Driver Ed is a proponent of improved UBER Driver wages. Based in Beverly Hills, CA, he is an activist stirring the national consciousness for public awareness of the UBER/Lyft Drivers' crisis.

UBER & Lyft Drivers nationwide intend to protest low wages and unethical tipping policy. Low rates require drivers to work longer hours and the results have been staggering. Typically the average hourly rate earned by an UBER driver in Los Angeles, after expenses (car, gas, insurance, cell phone, car washes, oil changes, registration, etc) is $8.78 / Hr., below minimum wage! It is outrageous.

UBER unethically has encouraged Riders to not tip with their “Tipping is Optional” campaign designed to discourage tipping and retain a low price threshold. Their “Tipping is Optional” narrative implies to Riders that tipping is unnecessary, when in fact, Drivers depend on 50% of their income from tips,, just like waiters and other personal service industries. The policy has resulted in 98% of Riders NOT TIPPING the Drivers. 

Consequently the average life cycle for an UBER Driver has been 4-6 Mos. Then UBER recruits a new workforce of unsuspecting Drivers who enter the cycle with failing promises to “earn great pay”. 

Drivers have united and they are planning to stage a type of walk out with a program called “Ferris Beuller’s Day Off” when all UBER Drivers nationwide will take the same day off. The day will change weekly so it is unpredictable which day will be missing ride share drivers on the urban landscape. For those who have come to depend on this affordable form of transportation this could present some obstacles.

Drivers are demanding 4 urgently needed wage improvements;

1. Increased base fares (+15%)

2. Automatic mandatory tip (15-20%)

3. Communication with UBER (currently no tel number or email is available for Drivers to reach UBER).

4. Orientation for new drivers

It has also become necessary for Riders to be aware of a new technique started by UBER Drivers in San Francisco, star-rating passengers based on their tip. A $3 tip earns a rider 3 Stars, $5 tip=5 Stars, etc.. This new rating system would impact a Rider’s overall rating quickly and a 3.6 rating or below automatically disconnects the Rider App permanently. 

My advice to Riders; Tip every time, 15-20% or at minimum, the $4 price of a Starbuck’s Cafe Latte Grande.