Uber Taxi: What do you actually think about it?

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9,401
Australia
Western Sydney
mustafur
As @mustafur theorized, my guess is that the Uber driver's example covers more than one day. Perhaps a full week:

Day one: Drives for five hours, earns $40, spends nothing on fuel, average earnings $8/hour
Day two: Drives for five hours, earns $40, spends nothing on fuel, average earnings $8/hour
Day three: Drives for five hours, earns $40, spends nothing on fuel, average earnings $8/hour
Day four: Drives for five hours, earns $40, spends nothing on fuel, average earnings $8/hour ($40/5hrs = $8/hr)
Day five: Drives for five hours, earns $40, spends $30 on fuel, average earnings $2/hour ($40-$30=$10/5 = $2)

So the weekly average is $6.80/hour ($200-$30=$170/25hrs = $6.80)

I could see where an Uber driver might need to re-fuel their car only once a week if they were only working five hours a day and they earned only $40 per day (which seems to imply quite a bit of stationary time, waiting for the next passenger). The above is not a very profitable scenario, but at least its nearly the minimum wage.

Given how it's been in my experience he would likely be filling every 3rd day at that sort of hours(don't know what car he is using but mine is a 2015 Mazda 2 so the car isn't burning fuel like crazy).
 

Johnnypenso

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Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Johnnypenso
As @mustafur theorized, my guess is that the Uber driver's example covers more than one day. Perhaps a full week:

Day one: Drives for five hours, earns $40, spends nothing on fuel, average earnings $8/hour
Day two: Drives for five hours, earns $40, spends nothing on fuel, average earnings $8/hour
Day three: Drives for five hours, earns $40, spends nothing on fuel, average earnings $8/hour
Day four: Drives for five hours, earns $40, spends nothing on fuel, average earnings $8/hour ($40/5hrs = $8/hr)
Day five: Drives for five hours, earns $40, spends $30 on fuel, average earnings $2/hour ($40-$30=$10/5 = $2)

So the weekly average is $6.80/hour ($200-$30=$170/25hrs = $6.80)

I could see where an Uber driver might need to re-fuel their car only once a week if they were only working five hours a day and they earned only $40 per day (which seems to imply quite a bit of stationary time, waiting for the next passenger). The above is not a very profitable scenario, but at least its nearly the minimum wage.
I don't know how much Uber drivers make, but I'd guess it's a lot more than $40 for driving 5 hours. Does anyone know actual compensation figures?
 
9,401
Australia
Western Sydney
mustafur
That depends on your area and if your area even has compensation, many don't including where I have done it.

$40 for 5 hours is very poor but I have had worse days, especially in Holiday seasons when your customer base is away.

You might as well find something else to do when it's that bad.
 
39,357
The disconnect I'm having is that this is essentially for hire transport service. With how many people do it just to supplement income that should be obvious from the get go. Why does Uber need to cough up to offset time and expenses accrued when you're obviously not actually doing work?
 

Johnnypenso

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Johnnypenso
That depends on your area and if your area even has compensation, many don't including where I have done it.

$40 for 5 hours is very poor but I have had worse days, especially in Holiday seasons when your customer base is away.

You might as well find something else to do when it's that bad.
So you drive and don't get compensated? That's madness. You've had days where you were actually driving (not just available and sitting idle)for 5 hours and made less than $40. I find this very hard to believe.
 
9,401
Australia
Western Sydney
mustafur
So you drive and don't get compensated? That's madness. You've had days where you were actually driving (not just available and sitting idle)for 5 hours and made less than $40. I find this very hard to believe.
Yes, compensation mostly is only ever offered when market demand is going to be high enough to cover it.

I live an hour away from where I can get customers from so I have to drive out of my area and then find something, there has been times when I will get maybe 2 jobs and that is it in a 8 hour period, much less then $40 in that time.

Of course there are days when it can be much higher, but in a non regulated driver market, driver saturation is a given, there is a reason why we have a limit on Hire car and Taxi licenses in my state, to stop this problem.

Uber doesn't.
 

