Uncovering the Ride-Hailing Truth

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There is no denying how human beings are, by far, the smartest species on the block, but even that unreal intelligence hasn’t been able to keep us from making mistakes. Now, while these mistakes surely help us in becoming better over time, they have also shown a tendency to cause significant disruption at times, thus forcing us to look for some semblance of a defensive cover. To the world’s credit, it will find exactly what we needed, and it will do so by conceiving a full-fledged regulatory industry. Having a well-defined authority within each and every area across our spectrum was a game-changer, as it instantly made us feel safer like never before. However, the utopia didn’t last long, and honestly, it was all technology’s fault. With technology and its layered nature taking over the scene, people suddenly had an unprecedented chance to exploit others and their missteps. This dynamic quickly sent us back to square one or did it? After struggling a lot against the complicated nature of technology, the regulatory industry is now looking as if it might be on its way to regain that lost authority. In fact, the same is indicated by a host of recent cases, and one settlement, in particular, should only bolster it moving forward.

Lyft has officially reached a settlement worth $25 million with its shareholder in relation to a lawsuit, which accused the company of inadequate disclosures. Filed in 2019, the lawsuit claimed that Lyft deliberately kept shareholders in the dark about company’s public reputation, specifically referring to the cases of sexual misconduct against the ride-hailing service. Apart from the general safety element, the shareholders went on to talk about how the company also lied about market share growth before going public. In response to the stated lawsuit and the overall growing pressure, Lyft will eventually issue a safety report, but mind you, it will only come two years after the complaint was first filed. As per the company’s report, it received well over 4,158 reports of sexual assault on its platform between 2017 and 2019.

“Lyft cultivated a brand image as a safer, more socially conscious rideshare alternative with a focus on appealing to female passengers,” Thursday’s filing reads. “After the IPO, however, scores of reports came to light of Lyft drivers sexually assaulting their passengers. Dozens of individuals brought claims against Lyft related to driver sexual misconduct in the months following the IPO.”

Nevertheless, if we trust Lyft’s word, the settlement in question had nothing to do with these safety concerns.

“This settlement resolves a shareholder class action related to statements in Lyft’s initial public offering and its financial impact on investors— it’s not about safety-related claims on the platform,” said Gabriela Condarco Quesada, Lyft spokesperson.

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