Tampa Uber drivers protest for higher rates, tipping option on app

Drivers say pay rates down since app started

TAMPA, Fla. - Uber drivers were hitting the streets in Tampa Bay Monday...not for fares, but higher wages.

Drivers say the pay cuts have come at a time when drivers are facing even more competition.

“We started here at a much higher rate, and they've continued, continued, continued to cut the rates,” said Uber driver Kevin Taber.

“We get 80 cents a mile at the moment,” said Robert Ducos.

Those drivers were among about a dozen people who protested along Adamo Drive in Brandon Monday.

Full-time Uber drivers say the high costs of fuel, maintenance and insurance and the lack of an Uber tipping option on the ride service app mean they have to work long hours to get by.

“If you had to look at it on any hourly basis, I was probably making $6.50 an hour,” said Marla Jupiter.

“I have to work 70 hours a week, six days a week sometimes seven days a week,” said Taber.

Uber Spokesperson Javi Correoso said full-time Uber drivers are typically seeing more trips.

"We are committed to making Uber an affordable option to move around Tampa Bay,” he said.

"The current pricing, has led to higher demand, meaning more time moving people and less idle time for driver partners. We are constantly communicating with our driver partners and highly value their thoughts and concerns."

A driver confronted Uber CEO Travis Kalanick over the lower rates on Super Bowl Sunday.

Kalanick later apologized.

Local drivers say they just want share in Uber's prosperity.

“I think it's the next best thing to the cell phone, but the fact of the matter is they're not supporting their drivers,” said Uber driver Robert Ducos.

Uber’s spokesperson also points out that most drivers choose Uber for the flexibility, control and independence it offers.

More than 60 percent of Uber drivers use the app less than 10 hours per week.

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