Salazar grasped the social implications from the beginning. Salazar knew technology, but he knew little about the hired-ride market, so he went out to talk to drivers. He found that they didn’t like the way things were, either. They were beholden to dispatchers and fleet owners who had favorites — a non-Puerto Rican driver at a Puerto Rican-owned firm, Salazar says, “complained that the best trips were assigned to Puerto Ricans.” Cars on the road looked like a public resource to which everyone should have access, yet for both drivers and riders, “access to black cars wasn’t democratic at all.”

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