Expert: How higher pay for Uber, Lyft drivers can benefit riders

Sep 21, 2019, 6:48 AM
lyft, uber, seattle, Uber tax...
Uber and Lyft drivers push for better pay. (AP)

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced a large proposal to mandate a minimum wage for ride-share drivers Thursday. The measure will up the cost of rides by 51 cents each, but there are still plenty of benefits for both customers and drivers.

“I don’t remember the last time I got into an Uber or Lyft car and they offered me candy and water and all of those extra amenities, and frankly, it’s because the companies have lowered pay over time,” rideshare expert Harry Campbell told KIRO Radio’s Candy, Mike and Todd Show. “I think there’s a lot less incentive, and it’s a lot tougher for drivers to want to go above and beyond and build that Uber and Lyft brand when they don’t get to reap as much of the rewards.”

Durkan proposes higher pay for Lyft, Uber drivers to fund transit, housing

Campbell runs “The Rideshare Guy” blog and podcast, previously drove for both Uber and Lyft, and worked as an engineer to boot.

For him, an ideal proposal would pay drivers a fair wage, allow them the flexibility that walks hand-in-hand with the gig economy, and make it so prices for customers track with the profits Uber and Lyft pull in.

“I’ve worked for a number of companies not in the gig economy, and in my former career as an engineer … they would hire [full-time] W-2 employees, and they would also hire independent contractors, and they would literally be doing the same job, but with different requirements and restrictions,” he described.

He sees a similar way forward for companies like Uber and Lyft, by providing a safety net for those who want to be full-time employees with a guaranteed minimum wage, as well as flexibility for those who’d prefer not to be fully committed to driving.

As for paying drivers, Campbell largely sees that as a positive for one, simple reason: When your employees feel like they’re being fairly compensated, they’re more likely to pass that down onto their customers.

Why Seattle taxis are still surviving despite Uber and Lyft

And even if the cost per ride does inevitably increase with higher pay for drivers, Campbell points out how that would represent the market as it always should have been.

“I think really what it boils down to is up until this point, (rideshare) companies have lost a lot of money, and passengers have gotten a great deal,” he said. “They really haven’t had to pay the true cost of all of these rides.”

As Uber and Lyft continue to become more profitable, that leaves more money to go around for drivers, especially if they become full-time employees.

Candy Mike and Todd

guns, assault weapons, gun, 1639, 1639 gun initiative, gun tax...
Mike Lewis

Mike: We should not restrict guns but their owners are different story

If you are a commercial pilot or general contractor likely you understand the value of licensing; So why not license gun owners?
3 years ago
snow day...
MyNorthwest Staff

What’s better for kids: a school snow day or a two-hour delay?

The recent snow fall stirred up a debate: What's better for kids, a snow day or two-hour delay?
3 years ago
shoveling snow...
MyNorthwest Staff

Candy: Everyone should shovel snow as a chore

Shoveling snow is a unique experience here in the Pacific Northwest. Here are five reasons everyone should shovel snow as a chore.
3 years ago
Todd Herman

The theft of parental rights in Washington state is unconscionable and immoral

Quoting a law passed in Democrat-controlled Washington state originally designed to make sure girls could get secret abortions, insurance companies have been writing to parents informing them they no longer have any rights to be involved in crucial, life-altering decisions their kids want to make.
3 years ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Guilt tipping has got to stop

We are seeing tipping pop up in unusual places. I've seen new tip lines at a craft store, clothing store, and a 7-11 in the last few months.
3 years ago
Space Needle fireworks, New Year's Eve, seattle baby...
MyNorthwest Staff

Tell me I’m wrong: Everyone should have a New Year’s resolution

What is preventing us from reaching our fitness goals the rest of the year? KIRO Radio's Candy Harper weighs in.
3 years ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Expert: How higher pay for Uber, Lyft drivers can benefit riders