The Uber experience hasn’t been as magical as we would like lately – for drivers and riders alike. Drivers have shared concerns about earnings in the wake of higher fuel prices, long-distance pick-ups, and payment schedules. Riders have complained about drivers canceling trips or not wanting to switch on the AC.
Our aim is to provide a safe and reliable platform for drivers and riders. A single ride falling short is unacceptable. Here are some of the steps we are taking to get the magic back.
Addressing Earnings Amidst Rising Fuel Costs
The hike in fuel prices has impacted everyone, especially ridesharing drivers who have felt the pinch of rising fuel costs. In March this year, the first-ever Uber Driver Advisory Council convened. The driver members on the council raised this as a key issue. Over the past few weeks, we have raised Uber fares to cushion drivers from the impact of rising fuel prices across many cities in India. We are always striving to make driving with Uber a viable and attractive option for drivers and the recent hike in fares will directly boost their earnings per trip.
Empowering Drivers To Make Informed Choices
We understand the feeling you get when the driver calls and asks the dreaded question:
“Jana Kahan Hai” and then cancels the trip. To remove frustration for riders and drivers alike, we are now showing trip destinations to drivers before they decide to accept the ride. In our attempt to incentivise right platform behaviour – drivers who meet a predefined trip acceptance threshold will be eligible to get the destination information so that they can make an informed choice. The upfront destination feature is already live across 20 cities and will be expanded to all others. Given this is a substantial change, we will continue monitoring feedback from drivers and riders, and iterating on these thresholds over the coming few weeks.
Drivers understandably don’t like having to drive out of their way to pick up passengers. To fix this, we have introduced additional earnings for drivers in case they have to travel a long distance to pick up riders. This will give drivers the comfort to accept more trips and will benefit riders as trip reliability goes up. Drivers will be able to see the earnings for long pick-ups, separately displayed on the fare receipt. When drivers are few, and demand is high, this will help ensure that you can get a ride when you need one. Making Uber a reliable choice for riders at all times is our goal.
Payments the way drivers want them
Everybody’s needs are different and when it comes to payment mode or cycle – we want to make it as easy for drivers to have it the way they like it. Drivers at the Uber advisory council meeting told us they would like more flexibility around payments. We are now showing drivers the mode of payment (cash or online) before the trip starts. This enables the driver to choose a cash-only ride if that’s what they need. Going a step further to make the cash or online decision irrelevant, we’ve now introduced a daily pay process for drivers. This will ensure that trip earnings from Monday to Thursday, are credited to drivers the next day, while earnings from Friday to Sunday, are credited on Monday.
Coming good on Service Quality Essentials for Riders
Happy drivers make happy riders. We believe these changes will be appreciated by drivers, and it will in turn translate into better experience for our riders. With these changes, we are also reinforcing service quality expectations with drivers especially in areas like cancellations and ensuring AC rides. In addition to driver notifications and training, repeated complaints from riders on these service quality essentials could lead to penalties and even restricted app access.
We remain grateful to our riders and drivers for giving us feedback proactively. These are complex issues and there is no silver bullet, but we remain committed to listening to riders and drivers and delivering the Uber magical experience again.