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7 min read

    7 min read

    We’re into a new decade – it’s 2020! What will this new decade bring in terms of rideshare, autonomous vehicles, independent contractors and more? Senior RSG contributor Jay Cradeur makes his 2020 rideshare predictions below. 

    As we close out 2019 and welcome 2020, it’s time to look ahead and predict what could happen in the future. Since I spend a great deal of time studying and writing about rideshare driving, I thought I would give it a go and make a few predictions. Am I right? Am I wrong? Only time will tell.

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    Regardless, these predictions will get you thinking about your future as a driver and how you might make adjustments to navigate a very dynamic industry. What predictions do you have for the rideshare industry in 2020? Share them in our comment section!

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    Uber/Lyft Predictions for 2020

    1) Driver’s Pay Will Not Increase Nor Decrease

    Both Uber and Lyft are in a delicate position: they need drivers.  They can’t afford to piss us off any longer.  There is a reason over half of the new drivers quit before six months: We are not paid enough to make it worthwhile for many drivers.  If Uber and Lyft make another pay cut, they will further continue to bleed out drivers and that won’t be good for their product (longer wait times for passengers) nor bottom line (higher recruitment costs for new drivers).

    Driver Compensation

    Uber and Lyft are also walking a fine line in terms of driver classification.  In order for Uber and Lyft to claim drivers are legitimate independent contractors, they can’t continue to control our pay.  Setting our own prices would be a fundamental and legal right of any independent contractor.  Therefore, by further cutting driver’s pay, they are working against their own argument that drivers are independent contractors.

    2) Rates For Passengers Will Increase (Just Slightly)

    Uber and Lyft need to turn a profit. Now that they are both publicly traded stocks, investors need to see, at a minimum, a trend toward profitability.  The best way to increase revenue is to increase passenger rates. Given the immense volume of rides per day, an increase of even a few cents per ride will make an impact.

    I don’t know why Uber and Lyft have not raised rates up to this point in time. People, at this point, are addicted to using Uber and Lyft – notice how ‘I’ll call an Uber’ is becoming like ‘Just Google it’? No one is going to stop using the service over a few cents increase.

    Frankly, I feel passengers would tolerate an increase of a few dollars. For example, in San Francisco, I can drive someone from downtown to the airport for approximately $25. Would someone balk at $30, for an Uber X or Lyft, to the airport? It is still an incredible value.

    Rideshare Driver

    3) Demand For Drivers Will Increase

    The fix is in. Humanity likes things fast and easy.   We want an item we purchased on Amazon to show up at our door the same day.  When we want an Uber or Lyft, we want to get picked up within five minutes. When we want to get high, we want someone to deliver our weed as quickly as possible. Later, when we get the munchies, we want our Five Guys bacon cheeseburger with fries delivered to us within a few minutes.

    More autonomous vehicle companies are working to improve their cars, which require drivers to drive the AVs eight hours a day, five days a week all around the city.  All of these activities require an abundance of drivers.  If you want to drive a car for money, there is no shortage of opportunities.

    4)  Uber and Lyft  Will Force Public Transportation To Improve

    Have you ever been to Malaysia?  When you land at the airport, you can take a taxi, an Uber, or take the train. I usually opt for the train. The train is a beautiful experience. You can catch it right there at the airport.  It’s clean, quiet and spacious.  The train even has free wifi so you can check in on your emails and social media feeds. Did I mention it’s also fast?

    Best of all, it is far more enjoyable than being driven in a car.  The scenery is better.  The experience of whooshing through the countryside is stimulating.  I never worry about crashing, nor answering a driver’s questions, or overseeing the driver’s skills.  I can relax and enjoy the ride.

    The same is true in Copenhagen, Denmark.  My daughter Paulina and I took the train everywhere.  Everybody did.  It was peaceful, efficient, and thoroughly enjoyable.

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    However, in America, we tend to look down on public transportation. In a city like San Francisco, public transportation is not very convenient. In most American cities, especially those on the west coast, public transportation falls short, particularly when compared to how well it is done in other countries. However, we can use those other countries as a model to emulate.

    I predict, as more people move toward Uber and Lyft, public transportation will have to improve in order to compete. Public transportation is too important to ignore. Public transportation is fuel-efficient and can be a cost-effective alternative to Uber and Lyft. It is an essential component of a big city’s transportation options.

    5) Neither Uber Nor Lyft Will Make A Profit In 2020

    This is not a revelatory prediction.  Still, I had to say it.  It is the elephant in the room.  Both Uber and Lyft, for all their size and world dominance, have yet to come close to figuring out how to become profitable.  At some point, the “no profit” game will have to stop.

    I continue to believe Uber will figure out some way to generate a profit. Uber seems to be the more innovative company and is willing to take the most chances on tangent ventures such as Uber Money and the acquisition of Careem in the Middle East.

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    6) Dara Khosrowshahi Will Be Replaced As Uber CEO

    Uber continues to take quite a few hits.  The Uber safety report did not look good for Uber.  While the percentage of assaults was small, most media reported on the big number of over 3,000 assaults per year.  Uber reported a 5 billion dollar quarterly loss.  Most recently, Dara K really stepped on it when he said the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was simply a “mistake” comparable to how an autonomous car kills a pedestrian.  I still don’t know how those words came out of his mouth on HBO, but they did.

    A new CEO can wash away much of the past.  A new CEO injects welcome and vibrant energy to a company.  It will take another incident or two, but Dara K is walking on thin ice.  I predict the ice will break and we will see a new chapter in Uber’s leadership structure.

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    7) The Rideshare Guy Will Keep Delivering For You

    Here at the Rideshare Guy, we are 100% committed to bringing you the news, updates, tips, and strategies so that you can make more money in less time.  That is our main goal.  We are always on the lookout for stories that may impact you and your work.

    Whether you drive for Uber, Lyft, Caviar, an AV company, or Eaze, we will continue to bring you multiple stories each week all designed to be of service to you, our loyal readers and Youtube viewers.  We love what we do and we look forward to doing more of it in 2020.

    Want to support The Rideshare Guy in 2020 and beyond? Make sure to:

    Key Takeaways

    Goodbye, 2019.  What a year it was! But it is over. Bring it on 2020!

    Regardless of whether you are a new driver or an experienced old dog like me, this rideshare driving industry is lively and exciting.  It is fun to be a part of it.  Let’s see how the year turns out.  Happy New Year to you all.  Be safe out there.

    Drivers, what are your predictions for Uber/Lyft, and rideshare in general in 2020?

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    -Jay @ RSG

    Jay Cradeur

    Jay Cradeur

    Jay Cradeur, a graduate of UC Berkeley, is a full-time driver with 24,000 rides. Jay’s mission is “Work. Travel. Joy.” Jay has a new podcast: Rideshare Dojo with Jay Cradeur. You may want to check it out and even be a guest. There are lots of Videos and Tips too. Visit www.ridesharedojo.com and see all that Jay is up to.

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