Uber and Lyft drivers in the US make a median profit of $3.37 per hour before taxes, according to a new report that suggests a majority of ride-share workers make below minimum wage and that many actually lose money.
Researchers did an analysis of vehicle cost data and a survey of more than 1,100 drivers for the ride-hailing companies for the paper published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research. The report – which factored in insurance, maintenance, repairs, fuel and other costs – found that 30% of drivers are losing money on the job and that 74% earn less than the minimum wage in their states.
The findings have raised fresh concerns about labor standards in the booming sharing economy as companies such as Uber and Lyft continue to face scrutiny over their treatment of drivers, who are classified as independent contractors and have few rights or protections.
“This business model is not currently sustainable,” said Stephen Zoepf, executive director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford University and co-author of the paper. “The companies are losing money. The businesses are being subsidized by [venture capital] money … And the drivers are essentially subsidizing it by working for very low wages.”
The biggest reason that companies like Uber and Lyft took off in the first place, in that the biggest reason that they got so much investment and interest and promotion from big business interests is because these companies are going to undercut and destroy the cab unions in cities all across America.
Before Uber and Lyft, you had to have something called a Medallion to own a cab in major municipalities in America and the city would only license a certain number of these Medallions, resulting in the Medallion increasing in value over time.
The Medallion system operated in a way similar to liquor licenses.
Then Uber and Lyft came out and broke all the rules of having to have these Medallions to operate in major cities in America and corporate-friendly, anti-labor judge after judge ruled against the cab unions and cab drivers and in favor of Uber and Lyft to screw over the cab unions and look at what we have as a result now.
We have a nation of part time and full time Uber and Lyft drivers, who don’t get paid nearly as much as the people that they came along and undercut, the unionized cab drivers who actually were professional drivers and make a decent living doing it, and we have a scenario where the only people making any real money are the suits at Uber and Lyft.
The drivers themselves have never been fucked over as badly as they are now.
Uber and Lyft are like a ponzi scheme that were originally bolstered by business interests to destroy the cab unions because they were powerful one of the few unions left in America with any power.