Kalanick said Lyft’s casual drivers are “non-licensed” and “quite aggressive”

In 2013, when Uber focused on operations using properly-licensed black cars, CEO Travis Kalanick wrote a lengthy post assessing Lyft’s “ridesharing” using ordinary drivers:

Over the last year, new startups have sought to compete with Uber by offering transportation services without traditional commercial insurance or licensing. Uber refrained from participating in this technology sector — known as ridesharing — due to regulatory risk that ridesharing drivers may be subject to fines or criminal misdemeanors for participating in non-licensed transportation for compensation.

In most cities across the country, regulators have chosen not to enforce against non-licensed transportation providers using ridesharing apps. This course of non-action resulted in massive regulatory ambiguity leading to one-sided competition which Uber has not engaged in to its own disadvantage.

He continued:

[G]iven existing regulations, the Lyft/Sidecar approach is quite aggressive. The bet they are making is two-fold:
1. Uber, already a market leader, is too weary to enter the non-licensed market in the face of existing regulatory scrutiny.
2. Regulators for the most part will be unable to act or enforce in time to stop them before they have a critical mass of consumer support.

Kalanick specifically criticized incomplete enforcement and ambiguity that let some companies take a lead through aggressive interpretations rather than superiority on the merits:

[T]he lack of real clarity has created massive regulatory ambiguity. Without clear guidance or enforcement, this ambiguity has led to one-sided competition in which Uber has not engaged to its own disadvantage. It is this ambiguity which we are looking to address with Uber’s new policy on ridesharing.

After I posted an article quoting and discussing Kalanick’s post, Uber removed that document from its site. But Archive.org kept a copy. I also preserved a screenshot of the first screen of the document, a PDF of the full document, and a print-friendly PDF of the full document.

Kalanick says every Lyft trip “is a criminal misdemeanor”

In 2013, when Uber focused on operations using properly-licensed black cars, CEO Travis Kalanick remarked on what he saw as Lyft’s unlawful “ridesharing” approach using ordinary drivers:

I’m like, holy cow, every trip that’s happening—I’m reading the law—every trip that’s happening is a criminal misdemeanor committed by the person driving. I don’t think that’s a good law, but that is the law.

Kalanick explained three sources of cost advantage from Lyft’s unlawful approach: foregoing commercial licenses, foregoing commercial insurance, and thereby accessing a larger pool of potential drivers:

What they were able to do because of no commercial insurance and because of easy access to supply, the cost was really low. You could see a situation where they’d eat you up from the bottom up.