To help retain drivers on its platform, Uber is raising its fares in cities such as Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles. The increases have come to both “time and distance” rates as well as “booking fees,” Financial Times reported.
“We have to make [being an Uber driver] more attractive because the alternatives are becoming more attractive,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told FT. “All of them, I think, want to make more money. In general, I think driver earnings are going up.”
But, to serve passengers that might not be happy with the new prices, Uber offers services such as “Express POOL.” That option matches riders who walk to a designated pick-up area. In addition, Khosrowshahi told FT that he was talking with Waymo to possibly add the company's self-driving cars to the Uber platform.
The news comes as Uber announced in April that it has completely overhauled the app for its drivers. In a blog post announcing the redesign, Khosrowshahi said that drivers are the “heart” of the service, and that Uber lost sight of that along the way. “We focused too much on growth and not enough on the people who made that growth possible. We called drivers ‘partners,’ but didn’t always act like it. We needed to do better, and 180 Days of Change was the first step,” wrote the executive.
In the six months leading up to the launch, Khosrowshahi said Uber has launched close to 40 new features aimed at improving the driver experience. Still, he said that is just the beginning.
“While 180 Days was about correcting missteps of the past, we also needed to think longer term, and the obvious place to start was the Driver app. It sits at the center of the driver experience, but after a redesign two years ago, it was already showing its age,” he noted.