Uber has made changes to entice new and old drivers to get back on the road and weeks after those changes, local drivers say these changes have affected surcharges and driving rates, actually leaving fewer uber drivers on the road.
And it’s affecting riders, too! NBC Palm Springs spoke to drivers and passengers who are starting to feel the frustration.
“I just called for a ride which I come here all the time, and it’s saying 21 minutes, and it’s usually 5 minutes to wait,” said Stacey Gore, visiting from Chicago.
Stacey, who’s in Palm Springs to visit her mom, waits longer than normal for a ride at the airport. She visits the city often and has noticed longer wait times lately both in Palm Springs and at home in Chicago.
“You can always get a ride within like two minutes in the city and I waited forever and there was a huge surcharge. like 25 dollars more than usual and no cars,” added Gore.
Uber drivers in the Coachella Valley saying that the way the company is handling their surcharges is a big part of the problem.
“We had the capability of setting our own surge, so if I decide I am doing all of this extra, I feel it’s fair for me to set my surge at 2.5. I was getting rides all day long at 2.5 with not a complaint,” said Ross Tubbs, Uber Driver.
Now, drivers cannot set their own surges and their per-mile rate is decreasing as gas prices continue to increase.
“When gas prices are going up, our per-mile got dropped from $1.20 a mile to .91 cents, and for an xl, it was almost double the price,” explained Tubbs.
Leaving ride-share drivers with few options as their weekly earnings continue to drop.
“Before the changes, I was making roughly between $2,500 and $3,000 a week, and now it’s a struggle to even make $1,000 dollars a week,” explained an anonymous Uber driver.
“A couple of weeks ago I was able to make, I would average $2400 hundred a week, but I am also working 7-days a week, I start at 3 am and I work until 5 or 7,” said Tubbs.
Drivers explain that with these changes he is starting to see fewer uber drivers and more impatient passengers.
“There are other drivers that have said, you know what I’m going to go drive for Instacart or Postmates, or Doordash because they can make it with uber now,” explained Tubbs.