Gridwise
Gig
Mobility
Report

Introduction

Welcome to the Gridwise Gig Mobility Report, a comprehensive overview of the dynamic gig mobility landscape in the United States. This report provides a thorough understanding of gig mobility, defined as the movement of people and goods facilitated by gig workers. It offers a year’s worth of insights into consumer behavior, gig driver experiences, and key industry trends shaping this landscape’s future.

The analysis presented is based on an extensive database of Gridwise’s anonymized gig mobility data, derived from millions of real-world trips from over 500,000 gig drivers. Our insights have been validated by an impressive 400 million trips and 1.5 billion miles, all contributing to a total of $4 billion in gig driver earnings. Additionally, this report includes findings from a survey conducted with 528 active gig drivers and 1,000 gig service consumers.

By examining real-world data and insights from drivers and gig service consumers, our goal is to provide a thorough understanding of the present state of the gig mobility industry and offer insights into what can be anticipated in 2024.

Contents

Navigating the gig economy landscape

A snapshot of top platforms in the US

Delve into the dynamic world of gig-driving platforms in the United States as we take a closer look at the remarkable trajectories of Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and more. This overview captures key trends and growth patterns, shedding light on the resurgence of Uber and Lyft in the rideshare realm, DoorDash’s dominance in food delivery, and the evolving preferences of gig workers.

Both Uber and Lyft have realized a rise in demand from 2022

Since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, both Uber and Lyft have consistently been on the path to recovery. In 2023, this resurgence persisted, marked by a significant surge in demand for both companies. According to Gridwise data, Uber experienced a notable 66.3% increase in trips from January 2022 to the end of 2023. While Lyft’s recovery post-pandemic has been slightly slower, it still achieved a commendable 52.1% rise in completed trips during the same period.

Uber has outpaced Lyft's growth since January 2022

Growth and decline in rideshare trips

Source: Gridwise Analytics  /  Timeframe: 2022–2023  /  Geography: United States

Uber's rideshare market share in the United States

Despite Lyft gaining some market share, reaching a peak of 38% in June 2023, Uber maintained its leading position in the market. As of November 2023, Uber held a 65% market share in rideshare trips within the United States, specifically when compared to Lyft.

Uber maintained its leading position in the rideshare market

Rideshare market share shown by growth in trip percentage

Source: Gridwise Analytics  /  Timeframe: 2022–2023  /  Geography: United States  /  Estimated market share by percentage of rideshare trips

DoorDash maintains its food delivery lead

DoorDash saw trips soar by 34% from January 2022 to September 2023. Meanwhile, Uber Eats’ trips have plateaued, maintaining its post-pandemic recovery from 2022. Grubhub, however, has faced a decline, with a 17% drop in trips since January 2022.

DoorDash's trip increase outpaced other established delivery services

Growth and decline in delivery trips

Source: Gridwise Analytics  /  Timeframe: Jan 2022–Dec 2023  /  Geography: United States

Unsurprisingly, DoorDash’s growth spurt has bolstered its grip on the market. Starting the year with a 75% share of trip volume compared to Grubhub and Uber Eats, it expanded to 78.6% by December 2023. In contrast, Uber Eats held onto a fifth of the market (18.7%), while Grubhub lagged behind with only a 2.7% market share. This paints a picture of a highly competitive sector where DoorDash is successfully carving out an ever larger piece of the pie, leaving its rivals to play catch up.

DoorDash expanded their market share in 2023

Food delivery market share shown by growth in trip percentage

Source: Gridwise Analytics  /  Timeframe: 2022–2023  /  Geography: United States

Delivery ranks high as a gig driver preference

Regarding driver participation, food delivery emerges as the preferred choice over rideshare or grocery delivery. When asked to select all gig-driving activities they have undertaken in the past 12 months, 76.0% of surveyed drivers highlighted their involvement in food delivery, surpassing the 28.8% in rideshare and 32.2% in grocery delivery. It’s important to note that drivers often participate in multiple categories simultaneously.

fast-food-burger-drink
0 %
Drivers doing food delivery
0 %
Drivers doing grocery delivery
0 %
Drivers doing rideshare

Timeframe: 2023  /  Geography: United States

This underscores the growing significance and appeal of food and grocery delivery in the gig economy, particularly among women. Notably, only 18.5% of surveyed women drivers participated in rideshare, compared to 34.8% of men. While there are a number of factors at play regarding gig work preferences, safety stands out among women, with our survey finding women drivers are twice as likely to note “concerns about safety” as their most disliked aspect of gig-driving.

