The amount that someone can earn driving for Uber and Lyft has been the subject of intense debate in recent years. Now, Lyft is bringing some clarity to the conversation about how much drivers earn per hour. In summary: it's complicated.
First, Lyft says that the driver's job is usually divided into three sections: turn on the application and wait for the requests, drive to pick up passengers and drive passengers to their destinations. The stopover company says that since drivers can generally do whatever they want during that first period (driving, working for another application or nothing), they should not count for a driver's hourly earnings. In that sense, only taking into account periods two and three, the average earnings of Lyft drivers are $ 29.47 per hour nationwide and $ 31.18 per hour in the main 25 markets of the company.
But Lyft also wants to be completely transparent. Therefore, he also shared his estimates covering the first period of time, which is to turn on the application and wait for the requests. With this in mind, Lyft says average driver earnings are $ 18.83 per hour nationwide and $ 21.08 per hour in the top 25 markets.
Of course, this does not take into account the driver's expenses, such as insurance, fuel supply, cleaning and other costs associated with driving with shared transportation. Lyft says he prefers Harry "The Rideshare Guy" Campbell's calculations of $ 3- $ 5 per hour.
The issue of hourly earnings in the world of carpooling is extremely delicate. A Uber study in early 2015 said its drivers in 20 cities averaged more than $ 19 per hour, but a Buzzfeed survey later found out that Uber drivers in Denver, Detroit and Houston earned less than $ 13.25 per hour after expenses. In Detroit, they brought home only $ 8.77 per hour, on average.
A recent MIT study found that Uber and Lyft drivers were earning well below the minimum wage after accounting for expenses. The study, conducted by the Energy and Environmental Policy Research Center of MIT, found that the median earnings before taxes of the drivers were $ 3.37 per hour, using the results of a survey of more than 1,100 workers of the companies that provide assistance. Uber and Lyft, sensitive to reports that drivers are poorly paid, objected sharply to the study's methodologies. Later, MIT said it would review its study after a challenge tweeted by Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
Lyft's statement on driver's earnings comes after a series of new Uber announcements, including a redesigned application for drivers and a review of the company's safety protocols.