Once again, for the dozenth time in my lifetime, the New York Times parachutes in and writes about Pittsburgh in a lame, biased, sloppy way.
Not only did the article erroneously talk about the Strip District being a place where steel mills once flourished, it also did its usual hate-job on Uber by under-mentioning the benefits of Uber to the city while being soft on the politicians, like Mayor Peduto, who think Uber owes the city major paybacks for being allowed to operate on its horribly designed and maintained streets.
I sent this testy comment in to the Times, and was surprised and thrilled to see that its comment-moderators let it be published.
Uber Hate 101
This is awful, perspective-free journalism — and more evidence of the NYT’s blind hatred toward Uber and its CEO (my “boss” Travis Kalanick). It’s also proof of a failure to fully grasp how Uber’s presence here has benefited Pittsburgh’s people — not its career politicians and wanna-be mayors (Mr. Lamb) or its self-interested Public Transit riders/drivers lobby. For the writer to not count the 4,000 part-time drivers jobs like mine that Uber created as a benefit is bad enough. But not counting the hundreds of thousands of rides Uber drivers have provided to the city’s rich, middle-class, poor, carless, old, young, sober and drunk citizens is a gross oversight. Uber ain’t perfect. Neither is its CEO. But it has transformed the way people move around the city. I’ve carried about 5,000 happy riders in over 3,500 trips since January of 2015. To write that Pittsburgh has not benefited from Uber’s presence here because the company didn’t cough up tens of millions of dollars to help the mayor cadge millions of federal dollars to re-do Pittsburgh’s failing public transit system is also pretty lame stuff. From the 1930s until Uber came to town less than four years ago, Pittsburghers — especially the poor and black — were abused by the high fares and poor, arrogant and openly racist “service” of the monopoly Yellow Cab Co. That Yellow Cab tyranny is over forever, here and in 100s of cities. If Uber does nothing else to benefit Pittsburgh and its people, it’s already done enough.