Uber pioneered the ride-hail business more than a decade ago. Since then, other companies have joined the trend. Over this period, many mistaken ‘truths’ have emerged about the ride-hail industry. They are often based on driver hearsay and minimal factual evidence. We look at a few of the most common myths and reveal the facts behind the fiction. Check out the top rideshare myths:
1) There are too many drivers in major cities, but more are being recruited all the time.
Actually, many big cities still suffer from lack of drivers – especially at peak times of day. Also, many drivers only work part-time and are frequently joining/leaving the industry. Constant recruitment is needed to replace driver turnover and meet rising rider demand.
2) Ride-hail apps will recruit anyone, which gives good drivers a bad name.
The driver recruitment process in the UK and US uses deep background checks to eliminate anyone who could obviously form a risk to riders. These processes use government databases and are as tough as they are for yellow cab drivers in New York and black cab drivers in the UK. Riders are no more at risk in a ride-hail vehicle as they are in a yellow or black cab.
3) If drivers don’t work a minimum number of hours, the app sends them fewer rides.
Fact: No ride-hail app requires a minimum number of hours on the road. Clearly, more hours worked means more rides given, which usually results in higher star ratings which can promote more ‘pings’, but it’s entirely up to drivers when and how often they work.
4) Some riders don’t tip because they don’t care about drivers.
Many riders use ride-hail transport sparingly. They’re not everyday customers. Because of this, they do not see the request to tip after a ride until the next time they go into the app, (which could be weeks later), or if they bother to look at their email receipt. As a result, riders don’t tip because it’s not top of mind, not because they don’t care about drivers.
5) Surge Pricing penalises daytime drivers.
Surge pricing is set by an algorithm that only knows numbers. It’s not personal, it’s just mathematics. Surge occurs when rider demand outstrips the supply of available drivers. Typically, this is during rush hour at the start and end of each day, at night when bars and clubs close and when major events, like a football game, end. It’s all about demand. Drivers have flexible working hours. If they prefer to work outside these peak periods, then yes, they may miss some surge pricing. It’s a clear driver choice.
- There are many driver myths about the ride-hail industry
- The facts reveal how wrong they usually are
- New drivers are needed to keep up with rider demand and replace exiting drivers
- Ride-hail companies make all new drivers undergo background checks
- There are no ‘minimum hours’ required of drivers
- Riders don’t tip because they are often unaware of the need
- Surge opportunities work best for drivers who work during peak hours
Links and Sources:
UK background checks: https://www.uber.com/en-GB/drive/london/get-a-license/disclosure-and-barring-service/
Uber peak times: https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-peak-hours-for-Uber