In this week’s news roundup, join RSG Contributor Paula Lemar as she discovers why many older Americans are coming out of retirement or forgoing retirement in order to drive for rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft.
Meanwhile, Lyft is helping Californians with disabilities, DoorDash and Uber Eats have removed the option to tip in NYC, and a $92 order sat around for hours when there wasn’t a tip attached.
Let’s dive into each summary and Paula’s take on the news.
Why Older Americans Are Ditching Retirement To Drive For Uber And Lyft
Millions of boomers retired during the pandemic, but some didn’t entirely leave the workforce — they just joined the gig economy.
As many as seven million gig workers are missing from official government employment figures, according to a new paper by researchers from Hebrew University and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
Over half of the missing gig workers were aged 60 or older, and over 40% of them described themselves as “retired.” The researchers analyzed the results of the Survey of Informal Work Participation from 2015 to 2022, as well as government employment figures from the Current Population Survey.
While millions of retirement-age Americans appeared to leave the workforce during the pandemic — due to COVID concerns and the wealth gains from rising home and stock values — the paper’s findings suggest that many of them didn’t truly leave for good.
What amazes me when reading these stories is how many of these “retired” people are driving 35-40 hours a week, which, in my mind, is equivalent to full-time work. And/or they are working six days a week.
In my opinion, it doesn’t make sense to retire from your career just to work as many hours and days per week except doing gig work.
It sounds like some need the money to supplement their social security and retirement income. But the one that stood out to me the most was Rich, who drives 40-55 hours a week and uses the income as “play” money.
How do younger gig drivers feel about the older generation coming out of retirement to do gig work? Is there enough business to spread around to all generations? Spout off in the comments.
Lyft Helping Californians With Disabilities, Elderly Travel Stress-Free This Holiday Season
With the holiday season underway, transportation continues to be a major pain point for individuals with disabilities and the elderly.
To help break down some of the barriers these individuals face, we’re partnering with the Southern California Resources for Independent Living in Los Angeles County and Self Help for the Elderly in San Francisco County to offer $20K in free ride credits beginning Dec. 1 through the end of the year.
Qualifying riders in those locations can get a ride code for up to $10 off their next two rides.
“Holiday travel is stressful under the best of circumstances, but for those living with a disability or who are elderly, it can be especially difficult. Lyft’s mission is to make travel easier, and by helping remove some of these pain points, we hope to improve these individuals’ holiday travel experience so they can spend more time with the ones they love,” said Nicholas Johnson, Lyft Public Policy Director.
To access the credit, disabled and elderly riders can contact the organization in their area, who can either provide them with a ride code or help them order their next ride, including wheelchair-accessible vehicle (WAV) rides where available, using the code.
I hope that on top of the free ride credits, companies like Lyft and Uber are considering ways to serve these communities better overall. Transportation is often a pain point for individuals with disabilities and the elderly, not just during the holidays.
I know each platform has its WAV fleets, but from my understanding, they aren’t available in every market and aren’t available as reliably as they need to be.
This is a great step, but there’s always more that can be done.
DoorDash And Uber Eats Removed The Option To Tip When Placing Your Order In NYC — And They’re Adding A New Extra Fee
People who used DoorDash or Uber Eats in New York City this week got a surprise message when they tried to order lunch or dinner — no more tipping at checkout.
They also might have noticed a new fee tucked into their final bill that made it more expensive.
So why the change? It’s because the delivery app companies aren’t happy about new minimum wage rules in New York City — which DoorDash, Uber Eats, and others tried and failed to stop from going into effect — that require drivers to be paid a minimum of $17.96 an hour.
Before the rules, delivery drivers were earning about $7 per hour on average without tips.
In response, NYC residents ordering on DoorDash and Uber Eats can only tip their delivery driver after their order has been picked up or completed.
This is quite the move. I’m sure many customers would prefer this, because how do you know how much to tip before the service has been completed?
BUT it would also likely prevent many customers from tipping at all. I don’t typically look at my app after my food is delivered until the next time I need to order something.
This would decrease the income of many delivery drivers. This industry is built around tipping, and these drivers are living off the tips more so than the income from the job itself. Doing anything that makes tipping more difficult is not going to go down well with the driver community.
RSG’s Sergio Avedian was quoted in the article. He said, “A few weeks ago DoorDash was telling consumers in other states that if they did not tip, their food may not be delivered. Now they are discouraging tipping in order to supposedly keep the costs down on the consumer?”
If you are a delivery driver in the NYC market, please share with us if/how this has impacted you.
Delivery Driver Shows How Customer’s $92 Order Was Sitting For Hours After No Tip
A delivery driver proved just how much tipping can make a difference in the US as he showed a DoorDash order sitting uncollected for hours on end.
It’s always nice to be tipped if you’re offering a service; it can make you feel more valued and appreciated – not to mention the fact that for so many underpaid workers, it can help them make an actual living.
However, some workers have more control over the service they offer than others.
Staff in bars and restaurants would typically want to offer up a nice experience in order to receive a good tip for their work, but at the end of the day, they have to deliver the food and drinks to the customer, even if it means they get nothing for it.
By combining the previous article with this one, chaos ensues. Drivers have a steadfast rule of no tip, no trip (or delivery, as it were). Without upfront tips, orders might just sit there for hours without getting picked up for delivery.
No driver wants to take a chance on a no-tip order with the hopes that maybe they will get a cash tip when they deliver.
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