Here's what rideshare drivers told us they really wanted

Independence with more control?

We recently surveyed Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, and Postmates drivers following the California ruling that one Uber driver should be considered an employee. Over 240 drivers responded, and 97 left comments. The narrative of comments was strikingly similar, overwhelmingly reflecting the below sentiment. Here are the samples of those comments:

1. We love being part of this flexible & innovative way of earning as contractors

  • “The great thing about being an independent contractor is the flexibility and their limitless opportunity to make good money.”

  • “If we become employees I’ll hang up my keys. I already have a job that dictates what I do, when and how I do it. I don’t need another one like it.“

  • “They are going to require hours from us and that’s not what this is all about.”

  • “I chose to be an Uber driver for the tax benefits and flexibility of a business owner. If you make drivers employees, we might as well be taxi drivers.”

  • “This ruling is going to make being an Uber passenger less desirable because either prices will go up, or, if Uber relinquishes control of more things to make us remain contractors, quality and standardization will go down. Or both. Lose lose lose.”

  • “Another political judge taking a shot at free markets, less regulation and freedom of choice.”

2. Although company control over drivers does not often align with independence

  • “If I was an independent contractor I could set my own rates.”

  • “They dictate our rates for picking up passengers, they can fire us due to passenger ratings, they require us to pay our own gas and maintenance and give us no options that a real contractor would have. We are employees.”

  • “Don't slap a label just because its convenient, i want to be an IC with control of my business. These TNCs give the “independent contractors” little control.”

  • “Due to the fact that Uber wants to restrict tips, in car ads, and manipulates fares to goad drivers into driving at certain times, and will fire drivers if they do not like the work, I think they want all the benefits of control that having employees gives while making all the drivers pay all the costs.”

  • “Uber & Lyft can’t have it both ways. If we’re true independent drivers we could set our own rates. The only two things drivers can control is when you drive & how much.”

3. More control would be great, but this may be best through some new independent/employee designation...

  • “I think we’re semi-employees/semi-independent, really in a gray area.”

  • “The judge is saying they are employees despite what Uber calls them. I believe we should be contractors. To accomplish this Uber should give us more power over the parameters in which we operate.”

  • I see this as a stepping stone for independent contractors. But I think Uber and other companies like it may end up using third party companies to hire out their drivers to keep the company and software separate. Just a thought.

  • Uber drivers should remain 1099 contractors with some restructuring.

4. It's likely nothing will change anytime soon

  • “It’s unknown whether this ruling will help drivers in the near term. It’s quite possible this ruling will be appealed for several years.”

Do you agree or disagree with the above comments? See the full survey comments here

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independent contractor, employee, lawsuit, rideshare, uber, lyft, sidecar,

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