Lyft Donates $1M to ACLU, Uber Vows Compensation for Drivers Impacted by President's Trump Travel Ban - NBC Bay Area
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Lyft Donates $1M to ACLU, Uber Vows Compensation for Drivers Impacted by President's Trump Travel Ban

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    Uber and Lyft, the two kings of the ride-hailing industry, are standing up to President Donald Trump's travel ban. Christie Smith reports. (Published Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017)

    Uber and Lyft, the two kings of the ride-hailing industry, are standing up to President Donald Trump's travel ban.

    San Francisco-based Lyft pledged to donate $1 million to the ACLU over the next four years to combat the president's immigration executive order, which temporarily bars immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.

    Noting that several Lyft employees and users could be impacted, the company also penned a message to its users condemning the decree.

    "Banning people of a particular faith or creed, race or identity, sexuality or ethnicity, from entering the U.S. is antithetical to both Lyft's and our nation's core values," the statement read. "We stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community."

    Lyft's main competitor, Uber, also chipped in and offered assistance to employees and drivers hailing from the seven countries who might be turned away from passage into the United States and thus left without a job.

    The San Francisco company is working out the kinks for a system that would pay drivers currently sitting outside of the United States pro bono over the next 90 days to help offset the costs that mount up when a flowing income has been halted, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick wrote on Saturday in a Facebook post.

    Kalanick remains committed to "standing up for what's right" in the meantime.

    "But whatever the city or country — from the U.S. and Mexico to China and Malaysia — we’ve taken the view that in order to serve cities you need to give their citizens a voice, a seat at the table," he wrote. "We partner around the world optimistically in the belief that by speaking up and engaging we can make a difference. Our experience is that not doing so shortchanges cities and the people who live in them."

    Despite the gesture, Uber was in a bit of hot water on Saturday after continuing service at JFK Airport when the New York City Taxi Worker's Alliance decided to freeze pickups, a move conducted in solidarity with airport protesters taking aim at the president's executive order. Some irritated people on social media coined the hashtag #DeleteUber while claiming that the ride-hailing service was disrupting ongoing protests and trying to profit from the taxi strike, according to media reports. Uber later cancelled surge pricing for JFK Airport rides.

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