Uber to give more control to drivers over which riders they choose to accept

At one point between jobs I was a rideshare driver full-time. Uber and Lyft.

Once I figured out what I was spending on gas and and unpaid waiting/travel time, combined with upkeep and repairs on any car that gets driven that much, I realized I was making less than minimum wage.

Add to that the daily aggravations of riders who summon you for 6-block jobs where they tip nothing, or drunks who try to eat messy food on your leather seats, or rude passengers with screaming kids.

Well, it was all too much and this was before COVID and sky-high gas prices.

Before I mention the article I’m highlighting here, let’s take a look at Uber’s stock price over the last year. (See below.)

Not good.

Anyone who’s paid attention could tell you that Uber’s business model was unsustainable. It’s formerly explosive growth was dependent on investors willing to throw money at the unprofitable company, combined with a need for a steady turnover of drivers who stay just long enough to realize that driving for Uber is a losing proposition over the long term.

Now, investors are drying up and drivers are getting harder to come by.

So Uber is making a huge change:

Uber announced a series of new features Friday aimed at enhancing driver experiences on the ridesharing app as drivers continue to contend with high gas prices and inflation rates.

Drivers across the U.S. will be able to see exactly how much they’ll earn and where they’re going before they accept a trip. They’ll also be able to see more than one trip request at a time by using a new feature called Trip Radar. Uber said those changes will also help lower wait times for riders.

The company also announced the Uber Pro debit card and checking account, which offer drivers up to 7% cash back on gas at select stations. Drivers’ earnings will be deposited directly into the account.

The updates and debit card are rolling out over the coming months.

It’s the latest move by Uber to try to support drivers. The company added a surcharge on fares and deliveries in March in an effort to help offset rising fuel prices. The new options may help the company keep existing drivers and attract new ones.

One of the things that most pissed me off as a driver was if I turned down a rider who was too far away to make the trip profitable, it counted against me in terms of my overall ratings and the benefits I could access on the Uber app.

So this will be a welcome change, I am sure.

I still doubt it will make driving worthwhile because the economics just aren’t there to offer cheap rides and still compensate drivers as they should be compensated.

Actually, Uber and Lyft rides aren’t all that cheap any more, either.

You can read the rest of the article here.

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