Having a higher rate WILL stop the good drivers from leaving though and if a better rating system were designed the bad drivers would eventually lose business to the better drivers as the pax would be more discerning due to the higher rates. A rating system where the pax can see available cars willing to go to their location and the ratings for things like safe driving, cleanliness of car, knowledge of the city, even things that vary but are not necessarily positive or negative, like talkativeness would allow them to pick what works for them ON THAT DAY (because sometimes you would choose the driver whose city knowledge is the best as you're in a hurry and you don't care if his car is not pristine; another day you may not care about much but you absolutely don't feel like talking to someone--the "quiet" driver would be best then) but a low rating on too many things and that bad driver will not get trips.
An easy way to reward drivers would be to allow them to set up their own clients by having them pay a smaller commission to you for rides where the client specifically requests them. This would allow drivers to build up a client base perhaps in their neighborhood.
Of course a REAL background check would also help to weed out some of those drivers as well.
And God forbid you put a limit on how many drivers you have. Of course if you made the platform available only 40 hours a week and no more than 12 hours a day that would help safety.
Which brings me to not being an @@@@@@@. If I were running this and my not giving a shit caused a driver who was working 100 hours a week to try and pay his crappy Santander lease AND keep a roof over his head to kill someone because he fell asleep at the wheel I would be devastated. But Travis has no conscience. He doesn't care. Yes, accidents happen but a decent person tries to minimize the risk. Travis doesn't give a damn about the drivers, the pax, or anyone else out there who is broke, suicidal, injured or dead as a result of Uber's practices.
IMHO you have to be a psychopath to act the way he does. We all know the research that showed that CEOs have more psychopathic tendencies than the general population. He's a prime example.
To be a CEO you pretty much have to have killer instinct and prey on the weak to make money anyways possible. Think of sweatshops and the owners of Nike, reebok, Adidas etc.
Having a higher rate will not lose drivers but will eventually lose customer base, you want the most riders to sign up and use uber as frequently as possible. That has always been uber's goal, total market domination. How do you do that? You undercut every competitor in town. That $1 SRF fees is really what uber is after at this point. Most rides are taken place in the city don't you agree? Where there are a lot of minimum fares, the SRF fees adds up to shit tons of money at the end of the day.
If you can cut rate, have idiots drive for free, and still make money and dominate the market, then why won't you do it? Yeah it's morally @@@@ed up, but that's what it takes to get to where he is.