Travel Alert: Ride Share Drivers Strike on May 8 2019

If you are intending to use a ride share service — such as Uber or Lyft — on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, consider changing your plans, as drivers in major cities throughout the United States, United Kingdom and other countries have announced that they will protest the companies for whom they work prior to the initial public offering of shares of Uber stock.

Travel Alert: Ride Share Drivers Strike on May 8 2019

The strike is expected to last anywhere from as few as two hours in New York to as many as 12 hours in Atlanta, with drivers shutting down their mobile software application programs and refusing to drive their vehicles during that time…

…but unlike the organization of a typical corporation in which employees can spread the word and unite together more easily, not every driver for these ride share companies will be protesting, as some will be working on Wednesday. Drivers for ride share companies are considered as independent contractors.

“Drivers say while their pay has gone down, rideshare companies are making big bucks”, according to this article written by Denise Dillon of WAGA-TV Fox 5 News in Atlanta, who has received this official statement from a spokesperson for Uber…

Drivers are at the heart of our service ─ we can’t succeed without them ─ and thousands of people come into work at Uber every day focused on how to make their experience better, on and off the road. Whether it’s more consistent earnings, stronger insurance protections or fully-funded four-year degrees for drivers or their families, we’ll continue working to improve the experience for and with drivers.

…as well as this official statement from a spokesperson for Lyft:

Lyft drivers’ hourly earnings have increased over the last two years, and they have earned more than $10B on the Lyft platform. Over 75 percent drive less than 10 hours a week to supplement their existing jobs. On average, Lyft drivers earn over $20 per hour. We know that access to flexible, extra income makes a big difference for millions of people, and we’re constantly working to improve how we can best serve our driver community.

In addition to protesting between the hours of noon and midnight in Atlanta, drivers also plan to rally outside the offices of Uber at noon and outside the offices of Lyft at 5:00 in the afternoon.

The initial public offering of shares of Uber stock is expected to be one of the biggest in history, with a potential valuation of as much as $100 billion.

Summary

Because the strike is loosely organized, you will need to find out additional specific details of exactly when drivers intend to protest in the city in which you plan on using a ride share service — with the possibility that those plans could change, which includes additional cities being affected, longer strike hours, and other possible developments.

I have never been completely impressed with Uber. The business model has had holes in it from the very beginning, in my opinion — including but not limited to safety issues — and perhaps the influx of cash which is expected from the initial public offering of its shares will help to fill in those holes and give drivers improved compensation, which would hopefully lead to a better overall experience for customers.

Some of the articles written about Uber at The Gate over the years include my personal experiences:

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

4 thoughts on “Travel Alert: Ride Share Drivers Strike on May 8 2019”

  1. robbo says:

    Whatever….

  2. Jeff says:

    billion has a “b”, not an “m”

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      So it does, Jeff.

      Thank you for the correction.

  3. BMG says:

    I got Uber to the airport this morning, it was actually cheaper and less of a wait than usual. I think this is a fringe. Most people are happy to make extra money. Uber and Lyft are not replacements for jobs. I am sorry that taxi drivers will love the extra business today. If Uber and Lyft increase their prices they will no longer by more attractive than taxis as they roll out apps. It’s not going to happen.

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