Stranded BC

The income of ridesharing drivers in Canada

Source: Zebing Zong, 2019

What is the income of the rideshare drivers? This is a question which has thousand answers and most of them can be divided into two extreme groups.

Global News reported - In Canadian dollars, an hourly wage of US$11.77 would translate to C$15.05, which is slightly above Ontario’s current minimum wage of $14 per hour, and will hit even closer to the wage floor when the minimum wage is raised to $15 per hour in January 2019.

The same news paper reported - The study, by the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, found that drivers’ median pre-tax profit was $3.37 per hour, using results from a survey of more than 1,100 workers of the ride hailing companies.

A May 2019 study from Stanford University indicated that the gross hourly earnings for U.S. drivers between January 2015 and May 2017 was $21.07. 

Lawrence Mishel, (the author of the report on the income of the drivers and a distinguished fellow at EPI,) pointed out that these findings of Stanford didn’t subtract costs like gas, car depreciation, and Uber’s service fee. As per A recent report by the Economic Policy Institute (Lawrence Mishel is a member) has pegged the hourly wage of an Uber driver at around US$11.77 (adjusted to about $10.87 when factoring in what contractors contribute to Medicare and social security) or about minimum wage.

Reason Behind Debate

Gig-economy wages have been widely disputed, and several studies have already attempted to determine the earning potential of Uber/Lyft drivers. But the findings of these studies are contradictory in nature. The huge numbers of the drivers, types of drivers are so different that a certain conclusion is yet to achieve. 

Some General Factors

It is true that most of the drivers are not much aware of the factors which are essential to calculate their earning. There are the other hidden costs associated with becoming a ridesharing driver, like:

Gas/ carwashes and interior detailing/ insurance /Tolls/ car payments /maintenance/ self-employment taxes and few others.

Is the attractive income false in the advertisement?

Answer – NO

One driver told Slate magazine that after factoring these costs, he really makes $12 an hour. Business Insider found one driver who was really only making $4.54 an hour.

The highest-earning rideshare drivers will learn to minimize expenses, maximize tax write-offs, and position themselves to take advantage of surge pricing to triple their average fare.

Here the words of Joseph Aron,( lived in Toronto, ON)  are valuable –“ I drive Uber part-time whenever I can however I do know numerous individuals who do Uber as their full-time job. To maximize your earning you need to work smarter not necessarily harder.

What do I mean by that? You need first off to know your city or town. You need to know the Main Street train stations bars clubs and any other places where people congregate or have date to date business. Traditionally the busiest time is morning Rush which is usually between 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and evening Rush which is between 4 p.m. until approximately 7 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Then of course there is Thursday Friday and Saturdays which are traditional the busiest days. I know of two people that grows approximately $1,200 a week by doing Uber full-time. Of course there are many things you need to take into consideration such as fuel cost, depreciation, wear and tear on your vehicle, taxes, and many other incidentals as well.

In order to really make money you also have to get smart tax advice as well. A big pitfalls of uber is that many drivers just get into it right away without researching or knowing what the potential tax implications are which vary from state to state and Province to province. Getting a good accountant is also Paramount as well.”

Here are some other figures:

  • 97% of Uber drivers are satisfied with their schedule flexibility
  • 91% are satisfied with their work-life balance
  • 50% drive for Uber less than 10 hours a week, making Uber a great source of part-time income (aka: side hustle).
  • 74.9% of riders prefer Uber over taxis
  • 71% feel unsafe in taxis
  • 60% between the ages of 34–55 choose Uber every single time—regardless of price
  • Because of Uber’s convenience and affordability, 10% of Millennials are putting off buying a car

So, it may be a safe conclusion if we say that the drivers who work for rideshare services, can obviously make good profit if they obtain the required knowledge and skills necessary for their business and be attentive about the expense factors.

The average income of the capable drivers in some of the cities in Canada are –

Uber Toronto Drivers make anywhere from $16 to $26 per hour.

Uber drivers in Montreal reported to make anywhere in range of $19 to $22 per hour

Uber drivers in Ottawa are making around $22 per hour,

Uber drivers in Calgary are averaging $20 per hour,

UBER drivers in Edmonton are making average of $19 per hour.

That is why the taxi-drivers of BC are eager to drive for rideshare companies. – CBC reports.

“Kelsey Anderson had been driving for Cheam Taxi for nearly a year. She says she wouldn't work as a taxi driver anymore — but she would work for ride-hailing service Uber, if it ever comes to British Columbia.”

Sources:

Aron, J. (2018, April 4). quora.com. Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-average-income-of-a-full-time-Uber-driver-in-Toronto

Belmonte, A. (2019, May 10). ca.finance.yahoo.com. Retrieved from https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/uber-driver-pay-144045917.html

https://youngandthrifty.ca. (2018, March 19). Retrieved from https://youngandthrifty.ca/uber-driver/

McWilliams, G. (2018, March 4). globalnews.ca. Retrieved from https://globalnews.ca/news/4061547/uber-mit-study-drivers-hourly-wage/

Vomiero, J. (2018, May 16). globalnews.ca. Retrieved from https://globalnews.ca/news/4213667/uber-drivers-minimum-wage-gig-economy/

Zeidler, M. (2018, January 7). cbc.ca. Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/even-taxi-drivers-say-they-want-to-work-for-uber-but-will-there-be-enough-of-them-1.4476067