California Rideshare: Amazingly, Uber and Lyft continue to race each other to the bottom

_Tron_

Well-Known Member
California drivers have of course been enjoying the benefits of Uber's "See law makers? Our drivers are indeed Independent contractors!" gambit, where they now allow all drivers to see the destination and an earnings estimate before accepting a request.

And as noted by many in this forum, drivers active on both platforms have less and less reason to switch on the Lyft app, especially since declining blind Lyft ride requests with a longer than 5-10 minutes pickup time (fill in your own threshold) produces naggings, warnings, timeouts, (and ultimately, deactivation??).

So, Advantage Uber, right?

Maybe not. A recent trend has emerged in my driving locale whereby Uber is spontaneously offering X rides at 3-5 times the normal rate. Put another way, Uber rates are randomly surging BIG TIME for no apparent reason, and pax are not going for it.

I've seen 4-5 ants on the rider app sitting idle for some time, and suddenly a pax is told that a ride that normally costs $15 will cost $48. This is not a demand based price boost. There was no demand. At first I thought perhaps the reason for the sudden jump in fares was supply based; meaning all the drivers had declined the ping, so Uber was raising prices (dramatically) to sweeten the pot and get a driver to accept the request. But no. I had a pax in my car today, not yet on a ride, request a ride through the app in order to get me as the driver. They were instantly offered what amounted to a 4.9x surge price. Instantly. There was no surge in demand at the time, and the price was presented to the pax before other drivers could possibly have had time to decline the request.

These bogus surges are happening with some frequency, forcing riders to the Lyft platform. Except, few drivers around here run the Lyft app, so the pax has called a taxi in some cases.

I love extra money, but not on these terms. Uber is alienating its customers at a time when it could be sweeping Lyft off the game board here in Cali. But no. In their own unique ways, both Uber and Lyft continue to shoot themselves in their proverbial foots.
 

NicFit

Well-Known Member
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Uber isn’t making up the surges, the drivers are, but like you said it’ll scare off riders who are used to cheap rides. Uber does warn you that riders may not accept fares that high so if your in an area without high demand you shouldn’t be running high surges. Now if it’s busy and there’s no other cars then crank it up, you gotta know when to use the high surges and when not to or you will force riders to seek other forms of transportation
 

Fusion_LUser

Well-Known Member
What happened to all the ants who said the "fare multiplier will never work"? Now its... "setting your own rates is bad!!"

Give me a break.

Of course the only way to solve this is have a small amount of the current ants become employee's so they all evenly get paid minimum wage while Uber takes all the surge rates from having less drivers or no drivers out in the middle of nowhere places.

Maybe the wonderful taxi industry will step up, add more cars and continue to provide such stellar service they are renowned for that it made it possible for someone to say "Yeah I'd rather get in some random car than take a taxi"...
 

_Tron_

Well-Known Member
It's not bogus. It's the multiplier setting of the drivers near that passenger at that moment. No one was offering Uber base.

I'm afraid not in this case, although that is a good idea. In my example the pax got a $45 quote to ride with me (I got the ping), and I was not multiplying. This was an actual Uber generated surge with no basis that I can determine. I have had such high fares that I've accepted that show in the ride details as "surge". Rides accepted on a multiplier show as regular X rides (no indications of the multiplier).
 
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Fusion_LUser

Well-Known Member
I'm afraid not in this case, although that is a good idea. In my example the pax got a $45 quote to ride with me (I got the ping), and I was not multiplying. This was an actual Uber generated surge with no basis that I can determine. I have had such high fares that I've accepted that show in the ride details as "surge". Rides accepted on a multiplier show as regular X rides (no indications of the multiplier).

I'm actually seeing that as well. I will be sitting at 3.5x and I get a ping for 4.0x or higher. The pax who accept those rides are not even aware I am setting my own rates.

From my own observations I too see the same drivers sitting in the same spot for hours. At first I thought they were at their own home sitting at a higher rate like I do but there was no way to figure that out for certain. I would get pings at my surge rate 13 minutes away from me that I know are much closer to the other ants sitting around. Are they at a higher rate that me? It doesn't appear so.

I don't always take the 13-15 minute away rides even at the surge rates but when I do it's always the same story, the pax was waiting around for a long time looking for a ride until I accepted. So that let me to believe that the other ants are sitting at base rates but cherry picking rides that are worth going out for. With the other ants not taking the ride naturally it came to me at a higher rate.

With that I went on to my next phase on trying to figure out what's going on so I started requesting rides in the general area of the other ants. Just basic short rides and I could not get them to accept my request and the ride would end up with a ping to me! I did this enough that my credit card got concerned and sent me a text asking if I'm actually making the requests. I also found that Uber keeps your cancelled requests on your trip history so I stopped doing that.

I won't argue with anyone that Uber and Lyft have not set their rates too artificially low. It was pointed out that Uber and Lyft have a "regular" base ridership of 2% and the rest are just casual riders at best. It is time to stop worrying about the 2% who want rides that are cheaper than public transportation where nobody wins and cater to those who take casual rides and don't necessarily care about absolute lowest cost.

I do believe most pax just pay what they see on the screen not thinking one way or another its too low or high and in my case these are pax who are happy I'm picking them up at 3.5x.
 

