One year ago, we looked back at 3 years of uberX growth in NYC. With September 2015 now in the books and October upon us, we wanted to take the opportunity to step back and look at all 4 Septembers of uberX—from 2012 to 2015.
This year’s big story is about the relationship between efficiency and driver earnings. Today, the number of uberX driver-partners on the system is more than double that of last year, and yet drivers are bringing home more money than ever before. How does this work out? As driver-partners are added to the system to meet rising demand, everyone benefits—reliability improves and drivers earn higher gross fares per hour.
Average uberX gross fares per hour increased by 6.3% year over year1
This story of efficiency and earnings is best demonstrated by the chart below, which illustrates the breakdown of an average uberX driver-partner hour. When a driver is logged into the Uber app, he or she can be doing 1 of 3 things: waiting for a trip, driving to pick someone up2, or driving with a rider in the car (on a trip). Only during a trip, when there’s a rider in the car, does the driver make any money. Today, drivers are spending more than half of their time on a trip—compared to only a quarter of their time 3 years ago—making hourly earnings higher than years passed.
As the marketplace grows, driver-partners’ hourly earning potential increases
The main driver of this positive change is marketplace growth. Having more drivers and riders on the system means that drivers are typically closer to a pickup at any given moment. Eliminating wait time between trips makes for higher hourly earning potential and lower pickup times for riders—making Uber more convenient than ever.
The convenience of Uber is of course not rider-specific. Most people who drive on the platform choose to because of the convenience and flexibility. In a 2014 study, we found that 42% of NYC driver-partners choose to work 15 hours/week or less—77% drive less than 35 hours/week3. The ability to simply tap a button and start making money on your own time is priceless—and now that uberX driver-partners are earning more per hour, the flexible opportunity is more valuable than ever.
1 The chart shows gross fares per hour
2 This includes any wait time at the rider’s location before starting the trip
3 Data aggregated from a driver-partner study conducted in October 2014