NYC Considers A Minimum Wage For Uber, Ride-Hail Drivers

NEW YORK       New York City’s taxi regulatory body is considering setting a wage floor for ride-hail drivers on platforms like Uber, Lyft, Juno and Via that would be equivalent to the city’s upcoming $15 minimum wage. If it succeeds, it would be the first such attempt in the country. The average pay for Uber drivers is $3.69 cents per local call while drivers working for other companies make an average of $6.20 per local call. Uber does NOT pay drivers to get to the call and only pays from point A to point B.  Riders who cancel within 5 minutes do not have to pay a canceling fee and driver who is on the way does not get paid either.

The vast majority of drivers on these apps net less than $15 an hour, according to a report commissioned by the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission that was released Monday.

GifterInGotham spoke to over 150 Uber drivers over the last 6 months and found that the majority of Uber drivers were making $10.00 an hour. Uber does not factor in gas, tolls, insurance.  Uber company misleads its drivers and the public with advertisements of work your own hours, make money on the side.  The fact is Uber is run more like a pyramid scheme.  Uber gives $100.00 incentives for drivers recommending others to join Uber. Uber drivers are busy signing up others for bonuses without telling new drivers the truth of how little money they will make.

For example, if a driver has to do a pick up in Long Beach, NY drivers have to fork up the $2.00  toll at the Rockaway bridge and will NOT be reimbursed. Drivers pay for their own gas and other expenses like insurance, wear and tear, car washes on the vehicle and inspections. Majority of Uber drivers are not only not making a profit but working for Uber for FREE.

Passengers also game the system by clicking on Uber App during surge pricing and when the driver gets to the pick up the customer cancels the ride and then clicks app for another driver which always ends up being the driver that is there already since the algorithms assign the closest driver. the driver then loses surge pricing. Customers do this to save their few measly dollars. If a driver is right there-there is no surge pricing. It’s disgusting behavior and outright thievery from the customers. Uber does not do anything to protect its drivers from customers who game the system.

Customers in Lawrence, NY, Far Rockaway, Monsey, 5 towns have been ripping off drivers and giving fake dishonest reviews on drivers and then make up fake complaints to Uber. What Uber does in return is always refund the customer with no questions asked.

Uber, refuses to give their own data on drivers that are attacked by customers. Attacks on customers are not the norm but it is certainly not rare either.

Video from 2016:   (Uber is now down to .70 cents per mile)

Recently a driver was nearly killed by a passenger and Uber took 5 days to get in touch with the driver that made over 20 requests to Uber asking for help. Law enforcement made an arrest and couldn’t get in touch with Uber. Uber promised an emergency one-touch button for its drivers but has only rolled out the service for its passengers. Uber couldn’t care less about its drivers. It is more important for an Uber driver to get immediate help while under attack then a passenger who can just get out of a car if a driver loses his mind. According to online media reports only 250 reports and or accusations of Uber drivers nationwide while there are estimated thousands of issues with the passengers nationwide.

Uber drivers MUST have a way of getting immediate help if under attack by a passenger. Uber APP already knows exactly where a driver is at any point and within 10 feet of where the phone is. It is that accurate.

About 40 percent of drivers for the ride-hail apps earn so little they qualify for Medicaid, food stamps, heap and other social services. In New York state 1 in 5 qualify for food stamps, the report found. That’s worrisome considering a large number of people who drive for a ride-hail app. Over 50,000 Uber drivers in NYC according to Uber company.

“App-based drivers work more hours annually than all the workers in New York City’s major industries, including banking, publishing, and hotels. Uber is the largest employer in New York City, larger than JP Morgan Chase,” said James Parrott, a co-author of the report and Fiscal Policy Director of the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School.

Uber, which is valued at $62 billion, maintains that its drivers are independent contractors, a position it shares with Lyft and other ride-hail apps. Last year Uber said they are worth 10 billion. Somehow they keep on getting away with inflating numbers and want to go public and join the stock exchange by 2020. Uber is 4 billion in debt according to business online reports.

(http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/14/technology/uber-financials/index.html

Uber has logged another quarter of record-breaking losses, losing $1.5 billion in the third quarter of 2017. For comparison, Uber lost $2.8 billion in all of 2016 and lost $1.1 billion in the second quarter of 2017.Nov 29, 2017

Uber has logged another quarter of record-breaking losses, losing $1.5 billion in the third quarter of 2017. For comparison, Uber lost $2.8 billion in all of 2016 and lost $1.1 billion in the second quarter of 2017.Nov 29, 2017)

According to Uber, Uber’s gross bookings for 2016 hit $20 billion, more than doubling from the year prior, according to financial figures the company provided to Bloomberg media. Its net revenue, after drivers took their cut, totaled $6.5 billion for the year. As you can see the drivers are making nothing. How the company can still be in debt is quite shocking.

Back to the report: Boosting these drivers’ pay, according to the report, could be done relatively easily. If each driver spent an additional two and a half minutes per hour with a paying fare, that would cover half of the necessary increase to a $15-an-hour equivalent, the study found. Average wait time would go up by just 12 to 18 seconds, it said.

