According to a report in Reuters, citing the study by James Parrott of The New School in New York City and Michael Reich at the University of California at Berkeley, drivers for ride-hailing companies should earn $17.22 an hour after expenses, which would amount to an hourly wage of $15 with a paid allowance for time off.
“Driver pay is low, despite rapid industry growth and high pricing markups, because companies depend upon having a large ready pool of available drivers,” Parrott and Reich wrote in the study.
The study also determined that 85 percent of drivers for the services earn less than the proposed standard of $15 an hour. If they got the 22.5 percent raise in net pay, they would bring in an extra $6,345 annually.
The study comes as the yellow taxi drivers in New York are teaming up with drivers for Uber and other ride-hailing services to demand guaranteed minimum pay and to place limits on the growth of the number of cars that can be hailed in the city.
According to the report, Uber, Lyft, Via and Juno represent 80,000 of the vehicles in New York City, which is six times more than the yellow taxis in the city. What’s more, residents and visitors take more than 17 million app rides, which is double the number of yellow taxi trips. If Uber drivers were classified as employees, the economists said Uber would be the leading private for-profit employer.
“It thus seems feasible to improve the standard of living of app drivers, while also allowing the industry to continue to meet passenger demand,” Parrott and Reich wrote.