What insane-yet-potentially-achievable ideas could Uber and Lyft do to make rideshare driving more appealing? If ‘more pay’ wasn’t on the table, what else could Uber and Lyft do to encourage more drivers back to rideshare? Senior RSG contributor Chonce Maddox-Rhea shares three ideas to make rideshare driving really worth it below.
The pandemic resulted in the biggest shake-ups to the rideshare driving industry that we’ve seen to date. Now that things are thankfully opening back up, more and more passengers are returning to Uber and Lyft.
This isn’t the case with drivers though. Rideshare services are struggling to get drivers back on the road. Meanwhile, many drivers are complaining of rate cuts and not enough incentives.
In fact, we even polled drivers to see why they weren’t out driving. Listen to their responses here: Where Have All The Lyft Drivers & Uber Drivers Gone?
What would be nice is if Uber and Lyft would really take some of the suggestions drivers are making into account.
We also have to be realistic though. Uber and Lyft may not ever just outright give drivers more money. However, they could push out some more enticing offers for drivers that make sense for both the corporations as well as people like you and me.
1. Guaranteed Earnings So Drivers Are Always Paid What They’re Worth
Even then, it’s not always the best deal. For example, if Uber is offering guaranteed earnings of $600 for you if you complete 65 rides during your first week, this only applies if you don’t already earn $600 for the rides you complete. So if you do your 65 rides and earn $590, Uber will only pay the remaining $10 to get you to the $600 guaranteed earnings amount.
Another downside of the current system is that if you’re doing longer trips that take more time, it could be harder to reach that trip goal to qualify for earning the bonus in the first place.
Instead, how about Uber offer more guaranteed pay incentives for existing or returning drivers? For example, they could say something like: ‘If you work for 20 hours during the week and accept 85% of passenger requests, we’ll guarantee at least $600.’
‘Work 15 hours after dark and guarantee you’ll make at least $35 per hour if you accept 90% of passenger requests.’
That way, the guarantee is based on how many hours you spend online as well as the percentage of trips you request. This type of offer sounds a lot better for drivers since it’s more flexible. Plus, it’s good for the rideshare company as well since it incentivizes drivers to get online and accept more trips.
2. Fuel Reimbursement
Gas prices are sky high in most areas right now. So, fuel costs are another factor that drivers need to consider if they want to ramp up their hours.
What would be nice is if Uber and Lyft could track how many miles you’ve driven on the way to passengers as well the trip distance once passengers are in your car. Then they could reimburse you for fuel at the end of the workday.
To actually pull this off, Uber and Lyft can take the MGP rating of the make and model of your car, then use the typical price of gas in your market to calculate a fuel reimbursement amount. So yes, it’s possible. But likely? I’m not so sure.
For now, though, drivers should definitely be taking advantage of the standard mileage deduction, which is $0.56 per mile this year. How it works is you’ll multiply your miles driven while you’re online by $0.56.
Other deductions you can make include repairs and maintenance for your vehicle as well as depreciation. When making these deductions, however, be sure to consult with a licensed tax professional or use tax planning software like TurboTax to help you accurately calculate the right amount to deduct.
Uber and Lyft might automatically track some of your mileage, but not all of it so download a mileage tracking app like Stride to help you get some money back for mileage when filing your taxes.
3. Electric Vehicles
Uber and Lyft have strong track records when it comes to doing good for the communities they serve. By 2040, Uber has pledged to make 100% of its rides with zero-emission vehicles globally.
Uber is already doing a lot to incentivize drivers to switch to electric vehicles. Some of those benefits include:
- Drivers with electric vehicles can earn an extra $1 on every Uber trip (up to $4,000 annually) through the Zero Emissions incentive
- An extra $0.50 for each Uber Green trip which is paid by riders when they select Uber Green as their ride option
- Thousands of dollars of savings for drivers who purchase certain EV brands
The truth is, though, purchasing an electric car is a big investment for most drivers. We’ve heard stories from drivers who have made back their investment and then some while driving for Uber and Lyft. While EVs are great for the environment, it also means that drivers can save a significant amount on gas and car repairs.
What if Uber and Lyft could recognize elite drivers with a company-issued electric vehicle? Elite drivers could get to keep the vehicle so long as they maintain high ratings and drive a certain number of miles or trips during the month. On the company’s end, they could take a little extra per week or per trip to cover any costs associated with operating the car. Then the driver benefits by getting to drive a free electric vehicle.
Another option would be if Uber or Lyft leased out EVs to elite highly-rated drivers and allowed them to use a percentage of their driver earnings to pay for the car over time. Then, once they paid for the car automatically through their earnings, they get to keep the electric vehicle and transfer the title to their name.
Do Rideshare Companies Need to Shake Things Up to Get Drivers Back on Board?
The rising demand among riders proves that rideshare driving is definitely here to stay. During the pandemic, Uber and Lyft never fully went away. But rather like most companies, these driver apps had to figure out how they’d deal with a changing market.
Private rides and initiatives to support a greener environment seem to be the new normal. But while rider fares are increasing in many markets, this also needs to reflect in driver’s pay somehow. Incentives and bonuses can be a good start. And given the ideas shared above, Uber and Lyft don’t necessarily need to start from scratch.
They can take existing offers and improve upon them to make returning drivers feel like they’re getting more out of the deal.
Are any of these ideas appealing to you? What would you say Uber and Lyft should do to get drivers back on the road?
-Chonce @ RSG