New Markets and New Problems as Uber Expands

By Shixin Li,

New York City, August 28, 2015, — As Uber service expands rapidly across the nation, there are mixed reactions from local communities. Taxi drivers hate it, riders like the convenience and low fares, many Uber drivers love the business model and politicians struggle to regulate the ride-sharing service.
Uber driver Tony Montgomery of Bloomington, IN(file photo).

In the feature video Uber at Bloomington: New market New Problem below, I interviewed Uber drivers and communities members regarding the Uber service as it just entered the Bloomington market. I created this video when I was a graduate student at IU School of Journalism earlier this year.

The following is some most common complaints from new Uber drivers in the metro area.

  • No drop off location to show when taking requests. It means Uber is not a rideshare app, but a regular taxi service. In this sense, 40% lower fare is unfair to drivers.
  • Tips option should be added by the end of trip. Most drivers like Lyft and SideCar apps compare with Uber.
  • The rate of Uber-X is too low.
  • It’s unfair to charge the same commission rate of 25% for good drivers and bad drivers.

Some suggestions from the new Uber drivers are listed below.

  • Allowing drivers to choose riders freely without worrying about the low acceptance rate deactivation.
  • Restricting the drop off destination of a request to the right direction in driver’s favor. There are so many empty returning trips.
  • Charging less commission like 20% to 4.80+ drivers and 15% to 4.90+ drivers. Also drivers who drive 50 rides per week will be charged 15%, and drivers who drive 25 rides per week will be charged 20%.
  • Drivers who referred 25+ new drivers per month will get extra bonus of $50 for the #26 new driver. Drivers who referred 50+ new drivers per week will get extra bonus of $100 for the #51 new drivers.

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