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A new study shows health disparities cost Texas billions of dollars; Senate rejects impeachment articles against Mayorkas, ending trial against Cabinet secretary; Iowa cuts historical rural school groups.

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The Senate dismisses the Mayorkas impeachment. Maryland Lawmakers fail to increase voting access. Texas Democrats call for better Black maternal health. And polling confirms strong support for access to reproductive care, including abortion.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

West Virginians Say Uber's 'Gig Economy' Has Downsides

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Thursday, July 14, 2022   

Thousands of leaked documents shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists have revealed questionable tactics deployed across the globe by ride-sharing company Uber from 2013 to 2017.

Critics of Uber say the company has deployed similar tactics at home, which ultimately have left more West Virginians without reliable transportation.

Mike Pushkin, D-Charleston, state Democratic Party chair and a cabdriver, has worked in the past to help regulate ride-sharing services in the Mountain State. He said Uber flooded the market initially when it began operating services in 2017, bringing in many new drivers from other states.

"And it's great for the customer at that point, because a ride is literally five minutes away at any time," Pushkin acknowledged. "But once they are settled into an area, the drivers disappear."

The tactics in the leaks include cozy relationships with politicians, encouraging violence with cabdrivers, and drumming up fake academic research about its economic model. Uber countered in an online statement it has hired a new CEO who was tasked with transforming how the company operates, and Uber is a different company today.

Pushkin noted he is not surprised the leaked documents revealed a company that allegedly disregarded the law.

"The news that's come out recently about Uber shouldn't be a big surprise to anyone who has followed that company for any amount of time," Pushkin asserted. "They've always been involved in those sorts of business practices."

He believes residents are now worse off when it comes to choices for transportation.

"And if you ask people in West Virginia now, they have less options now since Uber's been here," Pushkin contended.

According to the Pew Research Center, in 2021, 16% of Americans reported earning money through an online gig platform, including driving for ride-hailing apps such as Uber. According to Pew, people younger than 30 and Hispanic adults are most likely to rely on gig work.


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