The ride-hailing app on your phone is becoming a political statement.
As the chaos from President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration has spread this weekend, Uber is defending it CEO’s collaboration with the president, while Lyft is making a play to be the ride-hailing app of the resistance.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is one of 19 executives who has joined Trump’s business advisory group, which has inspired protesters to barricade the doors of the company’s San Francisco headquarters.
Kalanick justified working with Trump to employees at an all-hands meeting last week, where he said, according to Business Insider: “We’ll partner with anyone in the world as long they’re about making transportation in cities better, creating job opportunities, making it easier to get around, getting pollution out of the air and traffic off the streets.”
Since then, Uber has said it will provide compensation to its drivers who are stranded overseas, thanks to the Trump administration’s travel ban from seven countries. Kalanick also has pledged on Twitter to use his position on Trump’s economic council to “stand up for what’s right.”
The leadership at Lyft views the historic moment differently. In an email to customers sent today, co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green pledged to donate $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union over the next four years “to defend our constitution.”
The donation came in response to Trump’s executive order on refugees and immigrants, which the email called an affront to the company and the country’s values: “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. We stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community.”
Uber already was taking heat for allowing employees to spy on customers, as we reported in December.