Gone_in_60_seconds

Well-Known Member
View attachment 517218
Post automatically merged:

Uber isn’t making up the surges, the drivers are, but like you said it’ll scare off riders who are used to cheap rides. Uber does warn you that riders may not accept fares that high so if your in an area without high demand you shouldn’t be running high surges. Now if it’s busy and there’s no other cars then crank it up, you gotta know when to use the high surges and when not to or you will force riders to seek other forms of transportation
Totally agree, greed is going to be Uber's and the driver's downfall. Anything higher than 2.0 X surge will cause the riders to go to Taxi. I would imagine only the downtown inner core can sustain 2.0X surge fares and higher, as the trips are generally shorter. But I can see drivers eventually pricing themselves out of any business. Without inclement weather, I cannot imagine any rational rider is going to pay more than 2.0 x Surge?? :geek: :geek: :geek: :geek:
 

TheDevilisaParttimer

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure why everyone thinks riders will pay whatever Uber tells them and aren't price conscious.

Most people almost never took cabs before rideshare because the service was too expensive.

It's only in a few cities like LA, DC, Settle etc where price suppression is a major problem.

$2+ per mile would tank rideshare in the majority of America.
 

MyJessicaLS430

Well-Known Member
Can I ask if setting your own surge is specific only to CA? I believe CA is probably the only state where surge pricing is still in effect.

Do you still see surge clouds in the driver app? It sounds there is no way to determine whether there is indeed an increased demand. Drivers were once accused of surge manipulation by declining pings collectively. Now Uber follows the footstep? What good does it do to Uber? Unlike the fixed amount model, the share a driver receives under the multiplier is proportional to what a customer pays. It doesn't look like Uber can scam the way like they do in most other states.

For those of you who set > 2.0X, how many rides do you have in a shift? Unless there are massive events, who on this planet with competent intellectual function will be willing to pay say 3X, 4X or more? The only time I saw a 5.8X in Houston is the evening that Taylor Swift held a concert in 2017.
 
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Trafficat

Well-Known Member
For those of you who set > 2.0X, how many rides do you have in a shift? Unless there are massive events, who on this planet with competent intellectual function will be willing to pay say 3X, 4X or more?
I think there are many people who have enough money that even a 4X fare is trivial for them to pay, and they'd rather pay the 4X fare than wait 10 minutes for the surge to go down (or for another non-surge driver), let alone wait 30+ minutes for a taxi.
 

Fusion_LUser

Well-Known Member
For those of you who set > 2.0X, how many rides do you have in a shift? Unless there are massive events, who on this planet with competent intellectual function will be willing to pay say 3X, 4X or more? The only time I saw a 5.8X in Houston is the evening that Taylor Swift held a concert in 2017.

When I set to 2.0x I get a lot of pings but they are usually over 13 minutes away. The short ones I don't always take the longer ones I do so when I do this from home I usually do 3.5x or higher. When I'm out and about my usual Friday/Saturday nights I generally take all 2.0x and higher rides that are 10-15 minutes or less away from me. For the past two months I have not taken 1 ride at 1.0x.

Once you go to 3.0x you see more declines and at 4.0x you see a lot of declines. But like @Trafficat said there are those who want a ride and don't want to wait. There are times I will have no rides for two hours then one ride comes in a 4.0x or higher and I am still able to manage a decent $30 or more per hour rate but I'm not doing all the rides and miles... it definitely took a while to get use to this format... Its hard to sit there wonder if you have priced yourself out of any rides and then you start tinkering and moving around, making the classic newbie mistakes.

I think the waiting part plays a big factor for a lot of people and last week I ended up being the lucky one to get a ride at 4.9x for a 60 mile even though I was sitting at 3.5x!
 

_Tron_

Well-Known Member
One of the features we lost in California when Uber went to the new model (25% take rate and exposing the destination, et al) was the long pickup fee.

This is puzzling! The long pickup fee is potentially a good thing for pax, and profitable to both Uber and the driver. The rider app could basically something like this:

"We're sorry but we can't find a nearby driver at the moment. Would you be willing to pay an extra $x to bring in a driver that is 15 minutes away?"


win-win-win.
 

wallae

Well-Known Member
California drivers have of course been enjoying the benefits of Uber's "See law makers? Our drivers are indeed Independent contractors!" gambit, where they now allow all drivers to see the destination and an earnings estimate before accepting a request.

And as noted by many in this forum, drivers active on both platforms have less and less reason to switch on the Lyft app, especially since declining blind Lyft ride requests with a longer than 5-10 minutes pickup time (fill in your own threshold) produces naggings, warnings, timeouts, (and ultimately, deactivation??).

So, Advantage Uber, right?

Maybe not. A recent trend has emerged in my driving locale whereby Uber is spontaneously offering X rides at 3-5 times the normal rate. Put another way, Uber rates are randomly surging BIG TIME for no apparent reason, and pax are not going for it.

I've seen 4-5 ants on the rider app sitting idle for some time, and suddenly a pax is told that a ride that normally costs $15 will cost $48. This is not a demand based price boost. There was no demand. At first I thought perhaps the reason for the sudden jump in fares was supply based; meaning all the drivers had declined the ping, so Uber was raising prices (dramatically) to sweeten the pot and get a driver to accept the request. But no. I had a pax in my car today, not yet on a ride, request a ride through the app in order to get me as the driver. They were instantly offered what amounted to a 4.9x surge price. Instantly. There was no surge in demand at the time, and the price was presented to the pax before other drivers could possibly have had time to decline the request.

These bogus surges are happening with some frequency, forcing riders to the Lyft platform. Except, few drivers around here run the Lyft app, so the pax has called a taxi in some cases.

I love extra money, but not on these terms. Uber is alienating its customers at a time when it could be sweeping Lyft off the game board here in Cali. But no. In their own unique ways, both Uber and Lyft continue to shoot themselves in their proverbial foots.
I agree with the first part that the lift pings are all was so far away.

I just wrote about my area.. 3.75 ave ride @ 3 rides per hour during busy times. Work for 11 per hour gross best case before expenses?? 6 during slower times 😂
Not me? I demand a 3.75 surge minimum.
I see the real problem as: some moron is out taking these trips
 

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