In this recap, we’ve got an Uber news update and intriguing stories that will impact rideshare and delivery drivers as the year 2023 gets rolling.
- Uber news NYC: Pay raise for Uber and Lyft drivers is blocked by NYC court
- Rise in retrenchments: More job seekers expected to turn to Uber, Lyft, Uber Eats and Doordash for gig work
- This rideshare passenger’s signature safety tip has blown up the Internet
Uber news in NYC: Pay raise for Uber and Lyft drivers is blocked by NYC court
This past December, an Uber pay raise for drivers in New York City was planned to take effect. Under the terms of the pay raise that the Taxi and Limousine Commision (TLC) proposed, drivers would have seen an increase of 7.42% per minute and 23.93% per ride.
Uber stated that this would mean an average $10 per ride price hike for customers, cost the company around $21–$23 million per month, and have a deleterious effect on their ability to conduct business.
Uber objected strongly to the way the proposed pay hike was calculated, because it was based on gas price spikes and other factors that may or may not continue to elevate the actual cost of driving. On this basis, Uber sued the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), which attempted to enforce the Uber driver pay raise on December 19, 2022.
On January 6, 2022, the State Supreme Court in Manhattan expressed sympathy for the drivers, but agreed with Uber that the TLC did not sufficiently justify the increase. The judge, Hon. Arthur F. Engoron (who happens to be an ex-taxicab driver), issued a temporary restraining order against the enforcement of the pay raise. Another hearing will take place this January 31.
The relationship between New York City’s TLC and Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber is contentious by its very nature. The TLC wants to defend drivers, but it also seeks to protect the medallion taxi and black car businesses that have been partially usurped since the TNCs came into play. Meanwhile, TNCs wish to limit the amount of regulatory authority the TLC can exert on the way they pay drivers.
News about Uber drivers is always a big deal, especially in a place like New York, where citizens seriously depend on rideshare drivers to get from place to place. Hoping they would get their voices heard in favor of the pay hike, drivers staged a strike as the decision was being handed down, and held a rally at Uber’s Manhattan offices asking for the pay raise to be enforced.
Uber drivers say if the pay raise is denied again on January 31, a longer strike will be called for, maybe as long as two weeks.
What do you think about the ruling? Will drivers continue to strike? Jump in the comments and let us know your opinions!
Rise in Retrenchments: More Job Seekers Expected to Turn to Uber, Lyft, Uber Eats and Doordash for Gig Work
The year 2022 brought massive layoffs to the high tech business sector, a trend which shows no sign of ending in 2023. Here are some layoff numbers just announced January 5:
Amazon: 18,000 employees
Salesforce: 5,000 workers
These job cuts come on top of the 2022 bloodbath, where high-tech companies such as those listed below let go large percentages of their workforces. Here are how some big workforces have been affected:
Twitter: Reduction of 50%
Meta: Reduction of 13%
Lyft: Reduction of 13%
Robinhood: Reduction of 23%
Some of the companies cite COVID-19 and over-hiring in anticipation of additional business that never came to fruition as reasons for layoffs. While we can’t tell what factors are truly going into these layoff decisions, it’s clear that the unemployed sector is increasing rapidly.
What does this have to do with gig driving?
There are a lot of young, well-educated, and ambitious people without jobs now, and they will look for ways to earn an income once their severance packages have been spent. What are the first gigs many of them will turn to? You guessed it—rideshare and delivery driving.
This tidal wave of new drivers will have a variety of effects on the TNCs as well as the average well-established contractor/driver. Companies will have a vast new pool of drivers to draw from, so all those incentives to get people out there and driving will no longer be necessary. The companies’ take rate may even increase as a result, according to this article on MarketWatch.
While these conditions are good for the companies’ bottom lines, they can cause concern for drivers who have been working steadily over the last several years. More competition for work, and potentially being paid less for it, are the last things drivers need in a world where the price of everything just keeps going up.
If you want to hang ten through this wave of newbies that are making Uber news today, you’ll need to strategize by driving smart, increasing earnings, and saving on costs. Drivers are getting help with mileage/earning/expense tracking and finding profitable times to drive with Gridwise. Using Gridwise as a tool to inform your driving strategy will be crucial if you want to stay ahead of other drivers!
Rideshare Passenger’s Safety Tip On TikTok Divides Opinions
Are Uber drivers that scary? Admittedly, this is an odd piece of Uber news, but a video one rideshare passenger posted of her “safety tip” went viral and created some buzz around her advice for female rideshare passengers.
Calling herself Brenna, the passenger’s TikTok video showed her leaving evidence of her presence in a rideshare car, in the event there is a need to find out who might be responsible for her disappearance and/or demise. She pulls one hair from her head and leaves it on the floor or seat, and then makes sure she leaves fingerprints on the windows.
There’s every reason, and there are many ways, for passengers to feel safe with most rideshare drivers. She can have her friends track her whereabouts, as well as use her app’s one-button access to emergency help if an unsafe incident were to arise. Brenna’s solution is intriguing, though.
Even though many drivers might be irritated at having to clean off the smudges from the windows and sweep up hairs, the passengers leaving DNA and other forensic evidence behind feel they’re protecting themselves. Well, at least, they feel that if that scary driver were to do something nasty or violent, evidence would be left behind.
Brenna got a lot of responses from her TikTok followers. One reminded her to ensure that the hairs she left included the follicles, where the DNA can be found. Another exhorted her to leave just one good fingerprint, because that would be easier to trace than a handful of blurry or overlapping identifying lines and swirls.
Bad things do happen to rideshare passengers, so while this may seem like extreme lengths to go to, it’s important to understand why. Perhaps it’s not such a bad idea to at least leave enough evidence behind to nail one’s potential perpetrator. It’s also important that rideshare drivers keep themselves, as well as their passengers, safe.