches On Cars

Lyft already ditched its signature giant fuzzy pink mustaches for the front grills of working vehicles for its classier premium ride service, but regular drivers were still putting fuzzy pink mustaches on the front grills of their cars. Yet Lyft has been dialing back the size of the distinctive decoration, making them smaller. Now, they’re switching to a smaller, but still pink, “glowstache.” [More]

Going Out On New Year’s Eve? Plan Ahead So You Don’t Get Hit By Surge Prices

(New England Oddities)

Don’t want to be like that person shocked to find she’s paid out a huge chunk of change the night before due to Uber’s surge pricing? Start the New Year out right and make a plan to avoid those fee hikes, before you hit the bubbly and decide money is immaterial. Your 2015 self will thank you for making the right choice, I promise. [More]

(So Cal Metro)

Los Angeles Mulling Idea Of Uber-Like App To Make Taxi Industry More Competitive

Two weeks after Los Angeles and San Francisco sued Uber for an array of issues, one of the cities is mulling the idea of making their own taxi system more like the ride-sharing service with a mobile app that would allow customers to hail and pay their fare with the press of a button. [More]

Uber Agrees To Suspend Service In Portland For 3 Months

(Brian PDX)

Marking the first time the ride-sharing company has voluntarily agreed to suspend service in a city it’s already established in, Uber has agreed to pull its drivers from the road in Portland for three months as part of a deal with the mayor to work on new regulations. [More]

San Francisco, L.A. Sue Uber For Allegedly Misleading Consumers On Drivers’ Safety, Other Issues

San Francisco, L.A. Sue Uber For Allegedly Misleading Consumers On Drivers’ Safety, Other Issues

After hearing several tales of consumers being mistreated or accosted by Uber drivers, one might begin to question the company’s “industry-leading” practices when it comes to screening drivers. It appears two California district attorneys are doing just that by filing a civil suit against the company for a number of issues including allegedly misleading consumers on its background checks for drivers. [More]

Uber Imposes Surge Pricing After Train Fatality: Is That Profiting From Death?

Uber Imposes Surge Pricing After Train Fatality: Is That Profiting From Death?

When there is a lot of demand for rides, the car-summoning app Uber imposes “surge” pricing, multiplying the standard fare. This serves to entice more drivers out onto the roads, and also to make some people looking for rides say, “eh, I’ll walk instead.” In the past, the company had promised not to raise prices excessively during emergencies that create high demand for rides, but not all situations that create intense demand are “emergencies.” [More]

Uber And Lyft Now Open For Business In Houston

Uber And Lyft Now Open For Business In Houston

When Uber and Lyft opened for business in Houston, the same thing happened that has happened in many cities with existing livery industries: taxi companies freaked out and sought help from the city government. Now both ride-sharing services are open for business in the city, with some additional rules in place that are intended to help traditional taxi companies compete with them. [More]

(funky_abstract)

Uber’s New “UberPool” Sets Users Up With Strangers To Share A Ride, Split The Cost

Zipping around town telling a car where to go is a lovely luxury and all, but let’s face it — not everyone can afford to pay for a solo drive all the time. While you can already split rides with a friend traveling in your same car, soon Uber users will be able to share rides with perfect strangers using Uber Pool. [More]

Uber Passenger Complains Of Spider Bite In “Filthy” Car

Uber Passenger Complains Of Spider Bite In “Filthy” Car

On Friday, the state of North Carolina received its first complaint against the app-based ride-sharing service Uber. The customer’s complaint? His driver arrived late in a “filthy” vehicle, and there were spiders inside the car. Which bit him. The spiders, that is, not the car. As far as we know. [More]

Lyft Is Too Successful In New York City, No Cars Available

Lyft Is Too Successful In New York City, No Cars Available

In New York City, early adopters of the car-summoning smartphone app Lyft got a special gift: fifty free rides with a fare of up to $25 each in the first fifteen days that the service is open for business. It’s an impressive promotion…or it would be if there were any drivers available. [More]

New York State Attorney General Tries To Shut Down Lyft Before Tonight’s NYC Launch

New York State Attorney General Tries To Shut Down Lyft Before Tonight’s NYC Launch

Seven hours from now, people in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens were supposed to be able to dial up a vehicle from ride-sharing service Lyft and coast through traffic in a cloud of peer-to-peer vehicular bliss. “Not so fast!” the New York state government said to the service, its drivers, and their pink-mustachioed cars. [More]

(Raido)

San Antonio Police Watching For New Public Menace: Lyft Drivers

Out of all of the issues that people who drive for ride-sharing services might have, we didn’t imagine this one: wondering whether your next passenger is a cop. Yet Lyft drivers in San Antonio received that warning from the city’s chief of police. Could other cities where these apps are doing battle with governments that regulate taxi medallions do the same? [More]