Learning to Navigate Public Backlash

In recent weeks, rides from ridesharing apps have been steadily increasing in prices. During the pandemic, the ride-hailing companies Lyft and Uber drastically increased consumer prices.

Plenty of experts have seen this situation as a consequence of the current labor shortage which has been caused by a lack of decent financial incentives for workers.

According to many people who previously worked as drivers for Uber or Lyft, both of the companies’ new cash incentives weren’t good enough to make them start driving again once they stopped.

This dissatisfaction has been happening at the same time as many companies have started reducing the subsidies that allowed for such low prices for riders.

Both of these situations, happening at the same time, have resulted in increased prices for riders on these ride-sharing apps.

In fact, according to Gridwise, the assistance app for drivers, it estimated that Uber managed to increase the ride-hailing prices by 79% since 2019.

There have also been some reports that both Lyft and Uber had been planning on offering new perks to the users of each platform, such as career, education, and expense programs.

Unfortunately, according to analysts, these potentially new offers aren’t what gig workers are actually looking for, and it’s not going to make other drivers come back into the gig economy.

In fact, one of the biggest factors for many previous ride-hailing drivers has been the work-life balance at both companies.

In fact, for plenty of gig workers that realization came way before the pandemic appeared, while for many others, it was the pandemic that convinced them their gigs weren’t working as well as they hoped.

For a while, plenty of ride-hailing drivers have been complaining about the working conditions with both of these companies.

The complaints ranged from drivers having to sleep in their cars to be able to make enough money and get enough rides, to not being able to drive during the optimal working hours, and more.

Back in 2019, both companies introduced quota systems in response to new New York City regulations.

The regulation introduced a vehicle license cap, a wage floor, and required all ridesharing companies to reduce the amount of time that drivers would spend without passengers in their vehicles.

That’s when these companies started the quota system process which forced plenty of gig workers to stop working completely.

Unfortunately, both of these companies haven’t been efficient enough in adapting to the request from gig workers, and now, compounded with the high prices that riders aren’t willing to pay, Uber and Lyft are once again looking for viable solutions.

Last year, both companies started to allow their drivers to set their own prices, as well as preview their driving destinations, but with the introduction of other new regulations, those changes were quickly rolled back.

In situations like these, it’s best to listen to the public and find a solution that will work both for the company itself, and for its user-base.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5W Public Relations. 5W PR is a leading digital PR and influencer marketing agency.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian


Ronn Torossian is Chairman & Founder of 5WPR & one of America’s most notable PR executives. He is the Author of best-selling PR book, “For Immediate Release.“