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The affects of the global cornavirus pandemic have been felt by those across the globe. There are many ways the affects can manifest into your daily life, whether it be that you now have to stay home a majority of time, you know someone who is sick, or you are struggling financially due to closures of business.
At the forefront of that last category are those who rely on people venturing out into the world to spend money, like the restaurant and bar industry, hair and nail salons, movie theaters, and, of course, the people that get them to all of those places: Uber and Lyft drivers.
The Hustle surveyed 397 Uber drivers from March 18 to 20 to find out how the pandemic is affecting them.
Full-time drivers are feeling the affects hard
According to the report, about 20% of drivers rely on ridesharing services as a sole source of income. Some drivers work up to 80 hours per week to earn a sufficient amount.
Many of these drivers are among the 78% of Americans that live paycheck to paycheck. Those that rely on driving for their sole source of income are in trouble, as full-time drivers have seen their income decreased by more than 60% in recent weeks, according to the report.
Are Uber and Lyft drivers still allowed to drive?
People are still allowed to take Uber and Lyft rides, but just because they can, does not mean that they are. And many drivers are playing it safe, too.
According to the survey, 43% of drivers reported they are staying home, while 57% said they are still driving during the pandemic.
How has the pandemic affected the hourly pay of full-time drivers?
The Hustle gathered data from 58 full-time drivers, and the results were grim. The data showed a dramatic decline across various categories compared to typical numbers.
- Rides per day went from 23 to 6
- Weekly pay went from $1,072 to $348
- Hourly pay dropped from $22 to $9
In the months before the virus started to spread in the United States, the drivers included in the survey averaged $22 an hour. The third week in March, the same drivers averaged $9 per hour, which drops down to $5.50 after accounting for work-related expenses and platform fees, a number almost $2 below the federal minimum wage.
Of course, the number of rides and income earned varies greatly between drivers depending on a number of factors, but The Hustle reports that “nearly every driver in our survey reported deflated ride volume.” Some drivers went from 30 rides per day to only three or four that were spread across a 10-hour shift.
Of course, the decreased demand is leading to disastrous outcomes for the amount a driver is able to earn.
Average hourly pay, which is based on daily fares and number of hours worked, and calculated before expenses are taken into account, dropped anywhere from 22% to 85% among the drivers that were surveyed.
Drivers in California, which has enacted the strictest rules of lockdown so far, have felt the effects more than most.
One Lyft driver in Los Angeles, who typically brings in $600 to $800 per week, struggled to make $100 in the third week of March while driving the same number of hours.