Johnnypenso

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Johnnypenso
Yes, compensation mostly is only ever offered when market demand is going to be high enough to cover it.

I live an hour away from where I can get customers from so I have to drive out of my area and then find something, there has been times when I will get maybe 2 jobs and that is it in a 8 hour period, much less then $40 in that time.

Of course there are days when it can be much higher, but in a non regulated driver market, driver saturation is a given, there is a reason why we have a limit on Hire car and Taxi licenses in my state, to stop this problem.

Uber doesn't.
As I was alluding to, you aren't actually working for 5 hours, you are driving 2 hours back and forth to work and then only driving for hire twice in 8 hours. As someone who is self employed I've never considered that 8 hours work, I'd call it 2 service calls and a light day. It's not unusual for me to only have 1 or 2 service calls on a Saturday and none on Sunday even though I am on call for all 48 hours. If that light workload was happening on a regular basis and not balanced out by much busier times during the week, I'd find some other business to get into.
 
9,401
Australia
Western Sydney
mustafur
As I was alluding to, you aren't actually working for 5 hours, you are driving 2 hours back and forth to work and then only driving for hire twice in 8 hours. As someone who is self employed I've never considered that 8 hours work, I'd call it 2 service calls and a light day. It's not unusual for me to only have 1 or 2 service calls on a Saturday and none on Sunday even though I am on call for all 48 hours. If that light workload was happening on a regular basis and not balanced out by much busier times during the week, I'd find some other business to get into.
I log on to a program then have to cancel anything else I do to do it, it's work whether I'm sitting somewhere or not.

Time is valuable, and their work is not.
 

Johnnypenso

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Johnnypenso
I log on to a program then have to cancel anything else I do to do it, it's work whether I'm sitting somewhere or not.

Time is valuable, and their work is not.
No it isn't work whether you're sitting somewhere or not. You're self employed. Work is when you are working, not sitting around waiting. You're not an hourly employee waiting for the boss to show up to give you something to do. Me, I do other things between calls. I go shopping, I pick up or hunt for things I need. I do maintenance on the vehicles and equipment, I visit with customers, I squeeze in a run or a workout etc. Your time can't be that valuable or you'd find something else more lucrative to do with it besides waiting around for Uber to call you. No one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to take this crappy deal.
 

GTsail

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Florida
GTsail2/GTsail3
I log on to a program then have to cancel anything else I do to do it, it's work whether I'm sitting somewhere or not.

How restrictive is Uber on what else you can do during your waiting time?

As @Johnnypenso suggests, can you go shopping or something similar to fill in your idle time, or does Uber require a stricter commitment to being available for hire if that's what you have signed on for a particular time period?

Maybe its comparable to a security guard who works a five-hour shift in a building, and every hour is required to take a five minute walk around the building and check the exterior doors, and then goes back to his/her desk and sits for the next 55 minutes. Is the security guard only working for 5 minutes while walking around the building, or is the security guard working during the entire hour since the guard is "available" for "security duties" during the 55 minute desk time as well?

It seems to me that many Uber drivers must have quite a lot of idle time. I would think that this makes Uber's financial model a challenge if it expects to make any money in the long run. I don't know enough about Uber's financial model to really say, but it seems to me that maybe the direction they should go is autonomous cars. Because idle time for an autonomous car wouldn't be so mind-numbingly boring.

^^^This is my prediction for the future. All taxi-drivers and Uber drivers can expect to be replaced by autonomous cars within 10-15 years.
 

Liquid

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I'm pretty sure Uber is planning on being the first driverless taxi company; these people "supplementing their income" are nothing but monkeys giving Uber data and statistics which they can use to programme their replacements.

Although it obviously wouldn't surprise me if other similar companies were doing the same thing.
 
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ExigeEvan

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I'm pretty sure Uber is planning on being the first driverless taxi company; these people "supplementing their income" are nothing but monkeys giving Uber data and statistics which they can use to programme their replacements.

Although it obviously wouldn't surprise me if other similar companies were doing the same thing.
Surely Tesla is doing exactly the same thing with it's cars, especially given how they are updated over the software too, I bet they share all sorts of metadata on the owners.
 

