Uber & Lyft Drivers Flock to New Rideshare Startup ‘Arcade City’ After Rate Cuts
Volume of driver signups crashes server; Arcade City app launches February 14th; Uber called a “rolling sweatshop”
PORTSMOUTH, NH — More than 600 Uber and Lyft drivers signed up for new ridesharing startup Arcade City this week in the aftermath of dramatic rate cuts by the two rideshare companies.
“Drivers are angry and rightfully so,” said Arcade City founder Christopher David. “Their take-home pay was just slashed up to 40% by some nerds in San Francisco who don’t even drive. Arcade City is here to do things differently.”
Arcade City is a ridesharing mobile app releasing officially for Android and iOS on Valentine’s Day, February 14th. Riders can schedule rides in advance or at the tap of a button on a “pay what you think is fair” basis.
Arcade City had a successful soft launch on New Years Eve in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. More than 100 passengers were transported safely in donation-based rides by ten drivers, most of them current or former Uber drivers.
“Our goal for January was to sign up 100 drivers by the end of the month to help us test the app,” said David. “Since the rate cuts we’ve been signing up 100 drivers every single day and the signup rate keeps increasing. It’s overwhelming.”
On Friday the Arcade City website crashed under heavy demand of driver signups, forcing server upgrades. More than 30 drivers are now being trained as regional leaders to recruit drivers and riders, with most of the U.S. covered, including Hawaii and as far away as Australia.
“The Achilles’ heel of Uber and Lyft is their centralized management of pricing. This week’s uproar by drivers — and their willingness to join an alternative — shows the failure of that approach,” said David. “You cannot build a sustainable long-term relationship with drivers if you take away their ability to set their own pricing. Arcade City will decentralize those decisions to the level of the driver and their customers.”
David is a former Uber driver and founder of the Free Uber activism campaign centered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In November he was arrested by Portsmouth police on felony wiretapping charges for posting a YouTube video [included below] recorded while driving illegally for Uber in Portsmouth. Last week the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor after a police review found it was misclassified as a felony, but David continues to face up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Arcade City will launch globally on February 14th.
“Uber has said repeatedly that it likes to ‘experiment’ with fares. In reality, they are experimenting with livelihoods. They are experimenting with the ability of some people to put food on their table and to pay their rent/mortgage. That is unacceptable. Lyft just doesn’t have the backbone to stand up to them either. Arcade City does. I am joining Arcade City because I want to see the rideshare industry truly be about drivers and passengers, not executives hellbent on forcing workers into servitude just to discard them when they have no need for them.” –Mason J., Raleigh, NC
“Uber is a rolling sweatshop – and they make us provide the shop! Lyft is better, but heading down that terrible path with growing speed! Arcade City is built on driver experience and geared toward a fair and worthwhile model. With all these drivers from other services we can avoid the pitfalls of Uber and the like. I have a 4.9 rating from 7 months with Uber, 14 months with Lyft and i am ready for an alternative with a conscience!” –Keith Hale, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
“I’m excited to work with Arcade City. They will allow customers to tip through the app, unlike Uber. With Uber they cut our fares by over 40% and they didn’t even give us a warning.” —Philip Heath, Maui, HI
“On Uber’s platform I’m rated as a 4.9. At first I loved it, but their recruiting efforts have caused supersaturation in the market place. There’s just too many drivers here in Denver. In response they cut rates so low that they hurt the driver’s bottom line. It’s hard to make any money with Uber anymore. Having a rideshare service founded by drivers is awesome! We have a direct say in how we do business. Arcade City is providing the means to change the industry.” —Aaron B., Denver, CO
“Arcade City is not about pleasing Wall Street like other ridesharing companies. It provides a platform that empowers both the driver and passenger from a foundation of trust that creates the ultimate transportation experience.” —Michael G. Johnson, Atlanta, GA
“In a market that was ripe for ride share advertising, Uber never seemed to pay attention to the driver’s suggestions and essentially left building the customer base to us. They seemed more interested in over-saturating the market with drivers, and then they cut all of our rates. I’m ecstatic to help build the Arcade City service. One that cares about everyone’s success, not just the pockets of shareholders.” —Jake, 4.83 Uber rating, Wichita, KS
“Rideshare drivers everywhere need to look towards Arcade City. Uber’s blatant disregard for and disrespect of its drivers is beyond reprehensible. It borders on criminal. Arcade City is designed to empower drivers. They are aware that it is the drivers who are the front line and the ambassadors of the company. Drivers deserve to feel appreciated by the company they choose to give their dedication! Join the Arcade City Revolution and be part of a kinder, gentler rideshare experience.” —Scott Goldstein, Philadelphia, PA