Uber drivers are earning much less than the $100,000 per year previously told to The Wall Street Journal.
In November 2013, the company told The Wall Street Journal that its average driver earns $100,000 a year. While the company has backed away from that high figure recently, Uber chief adviser and board member David Plouffe has continued saying that the ride-hailing platform serves as a pathway to a modest, more attainable American dream for drivers.
BuzzFeed News has reported on hourly pay with a wide gap between what drivers are making and the $100,000 salary previously reported. A source who worked with Uber pricing data gave BuzzFeed News information on average pay for drivers based on tens of thousands of trips. These took place in the Denver, Houston, and Detroit markets during two- or eight-week periods in late 2015.
The data shows that Uber drivers in Denver made $13.17 per hour after deducting expenses, $8.77 per hour after expenses in Detroit, and $10.75 per hour after expenses in Houston during that time period. These pay rates are based on a few assumptions made by BuzzFeed News for its calculations.
Drivers at Uber and other similar on-demand mobility services do have to factor in their own self-employed expenses. These include paying their own Social Security taxes as independent contractors. There’s also taking a realistic look at what its costing their cars in gas, maintenance, depreciation, and repairs.
There’s another thing that drivers at Uber and Lyft need to take into consideration. Uber is committed to getting rid of human drivers as quickly as possible and replacing them with self-driving cars. Uber has been testing out a self-driving car in Pittsburgh, and Lyft will be testing out self-driving Chevy Bolts with partner General Motors in the near future.
Uber drivers are earning more than workers at stores such as Burger King, but it’s not that much. Uber has cut the compensation its pays drivers by 35 percent since 2014, according to Gas 2.0.