Only a little over one year ago Uber added the $1.00 “Safe Ride Fee” taken off the top of every ride from the drivers pay (ouch), a giant pay decrease for short rides in the city. Uber and Lyft are pretty much up front about the cut in pay. This fee was the first step bringing the drivers take home pay down to driving for minimum wage. Now in 2017 the fee is called a “Booking Fee” (Uber and Lyft) and has risen to $1.75 per ride. Many drivers have no clue how much effect this has on their income especially since riders very rarely tip their driver. The new take on the rides to work in SF are almost free or at least less than a small cup of coffee at “Philz”.
In downtown San Francisco it is common now for a ride share driver to make as little as $8 – $12.00 per hour and with gas, taxes, car expenses it could be as low or lower than any fast food job in the Bay Area. Uber and Lyft fortunately do give out some cash incentives to drivers that can make up for the steady fall of income if the driver hits a certain # of rides or hits the road full time. Word on the street is a large percentage of drivers now are feeling this “Booking Fee” as the final reason for drivers to switch to driving for Lyft only in protest because in the Lyft app you can at least tip. It’s hard to convince some drivers that it’s worth it to drive Uber or Lyft in downtown San Francisco since it is so dangerous because of traffic tickets, pedestrians, construction and of course 1,000’s of bicycles.
At this time Lyft is becoming much stronger in the Bay Area. The drivers as well riders are aware this great service can also have a strong negative effect on drivers earnings in the richest city in the USA.
The article below is very interesting from February 2016 – By Caitlin McGarry
Uber has to refund those so-called Safe Ride fees