Advertisement
  1. Transportation

Your Tampa Bay Uber will cost more St. Patrick's Day... and beyond

In this file photo from 2017, a woman gets in an Uber car at LaGuardia Airport in New York. The popular ride-sharing app increased prices of rides in Florida starting last week. [Associated Press file photo]
Published Mar. 16, 2018

You might notice your Uber ride this St. Patrick's Day costs a wee bit more than you're used to — the popular ride-sharing app upped its prices last week in Tampa Bay.

But the price hike (about 12 percent more per mile) doesn't just have some riders grumbling. Drivers say they're not getting any more money and could lose business.

"Uber is raising prices, but they're leaving us behind," said Christian Perea, a driver and reporter for TheRideShareGuy.com. "That's what a lot of drivers are upset about right now."

RELATED COVERAGE: When the goal is getting to the ER fast and cheap, some choose Uber over 911

Perea, who drives in northern California, has been closely following the ride-sharing industry for the last three years. He said the percentage drivers gross has been on a steady decline.

The new rates began on March 9. Javi Correoso, a Florida Uber spokesman, said the increase was statewide.

"What we collect from this increase in rates will help us continue to make the Uber experience better for everyone," he wrote in an email. "We notified riders and drivers of these changes when they were made."

MORE: Go here for more Business News

The company has said it doesn't think it will impact what drivers take home per trip.

Before the hike, a ride to Tampa International Airport from downtown St. Petersburg during the afternoon before rush hour would be close to $27. Under the new rates, it's nearly $31.

Perea said that now about 40 percent of a Tampa Bay ride's fare is going to Uber. A year ago, there was a 20/80 split, then it crept up to 25/75 and, most recently, 30/70. The price per mile has dropped, too. So drivers have gotten used to driving more to make up for what they were earning a year or two ago.

For a while, Uber said it was lowering its prices to increase demand to make up for the growing percentage it's been taking from its drivers, Perea said.

But with the latest hike, drivers are worried price sensitive costumers are going to be less likely to hail an Uber.

In a Facebook group for Tampa Bay drives, some have discussed coordinating turning their apps off between rush hour, 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., as a type of protest. But there doesn't appear to be a unified local front on how to handle the latest uptick.

The recent hike could be an effort by Uber to improve its finances. Despite its widespread use, Uber has likely burned through about $10.7 billion in the last nine years, according to a Fortune report earlier this month.

In the short term, Perea predicts economical ride-seekers in Tampa Bay will probably shift to Uber's top competitor, Lyft, which hasn't hiked its prices.

"But historically, Lyft follows in Uber's foot steps," he said. "I give it another month or so before they're the same (price)."

Contact Sara DiNatale at sdinatale@tampabay.com. Follow @sara_dinatale.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft approaches Miami International Airport for landing in March. Bloomberg
    The 60-year-old veteran airline employee told investigators he was upset that union contract negotiations had stalled.
  2. In this April 24, 2019, photo, American Airlines aircraft are shown parked at their gates at Miami International Airport in Miami. A bail hearing is scheduled for a mechanic charged with sabotaging an American Airlines jetliner as part of a labor dispute. Prosecutors are seeking pretrial detention for 60-year-old Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani at a hearing Wednesday. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File) WILFREDO LEE  |  AP
    His arraignment on a sabotage-related charge is scheduled for Friday; if convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
  3. Female driver texting on mobile phone while driving. STAR TRIBUNE  |  baona/Star Tribune/TNS
    Police are choosing to issue warnings instead of tickets — so far.
  4. The Hillsborough County Commission listens to a briefing in June about the lawsuit challenging the county's one-cent transportation sales tax. On Wednesday, reacting to a judge's ruling in that case, commissioners voted to restore the guidelines originally approved by voters on how the tax should be spent. [ANASTASIA DAWSON   |   Times]
    Commissioner Stacy White, who is challenging the tax in court, was the only “no” vote.
  5. Tampa has a pilot program underway to test scooters. Clearwater could soon have one of its own. But if it's limited to downtown, who will use it? CHRIS URSO  |   Times
    The city’s plan is coming into focus, but there will be limitations.
  6. A study found that two of the worst intersections in the country for running red lights are in the Tampa Bay area. Tampa Bay Times
    Two intersections are among the worst for running red lights
  7. Florida Department of Transportation workers inspect damage to the Interstate 175 overpass at Sixth Street S caused by a roll-off dumpster truck that left its hydraulic arm upright, according to St. Petersburg police. The incident sent concrete falling onto Sixth Street S below. Courtesy St. Petersburg Police Department
    Sixth Street S from Fourth Avenue S to Fifth Avenue S will be closed for up to three weeks for repairs, state officials say.
  8. Pasco County plans to reduce bus service to central Pasco. The route began in May 2017. Handout
    The cuts eliminate Saturday service and a route along Collier Parkway.
  9. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates.
    His infant daughter suffered life-threatening injuries, officials said.
  10. Hillsborough County will dedicate about $1 million each school year to employ crossing guards at all 43 of its public middle schools. [EVE EDELHEIT | Times (2014)]
    While the board’s new Democratic majority fought for modest increases in taxes and fees next fiscal year, the commission voted Thursday night to forego any changes to the millage rate.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement