Uber drivers frustrated with pay; say new surcharge won't help with fuel costs
BATON ROUGE - Starting Wednesday, a new surcharge of .45 to .55 cents will be added to the total cost of an Uber ride. The company announced the fee is supposed to aid drivers with the rising cost of fuel, but drivers say it's too little, too late.
“That’s it. Fifty-five cents per ride. Whether that ride is a five minute ride or an hour ride," said Laine Allemond, an Uber driver of five years in the Baton Rouge area.
Allemond says he has seen a gradual decrease in the percentage drivers receive from each ride since he began driving for Uber in 2015.
“When I first started, I would get 75 percent, now I’m getting anywhere between 35 and 45 percent and a lot of people are noticing that. That’s for Uber and Lyft.”
To him, this new surcharge is a slap in the face from the company he works with because the extra fees are not enough to supplement the unavoidable business expense.
"On average I spend about 65 to 70 dollars a fill up and I fill up about three times a week. $1,200 a month just on fuel alone. So, even at a full month I get a whole $88," Allemond said. "$88 is not going to help me at all."
Allemond is part of a Facebook group for rideshare drivers and says many of them are fed up and ready to take a stand. A strike is planned for March 17, St. Patrick's day, when many customers will be looking for rides.
"March 17 being St. Patty's day I know it's going to be extra busy so I think that's going to hurt them as well."
The new surcharge will be implemented the day before the digital walkout, on March 16.
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