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Readers React:  A columnist and his Uber job

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To the editor: Columnist Steve Lopez wrote a fair and balanced column about his experience as an Uber driver for a day. (“Uber, I’ll keep my regular job,” Column, Sept 20)

On the plus side, Uber drivers with other full-time jobs who can’t make ends meet are able to earn extra bucks as their schedules permit. Also to the good: more people going out to drink are not driving their cars.

On the negative side, full-time traditional taxi drivers have provided an essential service that should not be phased out.

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Note that as an Uber driver, Lopez with his own car made about $12 an hour.

I can only hope that passengers who earn $30 an hour or more can sense enough karma to leave the driver a tip.

Ken Hense, El Segundo

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To the editor: The column mentions that Uber might have an impact on traffic.

It might, but not necessarily the impact that was implied.

Many of the Uber passengers could be taking mass transit instead, thereby reducing the number of cars on the road.

Uber drivers actually increase the number of miles driven in the city because some of their mileage is driving from customer to customer rather than origin to destination.

In fact, if enough people use Uber instead of mass transit, there will be less incentive to build mass transit because there will be fewer potential passengers. I speak as a long-time user of mass transit.

Bob Lentz, Sylmar

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To the editor: I was surprised that one of Lopez’s passengers during his day as an Uber driver was an administrative assistant at the Cesar Chavez Foundation.

How might she feel about a cellphone app that allows growers to hire nonunion workers to pick their crops? Such workers would cost less money and might not be covered by the state’s health and safety regulations.

Mark Elinson, Los Angeles


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