The first few weeks of 2018 were a flurry of flying for me. In fact I spent almost every nights for two weeks in hotel beds and on the run. This is meant a bunch of Lyft, GroundLink and Uber rides to get me from A-B either before or after flying Delta.
When it comes to rideshare drivers you get all types. Some are super “chatty” while others are not. Some, it seems, don’t even speak English. I often want to just ensure I am going to where I want to be or have my attention focussed on the blog, twitter or the Fly Delta App and really don’t want to hear about what is going on in the driver’s life.
However, when I do get a driver that wants to talk then I try to steer the conversation toward what they think of their employer. Do they like working for them and do they work for other services. For me, as a blogger, this almost always results in most interesting data points as never have I not had a driver give either positive or negative information.
Two years ago to the DAY on this blog I penned a post suggesting Uber needs to raise their prices. IMO, the service was too cheap for what was provided and they would not be able to keep good drivers long term. What has changed since two years ago? A bunch and the driver at the top of this post is a prime example.
This driver was perfect. His car was clean. He jumped out to help with my bags. He was courteous and friendly. Everything you want in a good Uber ride. He had been driving, get this, for 4 years and had over 7000+ rides. That is a LOT of pickups and drop offs folks. He has had it with Uber (and says Lyft is just as bad btw).
I don’t know if you have noticed but we do not see “surge” prices anymore (I bet you forgot about those didn’t you)? Now the prices just goes up and down all the time without really mentioning you are getting “preferred” pricing at some times and, while no longer calling it out, surge pricing at other times. I have, for a test, checked throughout the day the price to and from a hotel I frequented this month to ORD and it was amazing to see the price almost double at some times and get really cheap at other times (yes, we still do have surge prices it seems).
But according to the driver – they no longer see the benefit of higher prices. Yep, he indicated Uber keeps the extra during these preferred ride times. The driver gets a set per mile payment no matter when he/she drives in that area. He also indicated that after all his costs he is most times near break even and it is just not worth it to driver for Uber anymore. Again, this from someone who REALLY knows the business for many years and MANY rides.
Bottom line is I am worried about the future of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. Sure I like the discounted pricing over services like GroundLink but if the drivers are not making enough to keep the best then what. I will say of my many rides this month the quality of many of the cars has really gone down hill. They have been dirty and a number of the drivers never get out of the car to help me with my bags (they better not expect a tip in that case).
What do you think. Do you think services like Uber and Lyft will be around in the next few years as they are now? Do you prefer one service over another? Have you tested GroundLink yet and seen how nice that service is despite the higher costs? Let me and readers know in the comments below! – Rene