Steve Adler is telling Uber and Lyft not to worry about obeying city laws, while also cozying up to their competitors in potentially awkward ways.
Uber threw a “driver appreciation” party in Austin on Thursday night. It was an odd gesture. After all, the ridesharing giant had stopped operating in the city 24 days earlier, so many of the attendees weren’t technically still Uber drivers. And while some drivers were pining for the company’s return, others were too angry to show up at its parties. “When I got the invitation, I said, ‘Why would I go now? Appreciation for what?’” said Ligia Friedman, a former Uber driver who’s furious the company cut off her sole form of sustenance without warning. She stayed home.
But free food has a way of speaking for itself. A slow but steady stream of mostly paunchy middle-aged men filed into the Palm Door event venue, walking past tattooed hipsters on East Sixth Street who might have been their customers had Uber not pulled out. Inside, the drivers ate barbecue and mingled among themselves. Several hundred people stopped by over the course of the evening. When they left, they had no better sense of when Uber might start offering them work again, instead of just pork.
- Austin didn’t give in to Uber & Lyft. Yet…