Ride-hail companies Uber and Lyft are pocketing an increasing share from what passengers pay while drivers are earning less, according to a new report released today by the App-Based Drivers Association. The study – based on analysis of company financial reports, combined with never before released trip-level data collected by local drivers in Seattle – was released at a Driver Speak Out event attended by drivers at the Sea-Tac Airport waiting lot. “As drivers, we make sure our customers get to their destination safely, and we bear all the costs of car, gas, maintenance, repairs – everything,” said Don Creery, who has been driving for Uber for 5 years. “But over the years Uber has been taking more and more from what passengers pay, and now they’re telling investors they plan to reduce driver pay even further to satisfy shareholders. It’s just not right.” The Speak Out event was one of more than a dozen driver-led actions in major metropolitan areas, happening just ahead of Uber’s highly anticipated debut on Wall Street, which is expected to draw a valuation that could top $100 billion. But, while Uber’s IPO may be poised to mint a new generation of overnight tech millionaires, the data shows that drivers are being paid a declining share of what customers are charged. When Uber and Lyft first came to Seattle, drivers were paid 80 percent of what riders were charged. Today, on the median trip in Seattle, drivers received just 69 percent, according to the ABDA report. And the more riders pay, the less drivers receive. On a majority of trips analyzed, riders paid higher prices than advertised non-surge UberX rates. On these high-priced trips, drivers received just 62 percent of rider price – the company take was 38 percent. On some trips, driver pay fell to as little as 32 percent of what customers were charged. Uber and Lyft’s take rates are high relative to other online marketplace platforms. Paypal charges users 2.9%, plus $0.30. Etsy charges merchants 5% plus a listing fee. Mercari charges sellers 10%. Ebay fees are between 2%-12% of sale price. AirBnB fees for hosts and guests combined range between 3%-23% of listing price. “Consumers deserve price transparency to know that at least 80 percent of what they pay is shared with their driver, not kept by the company for overhead or profits,” said Peter Kuel of the App-Based Drivers Association, who has been an Uber and Lyft driver for 5 years. “Uber and Lyft should meet the same standards of every other business in town, ensuring that drivers can earn paid sick days and never receive less than a $15 minimum wage after expenses.”
Seattle Uber and Lyft drivers will hold a Driver Speak Out! event and press conference on Wednesday to highlight increasingly high company take rates, low driver pay, issues around deactivation and other driver concerns as Uber prepares to go public later this week. At the event, members of the App-Based Drivers Association will discuss a new report that exposes how Uber and Lyft are pocketing an increasingly greater share of rider payment in the Seattle market while drivers are earning less. The study, Uber/Lyft take more, pay drivers less, is based on analysis of company financial reports, combined with never before released trip-level data collected by local drivers in Seattle. The Driver Speak Out! will take place at the Sea-Tac Airport Ride Hail Lot (3037 160th St) on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 starting at 11 a.m. The Seattle event will be held in conjunction with driver protests in other major metropolitan areas around the country in anticipation of Uber’s much-anticipated debut on Wall Street, which is expected to draw a valuation that could top $100 billion. Strikes and other actions are planned in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C.
The typical seasonal slowdown has hit hard, but thanks to many of you there may also be some good news this winter. Drivers have been working through your Union to demand a greater share of each ride fare to go to the driver, including signing a petition demanding drivers be paid no less than 80% of rider price. Recently, we’ve learned about something Uber has been testing with some drivers called Share Adjustment. Is “Share Adjustment” Uber’s answer to driver demands for Fair Pay? Have you seen a new line item in your trip payments called “Share Adjustment?” It looks like this. Seattle-area drivers are reporting that Uber has started adjusting driver payments on trips where the company would have otherwise taken an extremely high percentage of what the rider paid. Are you seeing this change? Share your experience with us. When we know more about this adjustment, we’ll share what we learn. Of course we won’t stop here. When we organize, we can improve our pay, address deactivations, and make our jobs better. If you haven’t signed already, add your name to the petition for an 80% fare guarantee. If you want to learn more about the Union, set up a time to meet.
