‘I made $3.75 an hour’: LYFT, UBER drivers push to unionize for better pay

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For over a year Rob Mead has worked as an Uber driver in Reno, Nevada, to supplement his income as a public sector worker. Now he’s wondering if it is worth it. “After gas, added monthly rideshare insurance, wear-and-tear, constant oil changes and taxes that $300 for 30 hours of work I thought I made in a week actually averages down to about $90 after expenses,” said Mead.

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“A few weeks ago I drove four passengers in a one-hour period. I looked at my profits and I made only $12 It was snowing, traffic was crazy and I basically risked my life to make that $12. After expenses I made $3.75 that entire hour.”

Mead’s wages contrast sharply with the fortunes that the executives at the rideshare companies Uber and Lyft are about to reap. This week Lyft startedits investor roadshow as it prepares for its stock market listing. Lyft’s cofounders, Logan Green and John Zimmer, stand to make hundreds of millions from the sale, currently valued at $23bn. Uber plans to follow Lyft’s initial public offering (IPO) in April – a share sale estimated to be worth $125bn that will create a new generation of millionaires and billionaires from its executive class.

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