New Delhi: Amid controversies over drivers’ earnings and incentives offered to them, Uber on Friday said currently 80 percent of its drivers across India who are online for more than six hours a day make between Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,500 net, after its service fee.
“Small numbers of individuals, who do not represent the majority of the driver community, have been preventing drivers who want to work from doing so. We have been communicating daily to drivers – through phone support, text and video messages and in person at our greenlight centres, where every day thousands of drivers walk in to resolve their concerns,” Uber India President Amit Jain said in a blog post on Friday.
He also said its business grew over three years in India and the company is seeing sustainable earning opportunities for driver partners and sustained interest in driving with a 60 percent year-on-year increase in driver signups in January 2017.
About the incentives, Jain said that drivers earn money from fares paid by riders, but also from incentives, for instance, a driver may earn a certain amount of money once they have hit a certain number of trips.
“Uber rolls out incentives and promotions to introduce the service in new cities. Without doing this, it’s hard to ensure drivers are compensated for their time when few riders are aware of the service,” he said, adding that as more riders use it, drivers would be busier and could earn more.
“This in turn attracts more drivers, which helps guarantee faster pickups for riders, and allows us to adjust incentives over time,” he said.
Jain further said: “We can’t serve riders or cities the way we want to without drivers, so we need to ensure at all times that the app is the most rewarding option for them to choose. But we also need to consider affordable prices for riders that allow the service to grow and drivers to know when they switch on the app, there will always be people looking for a ride.”
Striking a balance isn’t always easy, but without attractive earnings for drivers the service simply wouldn’t work, he noted.
“We are watching carefully to ensure drivers do not get into difficulty with vehicle financing, especially after the recent violence and intimidation which prevented many partners from using the app,” he added.