Uber said Friday that starting next week it will show drivers the full fare paid to their customers instead of one that was significantly lower.
The new policy means that the drivers will see their “driver benefits and marketplace fees” to total what the rider pays.
Last week, Mission Local published a story revealing that Uber drivers are shown a fare that is less than what passengers actually pay. The story incited much public outrage, and on Friday, Uber told Mission Local in an email that it will change that practice starting next week.
“We have changed our policy and drivers will now see the driver benefits and marketplace fees which were previously only shown to riders,” an Uber spokesperson said. “This takes effect next week.”
Going forward, when Uber shows drivers a customer’s fare, it will include those two fees. Previously, they were excluded from the “customer price” Uber showed drivers, which the company told Mission Local last week upon inquiry.
This meant that for drivers, it appeared Uber’s fraction of each fare was less than it actually is.
Uber told Mission Local that “the change has been in the works.” However, for the original story, the company did not mention any plans to change it. Others interviewed disagree that the company with on the verge of change.
“The discrepancies in the rates between workers and riders is nothing short of wage theft. Uber only made a change when they were called out by drivers and received negative press,” said Lauren Casey, an organizer with Gig Workers Rising. “This is a victory for workers who chose to speak out against a powerful tech giant. The struggle for just working conditions for gig workers is not over — and worker organizing will continue until gig workers receive their fair share.”
Mission Local previously booked 10 rides with Uber and 10 with Lyft, and drivers shared their fares with Mission Local. What we found was that in five out of five rides where drivers accessed their fare breakdowns and compared it to my fare, I paid 19.6 percent to 26.3 percent more than what Uber was telling drivers. So, I was paying around $3 more per trip than drivers were told.
Asked why Uber doesn’t show drivers the full fare, Uber had told Mission Local in a statement, “drivers see breakdowns that apply to them on the trip.”
“I prefer the full transparency,” said James Allen, an Uber driver interviewed for the original story, after Mission Local broke Friday’s news. “If there are fees that have to be paid, I would like to know about that. I think that’s good for me to be able to inform customers why the prices might be a little higher than they expected.
Added Brian Dolber, an organizer with the independent rideshare drivers organization Rideshare Drivers United on Friday, “I think drivers should know the full amount that’s being paid, and hopefully if these are honest numbers that the drivers are seeing, and that will inspire more drivers to see that they should be getting a higher cut.”
This story is breaking and will be updated.