Uber increases fares in Melbourne, adds a number of new driver features

Uber today in an email to all drivers in Melbourne announced a fare increase of approximately 15% across all services, UberX, Select, and XL.

The RSDU view this latest improvement as a good step in the right direction. A much needed pay increase for drivers to help them with raising vehicle and licensing costs.

Drivers we’ve talked to indicated that they are happy to see Uber finally moving in the right direction and increasing the rates but this latest increase still leaves most of them earning well below minimum wage (after accounting for tax liabilities and car expenses) while drivers are still striped of any work entitlements.

Last month Uber also introduced a number of new features like fee for driver waiting time, a “no thanks” button so drivers can more easily decline jobs, and a “long trip notification” to warn drivers if a job is going to take longer than 40 minutes. Uber has also introduced a maximum 12 hours driving shift limit.

The introduction of these new features in Australia are a result of RSDU initiated FWO investigation and designed to give the impression that drivers are in full control of their work and therefore not employees of the company. RSDU, therefore, expect Uber to release more improvements in the coming weeks to help drivers make better business decisions, just like a “real” independent contractor would.

This myriad of changes comes as Fair Work Ombudsman continues to investigate whether Uber’s driver contracts breach workplace laws by engaging them as self-employed contractors rather than employees.

The new features are a direct result of RSDU’s loud lobbying and hard work this year. Those who have been following RSDU’s work closely can not miss the signs.

We welcome the improvements but RSDU would like to see Uber increasing the base rates by a further 15% while capping surges in Melbourne to a maximum of x1.9 multipliers. Based on our experience and the experience of many of our member drivers, we feel such arrangement will be benefiting and fair to all, drivers and passengers.

We are happy to see Uber finally responding to drivers concerns and increase the base fares. We look forward to seeing a further increase in Melbourne rates, to bring them closer to Sydney base rates. Creating a fair and sustainable working environment for drivers, enabling them to run a business they can truly be proud of.

Drivers! Enjoy the improving conditions and please drive safely at all times.

Max B., Head of Ride Share Drivers United


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