The west coast of Ireland, October 2018
[New York Times]
The first openly trans legislator, Danica Roem of Virginia, answers a few questions about the newish front in the cultural wars, limiting transgender rights including denying trans children medical care. Some states, especially in the South, have a long way to go to even recognize the basic humanity of trans people.
This month, [Virginia] became the first in the South to ban the “trans panic defense,” which has historically allowed those charged with homicide to receive lesser sentences after they argue in court that they panicked when they learned of…
Attitude is no substitute for learning.
Uber is expanding its software as a service (SaaS) business with three additional public transit partnerships. The ride-hailing company announced that it would be selling the software that powers its ride-hailing business to transit agencies in Denver, Colorado; Cecil County, Maryland; and Porterville, California. The news comes amid Uber’s broader push into public transit.
– I am doing a lot of interviews these days about my new book, about the year+ I spent driving for Uber, and the question of Uber’s future nearly always comes up. Do I think the model can survive the…
When you depend so much on tips, are you even considered paid?
How low an hourly wage do you have to get before you’re considered underpaid? How does $2.13 an hour sound? Pretty wretched, right?
Ending the subminimum wage for tipped workers such as bartenders, waiters, and hairdressers would decrease poverty and inequality, a new analysis by the Center for American Progress shows.
The analysis looked at wages in the eight states that have already eliminated the tipped minimum wage – California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Montana, Minnesota, Alaska and Hawaii – finding that in those states workers and businesses in…
Expand the social safety net to protect all workers
There is no question freelancers and other gig economy workers toil hard. And often for crumbs. I should know; I’ve been a freelancer for decades and I drove for Uber just over a year (new book alert!) between mid-2018 and late 2019, after a separation left me with few (haha) immediate job options. Freelancers and “giggers” work. Hard. Most of them don’t mind. I know I didn’t. Most of them also know there is no safety net under them. You get no paid vacations, no sick leave, no pension, no nothing…
No, Uber isn’t more efficient than the bus
Some people feel like it would make sense to replace low-ridership transit routes with subsidized Uber. And you can see why: Running a big bus is expensive (also noisy and smelly), surely there are better and cheaper ways to move small numbers of people around other than those big buses so why not subsidize Uber for those passengers? I mean, obviously, right?
In a report done by Uber itself, it says replacing low-ridership routes with subsidized individual rides makes a lot of sense. But there’s a catch: by low-ridership routes Uber means…
Slowing down cars
In Massachusetts, new rules require state highway engineers to incorporate facilities for pedestrians, wheelchair users, and mass transit patrons as basic components of highway construction projects, and Virginia legislators are considering a bill that would let the state’s cities and counties set speed limits as low as 15 miles per hour in commercial and residential districts.
Among the new rules for roads in Massachusetts are five-foot-wide sidewalks, buffered bike or shared-use paths on bigger roads with high traffic, and mandatory consultation before changing transit routes.
And soon, in Virginia, it will no longer be…
We can’t afford not to invest in children
Nick Kristof in the Times makes an impassioned plea for President Biden to continue pushing the idea of universal pre-K education and affordable child care. You know, like what most advanced countries have.
Can we afford this Biden revolution in child programs? It will indeed be expensive. And there is a perennial debate over whether it’s better to have programs that are targeted at the neediest (which are more cost-effective) or those that are universal (which are politically more sustainable).
But I’ve written about the heartache in my hometown in rural Oregon…
Every single time anyone mentions the need to remove cars from the roads for the benefit of human beings not in private vehicles you get the same complaint: But how will businesses survive without parking spots right outside their door?
World’s. Tiniest. Violin.
I’m old enough to remember when everyone, everywhere, smoked. I got my first job, at a suburban McDonald’s in Quebec City, in 1986 and back then, the restaurant was 4/5 smokers.
Of the 100 or so seats, about 80 were in the smoking section. Yes, the indoors smoking section. The non-smoking section, maybe 15 feet away with…
When you take transit to go to work, are you using active transportation or not?
Some people define active transportation as “anything that’s not riding in a private car”. I’ve used that definition myself, probably more than once. But is it really accurate? Would it not be better to separate transportation into three buckets instead of two: cars, public transit and everything else?
It seems the federal government is pedalling in that direction with the release of a new, $400 million national active transportation fund dedicated to just those projects that are neither geared towards cars or public transit.
Writer | Ottawa. Books include Épître aux tartempions, Le national-syndicalisme, Down the Road Never Travelled, Not Just for Kicks, Le livre Uber (upcoming).