Uber Philly: More Affordable Rides, Higher Driver Earnings

Since uberX launched in Philadelphia in October 2014, we’ve provided over 6,000 driver-partners with an unprecedented way to make a living or earn supplemental income on their own schedule. And all the while, we’ve connected riders in Philadelphia and the surrounding area with an increasingly affordable way to move around, facilitating over one million rides in the area.

The story that most riders already know is that our fares are now lower than ever, making Uber both the highest-quality and most affordable ride on the road. With a price reduction in January, the average fare in Philadelphia has decreased by over 20%, making the cost of an uberX trip up to 55% less than a local taxi.

The graph below on the left shows the average fare for a trip taken on uberX in December 2014, and again in March 2015. That story is pretty well known. What’s less well known, however, is how driver earnings changed over the same period in time. The chart below on the right shows the positive impact these price cuts have had on driver earnings.

The results are clear: uberX partners are earning more per hour than ever before. As you can see, uberX driver-partners are earning 28% more per hour1, while simultaneously, riders are paying 20% less per trip on average.

So, how is this possible?

It’s simple: The Uber network is getting much more efficient, helping make each hour a driver spends logged into the Uber system more valuable than it’s ever been.

It’s important to understand that driver-partners earn money when they have a rider in the car. That means the more time driver-partners spend with riders, and the less time between trips, the more they’re able to earn per hour. The uberX fare cut in January 2015 led to huge growth in demand and increased earnings for our driver-partners.

Here’s a snapshot of what a typical hour looked like for driver-partners in December of 2014 and then again in March:


In a given hour, uberX driver-partners are now spending 24 minutes (40% of their time) on our platform with a rider, compared to 15 minutes (25% of their time) in December, an incredible 60% increase in efficiency. As our partners are delivering more rides, they are spending less time idle, making more money, and helping to make our operations more efficient in Philadelphia every day.

If Pennsylvania legislators embrace this innovative new option and put forth sensible ridesharing regulations for the entire state, including Philadelphia, we expect these positive trends will only increase over time—giving residents more affordable, reliable transportation choices and expanding economic opportunity for entrepreneurs in the community.

1 The chart shows gross fares per hour. To calculate net payout to partners, subtract the 20% Uber fee and the $1 Safe Rides fee. In March 2015, average net $/hour works out to $15.41/hour.

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