0 %
Women drivers participating in rideshare
0 %
Men drivers participating in rideshare
2x

Women are twice as likely to note “concerns about safety” as their most disliked aspect of gig-driving

Consumers are still lovin' it

When it comes to favorite takeout, consumers love McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Starbucks. Publix, Costco, and Kroger are the top picks on the grocery delivery side. Dinner time (5 pm–11 pm) ranks highest for consumer trip demand.

fast-food-burger-drink

Top 10 restaurants
by number of delivery trips

  1. McDonald’s
  2. Taco Bell
  3. Starbucks
  4. Chick-fil-A
  5. Chipotle
  6. Wendy’s
  7. Wingstop
  8. Panda Express
  9. Burger King
  10. Dunkin’

Source: Gridwise Analytics  /  Timeframe: Mar 1–Dec 31, 2023  /  Geography: United States

Top 10 grocery stores
by number of delivery trips

  1. Publix
  2. Costco
  3. Kroger
  4. Aldi
  5. Wegmans
  6. Walmart
  7. Sprouts
  8. Safeway
  9. Food Lion
  10. Fred Meyer

Source: Gridwise Analytics  /  Timeframe: Mar 1–Dec 31, 2023  /  Geography: United States

Our survey found that women drivers are twice as likely to note "concerns about safety" as their most disliked aspect of gig-driving

Cultural surges and airport buzz

Cultural events have a significant impact on the demand for rideshare services. Take Mardi Gras 2023 in New Orleans, for example. During this festival, there was a remarkable 84% increase in rideshare demand. What’s interesting is that the surge wasn’t limited to the day of the event. We noticed a rise in rideshare demand within a week before, with demand reaching 35% and 48% above the usual levels seven and four days before the festival, respectively.

For food delivery, holidays are a hit – Independence Day is the busiest day for food delivery, followed by July 3rd and Valentine’s Day.

Another case is the SXSW event in Austin. The influx of festival-goers resulted in an 11% rise in rideshare demand. Even the logistics of the conference contributed to a 10% spike in rideshare usage, emphasizing the crucial role these services play in supporting large-scale events. In essence, cultural events have a noticeable and extended impact on the need for rideshare services.

+ 0 %
Increase in rideshare demand during Mardi Gras
+ 0 %
Increase in rideshare demand during SXSW

At the airport, things get busy on Sunday evenings with a high demand for pickups. On the other hand, Monday mornings see the highest number of drop-offs. If you’re planning to catch a ride to the airport on a Thursday evening, be prepared for slightly higher costs, as it tends to be the most expensive time, with an average trip cost of $42.27.

+ 0 %
More airport drop-offs than median
on Monday mornings (5–11 am)
+ 0 %
More airport pick-ups than median
on Sunday evenings (5–11 pm)

Timeframe: 2023  /  Geography: United States

2023 record book

Highest fare

$1,277.45

The year’s priciest rideshare journey covered a whopping 275 miles, stretching from Los Angeles to Las Vegas

Largest tip

$176.68

The largest tip a driver received was given on a $688.42 fare for a 115-mile drive from Los Angeles to San Diego, amounting to approximately a 26% tip

Longest ride

562 mi

A Knoxville, Tennessee drive logged an Uber trip to Chicago that clinched the title for the longest ride

Most services

10

One Los Angeles driver showcased exceptional multi-apping skills, juggling an impressive 10 services during a single week in March

Most rideshare trips

72

A Lawrence, Kansas Uber driver set the bar high on February 11, completing 22 rides between midnight and 5am before taking a break, then completing another 50 trips from 11am to midnight

Most food deliveries

85

An Anchorage, Alaska DoorDash driver showcased unparalleled dedication on November 5, making 85 deliveries between 6am and midnight

Earnings in a day

$1,292

The highest earnings in a single day were achieved by an Uber driver in the Washington, DC area

The year's priciest rideshare journey covered a whopping 275 miles, stretching from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, with a fare hitting $1,277.45

