Chances are, you were planning to call an Uber while you were out tonight. But, if you live in Houston, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, and maybe some other cities, you may want to make alternate travel plans. Drivers for the ride-hailing app have been planning a three-day strike that kicked off yesterday and should last through the end of the weekend. It’s all in the pursuit of higher fares and other perks for drivers, like the option for riders to tip.
For the most part, Uber protests have been held by taxi companies who are upset by the popularity of the app. This might be the first time drivers of the company are bringing up their own issues, spearheaded by an organization called “UBER Freedom.”
They’re taking a complete cold-turkey approach to the app. Participating drivers have decided to not turn on the app so there’s a deficit of drivers on the road. Specifically, they want this stunt to raise fares by 60%, institute a seven dollar minimum, a cancellation fee of seven dollars, and an option to tip, something that, for the most part, isn’t included in the Uber model.
If successful, this campaign could significantly change the way we Uber and change things in a great way for the drivers who provide the service. While we all love the low fares and short waits that typically come with Uber (surge pricing times notwithstanding), we’d also love for drivers to get the compensation they deserve. This is definitely a complicated issue and one that we hope Uber will take seriously and work with drivers to find a balance that works for everyone — the company, the customers and the drivers who make it all possible.
An Uber spokesperson spoke to Mashable about the protest:
There are over 162,000 Uber drivers in the US, and more 1,200 drivers have confirmed their intention participate in this weekend’s strike. In the end though, it’s unknown how many are actually off the road. Long story short: If you’re out this weekend and hoping to take an Uber, be prepared for the possibility of going old school and taking a cab instead.