Over the past couple years we've gotten used to rate cuts near the beginning of each year. It started with Uber, then Lyft followed suit to remain competitive. In a passenger oriented business, sometimes the driver gets forgotten.
Rate adjustments have been a bit different in 2017, at least from what we've seen. Here's a look at the latest updates from Lyft and Uber:
Lyft Rate Changes in 2017
Lyft cut rates across the board in 2016. It was a blow to drivers who had felt like Lyft was the driver friendly rideshare company. Lyft put out a statement along the lines of "Rate cuts benefit drivers because lower ride fees mean more rides, more rides = more money for drivers". The math didn't really add up. Rate cuts would have to spur a huge increase in demand in order to boost efficiency to the point where drivers could make more.
It was clear that Lyft didn't want to get priced out of the market. After all, ridesharing is a business. You have to stay competitive.
So what changes have been made to rates in 2017?
Lyft has adjusted rates across the board, but it hasn't been a clear shift in either direction.
I drive in Seattle, and I recently got an email notifying me that Lyft had boosted rates in Seattle. Here's a look at the new pricing table that takes effect January 23rd:
This was definitely a pleasant surprise. I was concerned that Lyft and Uber might have engaged in race to the bottom with regards to expenses, and as a driver I didn't expect to fare well.
It's possible that Lyft is trying to reduce their churn rate - in a recent SherpaShare survey about 65% of drivers had been driving for less than 6 months.
But it's more complex than that, because Lyft definitely cut rates in other cities.
According to a recent article by TheRideshareGuy, a number of cities have seen a rate cut.
In Orange County, the per mile rate was cut from $1.15 to $.90. That's a huge drop.
These cuts fluctuate from city to city. In total, Lyft actualy boosted rates in 36 cities and cut rates in 42 cities. When you take a step back and look at the total rate adjustments across the board, the rate boosts actually balanced out the rate cuts.
If you didn't receive an email from Lyft with an update of the rates in your city, you can check out a breakdown of the rates by city on the Lyft website.
The Rideshare Dashboard's recent post has a list of rate changes in every city, it helps break down the changes.
The variations in cuts across the board to tell us something about Lyft. These rate adjustments are tied to supply and demand, and they're likely determined by an algorithm. Just about everythingin the on demand industry is data driven, including our wages.
Uber Rate Changes in 2017
Uber has yet to announce any rate changes this year. Given that they were the first company to cut wages for rideshare drivers, this comes as a surprise.
The fact that it hasn't been announced according to the expected schedule doesn't really mean much. They could cut rates at any time.
If in fact they do keep wages steady, it's likely a response to the churn rate issues that they share with Lyft.
We'll keep this post updated with any future changes to Uber wages in 2017.