Drivers Call on Uber to Stop Efforts to Block their Right to Have a Voice Seattle for-hire drivers who are seeking to unionize under the city’s new collective bargaining law applauded a federal judge’s ruling to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce challenging the law. “We’ve been waiting for this day, waiting to join the union and to have the right to negotiate with Uber,” said Mustafe Abdi, who has been driving with Uber for three years. Abdi, who is a member of the App-Based Drivers Association (ABDA), listed a number of concerns he and other for-hire drivers would like to address at the bargaining table. “We need to talk about the rates and deactivation and other things. We don’t have medical, we don’t have retirement. We don’t have Social Security. We don’t feel safe when we drive our cars. This is good news for all drivers in Seattle.” "We’ve been waiting for this day, waiting to join the union and to have the right to negotiate with Uber." Uber and Lyft drivers sought assistance from Teamsters Local 117 to improve working conditions in Seattle’s personal transportation industry. In 2014, drivers formed ABDA to promote fairness, justice, and transparency in the industry. “Judge Lasnik’s ruling puts drivers one step closer to being able to freely exercise their right to have a voice and unionize under the new law,” said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. “We hope Uber will respect the judge’s decision, stop its efforts to block the law, and recognize that, just like millions of other workers across the country, for-hire drivers have a basic right to self-determination and to stand together with the representative of their choosing to improve their pay and working conditions. We will continue to help drivers fight for that right.” For now, the Seattle law is still on hold until the court rules on a separate case.
Uber has spent the better part of two years trying to stop their drivers from having a voice. They have repeatedly blocked their drivers’ right to unionize in the courts, run anti-Union ads in the Seattle Times and during a nationally-televised Seahawks game. They even have their own podcast aimed at silencing drivers. Instead of raising standards for drivers who have repeatedly decried the company’s lack of transparency, poor working conditions, and low pay, Uber has focused its efforts on making sure drivers have as little control as possible over their own livelihoods. Uber’s most recent attempt to silence their drivers involves a letter to the City of Seattle contesting Teamsters 117's application to become a qualified driver representative under the City’s new collective bargaining law. Read more
Yesterday the city council voted to postpone writing the rules that govern the new for-hire collective bargaining law. Now drivers will have to wait until January before the city can implement the law. Right now there are thousands of drivers struggling to make ends meet. Drivers have been fighting for years for their right to have a voice. Read more
When Uber drivers come together and speak out with one voice, good things happen. Just two days after drivers packed a hearing room at City Hall to demand swift, fair implementation of the City’s new collective bargaining law, the company announced that it would raise its minimum fare from $4.00 to $4.80. That means that drivers who get dispatched on short trips will see a modest increase in their earnings. As far as we know, Seattle is the only city where Uber is offering a higher minimum fare for drivers. The reason for that is clear. Uber drivers in Seattle are getting more engaged in the political process. They’re letting the City, the company, and the public know that they want their rights under the new law to be respected. Read more
Judge tosses lawsuit challenging collective bargaining lawJudge Tosses Lawsuit Challenging Seattle's Collective Bargaining Law
Drivers celebrating the passing of the historic Seattle ordinance allowing them to form a union. The Federal Judge Ruled that the Chamber of Commerce did not have Standing to Sue Taxi, Uber and Lyft Drivers in Seattle scored a major victory this week when a federal judge threw out a lawsuit challenging the Seattle ordinance giving drivers collective bargaining rights. Read more
The legal battle over your rights as app-based drivers to collectively bargain continues to unfold. As you recall, the US Chamber of Commerce is trying to stop the new law that gives drivers the right to bargain with their dispatch companies over their wages, hours and working conditions. In March, the Chamber filed a lawsuit with the City of Seattle saying that companies like Uber and Lyft would be damaged by the new law. Read more
TappCar is a new Edmonton, Canada-based ride-hailing service The New Rideshare company invites Teamsters to organize drivers Counter to the anti-union behavior from rival companies Uber and Lyft, TappCar a new Canadian rideshare company has welcomed the Teamsters Union to organize it's drivers. The company spokesman said unionization will help the company maintain a stable and satisfied workforce. Read more here. Read more