SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Uber is coming under increased scrutiny after leaked documents indicated their drivers really don’t make all that much money.
“I’ve been saying this for a while, it’s an Uber disappointment,” explained driver Kelsey Tilander
Tilander came to that conclusion after two years in the gig economy driving for both Uber and Lyft.
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He says more drivers and lower prices had led to diminishing returns, making it increasingly difficult just to make ends meet.
“The next thing you know there’s thousands of drivers and it’s taking forever to get a ride,” said Tilander. “So that’s why, when things started getting bad, I started organizing driver so we could have a voice.”
The so-called gig economy companies like Uber, Lyft, Task Rabbit and others promised to put flexible, good-paying jobs at people’s fingertips.
But the reality hasn’t always lived up to the sales pitch.
A recent BuzzFeed article based on leaked Uber documents found that once operating costs were factored in, drivers in cities like Denver, Detroit and Houston weren’t making much more than minimum wage.
“The Uber driver is at the mercy of the rate the company is setting for that ride,” said SJSU Economics Professor Annette Nellen. “And then there’s the expenses associated with driving your car — the maintenance, the gasoline, the depreciation on your car.”
While a spokesperson for Uber didn’t dispute the numbers, they said the company offers drivers unparalleled flexibility to work as little or as much as they want.
Tilander say he’s not sure how much longer he can hold on and fears he’s being driven from an industry that hasn’t shared its profits equally.