Uber has announced that they will be offering drivers in Singapore minimum hourly earnings during peak hours. This makes it the only private car service in the country that gives its drivers such a benefit — previously, and for other taxi booking/private car services, drivers take a proportion of their fare earnings, with no intervention by the company.
According to The Straits Times, Uber revealed that this was done to ensure greater availability of rides for passengers during peak periods. “Passengers are able to benefit… especially during peak hours as more drivers are on the road to take advantage of their earning opportunities,” a spokesperson said to the press.
This is not an entirely new move from Uber; drivers from almost all cities in the United States enjoy this benefit. Here’s how it works: private drivers working with Uber can get up to $32 each hour between 6AM to 10AM on weekdays, and $27 hourly on weekday evenings from 5PM to 11PM. They’ll also receive minimum earnings on the weekends, though at different rates and timings.
Should a driver be unable to earn the minimum amount from fare takings alone, Uber will make up for the difference.
Of course, this benefit will only come with some effort on a driver’s part: they will have to stay online via the Uber app for at least 55 minutes each hour, accept most of the rides they’re offered, and complete at least one ride within the 60-minute period.
While this may be good news to some drivers, others have expressed concern over the greater amount of competition they’ll have: with so many drivers out to take advantage of this scheme, we can be sure that there’ll be a huge increase in the number of available drivers on the road come peak hour.