I like Uber the service. I despise Uber the business. Lyft too. I have always considered them simply illegal taxi operations siphoning off equity from their employees (contractors?) cars. Mr. Doctorow lays it out from the accounting side. And yes, I’m have noticed Uber has gotten dramatically more expensive and waits dramatically longer. Probably worse in most cases than old fashioned taxis.
It finally got laughable to me when they started all the self-driving car nonsense. Uber was going to replace every one of it’s basically free labor and capital with roughly $50k worth of hardware? You need lots of cash for that. And a self-driving car that actually works. You also lose the ability to exploit the equity in all those employee / contractor cars. A good read below, for anyone who doubts this was always a fraud.