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Lyft beats Uber in driver satisfaction, according to new survey

Rideshare drivers reflect on the economics of the industry

Lyft BestStockFoto / Shutterstock.com

Any ride you summon on your smart phone may seem pretty interchangeable. But the brand matters to drivers. According to a new survey that consulted more than 1,000 drivers for different transportation network companies, Lyft drivers are happier than Uber drivers. And it’s not just because of the higher paycheck ($1.82 an hour, to be exact).

Put together by Harry Campbell, The Rideshare Guy, the new survey asked readers of his blog about drivers for these new TNCs to dish about their jobs and employers, compiling thoughts on rider satisfaction and pay. The site claims the unscientific query was the largest-ever survey of industry workers (Campbell sent an email to his readers looking for answers, and received 1,150 responses).

Not surprisingly, pay and flexible hours were the two most important factors for the ridehailing workforce, which attracts a variety of different types of workers, from part-timers seeking supplemental cash to full-time drivers. The results from the survey provides interesting insight into the composition and compensation of the ridehailing workforce, as well as the differences between operators.

Driver economics Rideshare Guy

Lyft drivers are happier, higher paid, and earn better ratings than Uber drivers

Campbell’s head-to-head stats put Lyft on top: their drivers are more satisfied with their driving experience than Uber drivers (75.8 percent versus 49.4 percent), earn more ($17.50 versus $15.68, due to higher base rates and in-app tipping), and earn better average ratings (4.88 versus 4.84).

Many drivers work for multiple operators, though Uber is king

Drivers are constantly flipping between different companies looking for business and the best return on their time. A solid majority of drivers, 67 percent, work for two services, though 75 percent say they primarily work for Uber.

Age of rideshare drivers Rideshare Guy

Income disparities between different groups of drivers

When sorting income by race and gender, the survey authors discovered earnings were less for women ($14.26 an hour versus $16.61 an hour for men), older drivers (those 61 or older earned nearly $3 less than drivers aged 18-30) and minorities (African-American drivers earned $13.96 an hour on average, below the all-drivers average of $16.08). Ridehailing has a higher percentage of female drivers than the cab industry; 19% of Uber drivers and 19.2% of Lyft drivers in the survey identified as female, while 14.6% of taxi drivers are women (only 1% of New York cabbies are women). While the survey noted that differences could be due in part to driving during different times of the day, it also reflects other instances of discrimination profiled in the gig and sharing economy, such as the complaints lodged against Airbnb.

Pay rates for ridesahre drivers Rideshare Guy

Pay varies widely

Due to market discrepancies and the different times of the day and week drivers decide to get behind the wheel, income varies significantly. This chart above shows a huge difference in the hourly rate of pay before expenses.

Drivers may be older than you think

Survey responses indicated that 54% of drivers are over 51 years of age, and 77.5 percent are 41 or older. Unfortunately, the survey also found that older drivers often get paid less than younger drivers.