Uber not only benefits those who need a ride somewhere at a competitive price, it also benefits drivers who can earn several times more than drivers for traditional cab services.
Uber has not released average wages for their drivers in every part of the country, but the Washington Post reports that in San Francisco a driver working 40 hours a week earns $74,191 a year. In New York City a driver working the same hours makes, on average, $90,766 a year.
Those are decent salaries, especially for a job that is completely flexible, allowing drivers to take off whenever they want. It is also double or triple what a traditional cab driver makes over the same number of hours. Cab service wages are estimated to be around $30k.
Traditional cab companies maintain a fleet of cars as well as mechanics and dispatchers. Uber drivers use their own cars and are responsible for maintenance. But with a potential earnings difference of $45,000-$60,000 a year, this seems like a good trade-off.
Part of the Uber difference is technology. Because UberX riders can call for a ride on their smartphones, there is no need for dispatchers or, on the driver’s side, for wasted time while drivers try to locate a fare.
The other advantage Uber has is that it bypasses regulations such as taxi medallions in NYC. These can cost nearly $1 million dollars to purchase, making for a big up-front investment which UberX drivers do not face.
Uber currently has drivers in 62 U.S. cities and is expanding to 56 cities around the world.