Ride hailing app Uber has been in the news recently for more reasons than one – from a viral video that showed Uber CEO Travis Kalanick arguing with a driver to strikes by Uber drivers in India. The recent protest regarding low fares disrupted daily Uber commuters in Bengaluru and Delhi. Amit Jain, President of Uber India tried to explain this and other frequently asked contentious questions like driver wage and incentives.
Jain tried to answer a few questions regarding the recent protests in a blog post starting off by apologising for the disruption over the past few weeks. He mentions that only small number of workers were involved in the strike, which prevented other drivers from working as well. He also referred to uberSAMAAJ, a driver-focused discussion group, and said that he and his team look to resolve driver queries and issues.
He went on to discuss the salaries of Uber drivers, where Jain says that an Uber driver’s work hours and wages differ from that of other private driver’s. Earnings vary depending on where, when and how much or little the driver chooses to drive. “Currently, 80 percent of drivers across India who are online for more than six hours a day make between Rs. 1,500 and RS. 2,500 net, after Uber’s service fee,” Jain says.
Furthermore, incentives also depend directly on the driver’s behaviour. Depending on the number of trips completed, drivers earn a certain amount of money, Jain said. The company tries to ensure that its drivers are compensated for their time. Incentives and promotions not only helps current drivers but also seeks to attract more drivers, which will in turn guarantee faster pickups for riders.
“Driver earnings have evolved over time and while some drivers do earn less than three years ago, we believe that driver earnings in India are attractive for the majority even after reductions in incentives and drivers’ costs are taken into account,” Jain said.
Jain also explained the reason drivers earnings vary. Simply put, those drivers who work for shorter periods, drive outside of peak demand periods, drive area specific or frequently reject rides are bound to earn less than others.