Ride-hailing apps have brought a new level of convenience to many consumers and provided new work opportunities. But these benefits have often come at the expense of full-time drivers’ wages and job stability. Both traditional taxi drivers and ride-hailing drivers are feeling increasingly squeezed.
Of the thousands of Uber drivers who work in the District, more than a third live east of the Anacostia River. But since Uber began operating in the city five years ago, those drivers haven’t had a central hub to meet face-to-face with employees of the ride-hailing giant — to ask questions or share their experiences among others in their position.
Metro is the most efficient means of commuting to and from the D.C. suburbs, but when it comes to intra-city travel — trips beginning and ending in the District — Uber is often the faster way around, according to a new analysis from the D.C. Office of the Chief Financial Officer. And though ride-hailing is almost always more expensive than public transit, lower-cost pooling options make it nearly as affordable to hail a car in the District as to take Metro, while adding only marginally to travel times.
While Uber continues to command most of the attention in the ride-hailing industry, its rival Lyft is quietly growing in Washington, gaining market share and expanding its customer and driver bases at the expense of its larger competitor.