Compensation: How Drivers are Paid

TNC Drivers are paid by both time and distance, at the same time, from the beginning to the end of each ride, plus a small, base fare.  The TNC Companies (Lyft and Uber) keep a percentage of these rates and base fare, as a fee, paid by drivers.

Other Fees Paid by Riders (that do not go to the Drivers):
Lyft charges riders a $1.55 service fee. Uber charges $1.70.
Riders also pay a 50 cent fee to the City.  And, riders picked up at PDX pay a $2.00 airport fee to the Port of Portland.

The History of TNC Rates in Portland (Details in chart, below.)

April 2015 — Lyft and Uber officially began operating in Portland.  Their rates were:

$1.55 per mile and 30 cents per minute
Taxi rates were about 1.7x the TNC rates; 70% more expensive.
Lyft and Uber were cheaper options.  Riders had NO Complaints about those original rates.  Most TNC drivers were relatively satisfied.

February 2016 — After 10 months of doing business and growing the local TNC market, Uber abruptly cut rates to:

$1.15 per mile and 20 cents per minute (that was a price cut of 26% per mile and 33% per minute).         

Uber also raised the percentage of the fare that they keep (the fee paid by drivers) from 20% to 25% (for new drivers).

After a few weeks, Lyft matched Uber’s rate cuts, in order to stay competitive.  They also increased their driver fee to 25%.

When Uber announced their rate cuts, they said that they would be “temporary”.  But, it’s now more than a year later, and Uber and  Lyft have still not restored the original rates.  These changes have resulted in decreased pay for drivers.

Portland-area Taxi Companies have increased their rates, while TNC rates have gone down.

Taxi rates are now approximately 2.5x per mile, 3.5x per minute* and 2.4x the base fare, compared to Lyft and Uber. 

See details in the chart below; the difference in rates is huge.


We, The Drivers Collective PDX, believe that the current TNC driver compensation is outrageously low and unacceptable.  If you agree, here’s how you can help: