Since uberX launched in Detroit in October 2013, and expanded across the state in July 2014, we’ve provided thousands of driver-partners with an unprecedented way to make a living or earn supplemental income on their own schedule. And all the while, we’ve connected riders with an increasingly affordable way to move around Michigan.
The story that most riders already know is that our fares are now lower than ever, making Uber both the highest-quality and most affordable ride on the road. With a price reduction in Detroit and Grands Rapids in January, the average fare decreased by over 25%, making the cost of an uberX trip more than 50% less than a local taxi.
The graphs below show the average fare for a trip taken on uberX in December 2014 and again in April 2015.
What’s less well known, however, is how driver earnings changed over the same period in time. These charts show the positive impact these price cuts have had on driver earnings.
The results are clear: uberX driver-partners are earning more per hour, while simultaneously, riders are paying even less.
SO, HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?
It’s simple: The Uber network is getting much more efficient, helping make each hour a driver spends logged into the Uber platform more valuable than it’s ever been.
It’s important to understand that driver-partners earn money when they have a rider in the car. That means the more time driver-partners spend with riders (and the less time waiting between trips), the more they’re able to earn per hour. The uberX fare reduction in January 2015 led to huge growth in demand and increased earnings for our driver-partners.
Here’s a snapshot of what a typical hour looked like for driver-partners in December of 2014 and then again in April 2015 after price reductions:
In a given hour, Detroit uberX driver-partners are now spending 23 minutes (37% of their time) on our platform with a rider, compared to 12 minutes (20% of their time) in December, an incredible 85% increase in efficiency.
In Grand Rapids, uberX driver-partners are now spending 14 minutes (24% of their time) on our platform with a rider, compared to 7 minutes (12% of their time) in December, an incredible 100% increase in efficiency.
Our partners are delivering more rides, spending less time idle, and making more money. And the Uber platform is enabling even more efficiency for driver-partners every day.
If Michigan legislators embrace this innovative new option and pass sensible ridesharing regulations for the entire state, we expect these positive trends to accelerate — giving Michiganders even more affordable, reliable transportation options and economic opportunities in even more Michigan communities.