Uber And Lift Drivers Boycotting In Pittsburgh

It might be hard to find a ride Wednesday

Lynne Hayes-Freeland
May 08, 2019 - 12:54 pm

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020/AP) - Uber and Lyft drivers across the country are boycotting Wednesday over what they say are declining wages while both companies are making billions in dollars from investors.

Demonstrations are taking place in Pittsburgh we well as cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington.

The protests arrive just ahead of Uber's initial public stock offering Friday. Uber hopes to raise $9 billion and is expected to be valued at up to $91.5 billion.

Local driver Ulysses Coto tells KDKA Radio’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland he believes about 90 percent of Pittsburgh’s drivers will be boycotting Wednesday. He adds the biggest issue is salary.

“The biggest issues has to be salary because driver are putting all the wear and tear on their vehicles,” said Coto. “We have to deal with not just maintenance costs but also fuel costs which have jumped up a good 50 cents within the past month.”

Coto adds that Uber and Lyft are reducing compensation toward drivers.

“I pulled my own files and last year at this time, I made about 97 cents per mile,” said Coto. “This year drivers are only making about 67 to 69 cents per mile.”

This is due to the ways the drivers get compensated.

Some protestors say they will actually start losing money soon.

In a statement Uber said, "Drivers are at the heart of our service — we can't succeed without them — and thousands of people come into work at Uber every day focused on how to make their experience better, on and off the road."

Lyft said its drivers' hourly earnings have increased over the last two years that 75% of its drivers work less than 10 hours per week to supplement existing jobs and that on average the company's drivers earn over $20 an hour before subtracting expenses such as gas and vehicle maintenance.

"We know that access to flexible, extra income makes a big difference for millions of people, and we're constantly working to improve how we can best serve our driver community," Lyft said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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