Lyft accuses Uber of cancelling more than 5,560 rides in ‘taxi app wars’

12 Aug 2014

In the latest battle of the taxi apps, Lyft has accused Uber drivers of being up to no good, as it found more than 5,560 journeys had been booked and cancelled by Uber drivers in the US.

If the allegations are true, the decision to hire and cancel this many drivers over a given period would seriously harm the business as the drivers’ time will be taken up needlessly, leading to lower revenues.

According to CNN, Lyft also claims it found a total of 177 Uber employees were part of the unofficial operation.

They were able to find these figures by cross-referencing the phone numbers used to make the bookings with the numbers of known Uber affiliates and counted the number of matches as 5,560 since October 2013.

One ‘Trojan’ passenger was found to have travelled 300 rides between 26 May and 10 June, with that person’s particular phone number found to have been tied to 21 different accounts, making a grand total of 1,524 rides cancelled.

“It’s unfortunate for affected community members that they have used these tactics, as it wastes a driver’s time and impacts the next passenger waiting for that driver,” a spokesperson for Lyft said.

Uber has claimed the number of drivers cancelling rides could be linked to its own recruiter programme among passengers who receive credits based on the number of drivers they are able to recruit to join them.

Despite these criticisms, Uber appears to be increasing its reach in the Dublin market, having announced it has doubled the size of its Irish operation since it launched two months ago.

Uber image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic