Uber announced bonuses for its American drivers on Wednesday, hoping to speed up their return to driving after a year of pandemic marked by the fall of races with drivers, which are gradually resuming their activity.
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The world leader in VTC (passenger cars with driver) will grant a total of $ 250 million in bonuses, to
"improve the already high income of drivers,"
he said in a press release.
Many drivers had given up on this activity last year, because of the lack of passengers but also for fear of contamination by Covid-19.
But with the ongoing vaccination of Americans and the gradual resumption of activity in cities, demand has skyrocketed.
According to Uber, drivers logged in at least 20 hours a week earn at least $ 25 an hour (including while waiting) right now in Phoenix, Miami or Austin, or even more than $ 30 in Philadelphia, before charges (gasoline, insurance, etc.).
“In 2021, there are more people looking for a car than drivers available.
It is therefore an ideal time to be a driver, ”
assures Dennis Cinelli, vice-president of the group's mobility branch.
He expects revenue to return to a pre-Covid level as drivers re-embrace the app.
Difficulties in California
The situation seems more complicated in California, where Uber had added options for drivers.
In this American state, they can thus know the destination before accepting the trip, fix their price and refuse customers more freely if they do not find their account there.
But a year later, the San Francisco-based company, contacted by AFP, admitted the changes have led to a third of drivers denying more than 80% of requests.
The service has become much less reliable: more than 20% of passengers are forced to give up their trip, this is 7 times more than last year, according to Uber.
The group, which has never managed to make a profit, had changed the way the app works before a referendum on the status of drivers - employees or self-employed.
California ruled in favor of the independent status advocated by Uber and its competitors, which spent more than $ 200 million during the campaign.
But the company could now go back on these measures that allowed drivers to better control their work, like independent contractors.