My Experience as an Uber Driver

I started driving for Uber in June after I lost my last job in May. At first the fares were fairly high and there was a lot of business so I was making over $400 a week easily. But after the 4th of July weekend, my biggest week ever, it started to slow down. Then in August there was a rate cut so it was even harder to make money. There is money to be made if you get up early and make a lot of trips but you can get bogged down waiting at the airport or chasing surges. Uber said that the fare cut was to be competitive with taxis but Uber is already cheaper than a taxi. Uber is a great deal for riders but for drivers it is a prime example of how the “sharing economy” is leading to 1099 jobs with no benefits or overtime, just by making the drivers “small business owners” instead of “employees.” Unless anything changes drivers need to be aware of the consequences of being paid without taxes withheld, and need to procure their own health insurance. All that would be fine if the fared stayed at a high enough rate to fairly compensate drivers and account for wear and tear on their vehicles. With more rate cuts coming the best thing for riders to do to support their drivers is to tip generously to cover the time and gas that it took their driver to get them. Personally I have only been tipped rarely, and I am always greatly appreciative of tips. Since congress is unlikely to raise minimum wage anytime soon it’s up to everyday citizens to help each other out and tip generously not only to Uber drivers but food delivery, wait staff, and other jobs. Ideally minimum wage would be high enough to not need to tip but that is unlikely to happen, so look out for your fellow humans and show that your appreciate their service.

 

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