2018 brought more rideshare stories and surprises than anyone could have imagined. From turmoil at Uber to the explosion of scooters, new challengers and new challenges, nothing was off limits. Let’s break it down.

Courtesy: REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Goodbye, Travis.

Travis Kalanick, who was ousted as chief executive in June of 2017, sells about 1/3 of his 10 percent steak in Uber….which is worth $1.4 Billion. What a way to start the year. 

LimeBike jumps into the scooter biz, launching Lime-S. And the scooter wars begin. “The scooters cost $1 to unlock and $0.10 for every 10 minutes of riding. On a single charge, Lime-S can go up to 14.8mph with a maximum range of 37 miles.”

Uber officially announces it’s shutting down UberRUSH, its same-day delivery service. Fortune covered the story.

Oh yeah, and Bird raises $100 million dollars. “It feels like investing in Uber when it first launched,” one investor was reported saying.   

Courtesy: The Econimic Times

New Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announces in a blog post that Uber will run background checks on drivers each year. Before this announcement, Uber didn’t have a uniformed policy for rerunning criminal background checks. 

Also, Uber and Lyft rides may become more expensive in Seattle. The city considers setting a minimum fare per ride (and other regulations) to ensure drivers are compensated fairly.

A former Uber engineer sues the company, claiming co-workers sexually harassed her and Uber’s human resources failed to act on her complaints.

Uber launches its own magazine, called “Vehicle.” It’s reported to be a mix of journalism, poetry, and branded content

Washington D.C. increases the tax for Uber and Lyft riders by 500% to make up for commuters no longer using the city’s Metro system, as reported by The Daily Wire.

A new Illinois rideshare law requires more extensive background checks, including searching drivers’ social security numbers and dates of birth. NBC5 interviews LegalRideshare’s Bryant Greening. Watch video.

Apparently, lots of people are getting hurt on electric scooters, as reported by Chicago Tribune. When doctors began asking patients to explain their injuries, many were surprised to learn that the surge of broken body parts stemmed from the latest urban transportation trend: Bird and Lime scooters. 

NBC5 Investigates speaks with LegalRideshare’s Bryant Greening about loopholes in the insurance Uber and Lyft provide to their drivers. Watch video.

Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO, hints that the company is working to make amends with full-time employees and drivers—including by offering the latter access to perks and protections (see: benefits). Reported by Fortune.

Apparently, things get contentious between “Juicers,” the people who charge Lime and Bird scooters. St. Louis Post-Dispatch covers the life of a charger and the “cutthroat gig” in St. Louis. Other cities have similar stories.

After years of Uber and Lyft drivers fighting for better wages and treatment, New York City introduces a policy to give drivers higher and more consistent pay. There could be a ripple effect across the country in 2019. What a year!

As always, have a safe and fantastic new year!