A recent investigation by automotive website Jalopnik claims that Uber and Lyft are not paying drivers as much as they claim to. After studying nearly 15,000 fares submitted by drivers, the rideshare companies were pocketing between 8.5 and 10.6 percent more of revenues than they claim.
A recent report from Jalopnik by Dhruv Mehrotra and Aaron Gordon alleges that ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft are not paying drivers as much as they claim they are. Due to reduced fares for stops scheduled through the app and surge pricing issues, Uber can end up taking 75 percent of a driver’s fare.
But Dave, who was granted anonymity out of fear of being deactivated by the ride-hail giant for speaking to the press, had no real choice but to wait. The passenger had requested the stop through the app, so refusing to make it would have been contentious both with the customer and with Uber. The exact number varies by city, but drivers must maintain a high rating in order to work on their platform. And there’s widespread belief among drivers that the Uber algorithm punishes drivers for cancelling trips.
Ultimately, the rider paid $65 for the half-hour trip, according to a receipt viewed by Jalopnik. But Dave made only $15 (the fares have been rounded to anonymize the transaction).
Jalopnik asked other ride-sharing service drivers to send them fare receipts that showed how much the rider paid for the fare, how much the driver received, and how much money went to Uber or Lyft. Jalopnik found:
In total, we received 14,756 fares. These came from two sources: the web form where drivers could submit fares individually, and via email where some drivers sent us all their fares from a given time period.
Of all the fares Jalopnik examined, Uber kept 35 percent of the revenue, while Lyft kept 38 percent. These numbers are roughly in line with a previous study by Lawrence Mishel at the Economic Policy Institute which concluded Uber’s take rate to be roughly one-third, or 33 percent.
Of the drivers who emailed us breakdowns for all of their fares in a given time period—ranging from a few months to more than a year—Uber kept, on average, 29.6 percent. Lyft pocketed 34.5 percent.
The figures calculated in the study are 10.6 percent higher than Uber claims and 8.5 percent higher than what Lyft tells its drivers it takes from every fare.
Uber has claimed in regulatory filings that its take-rate is going down from 21.7 percent in 2018 to 19 percent in the second quarter of 2019. Previous reports claimed that Lyft’s 2018 take-rate was 26.8 percent but the company’s take-rate is not publicly shared by the firm.
Read the full report in Jalopnik here.