They might have taken off around the world for their cheapness, but ride-sharing services come at a high price for many, a new survey has found.
Polling over 1,100 drivers for Uber and other ride-sharing companies, the major study shows that harassment and violence in the industry are rife, with 969 claims of misconduct by passengers.
Conducted by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and the Rideshare Drivers’ Co-operative, the survey revealed that nearly four in ten (37%) drivers had received threats, while one out of ten said they had actually been assaulted and one in 16 (6%+) sexually assaulted on the job.
According to the study, drivers said they had faced “death threats towards them and their families, rape threats, sexual assault, being punched in the face, held at knifepoint, had their car windows broken, their cars stolen and have received racial abuse”.
Three in ten (almost 30%) have received racist comments, one in five sexual comments and four in ten (40%+) have had their property damaged.
Drivers have also been “immediately deactivated” from ride-share apps when passengers have made “entirely false” reports, of which almost two in three drivers said they have received.
On top of the misconduct drivers face, the survey revealed that workers are earning an average hourly wage of just $16 per hour, which comes after fees and taxes but before fuel, insurance, maintenance and other costs.
TWU on-demand economy campaign director Tony Sheldon called the findings “shocking and disturbing”.
“They are offered no support when they face sexual or physical assault and must choose between taking time off work to recover or going back to work the next day in order to get paid,” Mr Sheldon said.
Polled between July and October, the respondents work for Uber (97%), Ola (46%), Taxify (26%), DiDi (22%) and other ride-share companies (15%), with some drivers working for multiple businesses.
Have you ever witnessed poor behavior by ride-sharing passengers?
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