This is what war to the death for market share looks like from inside my car when dropping off at LAX. Free=$195/week lease rate. Fair=Anyone with a license is eligible to drive for Uber. In California, legal status is irrelevant. If you complete 125 rides/Eats deliveries in a week, the lease is paid by Uber. That’s one way to take a $5 billion write-down in a single quarter and bleed veteran drivers at the same time.
Make no mistake, the rideshare model is ubiquitous and profitable in the major cities. No one is going back to buses and cabs. The ancillary businesses: delivery, freight, scooters and bikes, overseas markets are fiscal sinkholes. So are endless recruitment incentives.
If Uber can agree with Lyft how to divide the market, each could raise fares one dollar per ride, use it to retain the current driver fleet and pad their bottom line.
But that’s not what they’re doing. Los Angeles is shaping up as the Gettysburg of the gig economy. We are in the bloodletting stage before Pickett’s Charge. There will be one dominant market player at the end of the horsemeat.
In another century we had Will to Power. Now we have the Will to Bezos.