What Uber Hath Wrought [Rerelease]

By February 8, 2022 Uncategorized

[This episode was originally released on October 16, 2019. We are re-releasing it in anticipation of the premiere on Showtime of the original dramatic series based on Mike Isaac’s book. More new episodes are on the way!]

For a few years after Uber launched in 2009, it seemed like the on-demand ride-hailing service might be an advance in the war on cars — a way for more people to share fewer vehicles and to reduce overall automobile dependence. Fast forward a decade, and the rise of Uber (along with Lyft) has instead resulted in increased congestion, reductions in transit ridership, and the exploitation of a precarious workforce that the company would love to make obsolete altogether. In this episode, we talk with New York Times tech reporter Mike Isaac about his new book, “Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber,” in which he chronicles the rise and fall of Uber’s co-founder, Travis Kalanick. We hear what Mike has to say about the cult of the founder and the way Kalanick’s winner-take-all mentality has negatively affected the streets of the world’s cities.

You can find the full transcript of this episode here.

Support the podcast on Patreon.

Rate and review the war effort on iTunes.

Buy a War on Cars t-shirt at Cotton Bureau.


Mike Isaac‘s new book, Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, is available everywhere, but you should get it at your local bookstore if you can. Follow him on Twitter @MikeIsaac.

Another study shows Uber and Lyft suck riders off transit (CityLab)

Everything bad about Uber and Lyft (Streetsblog USA)

Travis Kalanick argues with an Uber driver about his business model (Bloomberg)

This episode was directed and recorded by Josh Wilcox at Brooklyn Podcasting Studio, and edited by Matt Cutler. Natalie Jones taped Mike Isaac in San Francisco.

Find us onTwitter @TheWarOnCars, Sarah Goodyear @buttermilk1 Aaron Naparstek @Naparstek and Doug Gordon @BrooklynSpoke.

Email us: [email protected]