Last week, a public relations skirmish broke out between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Uber, after researchers at the school’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR) released a dismaying study on the subject of ride-sharing drivers’ profits. Across the board, they estimated, after accounting for such business costs as fuel, depreciation, and insurance, Uber and Lyft drivers — independent contractors by definition, and thus granted few of the protections that even the most rudimentary part-time jobs boast — often saw their take-home pay dip well below $4 an hour.
The electric scooter is the latest entrant into the app-based mobility market.
Residents and visitors in the nation’s capital, and in many other U.S. cities, now have access to motorized scooters that rent for as little as $1 plus 15 cents per minute. The services work similarly to the dockless bike systems, allowing users to track down a scooter via an app and to drop it off just about anywhere after a trip is completed. No docking is required.
The new transportation product is touted as another option for commuters to make first- and last-mile trips in complement to traditional transit.
“Today, 40 percent of car trips are less than two miles long. Our goal is to replace as many of those trips as possible so we can get cars off the road and curb traffic and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Travis VanderZanden, founder and chief executive of Bird, which recently announced plans to bring scooters to 50 U.S. markets by the end of the year. The company is in several California markets and has raised $100 million to expand to cities outside the state, including the District.
The median profit before taxes earned by ride-hailing drivers at either service is about $3.37, or less than half of the minimum wage in most states, researchers at MIT’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research wrote in their newly published working paper, “Economics of Ride-Hailing: Driver Revenue, Expenses and Taxes.”
Culled from interviews conducted with over 1,100 Uber and Lyft drivers, the analysis “provides one of the first detailed estimates of ride-hailing profit,” its authors wrote.
WASHINGTON — As the temperatures warm up, cherry blossom lovers are warming up for their big moment.
Blooming blossoms will lure locals and out-of-towners to the National Mall and Tidal Basin during this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival (March 20–April 15).
The crowd size could be a bit more humanity than you’re accustomed to. The good news is you have several options for getting around there. Whether it’s four wheels, two wheels, trains or boats, you have flexibility. Here’s some guidance so you can strategize accordingly.