[platform-coop-dev-kit] Fwd: The São Paulo taxi firm that dares to go where Uber doesn't | Cities | The Guardian

Michael McHugh mchughm at newschool.edu
Tue Sep 11 13:11:16 UTC 2018

Thanks for sharing Jutta.



*E*: mchughm at newschool.edu
<http://www.newschool.edu/marketing-communication/email-signature.html#> *P*:


On Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 8:56 AM, Jutta Treviranus <jutta.trevira at gmail.com>

> This would be a great group to work with after our current project,
> perhaps in conjunction with the Cataki.
> Jutta
> https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/sep/11/ubra-sao-
> paulo-taxi-firm-uber-brasilandia-ride-hailing
> The São Paulo taxi firm that dares to go where Uber doesn't
> Ignacio Amigo in São Paulo
> Last modified on Tue 11 Sep 2018 12.35 BST
> Ubra has been a success in Brasilândia, a district whose dangerous
> reputation has deterred big ride-hailing apps
> [image: Car parked in Brasilândia]
> In Brasilândia few locals are able to afford a car and public transport
> options are limited. Photograph: Alamy
> Brasilândia feels more like a village in its own right than a peripheral
> district in a bustling metropolis of nearly 20 million people. Miles from
> the hustle and bustle of São Paulo’s central area, children play in the
> streets and passersby greet each other.
> That does not, however, mean non-residents are comfortable coming here.
> Peripheral districts have a reputation for violence and crime, and many
> large taxi companies and ride-hailing apps such as Uber
> <https://www.theguardian.com/technology/uber>, 99 and Cabify refuse to
> accept trips to parts of the periphery – including sections of Brasilândia
> – due to safety concerns.
> We hire local drivers who are not prejudiced and not afraid to work here
> With few locals able to afford a car and public transport options severely
> limited, this is a problem. An estimated 300,000 residents live in small
> working-class houses and favelas, and incomes are among the lowest in the
> city. People here live on an average of 502 reais (£94) per capita per
> month – less than a third of the São Paulo average and a world away from
> the 4,967 reais (£930) of those in the district of Moema.
> The nearest metro station is five miles away and locals rely on
> overcrowded and unreliable buses.
> One small company is trying to change that, though – by hiring local
> drivers, offering alternatives to smartphone booking, and accepting
> payments in cash or petrol.
> [image: Alvimar da Silva]
> Alvimar da Silva started Ubra last year with his son, daughter and some
> friends. Photograph: Ignacio Amigo
> That company is Ubra – an obvious nod to Uber, but also a portmanteau from
> “Union of Brasilândia”. Former app driver Alvimar da Silva started it last
> year with his son, daughter and some friends when he realised he was making
> more money giving informal rides to his neighbours in Brasilândia than
> working for the big ride-hailing firms.
> “There’s a myth about the periphery being dangerous,” says Da Silva. “I
> say violence is everywhere – probably even more so in the central area than
> in the periphery. Our modus operandi was hiring local drivers, born and
> resident in Brasilândia, who are not prejudiced against it and are not
> afraid to work here.”
> Uber, 99 and Cabify all admit they flag trips that start or end in certain
> places. Uber says its app “can prevent trip calls from areas with public
> safety challenges in specific days or times”, adding that it uses an
> algorithm with machine-learning technology that evaluates risks based on
> “real-time analysis of the data from the millions of trips performed daily
> through the app”. The company 99 says its app notifies drivers “when a trip
> starts, ends or passes through areas of the city that are considered
> risky”, leaving them to decide whether or not to accept it. Similarly,
> Cabify confirms that the company doesn’t operate in certain areas,
> including Brasilândia.
> The Cityscape: get the best of Guardian Cities delivered to you every
> week, with just-released data, features and on-the-ground reports from all
> over the world
> According to its own figures, Ubra performs 5,000 to 6,000 trips a month,
> the vast majority of them either starting or finishing in Brasilândia.
> Gilberto Oliveira Souza, known as Japa, works as a hairdresser in the
> area. He describes the new services as “a blessing”. “It helps us a lot, we
> use it all the time: to go shopping, to take our child to the doctor … It
> really lets us off the hook.”
> Previously, his family faced a long walk to the bus terminal and an
> uncertain wait for a bus. Even when they got a ride home in a taxi or one
> of the large ride-hailing companies, sometimes the driver would refuse to
> go inside the neighbourhood, meaning another long walk.
> [image: Gilberto Oliveira Souza]
> Gilberto Oliveira Souza, who works as a hairdresser in Brasilândia, says
> Ubra has been a blessing for his family. Photograph: Ignacio Amigo
> Ubra works much like other ride-hailing firms: users download a
> third-party app, create a profile and enter their location and destination.
> Once a driver is located, the user gets the car model and licence plate,
> the driver’s name and the estimated time of arrival.
> But Ubra also allows passengers to order a ride by calling a phone number
> or sending a WhatsApp message. This allows access to people without mobile
> phones or with a poor internet connection, both common in São Paulo’s
> periphery. It also makes the service available to the less digitally savvy.
> Our focus is in the areas that are being excluded
> This quest for accessibility can take imaginative turns. “When drivers
> don’t have a credit card terminal and a passenger doesn’t have cash, one of
> the things we do is to ask the passenger if he would mind stopping at a gas
> station and paying the cost of the ride in gasoline,” says Da Silva.
> Ubra hopes to scale up to other under-served areas and recruit local
> drivers there.
> “Our focus is in the areas that are being excluded [from the other apps],
> but we will eventually work in all São Paulo”, says Aline Landim, Da
> Silva’s daughter. Finding local drivers to work in these places will not be
> a problem: “There is a large demand from the drivers themselves to work
> just around their neighbourhoods. They want to avoid traffic and gasoline
> expenses, while being close to their homes and families.”
> The company is also developing its own bespoke app – and plans to change
> its name to Jaubra to avoid legal problems with Uber.
> “Brasilândia has over 300,000 people and I estimate that we currently
> serve only 2% to 3% of the neighbourhood,” says Da Silva. “With the new
> app, I think we are going to take a leap forward to 15% or 20%, but it
> could be more, because the big companies are increasingly vetting the
> periphery. The more they exclude, the more we will include.”
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