Why I tip Uber drivers.

by w3woody

I’ve read plenty of articles talking about how Uber is evil, drivers are underpaid, and the whole thing is evil.

And I’ve read various Liberal bloggers talking about how Uber needs to pay its drivers more.

Okay, let’s take this as a given.

So what is a rider to do?

Well, today I took an Uber ride that was around 6 miles. I was charged around $9 for the ride. Let’s break down who gets what of that $9:

Uber takes 20%. That means from my $9 ride, the driver sees $7.20 in gross profits.

Car cost per mile (wear and tear, taxes, etc.) AAA estimates that for a small sedan (which is what I rode in), costs average between 45 and 60 cents per mile. Let’s assume the costs to the driver is around 55 cents per mile. That means the 6 mile drive cost the driver $3.30.

This leaves the driver a net profit of $3.90.


So what did I do?

I left my driver a $10 tip.

Which means I just quadrupled his profit for that one ride, while only effectively doubling my own out-of-pocket expense.


If you think Uber drivers are being underpaid, despite the fact that Uber only takes 20% of the fair, then there are two ways to resolve the problem.

Either Uber increases its costs, or you leave a tip.

Since Uber isn’t increasing its costs, then you can act on your own, by leaving a tip.


Let’s assume the percentages in my short trip are similar for all Uber trips. The breakdown winds up being

Uber takes 20%. The cost to drive the car takes 37%. The driver makes a net profit of 43%.

Even if you leave a 25% tip on the overall trip–meaning I left the driver a measly $2.25–I would have increased his profit by more than 50%. A very small tip to your Uber driver makes a meaningful gain to his net profit.


Which means this: if you are a bleeding heart liberal who thinks Uber drivers are underpaid, and you don’t leave your Uber driver a tip, then you are an asshole who needs to shut the fuck up.

And to me, the single most egregious failure of many on the Left (and some on the Right) is the failure to take meaningful personal responsibility for the ills in society that you complain about.

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