Drivers for Uber and Lyft's rideshare companies staged a protest at the Atlanta airport on Saturday, disrupting travel during one of the busiest holiday travel periods to demand better pay.
Drivers closed their apps at 4 p.m. and remained parked for several hours at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to disrupt holiday travel, FOX 5 Atlanta reported.
“As long as we protest, passengers will remain stuck, and that may have an impact,” one driver told FOX Atlanta.
The goal of the protest was to send a message to ride-sharing companies that drivers deserve higher wages, as drivers claim they are paid enough per trip.
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According to the report, the drivers said they received less than 50% of the trip fare. Some drivers reported that they received less than 30%.
Lyft driver Deborah Williams called the pay discrepancy “ridiculous.”
“I took a flight the other day, and she said she paid $102 for a 40-minute flight. I got $25, and that's because I got a $5 gratuity!” She said to everyone Fox Atlanta.
An Uber spokesperson defended the company's policy on ride-sharing driver pay, saying some drivers can earn more than $30 an hour.
“Earnings in Atlanta are more than $30 per hour when drivers are actively working on the platform,” the spokesperson said, according to the report. “Drivers also receive fare and destination information in advance before accepting a trip, and have full discretion to decide which trips are worth their time.”
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A Lyft spokesperson said drivers get paid three different ways: advance payment, tips, and bonuses.
“Lyft takes drivers’ concerns seriously and regularly explores ways to improve their experience on the platform,” a Lyft spokesperson said. “Last year, we introduced Advance Pay in Georgia and across the country, which shows drivers ride information and what they will earn before accepting a ride. We also provide drivers with a weekly fare summary detailing their earnings and the total amount riders paid.”
A Lyft spokesperson said prepayment is the fare paid to drivers for each ride, which can be viewed before the driver accepts it. The fare depends on several factors, including the estimated time and distance to complete the trip, as well as demand for trips in the area and other market factors.
Drivers can also keep all tips given by passengers, according to a Lyft spokesperson.
A Lyft spokesperson said drivers' earnings also include a variety of rewards offered by the company. These rewards are most commonly offered during busier times and in busier locations.
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Despite the outcry, several passengers in the Atlanta airport ride-sharing area told Fox 5 Atlanta they had no problem requesting an Uber or Lyft ride.
The drivers who organized the boycott said they were planning another boycott.
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