Online cab aggregator Uber (which recently changed its logo) has delisted as many as 60 drivers in Pune after they were found doing ghost rides to ensure that they got their full weekly incentive and reimbursements. MediaNama spoke with several drivers who said that the delisted drivers were picking up ghost passengers: starting a trip without a real passenger in their cab, and driving the car around the city (anything between 2-8kms) and then ending the trip.
We’ve written to Uber for more details and will update this once we hear from them.
Incentive structure changed
Drivers across multiple cities say that Uber offers two weekly packages for drivers: on completing 10 trips, drivers get Rs
1,800- 2,000 2,700 daily, whereas the other package offers Rs 2,300 3,200 on completing 12 trips every day. This is a recent restructuring of the package, since they mention that previously, Uber offered an incentive of Rs 170-220 over every trip that a driver completed, adding that in Pune there are anything between 7,000 to 24,000 Uber cabs, whereas Ola has 21,000 cars in the city.
Drivers get one chance after goofing up
Drivers say that they need to maintain anything from a 4.1 to 4.6 rating on their driving to stay as drivers on the platform and are given one chance after they fall below that rating to keep using Uber. Since Uber also has to maintain the quality of drivers so that more and more people use it, this may be just one of its parameters to keep the platform reliable and not dodgy.
Its discerning to note that Uber drivers from Bangalore and Hyderabad have protested previously, with aid from local unions, when Uber changed its incentive policy. (The struggle of driving a Uber cab in Pune and Mumbai here.)
Maintaining the quality of drivers on the platform
Since Uber does not call its drivers employees, it has the freedom to keep on getting newer drivers on the platform to sort of stabilise the riding needs of a city, along with its plans to add as many cars to its platform as possible. On how the company gets drivers on its platform, Uber’s Karun Arya told MediaNama last year that, “The adoption (of drivers on the platform) is spreading virally and the drivers obviously communicate through their own networks, it spreads through word of mouth and we have a lot of driver marketing.”
The concept of a driver is changing
On being asked what issues drivers faced, Arya said then, “After Uber and others came into the market, gradually and slowly, the concept of being a driver was changing. It was becoming a little more respected profession than it was before… Now, the perception of being a driver has taken a big hit because of various incidents, and because more than 99% of these people are honest hardworking individuals just trying to make a better living.”
Quora’s Are Uber drivers ever penalized for canceling? and
Our Uber coverage here.