Would the professional gays with their professional dollars take a taxi called Homobiles?

Would the professional gays with their professional dollars take a taxi called Homobiles?

Charles mutters something incoherent and we drive him to his apartment building, where Mora helps him out of the car and shadows him on his very slow, hesitant walk to the apartment lobby. At the sight of Charles, the worker at the front desk races to the front door, flings it open, and watches him anxiously as he goes through, as though Charles were weapons-grade plutonium.

“He’s proud,” says Mora, of Charles. “So it’s hard. You don’t want him to fall, but he doesn’t want you holding him up, either.” The whole thing takes 15 minutes, and as Charles and Mora part ways, he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a few rumpled singles. “Is that enough?” he says. “It’s always enough,” says Mora.

If you are wondering about the strength of Homobiles’ pay-what-you-can business model in one of the most expensive cities in the country, you would be right to wonder. In the early days of Homobiles, the system worked pretty well: More solvent passengers tipped generously, which made up the difference for passengers who were more financially marginal. But the solvent customers have been disappearing – probably poached by Uber and Lyft, which have been racing to cut prices with the hope that, when the dust settles, they’ll be the last app standing.

Homobiles can’t match Uber and Lyft either in the number of drivers or in technological sophistication. Developing its own app is probably the service’s best way to survive, but paying for that is proving to be a challenge. Its main advantage is that it actually is the convivial, community-oriented “your friend with a car” thing that TNCs like Lyft are trying to position themselves as.

Fifteen minutes later, the doors open and the audience pours out

Lyft in particular is making a big push to court the city’s queer population, both as drivers and passengers – I recently got a Facebook invite to the funeral of a local queer icon, and the comments section was full of people offering Lyft coupons to anyone who attended. A few weeks ago, I was walking through Soma just as the bars let out, and the man in front of me started talking to his friend about how, when he got to his car, he was going to turn on the Lyft app in the hopes of catching a fare home – but also on the off chance that he might pick up a hunky, end-of-the-night hookup. “But it’ll probably be some straight girl,” he said, sighing. “That would be just my luck.”

I’m going to promote the shit out of this!

“We’re in trouble,” says Mora. “If this keeps up, we’re not going to survive for much longer. Us old-school folks remember when all we had was each other,” she says, reflectively. “But our children – they’re captivated by the new and shiny thing.” She wonders out loud about what it would take to keep the operation going: A less edgy name, maybe?

Mora pulls up to the Brava Theater on 24th Street. Someone has called for a ride to the https://hookupdate.net/talkwithstranger-review/ East Bay away from the theater, but the show, based on the life of disco icon Sylvester, hasn’t yet ended. Two young women spot the sign on the side of the door and collapse with laughter. “Homobiles?” one of them says, reading the magnet on the side of Mora’s Subaru. “I’m going to put this on Instagram! Fuck Uber! Do you have Twitter?”

The ride from the theater turns out to be a former member of the San Francisco drag troupe the Cockettes, who tells us to check out a film somebody made about him. “It’s the story of an elusive countercultural pioneer – me!” he says, by way of introduction.

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