May 9, 2015

Don’t forget the person driving your Uber cab

Emily Guendelsberger went undercover as an Uber driver in Philadelphia:

Driving for UberX isn’t the worst-paying job I’ve ever had. I made less scooping ice cream as a 15-year-old, if you don’t adjust for inflation. If I worked 10 hours a day, six days a week with one week off, I’d net almost $30,000 a year before taxes.

But if I wanted to net that $90,000 a year figure that so many passengers asked about, I would only have to work, let’s see …

27 hours a day, 365 days a year.

There’s been a lot of stories like this the past few months. It’s easy to take a stand for or against the likes of Uber of Lyft, but in the process you’re forgetting the people making very little money while you feel like you have “your own private driver”. As is so often the case, someone worse off is working hard, while rich assholes entrepreneurs are reaping the benefit. That doesn’t mean I think you should boycott Uber or Lyft, it just means that there’s more to these services, and the problems around them, than meets the eye.

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