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An analysis of the individual economics of ride-hailing drivers

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  • Henao, Alejandro
  • Marshall, Wesley E.

Abstract

Ride-hailing companies are disrupting transportation at a large scale while also providing economic opportunities to millions of drivers. Companies such as Uber and Lyft constantly promote potential earnings on the order of $25–$35 per hour. Yet, the advertised earnings do not account for factors such as time spent without passengers, the need to travel back-and-forth between areas of low and high ridership, driver residential location, or driving expenses. By examining a unique and detailed dataset collected using ethnographic methods – primary data collected by one of the authors who became an independent contractor to drive for both Uber and Lyft in the Denver area – we examine actual earnings with three common expense scenarios to answer the question of how much ride-hailing drivers actually earn.

Suggested Citation

  • Henao, Alejandro & Marshall, Wesley E., 2019. "An analysis of the individual economics of ride-hailing drivers," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 440-451.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:130:y:2019:i:c:p:440-451
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2019.09.056
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Young, Mischa & Farber, Steven, 2019. "The Who, Why, and When of Uber and other Ride-hailing Trips: An Examination of a Large Sample Household Travel Survey," OSF Preprints x7ryj, Center for Open Science.
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    7. Clewlow, Regina R. & Mishra, Gouri S., 2017. "Disruptive Transportation: The Adoption, Utilization, and Impacts of Ride-Hailing in the United States," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt82w2z91j, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wells, Peter & Wang, Xiaobei & Wang, Liqiao & Liu, Haokun & Orsato, Renato, 2020. "More friends than foes? The impact of automobility-as-a-service on the incumbent automotive industry," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 154(C).
    2. Goodall, Noah, 2020. "Non-technological challenges for the remote operation of automated vehicles," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 14-26.
    3. He, Zhengbing, 2021. "Portraying ride-hailing mobility using multi-day trip order data: A case study of Beijing, China," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 152-169.
    4. Morris, Eric A. & Zhou, Ying & Brown, Anne E. & Khan, Sakib M. & Derochers, John L. & Campbell, Harry & Pratt, Angela N. & Chowdhury, Mashrur, 2020. "Are drivers cool with pool? Driver attitudes towards the shared TNC services UberPool and Lyft Shared," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 123-138.

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