Uber is always droning on about how drivers are able to make money by driving their own vehicle, while having the freedom to choose their own schedules. A few years ago, Uber told The Wall Street Journal that a typical driver earns more than $100,000 a year in gross fares. However, new data and calculations based off a million trips reveals a different picture. In three major US markets – Denver, CO, Detroit, MI, and Houston, TX – Uber drivers earned less than $13.25 an hour.
The realization was made after an internal price modeling data was leaked online, to which Uber released its own calculations that were provided to BuzzFeed News in response to the leak. The data is based on more than a million rides and covers thousands of drivers in the aforementioned cities. While Uber claims that it can’t pinpoint how much its drivers actually make per hour, BuzzFeed News conducted its own independent analysis. BuzzFeed News examined spreadsheets that were provided to the outlet by a source that worked with Uber pricing data to give a more accurate depiction of how much drivers really make.
Based on the calculations, Uber drivers made $13.17 per hour after expenses in Denver, CO, $8.77 per hour after expenses in Detroit, MI, and $10.75 per hour after expenses in Houston, TX late last year. These figures are less than anything Uber has previously released before.
Uber drivers, obviously, don’t all make the same amount of money, due to differences in driver experience, location, dates of driving, and more. BuzzFeed News’ data is based off a few assumptions: contractors drive a $16,000 car with a 250,000-mile lifetime, which results in a depreciation cost of 6.4 cents per mile, gas costs $1.75 per gallon with the vehicle getting 25 miles per gallon, which equals 7 cents per mile for gas, and lastly maintenance, insurance, and miscellaneous costs come out to $3,000 per year.
For more information on the study, visit BuzzFeed News.
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