Fair Helps Those Without Cars Drive For Uber, Is It Equitable

can be reached at meehna@gmail.com
can be reached at meehna@gmail.com
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pocket

Fair partnered up with Uber with an incentive to get more ride-share drivers on the road. A vehicle subscription provider located in Santa Monica, Fair is offering eligible Uber drivers in select U.S. markets the opportunity to drive for the first week free.

In addition, the Fair program, which already launched in California in January, takes away the credit requirement. Eligible drivers can get into a “pre-owned, rideshare-ready car” (what’s that?), by scanning their license, placing an order for a car, picking up their keys and driving it for as long as they want—with no long-term commitment or even physical paperwork. Presto, they’ve got a job!

Free-ish First Week

The drivers receive the first week “free” via credits put in their account applied towards a payment. But they must pay the tax on the weekly fee. So, it’s not really free. However, the fee does bundle unlimited mileage, insurance, a limited warranty, roadside assistance, and fully-reimbursed routine maintenance. Oh, and perhaps it’s obvious, but gas isn’t included.

Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash

“Anyone should be able to drive for Uber, and we’re enabling that by removing the many traditional hurdles to accessing a vehicle,” said Fair CEO and Founder Scott Painter. “Not only does this program offer flexibility and simplicity through its all-in-one payment, but it reimburses the entire cost to drivers who meet its ride goals, essentially allowing them to access a car for free. It’s an unprecedented way to expand access to earning opportunities to thousands of new Uber drivers and ensure the growth of ridesharing going forward.”

But, do we need more rideshare drivers on the road? Issues with fairness of the pay scale have become a hot topic. One driver calculated his hourly rate at $3.75 per hour. In California, the minimum wage ranges from $10.50-11.00 per hour depending upon number of employees. In response, New York City implemented a hiring freeze to address several issues, including the dismal wage drivers earn.

Adding insult to injury, Lyft and Uber just floated its IPOs with Lyft valued at $24 billion and Uber at a staggering $84 billion. Founders and investors will be rolling in it on the backs of its proletariat. I don’t know about you, but I think this goes beyond unfair – and the proletariat is revolting.

How The Program Works

To get started with the Fair/Uber program, drivers put up a refundable $185 security deposit with no down payment or startup fee—and are free to turn the vehicle in whenever they want.

After the first week, drivers in the California program who choose to continue the subscription will auto-renew for another 7 days and Fair will charge the driver the upfront weekly payment of $185, plus tax.

As a carrot from Uber’s end, for a limited time, drivers who complete 70 Uber trips a week will receive $185 in incentive payments from Uber, which can be applied to the weekly subscription fee from Fair. It increases to $305 per week for 120 trips. Uber also offers a $500 credit to drivers who defect from competitor Lyft, if they meet certain conditions.

Fair’s contract auto-renews weekly up to 28 days. At the end of this period, drivers who don’t want to continue, digitally resign in the Fair app. This driveshare program expands the 16-month old partnership between Fair and Uber. Fair is relatively new to the subscription market, having launched in August 2017. Since then, it has entered 30 plus markets across the U.S. and counts more than 30,000 subscribers, included both consumers and Uber drivers.

Do The Math First

“Drivers come from all walks of life, and we’re focused on finding more opportunities for them to earn with Uber and pursue their long-term goals – even if they don’t have access to a car,” said Daniel Danker, Head of Driver Product at Uber. “That’s why we created a platform helping drivers hit the road more quickly, and why we’re excited to partner with Fair to expand dependable vehicle access.”

Photo by Ashraf Ali on Unsplash

While the program seems generous upon first blush, drivers should make sure to do due diligence, calculating expenses and at least doing some sort of projection before they jump in and sign. Otherwise they could end up losing money.

The contracted rate of $185 per week means you’re shelling out a $740 monthly car payment for a used car that’s not even yours. You can buy a really nice (and new) luxury car for that amount—and get the full coverage package offered with this “deal” for three plus years, which is industry standard.

Although the program is obviously good business for Uber and Lyft—you can be assured they did the projections—drivers should be careful before signing on the proverbial dotted line.


About the Author

can be reached at meehna@gmail.com
Close Menu