Uber Releases Report on Its Drivers

Uber commissioned a report on its drivers and that report was released late last week. It details who drives for Uber, some of their motivations for doing so, and more. Including how much they’re making from using the service.

Uber is a new paradigm in limousine-style rentals. Independent drivers, some of whom are professionals, most of whom are not, use the service to book themselves (and their cars) for concierge-style limousine service. Customers use the service to find drivers and vehicles at a lower cost than most Yellow Pages listings might offer. The service can range from a straight door-to-door taxi run to a night out on the town limousine. Vehicles range from Fiat 500s to full-on Mercedes-Benz limos.

Uber is still a startup, but it’s been making waves for a couple of years as traditional cab and limousine services either embrace or try to half the amateur-friendly service. Uber’s own statistics show that the service is quite enabling to many of its drivers, most of whom, it turns out, are part-time amateurs looking to make some extra cash – a lot of those being college students or struggling middle-class day-job workers looking to make ends meet.

Tellingly, the nation percentage of professional female taxi drivers is only about one percent of the total work force. At Uber, fourteen percent of drivers are women. They are racially and culturally diverse as well. Most of those drivers are making about $19 per hour (averaged) and their income is usually higher than the average taxi driver in the same region. In New York, for example, a taxi driver averages around $15 an hour while an independent Uber driver doubles that at just over $30. Of course, costs are paid out of pocket by the Uber driver as well.

More interesting notes include:

  • 25 percent of Uber drivers are over age 50.
  • 71 percent say their income has increased thanks to Uber.
  • 70 percent of those who began working with Uber in the first half of 2013 are still actively driving for the service.
  • Uber has more than 162,000 active drivers using its platform and the service has paid over $650 million to drivers in the last quarter of 2014.

It’s interesting that the independent service, which is what modern economists and Silicon Valley disruptors call “an enablement platform,” is having such an impact on people’s lives. It’s shaking yet another paradigm, that of licensed and often monopolistic “taxi” services in large metropolitan areas. The full Uber report is on their blog here.

Aaron Turpen
An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at AaronOnAutos.com.