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Fair payments?

Updated: Mar 16

Many people today are simply happy with what these companies are paying. Others think they have no obligation to pay us more. Others comment that they don't care what Uber or Lyft takes from passengers, it's their business and they have every right. Many others tell those who complain, "stop driving and do something different." So on and so forth we constantly see, on a daily basis, people with erroneous concepts and ideas.

Let's start by clarifying something. Everyone, without exception, has the right to complain and air our problems and disagreements. No one has the right to criticize those who feel bad about the experience they may be experiencing or the situation they must be going through. We live in a country of freedom of expression, and perhaps what is right for some may be wrong for others.

In the topic we touched on about 20% and 80%, we talked about the value of the resources that Uber and Lyft drivers put in these companies' hands. Let's do a more specific calculation on the value of resources


  • Car. Lest use an example (one worth $25,000 USD to do UberX). The car accumulates deterioration daily, which means losses. Car depreciation. Let's assume that driving 200 miles a day and driving 5 days a week equals 4,000 miles a month. That's 48,000 miles a year. Each person drives an estimated 12,000 miles a year. In just 1 year, we are adding 4 years of use to the car. In 2 years of driving at the same pace, the car will exceed 96,000 miles. This means that from $25,000 USD that your car cost in 2 years, the value will be less than $10,000 USD. In other words, for your work to be profitable, you have to have set aside at least $10,000 USD in 2 years to cover the depreciation of the car.

  • Gasoline (what we spend without generating income)

  • Time (the time we spend without generating income)

  • Deductible of $2,500 USD for each incident and repair damages not covered by insurance (If you don't do this, and you repair the damage your car suffers in a few months, it will have a lot of cosmetic damage, which will further depreciate its value.)


  • Time (suppose you work 10 hours a day and 5 days a week. How much would you value your time per hour?) In my case, due to the type of work it is and the risk that it entails, I calculate that my time costs $25 USD per hour (clean). Your cost per hour of work assuming you worked 2400 hours per year x $25 = $60,000 USD.

  • Stress (can be added to hourly cost)

  • Tires

  • Maintenance

  • Minor repairs

  • Major repairs

  • car scrubbing

  • Gasoline, oil or electrical charges

  • You have to pay personal auto insurance to be able to take Uber or Lyft

Now, for you to start driving, you need all of that. If we add it up, you are putting around $85,000 USD in resources in the hands of Uber or Lyft for that company to sell those resources daily. This means something simple but difficult to understand for many. You spend money daily to make money. The greatest resources are your car and time. Between car and time, you spend more than $200 USD daily. For your work day to be effective, you should be able to generate a minimum income of $400 USD. From that money, you must extract the value of the resources and cover the expenses that your business generated.

How did I calculate this before everything went to hell? Simple, if I made $400 USD in 12 hours, I would first set aside 40% to cover expenses and losses. The rest, $240, was my net profit per time. I could make the $400 in 5 hours or 8 hours (long time ago).

That 40% covers everything mentioned in LIST #1 and #2. From that money you pay for gasoline and the rest is saved to cover the rest of the resources as required.

Why do I delve into these details? Because it is important that each of you has a good understanding of your business, the work you do, and the resources you must have to get the job done. If Uber and Lyft take your resources and sell them for $100 USD for 2 hours of work and pay you, for either reason X or Y, $40 USD. The client is paying well for your resources, but Uber and Lyft are not paying you reasonably, what they are generating and accumulating losses for you.

Rides in Miami are very poorly paid. While Uber and Lyft take great advantage of your resources, what they are doing to you is making you poorer and creating an accumulation of economic losses that you will only be able to notice in the long term.

We live in a city with saturated traffic. Partly created by Uber and Lyft by hiring drivers above the real market need, which in turn generates economic losses for all of them. Many of you know that trips as short as 3 miles can sometimes take up to 20 or 25 minutes between pick-up and drop-off times. An estimated trip of 3 miles in Miami costs $5 USD. If we make 2 trips of this type in 1 hour, we would be billing $10 USD. It is also common to see 10-mile trips that take 50 minutes between pickup and arrival and pay $15 USD. My question is, are we billing the real value of what we do? Are they sometimes charging the actual cost of it? They are selling us cheap because they have as many drivers as they want, and that gives them the power to exploit us.

Many drivers today do not value payment against time and distance. They just grab every crumb that falls off the table from these companies. The value of our resources is high and if you do not value it, they will even less value it.

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