The faces of the gig economy

A closer look at the people powering gig mobility

Gender representation across service sectors

●  Women
●  Men
●  Another identity / prefer not to say

Rideshare

25%

72%

3%

fast-food-burger-drink

Food delivery

40%

59%

1%

Grocery delivery

43%

54%

3%

Package delivery

33%

65%

2%

Source: Gridwise Driver Survey 2023

Highest level of education among gig drivers

High school or equivalent • 32.2%

Some college or associate degree • 37.8%

Bachelor's degree • 22.0%

Postgraduate degree • 4.4%

Other • 3.6%

Source: Gridwise Driver Survey 2023

Gig drivers' household income

Less than $20,000 • 20.6%

$20,000–$40,000 • 30.8%

$40,000–$60,000 • 21.6%

$60,000–$80,000 • 12.0%

More than $80,000 • 15.0%

Source: Gridwise Driver Survey 2023

Experience and intent

Our research reveals that a significant portion of gig drivers are relatively new to this type of work. About 74.8% of surveyed gig drivers began gig-driving within the last three years, with nearly half of them (49.4%) starting in just the past year. Those who have been gig-driving for more than three years are more likely (49.6%) to be doing it as a full-time job, while only 34.7% of those with less than three years of experience opt for full-time driving. 38% of gig drivers engage in driving work more than five times a week.

0 %
Started in last three years
0 %
Started in last year
0 %
Work 5+ times per week

The leading motivators for choosing gig work

For the flexible hours • 62%

To supplement their income • 55%

To earn additional income for specific goals (e.g. vacations, debt repayment) • 39%

To cover gaps or changes in income • 38%

Preference for gig work over traditional employment • 29%

Source: Gridwise Driver Survey 2023

Surprisingly, almost half of the surveyed gig drivers (45%) consider gig-driving a long-term plan rather than just a temporary gig, while 29% admit they are unsure about their future in gig work. During working periods, most drivers stick to one gig type, with only 24.3% switching between apps. However, 41.7% have experimented with different gigs, such as rideshare and food delivery, in the past year.

0 %
Long term
0 %
Short term
0 %
Unsure

Gig driver earnings and tipping trends

Understanding changes in gig driver income

The earnings landscape for gig drivers is shifting significantly. In the past year, there has been a marked decrease in the monthly average gross earnings of drivers, with Uber drivers seeing the sharpest year-over-year decline (-17.1%). Interestingly, about one-third (32.4%) of surveyed drivers have noticed these changes in their earnings or trip frequency.

Uber drivers lead in monthly earnings, but log more hours

Comparison of monthly gross earnings across services

Service Gross Earnings (Avg, 2022) Gross Earnings (Avg, 2023) YoY Change (%, Gross Earnings) Work Hours (Avg, 2022) Work Hours (Avg, 2023) YoY Change (%, Work Hours)
Uber
$1699.58
$1409.71
−17.1%
58
56
−2.9%
Lyft
$1032.23
$1058.32
+2.5%
51
44
-12.9%
DoorDash
$704.04
$703.17
-0.1%
49
50
+3.2%
Instacart
$661.60
$606.50
-8.3%
38
36
-4.5%
Uber Eats
$558.49
$472.72
-15.4%
28
27
-3.8%
Grubhub
$445.07
$471.77
+6.0%
25
28
+13.6%

Source: Gridwise Analytics  /  Timeframe: 2022–2023  /  Geography: United States

Tipping plays a crucial role in the income of gig workers, especially those engaged in food and grocery delivery. According to Gridwise data, a substantial 51% of the income for food and grocery delivery workers comes from tips. This is in stark contrast to rideshare drivers, who derive only 10% of their income from tips. Furthermore, approximately 9 in 10 (88.5%) food delivery trips and 3 in 4 (74.5%) grocery delivery trips include a tip. In comparison, only a little over 1 in 4 (28.3%) rideshare trips lead to a tip.

fast-food-burger-drink
0 %
Percentage of food delivery trips that received tips
0 %
Percentage of grocery delivery trips that received tips
0 %
Percentage of rideshare trips that received tips

Beyond financial considerations, tips also play a vital role in contributing to job satisfaction for gig workers. An overwhelming 78.4% of gig drivers say tips matter significantly to their overall income while 68.6% claim that tips significantly affect their enthusiasm and job satisfaction.

Interestingly, the importance of tipping in the gig economy is not lost on gig service consumers. A significant majority (76.4%) of surveyed gig service consumers recognize that gig drivers heavily rely on tips for their income, and 58.5% of people feel obligated to tip gig drivers. However, there is a clear variation in what is deemed an appropriate tip, with most people believing 6–10% of the total bill to be suitable.

