Ride-hailing platforms Uber and Lyft are two of the most popular in the world. But as it seems, the two services have been hiking their prices slowly but surely, becoming more expensive than they were, just a while ago, before the pandemic. And now, a report by Vice aims to draw conclusions towards this trend, by trying to compile the loads of “commentary” which have been put forth to provide an explanation. The most popular line of thought claims that a “shortage of labour” is the chief reason behind rocketing prices.
And what causes the shortage of labour, you ask? There’s an explanation for that too, as it looks as if their is a drought of appropriate financial incentives.
Cash Bonuses In, But What About Rights?
These platforms have been offering cash bonuses to drivers to lure them back in. Uber, for example, had set aside $250 million, exclusively as “Driver Stimulus”. But at the same time, it has also been called out for neglecting the rights of its cabbies, and news has it that it may, in fact, be planning to take back some features and perks that it had rolled out to please courts in California. As such, does it really come as a surprise that drivers were not particularly amused at what seem like the company’s half-hearted efforts to keep them with itself. It is also believed that the bonuses being offered were not at par with the relative risk of getting infected with with COVID.
Another belief that some hold true claims that the higher prices of getting a ride through Uber and Lyft are most likely because amid the pandemic, subsidies on rides which kept fares low, are being rolled back in, which can act as quite a big turn off for riders as ride fares soar.
Poor Working Conditions
However, that’s not all. Drivers have even alleged that working conditions at these firms are not good, and that they are often forced to keep working without having time to take meals or sleep, which takes a toll on their body.
Another thing that convinced many drivers to leave (or got them fired), was the “lockouts”, which started in 2019, and were used by Uber and Lyft as a means to fire “tens of thousands of drivers”. Meanwhile, many drivers also claim that they were not provided with adequate protection from COVID infections, and neither were they eligible for financial aid in the face of infections. Sick leaves were introduced fairly late into the pandemic (only in March this year), and even then, with guidelines changing so frequently, they have been no more than a mirage.