And what else does Uber want a driver to do?

“You might think that an industry that’s growing so rapidly, in which drivers use a very big piece of capital equipment, would actually pay their workers quite well. That’s not the case,” Parrot said on a conference call with reporters. “The drivers are forced to spend much of their time cruising the city streets looking for passengers.”

The rest of the increase could be made up by increasing fares, decreasing the commission the ride-hailing app takes or decreasing the number of drivers on the road, the study found.

“We can’t determine which of those the companies would choose. We can just point out that their commissions are quite high and they could easily absorb the increase in remaining cost through a decrease in commissions,” said Michael Reich, the other co-author and a co-chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at the University of California-Berkeley.

And to top this all off, NYC Mayor, Mayor de Blasio wants Uber drivers to pay into a fund to help struggling Taxi drivers. The Mayor talks about equality, fair share, and many other things. Can someone explain why the hell someone struggling should have to pay a fellow struggling driver? Drivers want to know if Mayor de Blasio has any brains.

New York City’s minimum wage will increase to $15 an hour at the end of this year. The study calculated the equivalent for ride-hail drivers’ to be $17.22 per hour since they are not eligible for the paid time off that regular employees are. Currently, fewer than 85 percent of drivers earn less than this amount, the study said.

Via had the highest-earning drivers in the report, with the median driver earning $20.99 per hour. The company celebrated this finding in a statement, saying: “At Via we have always believed that our driver partners deserve fair earnings, which is why we are the only company in New York to offer drivers an hourly guarantee earnings model and the lowest commission in the industry.”

Uber criticized some of the report’s assumptions and said the changes it recommends would have unintended consequences, such as encouraging drivers to accept fewer rides. Well, they are doing that already. Nobody likes to work for free. Drivers didn’t need a report to back up what they were claiming for over a year. It only took 3 weeks for my own study to prove all the allegations that drivers have been making.

“We share the goal that all full-time taxi and Uber drivers in NYC should earn a living wage, but the report’s proposals would get there by shrinking the transportation pie; hurting riders through substantially increased prices and reduced service, and severely limiting the amount of time existing drivers can access the [Uber] platform,” the company said in a statement.

So the company said in a statement…. All Uber has to do is stop being pigs by stopping to undercut the entire industry by 30% and then taking 40 to 55% from every call a driver takes.

The car service industry takes up to 25% per call. Uber claims they also take 25% commissions but it’s s straight out lie.

Most car service companies charge $250.00 plus tolls from Brooklyn, NY to South Fallsburg and a minivan request $280.00 plus tolls, 15 passenger requests $350.00

Uber charges for same trips $143.00 which includes tolls. Take off a minimum 40% the driver is netting $103.00

Round trip from Brooklyn to South Fallsburg is an apx $65.00 in gas and tolls. An Uber driver is making a whopping $38.00 profit for a 6 hour at minimum round trip job. ($6.33 an hour)

Uber only pays .70 cents per mile while most car service companies industry-wide pay anywhere from 2.00 – 4.00 per miles depending on the time of day and type of vehicle etc.

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, a group representing drivers, criticized Uber’s proposal because it doesn’t connect drivers’ earnings to rider fares, which would allow drivers’ income to rise along with company revenues. “Even if Uber and Lyft turn a profit and charge higher fares to passengers, drivers won’t reap any of the benefits,” the group said in a statement.

The proposal would be the first in the country to regulate the earnings of ride-hail drivers.

Thousands of drivers are joining the Uber company every month not realizing thousands of others are quitting every month. Uber refuses to give exact attrition rates to media requesting the information. You can only imagine why Uber refuses to make the numbers public.

On June 12, 2018 the chief executive of Uber said New York City should impose a fee on app-hailed rides and taxis to help taxi medallion owners who are struggling with debt.

Groups that represent drivers blasted Khosrowshahi’s proposal.

“Dara Khosrowshahi’s proposals are a slap in the face to struggling drivers and an attempt to get out of being regulated,” said Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance.

The Independent Drivers Guild, which represents Uber drivers, said, Khosrowshahi “needs to address the widespread hardship faced by drivers for his own company before considering taking another cut from our sub-minimum-wage pay.”

Uber has recently announced that it’s drivers will get vision coverage. When making only a few dollars an hour and less than someone flipping burgers at McDonald’s you think vision care is going to get anyone excited? The fact of the matter is, 85% of Uber drivers receive vision care from Medicaid. Uber thinks everyone is blind?

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/nyc-drivers-uber-apps-vision-care-coverage-56266151

http://abc7ny.com/traffic/%0auber-ceo-backs-surcharge-to-aid-struggling-taxi-owners%0a/3595718/

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nyc-considers-a-minimum-wage-for-uber-ride-hail-drivers/

Sources: https://cbsn.ws/2Koiuu2, www.GifterInGotham.com,
NYC TLC, WABC, Drivers alliance

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