14,756 ride charges from Uber and Lyft drivers discovered the ride-hailing apps to be taking a bigger bite out of drivers’ fares than they are saying they do.
The amount of cash Uber and Lyft skim off drivers’ fares is referred to as the “take rate,” and it has been a point of contention in the past as drivers have protested their pay as inadequate.
Jalopnik asked Uber and Lyft drivers to both fill out varieties where they could break down fares from a single experience or to ship emails with data from all of a driver’s fares over a given time.
When Uber went public in May, it published its take charge for 2018 to be 21.7%, a figure that dropped to 19% as of the second quarter of 2019. Previously Reported Lyft’s 2018 take charge as 26%, although the company instructed Jalopnik it didn’t publicly share its take rates. The two companies also calculate the take fee barely differently, with Uber factoring in tolls and surcharges.
For Uber, the 35% take charge that Jalopnik found was more significant than 84% higher than the number the company gave in earnings call earlier this month. The 35% determine it is near the finding of a study last year by the Economic Policy Institute, which said Uber skimmed about 33% off of its drivers’ fares.
Both Uber and Lyft contradicted Jalopnik’s findings, stating the sample size was too small to be representative. Each rejected to offer Jalopnik with statistically significant datasets.
Jalopnik recognized that 14,756 represented only a tiny fraction of the millions of Uber and Lyft trips made every day. An Uber spokesman mentioned roughly 15 million Uber rides took place every day worldwide. Jalopnik also granted that there might have been selection preference for drivers unhappy with the minimum being taken out of their fares.
Uber and Lyft were not instantly available for comment when contacted by Business Insider.