In a recent report published by the prestigious MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), researchers say that 1,100 respondents to a survey make less than $4/hr whilst driving for Uber and Lyft. The report goes on to say that 74% of the respondents earn less than minimum wage in the various states that they operate in and even 30% of them are losing money after taking into account vehicle expenses.
This proved to be rather alarming as ride-sharing has been hailed around the world for people to earn additional income including some of our own ministers who say that graduates should be praised for being Uber drivers. Of course, certain groups have come in defense of the concept of ride-hailing saying that the revenue figures calculated by MIT was flawed.
CEO of Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi, even tweeted about it although in a very sarcastic and condescending tone which several quarters may consider to be quite rude and perhaps might even damage the reputation he built up so far.
MIT = Mathematically Incompetent Theories (at least as it pertains to ride-sharing). @techreview report differs markedly from other academic studies and @TheRideshareGuy recent survey. Our analysis: https://t.co/S2aAqCuDR0
— dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) 3 March 2018
Even the Chief Economist at Uber has responded with a lengthy post about it on Medium which explains the economics a little better. The lead author of the MIT paper, Stephen Zoepf has written to Reuters to inform them as well that he will be re-running the analysis and will respond back publicly.