Uber Drivers Shut Down Tonight | WABE 90.1 FM

Uber Drivers Shut Down Tonight

Jan 16, 2015

Uber drivers in Atlanta are protesting fare cuts from 5 tonight to 3 a.m.
Credit Julio Cortez, File / Associated Press

Their phones are logged out, and the cars are in park. Uber drivers in Atlanta are responding to a 20 percent fare cut by the company.

Prices for a ride dropped last week in nearly 50 cities. Protest organizers want drivers to stop taking clients from 5 tonight until 3 a.m.

Louise Cook has been driving for Uber for nine months. “It was really sort of a crushing blow. We all love our clients. We all want to drive for Uber. But we can’t do it if we don’t make at least some money," said Cook.

She expects somewhere between 500 to 1,000 of her fellow Uber drivers to join her in turning their apps off for the night. 

According to Uber’s blog, the cuts will attract more customers, and increase drivers’ pay. Uber shows drivers are making more money in New York and Chicago after similar fare cuts last year. Local drivers say they want to see the numbers for Atlanta.

Uber has issued an earning guarantee along with the cuts. The company says they're so confident drivers will benefit, that if fares don't add up to a certain minimum per hour, Uber will make up the difference. The guarantee comes with conditions, however; and protestors say they're just not realistic.

“Sometimes you don’t get a beep in an hour, so if you don’t get a page from an Uber client that you’ve been matched with, you don’t get that guarantee,” said Cook.

She says ride share drivers often make ends meet by driving for more than one company, making it all but impossible to meet the other condition of the Uber guarantee. 

Uber has not responded to requests for comment. Drivers say they’ll keep signing out if their voices aren’t heard.