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Uber and Lyft Drivers Manipulate Surge Pricing | The Drive

Lyft went public. Then Uber. Measures meant to illustrate that the rideshare companies were ready to leave the security of Silicon Valley and enter reality. Yet, the two IPOs fell flat on their respective faces. Each company’s stock price has tumbled and investors have quickly realized that an ever-growing ridership doesn’t necessarily equate to a sound business. While Uber and Lyft’s public offering woes have dominated the conversation, that awareness has also illuminated how these companies treat drivers. And guess what, it isn’t great.

Lyft and Uber don’t consider drivers employees. Rather, these working men and women are independent contractors. As such, they don’t qualify for the same benefits, safety regulations, and treatment normal employees enjoy. Facing those realities, these drivers often make below minimum wage even though each company promises they’ll make more than enough in their driver-acquisition ads. Drivers, however, have found ways around Uber and Lyft’s predatory employment practices and lower-than-advertised wages as they’ve been routinely manipulating the ridesharing apps in ways that secure higher priced fares.

Recently, ABC 7 News out of West Virginia ran a story about Uber and Lyft drivers manipulating the ridesharing apps to create artificial surge pricing. The practice works by a group of drivers agreeing to all turn off their hailing apps thereby reducing the number of working drivers. Then, after the fares reach an agreed upon number given the lackluster availability, they go back to work with higher than before fares. According to ABC 7 News, this practice is a result of Uber and Lyft’s more recent pay cuts. One driver interviewed said, “Uber doesn’t pay us enough, what the company is doing is defrauding all these people by taking 35-40 percent,” while another claimed, “ Everyone knows [driving without surge pumping] is not worth it. They know if they take a ride from here without surge, without pumping the surge up, it’s not worth it.”

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Uber and Lyft Drivers Manipulate Surge Pricing – The Drive.

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