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How Much Do TNCs Pay Drivers in DC?


If you are considering a career as a rideshare driver in Washington DC, knowing how much the various TNCs pay drivers in DC can be helpful. Of course, your actual salary depends largely on how many hours you put in behind the wheel. But if you would like to estimate your salary based on the number of hours you can commit to driving, this article will give you an overview of how much TNCs pay drivers in DC.


Fortunately, Uber posts on their website driver salary projections for various cities, including Washington DC, and updates the numbers frequently.

As an Uber driver, when someone takes a ride with you they are charged a fare plus a “Rider Fee”. The fare for UberX in Washington DC is currently $0.17 per minute plus $1.02 per mile. On top of that, there is a $1.15 base fare plus a $1.55 booking fee. Thus, according to Uber the average Washington trip pay out for an UberX driver is $13.73. Since Uber drivers on average make about 2 rides per hour, the hourly earnings for an UberX driver equates to approximately $27.46.

Assuming an average Uber driver commits to work about 30 hours per week, the overall per-week earnings would be $824 — making annual salary for Washington UberX drivers equal to $42,838.

However, this estimation does not include if you drive during a time when “surge pricing” is available. Surge pricing means Uber increases the fare prices during certain times of higher demand, making these hours more attractive for drivers. If you drive during surge pricing, then the entire fare is multiplied by that number.

Uber often advertises that they only charge a 25% commission of the fares. According to The Rideshare Guy, however, these figures ignore the “Booking Fee” that the company adds on top of each ride, which goes solely to the TNC. The booking fee amount varies from city to city. The resulting effects of this fee and the 25% commission mean that when passengers step outside of their Uber and only see a $5 charge, the driver will receive around half of that.


Similar to Uber, there are advertisements about Lyft taking only 25% commission, but once again this company does not include the “Trust and Service Fee” which they take for each trip.

According to Lyft, driver pay includes time spent waiting, starting one minute after you’ve confirmed your arrival. The ride fare includes base fare, cost per mile, and cost per minute. In Washington DC, the base fare is $1.15, the cost per mile is $1.02, and the cost per minute is $0.17.

Alvia.com shares methodology for calculating the earnings of a Lyft driver in Washington DC based on the following:

An average trip for a Lyft driver pays out approximately $11.26 in the Washington D.C. area, and Lyft drivers are able to complete about two full trips per hour (i.e., a total of $22.52). Since an average Lyft driver works about 30 hours per week, the total per-week earnings are $675.60 per week — making a year’s salary for a driver $35,131.20.

Additionally, at times of high demand your fare may be subject to a ‘Prime Time’ multiplier to keep vehicles available. The multiplier, if any, will be communicated to you at the time of your ride request.


Even though Via is the new rideshare app on the block, it turns out this TNC pays drivers considerably more than both Uber and Lyft. As mentioned above, both Uber and Lyft take a 25% commission from their drivers. Whereas Via takes only a 10% commission from drivers in DC.

The Rideshare Guy reports that Via will pay per trip in a similar manner to other rideshare companies, with rate cards similar to Uber or Lyft. Via has also recently announced Rocket Rates, which are equivalent to surge pricing with Uber and prime-time pricing with Lyft. The Via website explains that during high demand hours, fares will be multiplied by the “Rocket Rate” that will be announced to drivers through text message. Multipliers have been in the range of 1.3 to 2.5 times the fare, which can make trips more profitable. However, one Via driver shares that the rocket rates only operate during Flex mode hours, which fall between midnight and 6am.

At all other hours, Via has an undisclosed, guaranteed hourly rate for drivers that fluctuates throughout the day. For example, during peak hours (i.e., from 7-9am and 5-8pm) Via offers $30/hour while online. This means that drivers can be paid regardless of how many passengers they pick up. The rate also varies based on the type of car you drive. It has been reported that luxury SUV driver earnings start at $1,800 per week and those who drive a sedan can make $1,200 per week.

One key difference, though, is that Via will automatically apply a pay boost to rides that are “matched” with other riders. This incentivizes drivers to get matching rides in order to increase their earnings. The premium ranges between 5% and 20% depending on what city you drive in or how many matches you get.


Curb only employs professional drivers for their service, which can be hailed through the Curb app. The Ride Guru explains that since Curb drivers are traditional taxi drivers their payout is based on the standard average taxi cab driver payout. However, the Curb app does take $2 from each payout for using the app.

To estimate how much this TNC pays drivers in DC we can look at salary reports for the average DC taxi driver. According to Salary.com, the annual base salary for taxi drivers in DC is $36,547. Therefore, it can be projected that Curb pays drivers in DC approximately the same minus the $2 Curb fee. Unlike other rideshare services, though, cabs have traditionally been a tipping industry, so receiving a tip is more common through this service than all of the others.

As a rideshare driver, what do you think about how TNCs pay drivers in DC? Leave us your thoughts in a comment below!


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