Once Upon a Lack of Surge

Fairy Tales Really Can Come True!

September 2023

Once Upon a Lack of Surge

Fairy Tales Really Can Come True!

by Nicole Moore, RDU President and Rideshare Driver Since 2017

Once upon a time in a large California airport, there was a lot of activity. But the rides being offered were insulting. The only drivers heading out to pick up passengers were settling for trash trips with pennies for pay.

Most drivers were waiting for surge pricing. 

Felipe, a long time driver, was one of those hopeful drivers frustrated about lost earnings. In his narrow parking spot in that airport rideshare lot, Felipe sat in his car waiting for a decent ride. 

It was 4:30 PM, it was Friday, and there was still no surge. Rolling his eyes, and cursing under his breath, he stepped outside his car to catch some fresh air. 

A driver parked next to him leaned out her window, and said, “Can you believe the trash they’re sending us? And still no surge?” 

A driver in the next row leaned out his window. “Yah, this is so ridiculous! I’m shutting down my app till there’s a surge!”

Felipe heard him, gave him the thumbs up, turned his phone to show that he was logging off too, and the driver parked next to him started honking her horn. She turned off her app too. Felipe leaned in on his own horn, and a few others nearby started as well. .

There was simply no reason to continue working when there was no surge for drivers. Felipe had checked it out  and everyone knew that passengers were paying huge surge prices - and every penny of those surges was headed to Corporate pockets. 

Pretty quickly, every driver in that lot was honking and turning off their app. 

Within ten minutes a small $5 surge appeared. But Felipe kept honking - and so did everyone. Twenty minutes later, as if a fairy godmother had reached down with her magic wand, there was a decent $25 surge showing up on everyone’s app. The honking subsided. Felipe looked around, everyone was nodding, and drivers started logging back on, and taking rides feeling powerful as a group and cashing in on the $25 surge.   

The moral of this fairy tale is that drivers  are worth more than what the companies are compensating us for. We know commissions to the companies should be limited to 20% - and in fact many of us started driving when 80% of the fare was guaranteed to us. 

And the other moral of the story is, we can fight back. Together. 

Honk for justice & fair pay. Pass it on.

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