If you’re thinking about using a ride-sharing app during your holiday travels, Uber and Lyft drivers plan to strike in the state on Friday.
They say while fares for customers haven’t really changed recently, the drivers’ share has.
With one son and a baby girl on the way, Uber driver Guillermo Estrella is worried after he says his earnings recently plunged.
“It’s going to be tough to get presents for the family, you know,” says Estrella.
On Wednesday, the Branford father says he picked up rides for ten hours and made $96, about a third less than he’s used to.
“My wife doesn’t speak much English and she come from another country. And we try to make a living. In the meantime, it’s a little bit tough,” says Estrella.
Estrella and others blame Uber for adjusting how it pays out for rides a couple of weeks ago.
Drivers say now they make a little more per minute.
But they say that doesn’t make up for the drop in the rate they’re paid per mile, which went from 82 cents to 65 cents.
“The customer like Uber because it’s very cheap for the customer. But for the driver it’s very, very bad business now. Very, very bad business,” says Carlos Gomez.
That’s why Gomez is helping to organize a strike in the state of drivers for Uber and Lyft, which drivers complain also pays too little.
On Friday from 6:00am until 11:00pm, they’re hoping hundreds of drivers turn off their ride-share apps and will rally at four locations including at train stations in New Haven, Hartford and Stamford, as well as Bradley Airport.
They’re fighting for better rates for drivers, benefits and a limit on the number of drivers.
“To show the company, you know, we need this thing to make a chance to be doing things better for our families,” said Estrella.
Now in a statement, a representative of Lyft told us, “We strive to ensure drivers can maximize their earnings and are committed to helping them succeed."
Lyft says it recently changed drivers’ rates to place more value on time than distance, though the company argues earnings should remain about the same.
We have not yet heard back from Uber.