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Uber Drivers Unappreciated (Letter to the Editor)

2 min read

THIS IS AN OPINION

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To the Editor:

We Uber drivers of central Arkansas love our jobs. We love the passengers. But we have been done very unfairly on wages. Wages have been cut in half in the past year. We spoke to our Uber representative, but nothing was done.

We used to make $5 per arrival and $1.65 per mile. Then it went down to $1.35 a mile, which wasn’t great, but acceptable. Then fares were lowered to 70 cents a mile plus 15 cents a minute. Riders say they love Uber and how much cheaper it is than cabs. But now it’s almost like we’re giving free rides.

Uber gets 20 percent of the fare, plus an extra dollar per ride for setting up the trip. So out of each $100, the driver is left with $70 or less. The driver has to pay for the Uber device, internet, gas and other expenses.

Uber advertises that new drivers will make $17 to $20 an hour. But since January, working about 30 hours a week, I’ve made about $300 a week, minus $15 for the device. I pay about $60 a week for gas. That’s not to mention vehicle maintenance. So I am left with about $205 a week, less than $8 an hour.

Our grievances and demands are legitimate. We just want to get our rates back up to where they used to be, at $1.65 per mile. Uber says that driving for the company is a flexible job, and we love that. We can juggle other jobs, family, school, church, etc., but now we are having to work more and more just to come close to what we were making.

Then Uber keeps pounding us to recruit more drivers for the company, for which we’ll receive a $100 bonus. It wouldn’t need so many new drivers if it appreciated the ones it has. It costs the company hundreds of dollars to hire a person, counting background checks, driving history and administration. Established drivers know the area and are skilled, reliable and fast. But we feel shunted aside so Uber can get a fresh batch of fools in. We are disposable, or at least that’s how Uber thinks of us.

Sharon Bailey
Little Rock

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Arkansas Business welcomes Letters to the Editors. Letters must be signed and writers must include their hometowns and contact information so we can confirm their identity. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, length, spelling and punctuation.

Letters may be mailed to Editor Gwen Moritz, Arkansas Business, 114 Scott St., Little Rock, AR 72201; faxed to (501) 375-7933; or e-mailed to GMoritz@ABPG.com.

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