Johnnypenso

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Johnnypenso
I'm pretty sure Uber is planning on being the first driverless taxi company; these people "supplementing their income" are nothing but monkeys giving Uber data and statistics which they can use to programme their replacements.

Although it obviously wouldn't surprise me if other similar companies were doing the same thing.
You can't halt progress. In the meantime, make a little hay while the sun shines.
 

Johnnypenso

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Johnnypenso
Innisfil, Ontario, Canada has chosen to partner up with Uber instead of establishing a public transit system.

Innisfil will subsidise a portion of the fare for all trips with the taxi firm taken by residents within the town's boundaries. Officials say the deal offers more flexibility for residents and is cheaper than adding a town bus service.
Uber Canada public policy manager Chris Schafer says the project has sparked global interest.
The cost of a ride to any four of the community's transport or recreation hubs will cost residents between C$3 (US$2.20/£1.70) and C$5 (US$3.60/£2.80). They will also get a C$5 discount on any custom trip within Innisfil, a lake-side Ontario town of about 36,000 people 100 km (62 miles) north of Toronto.
 

Touring Mars

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I was all set to order an Uber for the first time in Glasgow last night with a colleague from work, but despite offering to pay for the cab myself, my workmate objected to using Uber and insisted on travelling by black cab which cost £15 instead of £8 for the Uber. So I let her pay for half of it.
 

Touring Mars

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Pretty daft IMO - of all places to get rid of Uber, London seems the oddest choice, not least because of the number of cab companies that already exist and, from my personal experience anyway, are considerably dodgier than using Uber, and (I'm guessing) probably just as unrewarding and demanding on the drivers, if not more so. Perhaps London has cleaned up its act on private cabs since I lived there, but the ability to pay securely, know exactly who is picking you up and keep a digital track record of everything automatically are all advantages of Uber compared to some other options. I understand that Uber should make sure that their drivers are not earning less than the minimum wage, but as per some of the complaints noted in this thread previously, a lot of these claims are pretty ridiculous and, at the end of the day, no-one is obliged to work for Uber if they don't want to. The vast majority of Uber drivers are happy with what they earn, and so effectively banning Uber is going to cost a lot of people their livelihoods.
 
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DesertPenguin09

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7,398
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DesertPenguin09
I drive a regular taxi for a company locally and I average around $10/hour + tips. They supply the cars and there is insurance for them so I'm not paying out of pocket if something happens. Maintenance is on them. I go in, get a car, drive for however long, fill it with gas, and return it for someone else. The only thing I'm paying out of pocket is gas money and $8.50 to lease the car for the day so it's on the insurance and what not.
 
9,348
United States
Marin County
Uber is launching a wave of new services.

"We’re going beyond cars. We are about mobility - making mobility available to everyone, everywhere”

Considering the timing, recent events, and new CEO, I'm reading this as a pivot away from a future reliance on self driving cars as a business model. I don't believe I've heard anything about them pulling the plug, but it looks pretty untenable for them in my eyes. Waymo's tech has the perception of being far superior (because it is) and it hasn't killed anyone. Their current business model kind of all hinged around self driving cars as the path to profitability. Without it, it appears they are taking a shotgun-blast approach to try to find a sustainable business model. I think Khosrowshahi is more willing to see the hard truth than Kalanick was.

edit: Uber issued a press release titled "Moving forward together with cities". I feel like this is worded very intentionally, and actually rather well. I've always felt that Uber made a lot of sense as a public service rather than as a for-profit business. It will be interesting to see where this goes, but it would actually be pretty cool to see Uber take a deep dive into municipal transit agencies. Not in the archetypal silicon valley way of disruption, but in more of a collaborative capacity. One thing Uber has genuinely revolutionized is optimizing intra-city transportation logistics on a level old-school transit agencies could only dream of. Real-time optimized & hailed bus lines? Significantly improved rail control? Now something like that could be useful, especially if there isn't such a strong onus on/distraction of profit making. Of course this is all my speculation.
 
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