the reason many uber drivers are angry is because while the company grows and becomes valued at more and more billions of dollars, drivers have seen their take-home pay diminish.
over two years ago when i started i was making almost double what i’m making now. i used to have a goal of $250 on a friday driving uber x and even though now i drive uber select, the days of $250 in a night are long long gone.
the reason is because Uber insists on slashing fares, a technique that barely affects them because they only make about 25% of the fare. so for every dollar the company slashes, 75 cents comes out of the drivers’ pocket. what also comes out of the drivers’ pockets are things like: gasoline, car payments, wear and tear, and all of that “free” bottled water.
last year Uber swore that the price cuts would increase rider demand and make us all wealthier, but not only did that not happen (how could it), but they also increased the amount of drivers on the roads AND their commissions. they also lowered things like how much $$ you get if you refer a driver. last year it was $500, today it’s $50.
theres one thing that could mellow out the drivers and wouldnt cost Uber a dime, yet they refuse to do it: add a freakin tip button to the app. if a driver does 10 rides in a day and gets an average of $3 in tips per ride, that right there would pay for our gas. but because Uber does not see a direct monetary gain out of this, they pretend that tips are bad.
Lyft may be in second place in the ridesharing game, but it isnt because they offer a tip button. it’s probably because of branding. despite the fact that the pink mustaches were striking and instantly made you think of ridesharing, some riders refused to be in a car with a giant fuzzy pink stache on the front bumper.
Lyft has since removed the stache from cars but Uber has gotten a wide lead due to huge investor cash and a LOT of natural buzz.
Still, Uber is being shortsided by thinking that there is no benefit to them as a company in making the face of their start-up (the driver) happy. who wants to get into a Prius and hear the guy grumble about how he hates Uber? and no one wants to be shaken down for a cash tip on an otherwise pleasant ride to the airport. as Uber grows their fleet of drivers also needs to grow, which will be a tough trick if the existing driverbase becomes more and more dissatisfied with their place in the success story.
currently many drivers feel like chumps as they drive for long hours, through traffic, carrying around drunk college kids enjoying themselves while they barely make minimum wage while devaluing their automobiles. all while hearing story after story about Uber being valued at more than GM.
if Uber simply added a tip button so much of the dissatisfaction who be stymied and the drivers could go on doing what many of them (including me) love to do: drive.
this weekend, though, the app is off.
if you have never used Lyft and want to support this weekend’s Uber strike use code TONY80 and get your first ride free (up to $20).