Emma G. Fitzsimmons is shedding light on an often unnoticed player in the world of ride hailing services. In her article “Uber Drivers Are Barely Making Ends Meet, Too” published in The New York Times on Monday June 18, 2018 she describes conditions that often do not make it into the heated public debate.
The contention between the TLC, Uber, and other ride hailing services is fairly well known in the city. The narrative is that these new companies are causing significant harm to traditional ride hailing services, lowering prices, increasing competition, and diluting the value of medallions. The story often presented is that these new companies are moving into industries and reducing the earning power of traditional service providers. Taxi drivers have to work longer hours to make the same amount of money they used to and have seen the value of their once expensive medallions plummet. It is a common story pitting every day working people against large corporations that are invading industries that 10 years ago seemed safe and secure.
The story that few people seem to be aware of is that the drivers for these large corporations like Uber are also struggling financially. While the company is making huge profits, it’s workers are in less than ideal economic shape. The drivers have to deal with the same problems of finding fares, paying to maintain their vehicles, and supporting their families. Many Uber drivers are now calling to cap or reduce the number of drivers added to the pools to keep wages from decreasing. Many Uber drivers earn less than $30,000 a year working long hours in a high volume service.
Did you know about the conditions Uber drivers face? Does this new information have any bearing on your opinion of the conflict between Uber and the TLC?
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