Customer views on fair gratuity for gig drivers

Tipping trends: Majority views on appropriate gratuity percentages

Source: Gig-Driving Customer Survey 2024

Transparency in the gig economy is another critical issue. Three-quarters (75%) of gig service consumers surveyed think that gig companies should provide more detailed information on how tips contribute to a driver’s earnings. An overwhelming 62.7% believe that a clearer understanding of this would positively influence their tipping behavior. Additionally:

  • 69.6% of gig service consumers believe that drivers should earn a minimum wage, compared to 50% of surveyed gig drivers
  • 67.5% believe that gig companies should increase base pay rates to eliminate the need for tipping
  • 77.4% believe that gig workers should receive additional benefits such as health insurance or retirement plans

Despite recent efforts by companies to encourage tipping before a delivery, 30.5% of gig drivers indicate that while tipping in advance is a nice gesture, the final tip should still be based on the overall service. This perspective is in line with surveyed gig service consumers, as 69% prefer to tip gig drivers after the service is completed. Furthermore, 61.2% believe that gig drivers should not be allowed to see the tip amount before accepting a job.

78.4% of gig drivers say tips matter significantly to their overall income while 68.6% claim that tips significantly affect their enthusiasm and job satisfaction

Key findings

In our Gig Mobility Report, we’ve uncovered a resilient post-pandemic journey for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash. The dynamic shift in gig driver preferences, with a spotlight on food delivery, reflects the evolving nature of the gig economy.

Our exploration into gig driver motivations and experiences highlights the importance of flexibility and the role of tipping in job satisfaction. As we look ahead to 2024, we hope this report serves as a compass of the nuanced dynamics that will shape the trajectory of gig driving.

The road ahead promises both challenges and opportunities, demanding thoughtful strategies to navigate the evolving gig terrain.

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Methodology

Data capabilities

Our ground truth data is sourced directly from the Gridwise app that boosts rideshare and delivery earnings for 500k+ active gig drivers. We also link first-party sources to create an unparalleled view into the US gig mobility economy. These data points include earnings and wages, trip insights, demand patterns, and driver utilization.

Correlations with publicly available data

Enterprises trust Gridwise Analytics’ growing panel of drivers and data across the US, which means it is highly representative of market dynamics and offers an unbiased and objective view.

Our aggregated yet anonymized datasets capture up to 98% correlation to quarterly metrics reported by major platforms.

For instance, when analyzing average daily Uber and Lyft trips in the New York City Metro area, our data revealed a nearly identical correlation to the platforms’ own reported figures.

This level of insight demonstrates Gridwise Analytics’ ability to offer enterprises an unbiased and objective perspective based on real mobility patterns at scale. Accessing aggregate driver data across service areas delivers a full marketplace perspective beyond a single platform.

Data processing pipeline

In order to facilitate a seamless experience, we have built a robust data pipeline that enables intelligent data enterprises can trust​. This includes the following steps:

  • Automatic data collection: Driver activity is automatically recorded and tracked from the Gridwise app.
  • Data quality and enrichment: Data cleansing, enrichment, validation, anonymization, and aggregation.
  • Data intelligence: Layered data sets: supply, demand, routing, earnings, and utilization.

The output is a complete view of pickups, drop-offs, routes, and unit economics, which can be used to inform operational, investment, and strategic decisions.

Diverse and representative dataset

Gridwise Analytics’ data network creates a more diverse and representative view of gig mobility. 

For example, our one-to-many scale creates a more reliable sample than receipt data representing a single consumer per trip. In contrast, each gig driver tracked represents 19 consumer trips on average per week. 

Gridwise Analytics’ scale of first-party gig mobility data combined with our robust data processing pipeline ensures high-quality data to guide better decisions.

The gig driver survey was conducted on the Typeform platform between November 27 and December 19, 2023. A total of 528 active US-based gig drivers were surveyed. 

The customer survey was conducted on the Pollfish platform on January 19, 2024. A total of 1,000 US-based gig service consumers were surveyed.

Respondents were selected through a screening process to ensure that they met the criteria of being active gig drivers or gig service consumers respectively. Both surveys were conducted using a structured questionnaire, and responses were collected anonymously.

Gridwise Analytics - Gig Mobility Report 2024
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