UberPOOL drivers in New York City will receive 75 cents every time an additional pickup stop is added to a ride-sharing trip, Uber announced last month. The move was in response to drivers’ complaints that making multiple stops was not necessarily translating into higher earnings.
UberPOOL is a ride-sharing option for Uber users that matches riders with other customers going in their same direction in exchange for lower rates that start at $2.99. An Uber spokesperson said the goal of the new fare is to reward the drivers for the extra work that comes with picking up additional passengers.
The extra fare will apply to every additional stop that a driver makes after picking up the first rider. Drivers will be paid for extra stops, not based on the number of passengers. For example, if a driver makes three stops in an UberPOOL trip, the drivers will receive an extra $1.50 for the two additional stops. But, if two additional passengers are picked up at the same location he will only receive 75 cents.
Carlos Cardona, an Uber driver, said he only accepts UberPOOL requests when it’s a slow business day and he’s struggling finding riders.
“It’s like a bus route and you really have no idea how long it will take,” he said. Drivers risk having their accounts deactivated for a few minutes if they reject requests.
Sohail Rana, an Uber drive, said that he earned $23 on his first UberPOOL route, instead of his usual $40 during a regular ride.
The Independent Drivers Guild, a machinist union that represents around 40,000 drivers in the City, has been advocating for a pickup fare since last June. But, the drivers were disappointed with the 75-cent fare.
According to the Guild’s spokeswoman Moira Muntz, the expectation was that the raise would be much higher. The drivers were hoping for a $1-$2 fare per passenger, not location, pick-up.
“Every time you stop in a city like New York it certainly adds work for the driver,” said Muntz.
In other cities like San Francisco and Chicago, the pickup fare will be one dollar. But, an Uber spokesperson explained that in the case of New York, the 75-cent pickup fare was determined by the same factors that affect the overall fare. These factors include the base rate, estimated time and distance, and demand in the area.
According to Uber, the company will absorb the fare via a reduction in the service fee. Riders will pay the upfront fare they are quoted for the trip when they request a ride whether there are additional pickups or not.