Uber driver survey: Income down 80% since lockdowns began

Uber driver survey: Income down 80% since lockdowns began

iStock/GoodLifeStudio(NEW YORK) — With millions of people working from home, Uber drivers are feeling the pinch in a big way. According to a survey for Ridester, which tracks the rideshare and delivery industries, Uber/Lyft drivers say their income has dropped 80% since the lockdowns began. 

March 6th, just ten days before COVID-19 prompted many cities to begin lockdowns, Ridester’s 2020 Uber/Lyft driver earnings survey showed earnings were up 31% from the same period in 2019. 

After the lockdowns began, the survey of 170 drivers revealed those still on the road saw their business drop as much as 90%. Many sent the company screenshots showing earnings of $0 for the week. While many stopped driving because calls dried up, others stopped driving voluntarily, to protect themselves from the virus. 

Of the respondents, 89.5% say their income has fallen by half or more from two weeks ago, while 58% reported they’re making 80% less than normal, 19.8% say they’re making 60-70 percent less than normal, and 11.7%, 50% less than normal.

The survey’s highest earner made $326.77 for the week of March 16-23. However, it took him 64 hours to do it, which comes to $5.11 an hour.  Considering it takes more than $5 bucks to keep a car on the road for an hour, that profit evaporated.

Feeling the pinch but still wanting to work, some Uber and Lyft drivers have turned to delivering food for companies like GrubHub and Postmates. Some 20% of respondents say they were already doing so, while nearly the same number of drivers were thinking about it and 37.3% say they won’t deliver food. 

However, even those who are trying to make ends meet by delivering food have seen a business drop-off of 37% in the past week.

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